Category Archives: Art

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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Summer Sailing on San Diego Bay

With summer in full gear (and many parts of the planet experiencing unusual heat waves), I thought I’d cool it off slightly with gentle sea breezes gliding across San Diego Bay powering your sailboat. I have attached four art prints I recently created of sailboats on San Diego Bay. Enjoy that cool summer breeze.

The first one is looking across the bay from downtown San Diego towards Coronado Island.

The Sailboat On San Diego Bay

The next print is from the opposite perspective, looking towards downtown San Diego from Coronado Island.

Sailboat In San Diego Bay

The third and fourth art prints are multiple sailboats on the bay with the Coronado Bridge as a backdrop.

The Coronado Bridge With Sailboats
Sailing by the Coronado Bridge

Thoughts?

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The Many Looks of A Banana Plant

As a digital artist most of my work starts with a photograph and I thought it would be interesting to share an example of a variety of styles from one capture.

The first picture is the original photograph. I captured a shot of one of the banana plants in our backyard at that time. Just a quick shot, but I already had an idea of a number of ways to turn this into a variety of art styles. The shot is very simple and includes imperfect leaves, but creates a nice template for me to work with.

Original Photograph

The next art print was created using a subtle abstract watercolor technique. I chose to keep the look of the imperfect leaves to give it that “live, realistic” look.

Ornamental Banana Plant

A completely different look was created when I used a fauvism technique. This technique follows that style with strong colors and slightly abstract shapes and presentation. Same plant, completely different look.

Abstract Banana Plant

The next approach was back to a subtle watercolor approach, but with the background eliminated focusing the eye on the plant itself. Again, I left in the imperfect leaves.

Banana Plant

Then for the final look, a complete departure from any of the prints above. This style is a gothic look using just earth tones and that old world presentation. This particular look is very specific to a decorating style and creates a totally different visual experience.

Tropical Leaves

The good news for me is that everyone has different tastes and as an artist I take absolutely no offense to someones likes and dislikes. I try and create what I find interesting presentations of subject matters and just wanted to share an example of one of the processes I use to create my art prints.

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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Log Cabin Homes From the Sharlot Hall Museum

In keeping with the theme from last week, I have attached six different art prints of three particular structures that are located on the grounds of the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, Arizona. (Sharlot Hall Museum Info on Wikipedia)

I have used two different approaches for each of the three structures. The first one for each of them was created using a colored pencil sketching technique. On the second art print, I used an impasto style (a type of painting style that uses very thick paint, creating strong brush strokes). The two different styles create a very different look for each subject matter. There isn’t a right or wrong as it’s more of a visual preference of the viewer. The sketching style creates a more subtle, softer visual where the impasto style creates a bolder look with stronger colors.

The first structure is Fort Misery. It is the oldest log building associated with the territory of Arizona. Originally built in 1863-1864 along the banks of Granite Creek (two blocks south of the museum) by a trader as a home and store. It was disassembled and reassembled on the museum grounds of the Sharlot Hall Museum in 1934.

Fort Misery Sketched
The Log Cabins

The inspiration behind the next two art prints is a reconstructed ranch house on the grounds of the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, Arizona. This reconstruction was done in the 1930’s to represent a typical ranch house in this area during the mid 1800’s.

The Ranch House Sketched
Log Cabin In The Woods

The inspiration behind the last two prints is the original governors mansion built in Prescott Arizona. The structure was built in 1864 to house the governor of the newly aligned Arizona Territory. The structure is now located on the grounds of the Sharlot Hall Museum.

Governors Mansion Arizona Sketched
Log Cabin Front Porch

Thoughts?

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Train Station Door

I have attached two different approaches to a singular subject matter. The singular subject matter is the train station door in Glendale, California. The train station was built in 1924 by the Southern Pacific Railroad using a romantic Spanish Colonial Revival style. The elaborate architectural details immediately become a visual focal point. The station now serves for both Amtrak and the Los Angeles Metro Link Rail system and was purchased by the city of Glendale in 1989.

Having been through this station numerous times over the last 20+ years, I was usually too busy coming or going to stop and really absorb the architectural detail. Finally in 2017 I did a photoshoot of the entire station and settled on this perspective of the door as a true representation of the beauty of the building.

I chose two different sketching techniques to highlight the beauty of the architectural details. Both techniques created totally different visual experiences of the same subject. There isn’t a right or wrong in either technique, just a visual preference by the viewer, which varies from viewer to viewer.

Sketched Train Station Door
Pastel Train Station Door

Thoughts?

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Street Scenes in Fauvism

This week I wanted to share the captures that were behind three art prints I created using a fauvism technique. The fauvism technique creates a strong colorful and abstract look. All three that I am sharing today are of what I call “Street Scenes”.

The first one is a scene of a downtown sidewalk in Rockford, Michigan. You’ll notice on the photo that it’s Christmas time and on the art print I chose not to highlight that aspect. I didn’t hide it as you will see the red stripes on the street lamps, but didn’t want to make it about the time of year. What I was after was the depth of a view down a long block of small businesses in a small town.

Rockford, Michigan
The Lawyers Office And The Village Shops

The second series is the 16th Street Mall in Denver, Colorado. This capture is from the eastern end of the pedestrian mall about a block away from the state capital. You get a feel for just how long the mall is when you see the D&F Tower in the very background of the picture. The D&F Tower is on the western part of the mall, but by no means is it at the end of the mall. Again I was looking at depth with strong colors and that abstract approach.

Denver 16th Street Mall In Fauvism
Denver 16th Street Mall In Fauvism

In the third set, this setting is Roche Harbor on San Juan Island northwest of Seattle, Washington. It’s a beautiful setting with a large harbor filled with sailboats. In this scene I was attracted to the architecture of the hotel and the building above it. Again, I like the strong colors and abstract approach to the scene with this style.

Roche Harbor Street Scene
Roche Harbor Street Scene

Thoughts?

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