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.
My post this week takes a look at three different sunsets that I created using an abstract approach to the subject matter with an impasto style of brush strokes. There are two things going on with these prints. First, I created the scene by making general shapes in various shades of color for the clouds and ocean. Next, I took those creations and did an impasto style of brush strokes. This type of brush stroke is bold and creates depth to the painting.
In this first one I stayed in the orange and yellow family for color. I also added a coastline for the foreground. Carlsbad Sunset is based on a dramatic sunset over the Pacific Ocean in Northern San Diego County. The view point is a hilltop a few miles inland overlooking the ocean.
This second one represents a colorful sunset again based on an actual sunset in Northern San Diego County. The general viewpoint of both is the type of view we had from our house in San Diego County. What makes these prints even more impressive is that in the 18 years we lived there, these were some of the few colorful sunsets we had. Living close to the coast in this part of Southern California does have its advantages in moderate temperatures year round typically not getting either real hot or cold. That said, the ocean keeps the air temperature moderate, but also does create what is called a marine layer (low level clouds that are close to being fog if they were to get lower). Dramatic sunsets require high level clouds to reflect the colors from the setting sun and a marine layer blocks all of that.
This last abstract sunset is based on a look I saw from a Northern California coastal beach that had actual fog roll in just as the sun was setting. It created unique colors through the fog that I took into the blue and purple color family to make this a unique abstract print.
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.
The second and third prints are from the same plant and on these I used a slightly more subtle abstract watercolor technique.
I just wanted to post a reminder that now more than ever we need to approach the issues of the day with as much love in our hearts as we can muster. People are hurting and it’s up to all of us to reach out with all of the love and compassion we can muster. It may not always be received well, but we can’t quit trying.
This week I have chosen to do something that compares different styles of “painting” or presentation on the same subject matter….each creating a totally different look. I would also like to preface that it’s ok to like certain styles of “painting” and/or really not like certain styles. Art is in the eye of the beholder and what one person likes another may not. Example: I love abstract colorful art, my wife does not. Is there a right or wrong in that, absolutely not. We all have different tastes. So back to this weeks posts, my goal is to use the same general picture and use different painting techniques (digitally) creating different looks for the same scene. There are two scenes of a fountain on a patio. The difference between the two scenes is the first group is the original capture and in the second group I cropped out most of the potted palm.
On the first one, I used a fauvism technique creating an abstract look with bright colors.
Descanso Gardens is a 150-acre botanical garden located in La Cañada Flintridge, Los Angeles County, California. If you’re not sure where that is in the Los Angeles Metro area, it’s in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains northwest of Pasadena. Descanso has a fascinating history dating back to 1937, more information here.
Every holiday season, as do many botanical gardens, they have a beautiful light show at night for guests. I have been lucky enough to see a number of botanical garden light shows, but I have to say this is the most incredible night show of lights I have personally seen. I have heard about this over the years, but until this year never went to experience it. Our daughter and her husband took their daughter to see it last year and all they could talk about was having us go this year with them. Our oldest daughter and her husband were flying down from Seattle to spend Christmas with us, so opening night (Monday before Christmas) our LA daughter, her husband and our granddaughter (plus a new grandson born this year) hosted all of us to a night at Enchanted Forest of Lights in Descanso Gardens.
I was absolutely not prepared for the incredible beauty of the evening. I loved their use of fog machines throughout to enhance the look and experience. I took some photos, but not on a professional level. Using just my I-phone I wasn’t able to get truly great night photos. Having said that, my son-in-law had his new I-phone 11, which does do night photography quite well. All of that being said, I wanted to share a taste of what we experienced. The photos I am sharing in part 1 are his (with his permission). Part 2 (next week) are a few of my better ones that weren’t duplicates of his. I hope you enjoy!!!
Descanso Gardens 1
Descanso Gardens 2
Descanso Gardens 3
Descanso Gardens 4
Descanso Gardens 5
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Descanso Gardens 7
Descanso Gardens 8
Descanso Gardens 9
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Last winter, I shared a number of photographic captures of camellia blooms from our trees and bushes. Each bush or tree is a different variety giving us a mix of colors and types. Doing some yard work this week, I saw that buds were forming on the camellias in preparation for this winters bloom. Today I wanted to share a couple of art prints I created using that photo shoot as an inspiration and template for some digital art.
I have attached two prints I created using a pastel chalk technique. To create a little more definition of the petals on the bloom, I used a very thin brush stroke. The first one is a pink bloom and the second one a red bloom and bud.
I have featured hot air balloons from my gallery here a number of times using actual photography and various digital painting styles. Today I wanted to feature three I created using a soft abstract watercolor technique and then going back in and drawing lines to create the shapes of the balloons.
Not shy with color, I love the end result! Thoughts?
Those of you that follow my blog, I had mentioned that I would be off all of August after having total knee replacement surgery August 8th. Recovery and Physical Therapy has been going well. It’s a long and steady process over a number of months, but I am up and around…walking without assistance (no walker or cane). End of last week I was cleared to start driving (bummer…I was liking being chauffeured around by my wife). So, bottom line getting back in the swing of things!!
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From my post a few weeks ago of the door at the Glendale Train Station in the Los Angeles area, I featured an example of Spanish Revival architecture. Continuing on that same vein, I wanted to feature another structure in California that was built in the same tine frame with the same style. In my attached sketches I have include three art prints that feature the Museum of Man in Balboa Park, San Diego, California. Built for the Panama – California Exposition (1915-1916) in Balboa Park, this style of architecture is prominent throughout the park. I chose to feature the Museum of Man, as it stands out so prominently as a representation of this style.
For those of you not familiar with the history of Balboa Park in San Diego, here’s a link to their main site: Balboa Park. The park features numerous museums, restaurants and the world famous Old Globe Theater and sits right next to the San Diego Zoo. Having raised our family in San Diego, needless to say we visited the park and the zoo numerous times over the years.
So the prints I decided to feature start with the main entrance to The Museum of Man. This sketch shows the ornate architectural detail just above the main entrance.
This week I am featuring two art prints from my Gardens Gallery of large urns that I found in a garden fountain. I found the fountain at a Napa Valley winery, just outside of the tasting room. The fountain was quite large and had a distinct old world charm to it. Doing some research and questioning, I found out that the owner had these urns custom-made and shipped in from another country for that specific look. They sit on platforms in a shallow pool of water, with water bubbling up through the middle and coming out the top…just subtle enough to lend that soft bubbling water sound as it washes over the top rim and trickles down the outside of the urns.
With this as an inspiration for a couple of art prints, I chose a technique called gothic to recreate that old world painted look for these urns. This technique uses bold brush strokes and earthen colors giving the prints warm, aged tones.