Piet Mondrian Realism attempts to capture “real life” as accurately as possible. Abstraction simply means breaking shapes down into simpler shapes. 


The Dutch painter produced an extensive series of tree paintings over a period of five years between 1908 and 1913. 



He reduced the information he chose to represent by selecting details to better reflect 

  1. the experience of perceiving 

  2. rather than evenly capturing the details without ‘editing’

  3. Selected only the major boughs 

  4. Left out the thinner branches and twigs. 


He still managed to paint a tree, with a clear tree shape, yet he was now closer to ‘essence of tree’ than ‘diagram of tree’.


Piet Mondrian Study of Trees

Realistic to Abstract

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Positive space refers to the subject or areas of interest in an artwork.


Negative space is the background or the area that surrounds the subject of the work.

Carmen Herrera has used shapes and color to create positive and negative space in her paintings. 


Positive & Negative Space