Category Archives: Watercolor Painting

Butterflies in a Variety of Colors

This week I am sharing a series of new prints I created of butterflies. The process for these prints started a couple of weeks ago when out of the blue I remembered a couple of photos I took of butterflies over a year ago. Not sure where that came from, but I dug out the photos. They really weren’t much to work with as I only took them to remind me to pursue butterflies as a possible subject. It only took that long for that particular process to work for me…duh!! Anyway, I took the subject matter and started drawing butterflies. Still not sure what I was going to do, I kept after the drawings and finally was able to complete a look I liked. To pop the color, I used a photoshop technique to make the butterflies colors take on a texture. After trying to recreate more butterflies, I simply copied the one drawing I liked the best…resized it as needed and pivoted them in different directions. I then started playing with colors as I wasn’t sure what the final color was going to be. This led to more experimentation and various colors. To finish the look I was after, I chose a soft background in similar shades to the butterflies. In Photoshop one of the brushes paints in leaf shapes, so I used that in the various colors and sizes. I then lowered the opacity to soften it as a back drop. The final result was five different colored butterflies on five different prints and then one print combining all five.

Yellow Butterflies
Red Butterflies
Purple Butterflies
Blue Butterflies
Green Butterflies
Colorful Butterflies

Thoughts?

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West Coast Lighthouses

I love the architecture of lighthouses and have done a number of prints from both the east and west coasts of the United States. As a wrap-up from the coastal theme over the last few weeks, I have attached some of my recent work from the west coast. Some of these lighthouses have been featured on past blogs, but these are all new prints of five of them. So, going south to north along the Oregon Coastline into Washington

The first one is the Cape Blanco Lighthouse. The lighthouse is located on the southwestern coastline of Oregon. The lighthouse was built over a three year period and was opened in 1871. (For more info: Wikipedia)

Cape Blanco Lighthouse Watercolor

Moving north up the Oregon coastline, we encounter Umpqua Lighthouse. The first print is the top portion of Unpqua (I wanted to capture the red light light used as the beacon) and the second print is the lighthouse itself. The first Umpqua lighthouse was built in 1855 and was lit in 1857. It had to be replaced due to seasonal flooding with the current one, which was started in 1892 and first lit in 1894. (For more info: Wikipedia)

Umpqua Lighthouse Watercolor
Umpqua River Lighthouse Sketched

Still moving north along the Oregon coastline, we encounter Yaquina Head LIghthouse which is the tallest lighthouse in Oregon at 93 feet (28 m). It started operation in 1863. (For more info: Wikipedia)

Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Watercolor

Going further north along the Oregon coastline, we encounter Cape Mears. Cape Meares was built in 1890 to serve Tillamook Bay. In 1963 the original was demolished and replaced with the current tower. (For more info: Wikipedia)

Cape Meares Lighthouse in Watercolor

And last but not least on this little tour, we just cross the Columbia River into the state of Washington and find North Head Lighthouse. The North Head Lighthouse was constructed in 1897 to replace a prior lighthouse that couldn’t be seen by ships coming from the north. (For more info: Wikipedia)

North Head Lighthouse

Thoughts?

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The Bluffs and Surf in San Diego County

From the last two weeks of abstract coastal art prints, I thought I would keep with the same general subject (coastal and ironically same coastal area), but a completely different visual venue. This week I am featuring two of my newest prints I created using a soft watercolor style. The location is the same; the coastline of Carlsbad, California in northern San Diego County. The perspective is from the same general area but one print is looking south and the other print looking north. The San Diego coastline is beautiful all the way from the southern tip on the border to Mexico running north to Camp Pendleton and Orange County.

The perspective of the first one is looking south from Carlsbad down towards San Diego proper. The bluffs are stunning as they frame the beach and the surf.

The Bluffs And The Beach

The second print is almost liking turning around and looking north along the coastline. The bluffs are still there, but not as dramatic. The beach and the surf take your eyes up towards Oceanside and Camp Pendleton.

Ocean Surf In Carlsbad

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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Spring Flowers

I thought I would celebrate spring blooms this week, so I have attached four art prints I created using a watercolor technique. I included one agapanthus and three rose blooms. The agapanthus are blooming here in Southern California and the roses I have lining our front walkway are in full bloom!! Enjoy!!

The Blue Bloom
Rose Bloom In Watercolor
Red Rose Bud In Watercolor
Red Rose Bloom In Watercolor

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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