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This guide encourages readers to treat reality as merely a starting point for their creativity. Artist and teacher van Vliet (The Art of Abstract Painting) considers not just style or technique but rather a complete visual language involving method, skills, perceptions, expression, and originality. Fifty step-by-step exercises with hundreds of illustration of works in progress and completed nonrepresentational paintings are included. Chapters address techniques for drawing and water-based painting, ways to apply heavier paint, use of textures, and mixed media. VERDICT Advanced beginners and intermediate amateur artists interested in making the leap to abstract art should start here.