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.
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.
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 next print is from the opposite perspective, looking towards downtown San Diego from Coronado Island.
The third and fourth art prints are multiple sailboats on the bay with the Coronado Bridge as a backdrop.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This last one highlights the many colors of this particular balloon and keeps that the focal point.
There are two visual aspects in what I am posting this week. The first aspect being black and white presentations and the second aspect being architectural elements. Black and white, whether it be a photograph or a sketching changes the visual experience of a subject matter. Black and white allows more detail to surface as the visual experience isn’t bombarded with a multitude of colors, while keeping an overall subtle look.
I have always thought the architectural elements in New Orleans were appealing in their uniqueness and I think the black and white sketching technique highlights a lot of the detail that makes the area interesting (as a disclosure I created these drawings in 2010, so anything that has changed at any of these locations since then is not represented).
The first and second art prints are of the St Charles Line street car. The first print is a street scene of the street car line and the second print pulls in on a stop after a passenger gets off. The first one gives you a very detailed look of the tracks the street car runs on while the second one gives you more detail of the street car itself including remaining passengers.
The third print is a balcony restaurant looking out over the French Quarters. You not only see the detail of the restaurant seating, but the buildings in the French Quarter.
The last one looks across the street in the French Quarters at another balcony restaurant. This print captures the detail of the customers and the street aspect.
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!!
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).
On the second one I played with the colors using a fauvism style (fauvism: vivd expressionistic and non-naturalistic use of color).
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.
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.
I had fun with this series and just wanted to share one of the ways I come up with my art prints.
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.
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 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.
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.