Tag Archives: watercolor

Soft Abstract Roses – Featured Art Prints

I love taking macro photographic shots of rose buds and blooms. The colors, texture, etc. create such beautiful visual imagery. Today, I wanted to feature a softer take on rose blooms and then explain how I created them by taking a step back through the process I use to create this type of digital art. I have used Adobe Photoshop for years….probably since it first came out. I remember taking classes from the University of San Diego on how to get the most out of it from an artist perspective. Trust me, it was many years and many versions ago. What I love about the program is the ability to do layers for each of the steps I go through. These roses are a great example of the process, so I will walk you through a simplified version of it.

I start with my macro photography of the rose bloom as the background layer. I then open an empty layer on top of it and using an ink stroke tool (Photoshop), draw the edges and shapes I want to highlight in black. Then I create another layer and pick a digital brush style I like (the brush style I picked here creates an almost air brush look..soft edges). On the blank layer I paint larger areas of colors by painting over the photograph if you will. The large areas of similar colors create the abstract look. I then move the “ink stroke layer” to the top of the layers, eliminate the bottom photograph, merge the layers and the end result is what you are looking at (simplified version as I actually open many laters typically for each color tone).

I also would like to mention that for the painting layer, there are numerous programs out there that can take your photograph and turn it into just about any style of painting. I use these programs in cases where I want to keep the detail of the photograph and am looking for more 3-D brush strokes as you would see in oil paintings. Even in that scenario, I come back in and work the resulting art print with some of the detail I described here.

This is a quick and simple walk through of my process that in actuality is very tedious and for every print I publish, five to seven are trashed by me for not liking the end result.

Thoughts?

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Mukilteo In Pointillism – Featured Art Print

“Mukilteo in Pointillism” is an art print of a lighthouse created using a pointillism watercolor technique. The technique uses the French pointillism style of watercolor dots to create the image. The setting is the Mukilteo Lighthouse located in Mukilteo, Washington across from Whidbey Island. Thoughts?


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The Red Railroad Car – Featured Art Print

 

The Red Railroad Car – is a wall art print I created using a colored pencil sketching technique to create this look. This technique uses strong, but narrow diagonal lines with bright colors.

The setting is an old train car located along a path in Rockford, Michigan. The train looks like it might have been used as a diner at some point, but now sits abandoned. Thoughts?


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The Yellow and Red Balloon – Featured Art Print

“The Yellow and Red Balloon” is an art print I wanted to feature from my Hot Air Balloon Gallery. The print is done using a subtle watercolor technique of a yellow and red hot air balloon. The technique focuses on the bright colors of hot air balloons and uses bold lines to draw the subject matter, giving it an almost abstract look. Hot air balloons stand out prominently with their colors against the sky. The bold reds, blues, oranges, greens and yellows take center stage. The shapes are drawn in a soft and whimsical manner, setting the visual for a hot air balloon experience.

The setting for this particular print is a group of hot air balloons getting ready for their sunset ascent. The location is in San Diego County near the coast of the Pacific Ocean. San Diego is famous for its sunset rides. As the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean, the onshore flow of winds decrease allowing the balloons to drift inland and descend for a landing before it gets dark. The trip starts close to the coast and takes you inland about 15 miles. The view is incredible as you ascend over Rancho Santa Fe and quietly drift eastward. The peace and serenity of being one with the breeze is an incredible experience. For those of us that have height issues, the experience wasn’t a problem until we rose to 4000 ft above the ground. That was a bit too high for me with just a basket beneath my feet and sharing it with 10 other people, but as soon as I started processing that thought, the pilot broke open the champagne and all was well!

For those of us that have lived in that area for years, we are used to seeing up to 15 balloons dot the sky just before sunset.

I invite you to come into the gallery to view art prints in the collection of Hot Air Balloons.

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Joy and Peace – Featured Art Print

As I have mentioned and discussed on this blog, I do custom work for clients either tweaking one of my existing prints (Bougainvillea post as an example) or create a new print for a specific request. A client contacted me a couple of weeks ago about one of my prints in the Inspiration Gallery titled: Joy and Peace. I created this print by using an art print from my Floral Still/Life Gallery of orange poppies (featured in a prior blog) with a prayer of mine as an overlay. Attached is a copy of the print I am talking about.

 

What the client wanted was the same thing only with red poppies. They also asked to have the verbiage changed from joy and peace to peace and joy. No problem, I responded. I have attached the result of that request below.

In changing the poppies to red, the current color glow around the flowers just didn’t work. I chose purple for a couple of reasons; one being that it looked good with the red and the client loved it and the other is that it does carry some symbolism within the church.

Whenever I finish a custom print, I always study it next to the original to see if what I had done improved the original enough to replace it. In looking at both of these prints, I frankly was at a loss. I liked the red a lot, but also liked the orange, so I present them both to you. Thoughts?

 

I invite you to come into the gallery to view the addition of art prints to the collection in the Inspiration Gallery.

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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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Simplicity in Red and Gold – Featured Art Print

This week I am featuring art prints from my Floral/Still Life Collection. The collection includes a number of prints done in a variety of watercolor and oil techniques to create a range of different looks. I’m starting the week with a still life art print titled: “Simplicity in Red and Gold”. It’s a print of a red vase and a gold pitcher. Simple enough. I combined these two elements using an abstract watercolor technique that focuses on drawing simple lines and using bold colors. The inspiration behind the objects came from a red glass vase we have and the gold pitcher is based on a ceramic piece my mom did 50 plus years ago. I grew up seeing it displayed in our house. When my mom passed away, I asked for this piece to keep it setting around in our house for my kids to enjoy and appreciate something their grandmother had made. Using this type of technique and the subject matter created a very clean and contemporary art print. The drawn lines create the shapes and the bright colors pull your eye into the scene. I created it with a modern contemporary décor in mind, but in actuality depending on how the print is matted and framed really dictates the type of interior design this print compliments. Thoughts?

I invite you to come into the gallery to view the collection in Floral/Still Life.

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