Category Archives: Watercolor Painting

Sailboats on Bellingham Bay

In keeping with the sailboat theme from last week, this week I’m attaching two prints I created of sailboats. These prints differ from last weeks post in that the technique I used on these two was a subtle watercolor. The scene is a rainy (drizzle, not heavy rain) day on Bellingham Bay. Both prints capture a subtle rainbow in the background. The technique and coloring reflect the look I saw on that day. No bright colors without full sun, but a more subdued peaceful mood with the light rain.

Bellingham Bay serves the town of Bellingham in the state of Washington. Bellingham is located just south of the Canadian Border and north of Seattle. It’s just one of the many places in the Pacific Northwest of natural beauty.

Rainy Day On The Bay
Two Sailboats On Bellingham Bay

Thoughts?

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Bougainvillea – Bold and Subtle in Watercolor

Last summer I shared a couple of captures I took of our Bougainvillea blooms from our backyard. It took me until November to take those shots and create watercolor art prints of them. I also took them into two different directions, dark & bold and light & subtle. The original shots were taken to highlight the back lighting of the “colored bracts” surrounding the actual flower. That’s the technical and actual description, but most of us see the bracts as petals creating the bloom. The actual flower is a very small insignificant light colored center piece in the center of the bracts. Ok, so much for our botanical class lesson and let’s move on to what I did with them.

I wanted to present the look in a watercolor format as that lends itself to a soft warm presentation. What also caught me eye was the subtle difference in lighting and color saturation between the two. I decided to accent those differences which resulted in the attached art prints! I think the name I gave each says it all in what I saw as differences between the two.

Bougainvillea Dark And Bold
Bougainvillea Light And Subtle

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And More Lighthouses…..

With last weeks picture of an abstract lighthouse, I thought it would be appropriate to go back to the lighthouse theme I did in August. I drew those lighthouses using an ink and watercolor technique. I have completed three more lighthouse drawings since those posts of Oregon Lighthouses, with these being in the state of Washington.

Mukilteo

The first one is my rendition of the Mukilteo Lighthouse on the east side of Possession Sound in Mukilteo, Washington. The lighthouse is an operational navigational aid built in the 1950’s north of Seattle and just south of Everett. The Mukilteo location also sits next to one of the ferry terminals serving auto and pedestrian commuters between the mainland and the numerous islands in the Pacific Northwest.

West Point

The second one is West Point Lighthouse which is located in Discovery Park (Seattle, Washington) It sits on the north part of the park on a piece of land that juts out into Puget Sound on the north end of Elliot Bay (Elliot Bay is the body of water that downtown Seattle fronts opening into the Puget Sound).

Admiralty Head

The third and final one in the series is Admiralty Head Lighthouse constructed to replace the original structure in 1903. The location of this lighthouse marks the north end of Admiralty Inlet which connects The Strait of San Juan de Fuca with the Puget Sound (for ocean voyage between the port of Seattle and the Pacific Ocean, you would sail out of Elliot Bay into the Puget Sound heading north towards Canada sailing through theAdmiralty inlet to connect to the Strait of San Juan de Fuca which separates the two countries and then westward out to the Pacific Ocean).

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Old Fashion Hay Wagon

From the bright colored abstract prints of last week to a very subtle look at a very old subject matter. I came across this hay wagon while doing a photoshoot of barns in the Amana Colonies area of Eastern Iowa. I almost drove by this, but caught it out of the corner of my eye at the last minute. I revisited the shoot recently and decided to take this hay wagon and create an art print of the hay wagon using a soft watercolor technique.

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Sketches of The 16th Street Mall In Downtown Denver

This week I am featuring a series of sketches I created from a photoshoot I did last year of the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver, Colorado. I liked the concept of using a sketching technique to present these scenes in a more artistic form than just photography.

As I mentioned in the post from last August, my wife and I worked in downtown Denver for a number of years prior to our move to San Diego. We were there during the “oil boom” of the 80’s. The downtown quadrant was a mass of cranes building many of the high-rise buildings you see today and it also saw the opening of the 16th Street Mall in 1982. We found it to be a very vibrant downtown and loved working there. The changes we saw in our time there was incredible, but I must say in the 30 years since then, what has been created and added makes it a very appealing urban center mixing large corporate headquarters with urban residential neighborhoods. Add to that, the inclusion of the major sports arenas (Broncos at Mile High Stadium, Coors Field and Pepsi Center), the Colorado Convention Center, the Downtown Aquarium, Children’s Museum, Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park pulling the downtown experience out to the bike paths/park along the South Platte River and Cherry Creek.

The outdoor pedestrian mall spans about 15 to 16 blocks through the center of downtown connecting Union Station on one end to the State Capital on the other end. There are free shuttle buses continuously going up and down the mall augmenting the pedestrian experience.

The tower was constructed in 1910 as part of the Daniels and Fisher department store. At that time it was the tallest structure between the Mississippi River and California.

The tree lined mall connects numerous restaurants and stores along its length serving the large influx of workers during the day inhabiting the many corporate high-rises along with the numerous residential high-rises that populate the area below Union Station.

Historic Union Station has been completely refurbished and remodeled and now hosts a boutique hotel along with numerous restaurants. The station is a travel hub serving commuter rail and bus service along with Amtrak cross country train service.

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More Oregon Coast Lighthouses

From my post last week, I had a client request some of the other Oregon Coast Lighthouses done in the same ink and watercolor technique. The look is very simplistic, but follows the basic architecture of each of the lighthouses. That being said, I have attached the Coquille River, Heceda Head, Yaquina Head and North Head Lighthouses.

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Same Subject – Different Styles

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.

This second one was created using a sketching technique with more subdued colors.

In this third one, I used a soft watercolor look.

These last two are cropped bringing the focus more on the fountain. In the first one I used the fauvism technique….

and with the last one, I used the pointillism technique creating a much more soft, subdued look.

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Tropical Bird of Paradise – Three Different Looks

On most of my work, as part of the creative process, I create my subject matter using different techniques to see which presentation I like the best. As is true with a number of my prints, I can never quite settle on just one look. A perfect example of this are the three different prints I have attached based around the same bird of paradise.

All three looks came from one drawing. I created this bird of paradise bloom by using a pen and ink style. This style creates the black outline and accent points of this flower. From there I created the first print which was Bird Of Paradise Abstract Watercolor. I added the color using a style that almost looks like it was sprayed….a very light and loose watercolor style that not only puts the color in the subject but also “outside the lines” to create a more abstract look. I liked the result and kept this as one of the final prints.

The next step I took was to use this same print, but this time I cleaned up the colors “outside the lines” creating Tropical Bird of Paradise Watercolor (notice the background color stays the same).  I liked this result also and this as one of my prints.

The third process was a multitude of attempts using various techniques to create different brush strokes using the second print as a basis. Looking at the different results, I Iiked this look the most creating A Bird Of Paradise Bloom.

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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.

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Same Subject – Two Different Perspectives

Today I wanted to feature two pictures of the same subject matter, but from different perspectives and how that can create an entirely different result.

Guess what…same structure. When you see a subject matter that intrigues you, don’t hesitate to take shots from different angles and distances. This particular building is an old adobe ranch house located on the grounds of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. I applied a digital watercolor technique to soften both of them up.

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