Category Archives: Abstract Watercolors

Subtle Abstract Shapes

This week I am posting two prints where I used the same style in creating them, but on very different subject matters. Sometimes I like to take a subject and pull it back to its basic shapes. I like this technique in keeping some consistent coloring, but still forming the shape.

The first print is a camellia bloom where I used a solid background with subtle colors forming petals and a dark color to create a leaf and stem.

Pink Camellia In Abstract

The second one is a beach scene with two people walking alone. I decided it was a father and son walking together enjoying the tranquility of an empty beach and the visual of sailboats just off the coast. I kept the colors to just a few and the shapes simple. The sky was created using two colors to suggest a low marine layer (fog) coming in just after sunset with the break in the fog showing the lighter colored sky. The father and son are suggested shapes, but do show shadows to support the lighting in the sky.

Father And Son Walk The Beach

Thoughts?

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Hot Air Balloons – The Inspiration of the Envelope

Most of us appreciate the beauty of a hot air balloon sailing gracefully through the air, rising and descending. What draws our attention is the balloon itself which is called the envelope. Today the colors are typically vibrant with bright shapes and colors. This week I’m featuring three hot air balloon art prints I created using a soft, somewhat abstract watercolor approach.

This first print focuses on the envelope being heated up, which I thought was a unique look to feature with the bright flame shooting upward. I used strong bold lines to create the overall shape and then filled in the areas with bright colors using a soft air brush look.

Evening Glow Red and Yellow Watercolor

This next one is still on the ground, but getting ready to rise. Same technique with the bold lines, but I wanted the contrast between the colorful envelope and the sky (ground at the bottom of the print) to be highlighted.

Peach Hot Air Balloon Night Glow Watercolor

This last one highlights the many colors of this particular balloon and keeps that the focal point.

The Yellow and Blue Balloon

Thoughts?

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Abstract Family

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been sharing what happens when you present the same subject matter in two different artistic methods and how that can change the way an image impacts the viewer. This week I am going to dive a little deeper into that using a variety of abstract art methods. I used one of these examples in a post that I did in 2014, but this time around wanted to show how four different results came from one group of small statues.

OK, now that I have confused the issue, let me start with the process I went through using the original subject matter. That subject matter is two small statues that go together and represents a family; a mother holding a  child and a father with a child on his shoulders. Having been married for 47 years and raising three incredible daughters, my wife and I celebrate family.  

I started the process by taking those two statuettes and placing them in a light box snapping numerous pictures of the statues in slightly different positions settling ultimately on the three I have attached to this post. I was only using the photographs as a basis, so wasn’t concerned whether the shot was in perfect focus or not (which one isn’t). From that point I tried a variety of styles and methods creating numerous art prints and finally settling on the attached four.

Starting with the the first capture of the mother and child in the foreground and the father with child on his shoulders in the background:

With the resulting art prints being:

For the first print, I used an impasto technique (impasto done in acrylic or oil emphasizes strong and bold brush strokes).

The Family Unit in Soft Hues

On the second one I played with the colors using a fauvism style (fauvism: vivd expressionistic and non-naturalistic use of color).

The Family Unit in Gold

Next up is the picture I used for the third art print. In this case I positioned the mother and father figure more side by side.

From this inspiration I created this:

Again, using a fauvism approach I created this art print with a complete change in colors.

The Family in Green

My last example comes from the next picture.

This basis was just slightly different in positioning of the statues resulting in the following:

For this fourth art print I used an abstract watercolor technique and again bold color choices.

The Family in Purple

I had fun with this series and just wanted to share one of the ways I come up with my art prints.

Thoughts?

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Hiking in Abstract Watercolor

From all of the hiking I have done in the Pacific Northwest over the years, I wanted to share three art prints I did from some shots I took. I used a watercolor technique that uses abstract shapes and clean lines to create a sharp contemporary look.

The first one is of a stump I came across along the trail.

Stump in the Forest

The second one gives you an idea of how narrow the path actually was at this point in the hike.

Forest Path

The third one shows the hiking trail opening up slightly as the terrain leveled off.

Forest Trail

I’m always trying to find an artistic look with the captures I take and thought this modern abstract look added a different element to the scene.

Thoughts?

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San Diego Bay Sailing

This week I’m sharing a print I just finished. It’s based on a capture I took a few years ago. It’s a sailboat on San Diego Bay with downtown San Diego as the back drop. The point of view of the scene is looking across the bay from Coronado Island towards the downtown skyline. With this print, I used the original photo and did a Photoshop “abstract” creation. Using those two as a guide, I digitally painted this final print. I liked subduing the buildings for the background to have the sailboat stand front and center. I also took the liberty of creating abstract foliage for the majority of the coastline at the base of the buildings so as to not have to put in detail actually found there (such as the USS Midway floating museum). I kept to a linear abstract approach keeping clean lines where needed creating the various shapes.

San Diego Bay Sailing

Thoughts?

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The Light Of Life

Lighthouses are a great symbol of guidance to safety. I’ve attached two art prints I have created of lighthouses using entirely different approaches. On both, I added the same verse which I thought fit perfectly with a lighthouse. The verse refers to the “Light of Life”, which I think of as Love, Hope, Peace and Joy. We all seek that and find comfort in these feelings. With the Christmas Season upon us, especially this year, we definitely could use as much Love as we can muster for each other and the Hope that we will conquer this pandemic sooner rather than later. Peace and Joy we all seek in our everyday lives on a daily basis. All of this is within our ability as individuals and is one of the few things we can actually control on a daily basis.

This first print, I created the lighthouse in a very abstract matter.

Light Of The World

The second print, I created using ink drawing to outline the lighthouse structure and then filled in the color with a watercolor/airbrush technique.

Whoever Follows Me

May your holiday season be filled with Love, Hope, Peace and Joy!

Thoughts?

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Candy Cane Roses

October is the time of year in Southern California where roses hit their seasonal stride with an incredible showing of blooms. I decided to feature three art prints that were inspired by one of my favorite roses, the Candy Cane Rose.

The first one is an abstract watercolor rendition of one of the blooms.

“One Candy Cane”

The second and third prints are from the same plant and on these I used a slightly more subtle abstract watercolor technique.

“Two Candy Canes”
“Candy Cane”

Thoughts?

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