Alex Katz Flower Paintings

As promised, I am blogging about Alex Katz flower paintings, and attempting to copy his technique. Lately I have been obsessed with his style. He is so economical in what he shows you. He pares the lines and colors down to only what is necessary to make his case that these are some flowers. Why does it work so well? I’m not sure but I can say that copying his technique is not as easy as it looks.

For my attempt at copying his process, I started out with some early evening photos. As you can see, you can start with a rather mundane photo and then fool with it till you get more information out of it.

I turned the black point way down, and bumped up the contrast and saturation. From there it gets vectorized using the VectorQ app. I then open it in Procreate to make modifications:

This one has way too much information in it to resemble an Alex Katz flower painting. To make it more Alex Katz-y you wold need to limit the colors. He tends to be very spare in his palette. You would also need to use the procreate app to paint out some of the details. But I wanted to include it just to show that you can make something pretty, and satisfying just by using the vector Q app and procreate. This only took about 45 minutes to produce.

These are some quick ones that I did the other night:

I worked on this next one for much longer. I loved the result so much I felt like I had to do something with it, so I turned it into a totebag.

Now I have a piece of Alex Katz inspiration that I carry with me to work and honestly, it is one of my favorite bags. Each time I look at it, I am reminded to keep working, that the artistic process is worth it. You too can have an Alex Katz inspired tote bag – Buy it here on Etsy.