Category Archives: Watercolor Painting

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).

Thoughts?

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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.

Thoughts?

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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.

Thoughts?

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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.

Thoughts?

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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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San Antonio River Walk – Featured Art Prints

I’m featuring four art prints this week that I created from a photo shoot I did a couple of years ago from a visit my wife and I took to San Antonio. I hadn’t been to the River Walk since I was a young adult and my wife had never been. We had business in Austin and since the two cities are only about an hour and a half apart, we took a day for me to introduce her to the infamous River Walk. From that shoot, I used a two different watercolor techniques to soften up the images.

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of visiting the River Walk, it is along the San Antonio River in downtown San Antonio. It sits about one story below street level and winds throughout the downtown area. When you descend onto the River Walk, it feels like you have just entered another world. The hustle and bustle of street traffic disappears to the quiet of a peaceful river walk lined with restaurants and shops.

The first two pictures I created using a slightly abstract watercolor technique that creates small abstract shapes to “paint” the picture. They give you a better perspective of the walkway as it winds along both sides of the river. Love the trees as they shade all of the outdoor cafes.

The last two pictures, I used a more traditional watercolor technique giving you a view of two different outdoor cafes.

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Apples and Pears – Still Life Art Prints

This week I am featuring three art prints from my Floral/Still Life Gallery. For these prints, I used a set of fake fruit that we had in a large bowl as a center piece (for still life objects just about anything around the house with a visual appeal works). I have a small light box for such projects, so with a white background and base from the light box, I started arranging the fake fruit in various poses and alternated between the different colors and types of fruit (apples and pears to be specific and colors in gold, red and brown). Believe it or not the shoot lasted about an hour and a half…the fruit worked so hard and was so patient. From all of the configurations and colors used, I narrowed the shots I was going to use to about ten. I was really pleased with the captures I chose and then I began the next stage of the process.

The results were crisp, sharp captures of this fake fruit. What I wanted to do was soften the pictures up just a bit to give the final product a more casual relaxed look while keeping the details of the original photography. That’s where Photoshop comes into play and using the watercolor filter (you can control the levels and depth of the look), I chose just a light brushing to soften the edges and add texture to the white background.

The first two art prints are representative of the ten that I did, but I also wanted to combine four of them into a collage, which is the final print featured.

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