Monthly Archives: July 2013

More Sepia Prints

I added about 25 new art prints to my Sepia Gallery located in my online art gallery: The Wall Gallery.  I wanted to share a few of them here. I love the sepia look for that old world rustic appearance. As I have discussed in prior blogs, the subject matter needs to lend itself to that same ‘feel”. Sepia prints work really well in a number of decors bringing an element of age and history.

Let’s start with the first picutre which I call “Abandoned Farm“. This shot was taken near the Amana Colonies, Iowa in mid February of this year. It was one of those shots that felt good, but I wasn’t sure until I looked at the print in full size. I liked it so much, I have used this shot as a basis for a watercolor and an oil. I like the overall composition and knew it would also look great as a sepia print.

The sepia tone makes it look like it could have been taken in the 30’s or earlier.

The next shot is of old farm equipment just sitting in a field. I took the picture near North Bend, Washington while I was hiking along the Snoqualmie River. This shot was taken with the sole intent of using it as a sepia print. The subject matter lent itself perfectly.

On that same hike, I came across the next two shots and also took them with the sole intent of using them for sepia prints. The aged look and composition spoke volumes to me….

This cabin was right on the banks of the Snoqualmie River. Just a few cabins up , I came across the next shot….

(I would also like to point out that the featured picture at the top of the post came from this same area of the river bank. I enjoyed the cat trying to hide in the shadows.)

So shifting geography, a couple of other prints from the other side of the country…New England.

The first print is of a house on Martha’s Vineyard. The age and weathering of this home lends itself to the sepia tone.

And for the last sample, a large sail boat harbored in a small fishing village in Maine.

Sail boats have that timeless look, especially the larger ones.

These are just a few of the samples I added to The Sepia Gallery….the subject matter in the gallery is “rustic or historic” in appearance. See what you think. Thanks!

Sail Boats

As a follow up to last weeks post, I mentioned that I had added a number of new art prints to my Landscape Watercolor 3 Gallery. I posted a few of them and this week I am posting a few more. The watercolor prints this week are done in different style. Last week, those watercolors were based on more simple abstract drawings. This week the watercolors are done using very detailed, precise drawing and sketching. With Sail Boats as a subject matter, notice the complexity of the drawing as it pertains to the masts and the boats in general.

The first picture is from a public park at the end of a harbor in a small New England Village……

Notice the detail not only in the boats, but in the trees and the buildings within the village.

The next picture is a different angle within the same harbor….

The red maples pull the eye to the shoreline of the village, but the focal point remains the boats…..

The next print is of a sail boat along the coastal waters of New England…..

Our eye goes to the sail boat initially, then to the very large home on shore. The trees and the water frame the two focal points.

Our next print stays with the sailing along the coastal waters…..

In this print, the homes along the shore become much more of the background than the prior print and the sail boat takes center stage.

This next print continues with this same setting….

The use of detailed drawing with these watercolors change the look entirely from last weeks set. The nautical theme is augmented with the distinct detail of the environment.

The style of the print and the media used changes the entire look and feel of these pictures. Pictures are meant to enhance a decor and create a look, feel and vibe.  That look and feel is yours and there is no right or wrong in my opinion.

For these and more prints, please visit my gallery:  Landscape Watercolor 3, one of many galleries on my main web site: TheWallGallery.


Dusk in the Harbor

I just updated one of my galleries with a series of watercolor prints. I wanted to share a few of them with you. This particular gallery is a series of watercolor landscapes. The first picture is of boats in Victoria Harbor, British Columbia at dusk.

I drew the scene with simple and almost abstract sketching. I then used the color hues to create the time of day “dusk”. Notice the lighter colors in the sky and reflected in the harbor. The rest of the hues are darker blues throughout. As a special focal point, I enjoy the docks that have “lamps lit” on the two boats in the foreground.

The next picture is “Sunrise in the Harbor”. Using Victoria Harbor again, this time a different perspective of the harbor and different lighting creating an early morning look.

Same simplified drawing technique, but notice the color hues….lighter and brighter. The blue hues are not as dark and the coloring on the boats is more vivid. The look of early morning is created by the coloring of the sky and the coloring on the boats.

The next picture is also from Canadian landscape. It’s called ” Contemplation at the Lake“.

This is a picture of “Hidden Lake” near Whistler, British Columbia. Again, same drawing technique….simple almost abstract…with the story being told by the coloring. I like using purple, dark blue hues for mountains and love the accent of green with the trees in the foreground. The individual sitting on the shore looks deep in thought creating the name of the picture.

Keeping with the mountain theme from this picture, the next one is of more mountains around the Whistler area.

Again, I like the purple and blue hues for mountains….this one more purple than the blue. The green trees in the foreground also add that accent look. A little more detail in the drawing on this one in the trees to make them more of a focal point.

To finish out the samples, I have included a picture of Mt Rainier that I have done.

So, south of the Canadian border, this angle is from the Seattle area. Keeping the blue hues throughout keeps the snow capped mountain to a more subtle look. For a little fun, if you look closely just to the left of the peak, you will see a small airplane drawn in.

I hope you enjoy and for more of my recently updated art prints, please visit either my main online art gallery (TheWallGallery) or this specific gallery: Landscape Watercolor 3.


Sepia Urns

I was going through some of my stock photography from a few years ago when I came across these prints. These three prints were taken on the grounds of the Kuleto Estate. The Kuleto Estate is a winery located above the Napa Valley. I highly recommend anyone going to the wine country in Northern California to schedule some time for a tour. It is by appointment only and is off the beaten path, but the grounds of the estate and their wine are both incredible and worth the effort. That said, the estate has an eclectic mix of imported  items giving it a look somewhere between Tuscany and Mexico. These shots are part of one of the main fountains. I thought the urns and iron pot lent themselves well to a sepia look.

The texture of the pot and the grapevine planted in it, make this an old world look which the sepia tones augment. This pot along with similar ones sit by the fountain. The fountain is comprised of large urns that bubble water….see next picture.

Notice the two iron pots with grape vines framing the shot. The large urns were imported for this fountain and if my memory serves me correctly, I believe it was from Mexico.

I love the texture of the pots and the sutlety of the bubbling water….you have to look close to see it  coming out of the urns.

The entire feel of the fountain is “Old World”, which I think the sepia tones highlight.

I will soon be adding these shots and a few more to my Sepia Gallery located in my main art gallery. If you like sepia tone prints, please take a look.

A Purple Orchid

Our neighbor has a gift of getting her orchid plants to bloom, bloom, bloom!!! I have never seen anything like it! She currently has a plant in her kitchen window that is overflowing with blooms. The other night we were over playing cards and I kept staring at this plant…it screamed to have it’s picture taken…..

I scheduled some time to come over and took a number of pictures of the plant…using a light box…also natural lighting and from a variety of angles. From this photo shoot, I have taken one of the shots for an example here on how one picture can take on many different looks depending on the final media used.

This first picture is the original shot…nothing adjusted or changed. The picture really isn’t one of the better ones, but I am using it because the paintings I did from it are actually some of the better final products.



So, we have established that we are working with a purple orchid…quite beautiful and I think you get the feel that this is one of a couple of branches and they are all quite full. So, why would I take a stunning purple orchid and turn it into a Black and White photo? As I have said before….black and white only works if the subject matter has distinct shape and composition, which this plant does.

Ok, so this leads to an interesting black and white, but again…let’s go back to the purple orchid….next I did an abstract type drawing and filled it in with watercolor….I even got away from the purple because I liked a little more red in this rendition….

Totally different look! This has an abstract bold look…the strong black drawing creates the shapes and suggestions of the blooms and as I stated, I took the liberty to change the coloring to match what “I” saw in this painting.

Ok…so back to the purple. I also did a more detailed drawing and again used a watercolor fill to capture all of the details of the flower…

So this version has all of the detail and I went back to the original color. Both of these watercolors use an abstract approach, but one being much more minimalistic than the other.

Another style I like is an oil using strong bold brush strokes. So I did the same picture in this style and got an entirely different look…

The look stays abstract, but in a more bold highly textured style. Again for this painting I stayed with the purple as I felt it was the best color for this style.

You can see how different the looks are from each other. Each one lends itself to entirely different decors.

I would love to get feedback on which one is your personal preference and why. As is always the case in interpreting art….there is no right or wrong answer as different looks motivate different responses in all of us. To see more of my work, please visit my main gallery:

Thanks for letting me share!

The Hacienda

These pictures are from a time gone by in the old Southwest.

I grabbed this shot literally on the grounds of the Alamo. What I wanted to take a look at today was how the same picture done in different media creates a completely different feel to the same subject matter.

The first picture below is the original shot I took in May on the grounds of the Alamo in San Antonio. I loved the look and the rustic appeal of this scene.

Original Photograph

Original Photograph

After cropping the shot, I worked with the picture using a variety of media to create different looks for different decors.

The picture below is the black and white shot. There are enough strong lines and contrast in this picture to make a black and white interesting. Not every shot holds up in black and white.

From the B&W Gallery in Kirt's on-line Art Gallery

From the B&W Gallery in Kirt’s main art gallery

Nice contrast and this type of looks lends itself to a modern artistic decor.

Because the subject matter is “historical, rustic and of days gone by”, I also presented it in a sepia tone. The very nature of the sepia print evokes old images since prints originally used this format.

From the Sepia Gallery in Kirt's main Art Gallery.

From the Sepia Gallery in Kirt’s main art gallery.

The sepia tones automatically give you a warmer picture, not as bold as the black and white. This print would look good in a decor that embraces earth tones and/or uses items that have an old rustic appeal.

From there, I painted the scene using a traditional watercolor approach. This gives the picture a soft relaxing look. The colors become warm and soothing…

giving you a picture that invites you in to sit and relax.  This picture would look great in a casual comfortable decor.

Then, just from my own curiosity … I also painted the scene with a bolder more abstract watercolor…

The result being a much more bolder contemporary picture. This style would bring an historical subject matter into a modern contemporary decor style.

What are your thoughts? Using the same core elements, but presenting them in different styles creates totally different looks. Each of these stands on its own and is the right picture for different decors. I welcome your feedback and as always invite you to look at my main gallery: Thanks!