Tag Archives: artist kirt tisdale

More Hot Air Balloons in an Abstract Watercolor Look

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?

Side Notes:

  1. 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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Simple Abstract Shapes with Bold Colors

Anyone following my blog, knows that I like abstract art and bold colors. Today I wanted to share three prints using simple shapes with bright bold colors. I think they speak for themselves…..

“Red Flame”

“Red Mountain”

“Blue Circle”

Thoughts?

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Heceda Head Lighthouse Sketched

One of my favorite lighthouses along the Oregon Coastline is the Heceda Head Lighthouse. From this perspective, you see the lighthouse out on the edge of a bluff and the caretakers house snuggled above a small beach. The caretakers house is closer to the Pacific Coast Highway, which follows this rugged coastline and presents this perfect view of the complex as you approach from the south.

In creating this print, I used a sketching technique with soft watercolors to present this as a casual look across a small harbor towards the complex.

Heceda Head Lighthouse Complex

This second print focuses on the lighthouse itself. Again, I used the same sketching technique creating this casual look.

Heceda Head Lighthouse Sketched

Thoughts?

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Full Moon Rising – Behind The Scenes Layer by Layer

I have been working on a series of art prints creating abstract sunsets, sunrises and the one I’m featuring today is a full moon rising. The series is a simplistic abstract approach to these subjects.

One of the features in Photoshop I use with creating these prints is layering. I create just portions of the entire subject on each layer and then “lay” them on top of each other for the final look. Todays blog takes you through each step as I layer what totals out to be 8 layers to create “Full Moon Rising”. Full Moon Rising shows the rising moon coming up over a mountain range and is reflected in a mountain lake.

The base layer is called the background layer and is totally white. So starting with the “1st” layer on top of the base, I am creating the sky using a blue tone that I created by drawing a large rectangle filling the top half of the print and filling it with blue. I then used a gradient tool that filters the blue going light to dark (or visa versa) from the horizon line to the top of the page.

Layer 1 Blue with gradient tool

Layer 2 is adding the same rectangle and reversing the gradient tool filling the bottom half of the piece.

Layer 2 reversing the top layer for the bottom half.

Layer 3 is the addition of white stars on the bottom half. The stars are drawn on a “blank” layer and by adding it next over the the previous layer all that shows are the stars.

Layer 3 adding stars to the bottom half

Layer 4 is the addition of the rising moon as a full circle of color. Again, the layer is “blank’ with the exception of the round moon, so when it is layered on top of all the other layers…all that shows is the addition of the yellow circle.

Layer 4 adds the rising moon as a full circle of yellow.

Layer 5 adds an identical circle below the first one to prepare for the reflection in the mountain lake.

Layer 5 adds another yellow circle below the first one.

Layer 6 adds the mountain range as a black silhouette across the top starting with the horizon line. The mountain range was inspired by the view we had from our house in Arizona of the Estrella Mountains using the same cragginess and various peaks of that range.

Layer 6 adds the mountain range

Layer 7 duplicates the mountain range upside down to continue the look of a reflection in a mountain lake.

Layer 7 adds an upside down mountain range.

Layer 8 completes the print with the addition of stars into the nighttime sky.

Layer 8 adding nighttime stars into the sky to complete the print.

End result – Full Moon Rising – a simplistic abstract look!

Thoughts?

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Old World Look to Tropical Resorts

Seems like kind of a strange thing to create art prints with an old world gothic look using current tropical resorts, but there is a method to the madness or a reason I went down this road.

A number of years ago I toured this old historic victorian mansion in a midwestern town and let me just say it was truly a very large mansion. It serves as a museum with the house furnished as it was in its’ glory years. The decor is very formal and truly stunning throughout. The surprise factor was in the basement. The original owners loved to travel to the tropics and had a large bar (almost cantina in size) decorated in an old world tropical motif. What does that mean you might ask. The furnishings, including the artwork reflected a tropical paradise, but not in bright tropical colors. The color scheme was earth tones reflecting a look you would expect from an era of old worldwide explorers. The art work was all done in a “gothic style” from the middle ages. The whole look worked really well in creating a very subdued, casual and inviting atmosphere. That look really stuck in my head all these years.

So, fast forward to current times and I have taken that same look using a “gothic” technique on scenes from various resorts we have visited over the last number of years. I attached five prints created using this technique.

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.

Thoughts?

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Desert Glow – Hot Air Balloons Simplistic Abstract

This week I’m going back to a subject I feature periodically and that’s hot air balloons. Having been fortunate enough to live in a couple of locations that have hot air balloons frequently, I have seen many different balloons during various stages of flight. This week I wanted to feature three balloons I have done using a simplistic abstract approach. All three are inspired by a “Desert Glow” event we went to in the Phoenix area a few years back. Fully inflated balloons are tethered to the ground after the sun sets. As the sky darkens, the balloons illuminate themselves as they turn their flames on and off to music….incredible sight to see. Keeping true to the dark background of night, I kept the colors of the balloons bright as the envelopes are lit up by the flame at the base. The simplicity of this technique allows the eye to focus on the color of the balloon envelopes.

With this technique, I start with ink strokes creating the envelopes of the balloon and the basket. I use strokes of different widths to keep it more suggestive rather than just a linear sketch. Using the same technique, I add just enough at the bottom to suggest a crowd of people and keep a focus on the flame itself. The fun part is recreating the colorful designs of various balloon envelopes I encountered at this event. Of course I was going to replicate the balloon with the large Saguaro Cactus on it since this was inspired by an Arizona event.

Thoughts?

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