I teach as a visiting professor at college of architecture,the subject is basic design in architecture.In one of the exercises given to students they were told to transform an realistic scene to absrtaction step wise.I am sharing a work of a student with you.
1) step one is selecting any photograph and copying it in any medium like watercolours, oil pastels etc.This gives them the feel of the medium as well as study of the painting.
2)Then con verting this painting into black and white masses,Both negative and positive spaces in painting are highlighted in reverse ways.
3)After this simplification, they were told to take prominant lines in paintings and add few of their own lines to start a compositon,this was an interesting stage as individual thinking stated to immerge.
4)After this stage a last stage was to interprete this by using textures, like paper collage,or granular textures etc.
I enjoyed this process of students very much.We also need to cut lot of frills,extra baggages from our paintings and life!! thats the lesson i leart from this.
I would like allof you to share your views .I know this is not the only method or meaning of abstraction, but felt like sharing it !!