Abstract Illustration

Close my eyes and just listen to the music

An important note before starting this, I am deaf / hard of hearing and wear hearing aid. I will not be able to hear music to the “full” experience as I’m completely deaf in some sounds so its important to understand my hearing range is in the low sounds. I can and do enjoy music, I tend to like songs that have a nice flow and does not overwhelm my senses or confuses my hearing.

Just what I experience from music can be very different and sometimes misses the mark.
HOWEVER this isn’t always a bad thing as I feel the music, as I cannot hear the words in lyrics it is the emotion in the singing, the flow of the music that makes me really feel. (The joy of this means I can enjoy songs from all over the world and I do really enjoy Chinese movie/drama music)

I picked “The Gypsy King’s Bamboleo”
Music video is linked at the bottom if like to play the music while reading. (I’ve not linked at the top in case the video influences the vision of the sound)

Shantell Martin

First I picked up a posca black pen and planned to use a method I had learnt in a skillshare class by Shantell Martin who is a visual artist titled “drawing on everything : find your creative voice”
It not one of the classes I seek, but kept popping up on my recommendations, so ended up watching.
The class has a section for each prompt

  • Draw standing up
  • Draw with music
  • Draw while rotating paper
  • Draw while blind folded
  • Draw while talking out loud
picasson inspired portrait

Abstract isn’t something you can really isn’t something you can copy, yes can learn techniques/methods but abstract comes from emotion and feelings.
This is something I’ve learnt from experience, an example of this is when I tried to do a study on Picasso only last year. The result lacks emotion, while I got free with my marks I wasn’t really “feeling”, thats reason I recommended Shantell Martins class, she gives you a method to start freeing yourself in art.
I don’t think you can “plan” an abstract piece really.

Also after the last three exercises I really wanted to get messy and free within my work again.

With that in mind when I first started this and drawing on just printer paper with a marker with my eyes closed.
Feeling the jumps, the beat, the wave, even trying to see the colour in in the piece. I didn’t do this once, but a couple of times each time drawing a little less, but more focused. Each time was getting a little more defined elements.


My main feeling was BOUNCE, it was the sound that was coming though the strongest for me and a sort of Mexican colour theme!


Thumbnail designs as try and bring the image together.
Started to work out which bits I wanted to keep and the ones to drop.


I found some cd covers and used as a bit of inspiration for myself and even did the “main” design in the colours of one and I cannot deny I really loved the Black, Red and white version. It is more my style, However I was very aware this didn’t suit my theme.

OCA Abstact exploring

I explored square cuts from my painting in my sketchbooked, changing the hue and working out which bits spoke the song the best.

As much as I liked some of the elements it wasn’t right for the song, so I was also leaning towards red,orange and yellow themed colour palette.
While I see the song as very bright and colourful, I really needed to be selective with these colours to get the right vibe.

I also wasn’t getting the right textures, design layout out on paper. So I created a simple base with markers and took the design over into photoshop to play with the design and merge together the parts/textures I wanted and even dropping even more design elements that i felt wasn’t working.

OCA Abstract final

I saw this song so much in colour and it was loud and bouncy. This design is not 100% what I see in my head, I would say it was almost there in terms of the illustration and colours.
The mood is bounce, joy, fun and a bit of love.

Vinyl Record PSD MockUp

I listened to the song on Spoitify, when I finished this exercise I found the youtube video to link to this blog. I didn’t watch this until finished the image.
Other wise I think if I had I may have had ended with a different result.

This is terms of finished illustration is out of my comfort zone, it is loud, bright and the complete other side of the colour wheel than I normally use.
I like it, I personally feel it does reflect the song, it may be a little too neon but that could also be a charm as it is eye catching and would stand out on the shelves.

Credits, references and research
Mock up sleeve – GraphicBurger

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