Tag Archives: san antonio

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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Two Bougainvillea Vines

The tale of two Bougainvillea vines began about three weeks ago from a simple request.  A client had contacted me looking for an art print that had a Spanish element to it. This particular client has purchased a number of my art prints over the last couple years and I have done some custom work for her, so she knew if I didn’t have exactly what she was looking for, I could probably create it. After further discussion to understand the look she was going for, I directed her to a couple of different prints to see if those would work. What she liked is the first attachment.

The setting for this scene is the grounds of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. This structure is off in a corner of the grounds. I’m really not sure what it is used for as there wasn’t access into it and it is somewhat off the beaten path. I love the historic architecture of it as it has the old adobe homestead look found throughout the southwest and west from the Spanish influence. This particular print is done using a classic watercolor technique.

Now this is the part where the Bougainvillea’s come into it. “Kirt, my husband and I love this print, but wanted to know if you could put some Bougainvillea vines on the front two posts to add a pop of color?” With the help of Photoshop, not a problem. I started scouring my portfolio for Bougainvillea and remembered I had just finished some prints with them from my Cave Creek, Arizona shoot.   It isn’t quite as easy as tracing the plant and doing a cut and paste to get it to look like it had grown on the post. It’s a fair amount of trial and error and in my case, a lot of piece meal. I would take portions of the plant and with each piece create a new vine growing up each post. The following is the final product also done in the classic watercolor technique.

The Alamo Adobe with Bougainvillea

The Alamo Adobe with Bougainvillea

I like both of them for different reasons….I like the subtle, clean look of the original, but I also like the pop of color in the final one. Thoughts?

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The Hacienda

These pictures are from a time gone by in the old Southwest.

I grabbed this shot literally on the grounds of the Alamo. What I wanted to take a look at today was how the same picture done in different media creates a completely different feel to the same subject matter.

The first picture below is the original shot I took in May on the grounds of the Alamo in San Antonio. I loved the look and the rustic appeal of this scene.

Original Photograph

Original Photograph

After cropping the shot, I worked with the picture using a variety of media to create different looks for different decors.

The picture below is the black and white shot. There are enough strong lines and contrast in this picture to make a black and white interesting. Not every shot holds up in black and white.

From the B&W Gallery in Kirt's on-line Art Gallery

From the B&W Gallery in Kirt’s main art gallery

Nice contrast and this type of looks lends itself to a modern artistic decor.

Because the subject matter is “historical, rustic and of days gone by”, I also presented it in a sepia tone. The very nature of the sepia print evokes old images since prints originally used this format.

From the Sepia Gallery in Kirt's main Art Gallery.

From the Sepia Gallery in Kirt’s main art gallery.

The sepia tones automatically give you a warmer picture, not as bold as the black and white. This print would look good in a decor that embraces earth tones and/or uses items that have an old rustic appeal.

From there, I painted the scene using a traditional watercolor approach. This gives the picture a soft relaxing look. The colors become warm and soothing…

giving you a picture that invites you in to sit and relax.  This picture would look great in a casual comfortable decor.

Then, just from my own curiosity … I also painted the scene with a bolder more abstract watercolor…

The result being a much more bolder contemporary picture. This style would bring an historical subject matter into a modern contemporary decor style.

What are your thoughts? Using the same core elements, but presenting them in different styles creates totally different looks. Each of these stands on its own and is the right picture for different decors. I welcome your feedback and as always invite you to look at my main gallery: TheWallgallery.com. Thanks!

River Walk

As a follow up to my last post on the Alamo…one cannot visit the Alamo without enjoying the San Antonio River Walk. One of the most photographed areas along the banks of the river… I really couldn’t bring anything more to the table with my photography (check this site out for some really stunning pictures) . So, what I decided to do was capture the elements of the area through painting. The project evolved from a typical traditional watercolor approach to a more modern edgy abstract look. As an example the first picture is an actual photograph that I used as a basis for a traditional watercolor…picture 2. That’s when I shifted gears and decided to approach it from a different perspective.

Typical spring day along the river walk…..

Same scene done in a traditional watercolor…

A completely different look and feel. I felt like this approach brought a more contemporary and edgy look.

I popped the colors a little more to bring an additional element of strength to the picture.

I like the look of these shapes in the sun, so I focused on bringing them out….

I was tempted to change the coloring of the river from it’s normal murky, but decided against it after playing with it for awhile…after all it is a river and not the Caribbean …

And of course what would a river walk scene be without……

people and restaurants!

I appreciate any feedback and thoughts about the look of the pictures I have done. This series will be posted in the near future on my main gallery site. Thanks!

Remember The Alamo

Who doesn’t remember the legendary Alamo? Originally built as Mission San Antonio de Valero. From a contemporary artist / photograhers’ viewpoint, the architecture and grounds speak volumes. Having not been to the Alamo since I was a teenager (trust me…many moons ago), my wife and I went to the San Antonio Riverwalk and the Alamo for a day. Both are spectacular and the city of San Antonio has done an incredible job keeping the flavor of both very much alive. What struck me about the Alamo, were the details in the architecture.  I found the windows fascinating in their artistic appeal which leads me to this post.

I took a number of shots and have posted two of them here. I am starting with the original shot above and then I felt compelled to paint the wood for an artistic impact. I have received mixed feedback on doing so and thought I would open it up to more feedback. I had a vision and does this capture the punch I thought would look good or is it an artist’s delusion. Ultimately art is in the eye of the beholder and what looks good to one person looks not so good to another.  Below is the red I painted…

Simple technique to keep the woodgrain.

Below is the same window from a slightly different angle.

I then added two bright colors to the wood framing the window achieving the picture below.

What are you thoughts? Artistic pop or overkill?