Category Archives: Abstract Watercolors

Abstract Sunsets

In keeping with the theme from last weeks post, this week I’m featuring some more abstract prints. All four of these prints have a common theme…..foggy coastal sunsets!! You’re looking at these prints thinking….really?….these are sunsets?

It began on a trip my wife and I took up the coast of California and Oregon. It was in the fall and as seasonal temperatures change along the coastline, it’s not unusual to have fog role in about the same time as the sun sets. What was really interesting to me was the way the colors changed as the sun would come and go through the fog as it settled on the horizon.  You go from a very strong gray to small burst of light creating moments of unique colors through the fog onto the beach. Some of the moments were very subtle and some were muted bright colors. I took a number of shots every evening to have a point of reference in what I wanted to create in the way of different abstract prints. Using digital drawing and painting I created these four prints.

Thoughts?

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Soft and Subtle Abstract

Anyone who follows my work knows that I like abstract techniques with bright bold colors (ok and I love black and white photography….go figure that juxtaposition). Anyway, today I wanted to feature a soft and subtle look in my abstract art collection.

These particular three prints are some of my favorites with their soft subtle shapes and subdued colors. They create a contemporary effect, but without jumping out at you and demanding your attention. These types of prints quietly grow on you and slowly bring your eye in.  I created all three of them by starting with some digital ink sketching of long lines and small geometric shapes and then adding color as I thought would work with the various shapes.

The first one is “Touch of Purple”,  using that color as a focal point and allowing your eye to drift slowly across the “canvas”.

The next print was created using the same technique, but this time I stayed with general triangular shapes and no bold color, just soft hues of mostly yellow and gold. I always saw it as a pairing with the third one keeping the color hues the same.

In this third one, I used a variety of geometric shapes, but kept them tied together creating a singular focal point.

Thoughts?

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More Flamingos

Carrying on from last weeks post, I wanted to share some more flamingo prints. Last October I shared a series of flamingos that I created using an impasto technique. This particular series uses an abstract watercolor technique with the same ink pen drawings of a flamingo as an overlay on the abstract watercolor background. 

To create the watercolor background, I used (digital) a brush that creates an almost airbrushed look with a variety of colors. Then using an ink pen “brush”, I drew the flamingos on top of the colorful background.

 

 

 

 

Thoughts?

(On a personal note, I wanted to thank everyone that responded with support and prayers on the passing of my father. My wife and I spent a week in Cedar Rapids, Iowa along with siblings, nieces, nephews and our three girls and their husbands celebrating his life. The service was incredible with the four of us siblings each speaking with what he meant to us as a father. I come from a large family and it was awesome to see all of them come in from all over the country. It speaks volumes to who he was!!)

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Abstract Sunrise and Sunsets – Featured Art Prints

I have been working on a project for a client encompassing abstract sunsets and now sunrises. I am featuring three of my most recent art prints, two are with the sunsets and the third is the first of some sunrises. I featured the first three sunsets I created for the project last September in two different posts. One featuring a lighthouse and another a sailboat and then the post about our moving back to Southern California, leaving the Arizona desert behind, which was a group of Saguaros in the desert at sunset.

If you follow my blog you will remember that the move was precipitated because our granddaughter and her parents were expecting a little brother for her….which fast forward…happened this last week. Our grandson was born last Monday 10 days early and when he decided he wanted to come into the world…he wasted no time…very quick delivery. Mom, Dad and grandson are doing great as are his grandparents.

So back to the project, I had a client who wanted a series of abstract sunsets and sunrises done in this abstract style with a variety of subject matters. From my moving post, I put eyes and smiles on the cactus, which prompted a comment from one of my blog followers (yes, Brad that was you!!) about using them in a children’s book. At the time I had actually just finished a children’s book, which I wrote for my granddaughter and had my niece (great artist) illustrate it. I casually mentioned Brad’s comment to a source who helped me with the first book and they encouraged me to pursue it. So, as I complete the initial request, I am already planning on what “tweaks” I want to make and how that would fit in a children’s book. So, more on that as I go forward, but more importantly I wanted to thank Brad for his comment and let him know how it is being played forward (the power of positive input).

With these three, the first one is Serengeti Sunset with a group of giraffes on the Serengeti at sundown. With the sun on the horizon, I chose to stay close to primary colors creating a bold look, but darkened and softened the orange and yellow as they pulled up and down from the horizon line. I did the three giraffes in black silhouette to complete the look of this abstract representation. The digital drawing of the silhouette figures in all three prints looks simple, but trust me the drawing is very tedious and time consuming done digitally (if only I had the drawing gift free hand).

The next art print called Mountain Sunset is done using the same general technique with the bright primary colors filling the sky.

The third one is done using the same concept, but to depict a sunrise, I changed the sky to blue to create a different look. This one features Flamingos feeding under palm trees.

Thoughts?

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Papago Palms At Papago Park – Featured Art Prints

This week I am featuring two art prints I created representing some of the palm trees surrounding a small lake in Papago Park which is located in Phoenix, Arizona. Papago Park has a very unique history starting with being named a reservation for local Maricopa and Pima aboriginal Americans in 1879. In 1914 it was designated a National Monument and that designation was later rescinded in 1930. During the Great Depression, the state established a fish hatchery on the land (thus the lakes that are still here today) and during WWII it housed a POW camp. Ultimately the land was sold to the city of Phoenix in 1959 and currently is home to the Desert Botanical Garden, The Phoenix Zoo and the park itself with hiking trails and unique red rock geological features.

Walking around one of the lakes I was mesmerized by the palm trees lining one of the lakes and chose to recreate the scene using a digital painting technique that was true to the colors and shapes I was seeing.

 

 

Thoughts?

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Lighthouse and Sailboat in Abstract Sunset

With the post from last week, I used a desert sunset with saguaro cacti that I created using the same technique that I used originally with these two art prints. Using a few of the filters on Photoshop, I originally created a background where the top half of the picture was sky and the bottom half of the picture was ocean. I used the gradient filter to take the sky and the ocean from light to dark at the horizon line. I then drew the lighthouse and sailboat and filled them with black to look like a silhouette against the background. The look is very abstract and the simplicity with the colors creates a unique look.

Thoughts?

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Goodbye to the Desert Saguaro – We Moved

 

We bid adieu to our friends the Saguaro cactus as we have moved back to Southern California. This time not San Diego, but Los Angeles. We have had a hard time saying goodbye to the many friends we have made in our 5 years here in the desert, but are excited for the next chapter in our life being near our granddaughter and her brother when he is born early next year.

Five years ago, my wife and I created a 5 year plan. We are very family oriented and didn’t want to be too far away from any of our three daughters and future grandchildren. At that time, since none of our girls were staying in San Diego, we wanted to give it 5 years to see where they  would land. Knowing all three, we knew they would stay somewhere in the western part of the US. Denver had been mentioned, Seattle and Los Angeles, so moving to Phoenix wasn’t that far off the map. Fast forward to today, all three are married (terrific son-in-laws). We have one daughter and her husband in Los Angeles and the other two and their husbands in Seattle area. Our Los Angeles family has our first grandchild with one on the way. At some point in the not too distant future we expect to see some grandchildren in Seattle, so time will tell where we ultimately end up.

I used this picture I created of the Saguaro Cactus as the poor thing has been the brunt of family jokes with my wife. They spook her out…she says they look like large people in the desert and at night it just creeps her out. I find them very unique and of course symbolic of the “Old West”. Knowing we have all given her a hard time about the large people in the desert, just couldn’t resist adding some eyes and mouth as they say “goodbye” to us!

Thoughts?

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