(unavailable...acrylics with retarder)
It is very exciting to take an ordinary photo and use that as a jumping off point to lay down the shapes and colors in an abstract way. As I have been saying, it is much easier to get out of the comfort zone of trying to paint every leaf on the tree by using a palette knife. You then have no choice, but to paint the broader shapes and leave out the detail.
I am definitely in a transitional stage with this and trying to accomplish several things at once. My first intention is simply to observe and see the minimal characteristics of a given image and try to translate that into as few shapes as possible. Another word for it could be "visual shorthand". But that is only the first goal.
My second goal is to see which type of media will best accomplish the goal. I have been experimenting with oils, acrylics plus retarder, and open acrylics. Each piece completed adds to my knowledge of these three approaches.
The third goal and one which is suffering a bit until I get the first two resolved is how to include lettering in the piece. I already know that lettering is going to look best with a very abstract and abbreviated image, but I'm not quite there yet. And I do emphasize the "yet" because art is a process. For instance, I had to use a Prismacolor .005 Pen because the paint was still tacky and I could never have pressed down on a pen into this surface at this stage.
My encouragement is to ask yourself how and what you want to communicate and then chart out a plan to achieve that goal. It does take time and patience, but is well worth the effort. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.