This is a watercolor of la Plaza de la Paja. (The Plaza of Straw). The name, Plaza of Straw, comes from the 15th Century, a time when straw was sold at the Plaza.
La Plaza de la Paja is located in an area known as Madrid de los Austrias, in the historic center, within the neighborhood of La Latina. It was an important market in the 13th and 14th Century. Nowadays, it is a great place to have a bite to eat or to just hang out.
Overlooking the Plaza, is Sacramento Church. Since 1980, it is the Military Cathedral of Spain known as Catedral de las Fuerzas Armadas.
These 19th Century constructions are either painted or covered with exposed brick. The narrow wrought iron balconies accentuate the buildings in this neighborhood so beautifully.
The antique gas street lamps that once lit the neighborhood with soft glowing lights are so picturesque.
Can you see a door on the back wall? This jewel is one of Madrid’s secrets.
Through this door, are the Gardens of the Prince of Anglona, one of the few examples of the noble gardens from the 18th Century of Madrid. If you are ever in Madrid, do not miss this hidden garden.
It was an overcast grey day, and the tree branches were still nude. Even so, anyday in Madrid is a good day to paint.
Here is the finished watercolor in the light of day, shown against the brick color so typical in many parts of Madrid.
Thank you for reading this little story about Madrid de los Austrias.
When I go to the grocery, I pick the fruit not only to eat, but also to paint.
I selected this pear because it has a beautiful transition from yellow to red on one side.
I like to paint common objects because just like any other skill, you have to practice all the time. Use it or lose it.
If you like to paint and you want to keep improving, just paint things around you.
Firefighters have been on Paseo de la Castellana many times, putting out challengingly dangerous fires in the tall emblematic buildings on this main street in Madrid.
A decisive moment bound by time.
This red fire truck is so impressive.
Here is another truck coming into the scene on a side street.
This view in the background is Puerta de Europe, also known as Torres KIO. This is the Financial District of Madrid.
I like to hold the watercolor up in the sunlight to see the true colors. My hands serve as a size reference.
Thank you for taking the time to read my little story.
I like to paint the things that are around me and these are typical Mediterranean wildflowers that grow in a field near my home in Madrid, Spain.
The Flowers in this painting are almond tree blossoms, Japanese scarlet quince and yellow broom retama in a pickle jar.
Every spring, I go out and get a few of these flowers to paint them in glass jars.
I really like the light refraction of the stems in the water.
This detail is the pickle jar reflected in the mirror with the beveled mirror edge with a few almond blossoms in the foreground.
I have blue curtains that I got in the Rastro. I like it that they show up in the mirror and complement the Japanese scarlet quince in the foreground.
Each little petal that fell off of the almond branch had a little reflection on the table.
The white almond blossom floating on the waterline in the pickle jar was my favorite detail in the still life.
Thank you for taking the time,
Spring flowers are blooming all around!
I took a few notes about the process. It’s really fun to paint with watercolors. I’m using 640 gsm.
I start out with a real model. Glass objects with flowers is my all time favorite thing to paint. I like color, a lot.
I work around the paper trying to give the same importance to everything in the foreground and the background.
When I finish, I carefully take the tape off and let it dry. Then I put the paper under a stack of books to flatten it. It looks so much nicer when it’s flattened.
I like to take a picture of the watercolor and the model together.
I also take a picture of the watercolor in natural light or in full shade to show the true colors.
These two watercolors go very well together.
Thank you for taking the time. Enjoy the spring,
The Cathedral Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena is simply called la Almudena. The Virgin of the Almudena is the Patron Saint of Madrid, Spain. The Almudena in this watercolor is portrayed in Autumn. In Madrid, Autumn is spectacular. The leaves at a certain time of day look like gold. These colors resonate with the lapis lazuli blue domes of the Almudena Cathedral. The rusty and golden colors of the foliage also reflect in the water and complement the color of the cobalt blue sky reflected in the water. The bridge that crosses the Manzanares River is called the Puente de los Franceses. The name of the bridge came about because most of the engineers who directed its construction were French. The Madrilenians began to refer to it as “The Bridge of the French”.
Have a beautiful day everybody.
Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena is popularly known as the Almudena Cathedral. The Virgin Mary from the Almudena avocation is the patroness of Madrid, Spain. A major festival in the city celebrates Madrid’s Patroness on the 9th of November. This is the view I caught from a distance when walking from Casa de Campo swimming pool into the city on a hot summer day.
The Retiro Park is a family favorite. The Estanque (Artificial Lake) is a great place to spend an afternoon all year round. It is most popular in the spring and the hot summers of Madrid. You can see couples, friends and family on the lake splashing, laughing and enjoying themselves in the blue row boats.
Everybody goes to see the Crystal Palace in November because even though it was freezing cold the day I was painting outdoors, I would almost say that this area crowded. I was painting in the area for two weeks and the colors were amazing. The leaves really looked like gold at times. This studio painting is part of a series called Momentos en Madrid.
The Fallen Angel Fountain is located in the Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain. Ricardo Bellver first created the sculpture in plaster in 1877. The figure is mannerist in style and is inspired by verses of Paradise Lost by John Milton. If you have ever read Paradise Lost by John Milton, you can tell that this sculpture depicts the beginning of the epic which starts in the midst of things as epics typically do.
Thank you for supporting the arts.
When you come to Madrid, make sure you get the row boat experience in the Estanque at the Retiro Park in Madrid.
The Plaza Parterre is one of the most visited gardens in the Retiro Park. The entrance is Felipe IV Gate. The skyline in the background includes the Casón del Buen Retiro. The main enjoyment I get from painting in the park is looking at the beautiful scenery in Madrid.
Everywhere you look there is something to paint here in Madrid. The fountains in Spain are captivating. Atocha Station has a beautiful tropical garden inside.
This is the Puerta del Sol. The monumental Tio Pepe sign is an icon here in Madrid. I love the design of the Metro.
I know why the Madrilenians say “From Madrid to Heaven“.
This is a postcard size watercolor which goes back in time to 1997. When I heard about this park, I went to visit it right away with my watercolors. I wanted to paint a piece of the wall. I walk by this park once and a while and the fountain itself looks the same.
On January 1st 2021, I painted the Puerta del Sol in Madrid, Spain because I knew everyone would be sleeping at the time I went there. On any other day it would be impossible to paint there. The Puerta del Sol is a very busy Plaza.
This is a very small watercolor as you can see. I wanted to make sure I could finish it in one day. It’s not easy painting at the Puerta del Sol.
I do as much open air painting as I can. It’s important to me to see the colors as they are so that when I make a large watercolor or oil painting, I remember the colors from real life.
Happy New Year Everybody! Let’s make 2021 as good as it can possibly get.
This is the fountain of the Tritons (fish-tailed sea gods.) It’s a very large fountain with a double dish and a large pond. The Almudena Cathedral can faintly be seen in the background.
The fountain of the Tritons was made for the Renaissance garden of the Island of Aranjuez, where it was located in 1657. Since then it was moved to the Gardens of Campo del Moro and has remained there to this day. The Fountain of the Tritans is considered the oldest monumental fountain preserved in the capital of Spain.
One of the things that I love about Madrid is painting outdoors. Everywhere you look is something I want to paint.
Normally the Triton Fountain is much more beautiful with the water shooting and spraying up into the sky. There is no water shooting up into the sky, there isn’t even water in the pond. Most of the fountains in the city of Madrid are turned off. I’m hoping to see them on again in 2021
I like to to show the watercolor next to my hand as a size reference. Also I like to show it against wood to bring out some of the colors. I have a little clip of the painting Click Here.
Here is a little clip of the watercolor and the garden CLICK HERE.
This picture that somebody took of me from above kind of shows the immensity of the garden.
Its curious name is due to the fact that in 1109 the Muslim leader Ali Ben Yusuf camped his Moorish army in this place. The story is much longer, but I’m going to keep it short.
Have a great day,
I really like this fountain a lot. It is incredibly beautiful with the Nymphs holding up the dish with dolphin-like sea creatures at their feet. This fountain has always had water shooting out of the spouts as far as I remember. I was looking forward to painting the doves that bathe on the rim of the dish. When I got there, the water had been turned off for so long that a family of feral cats was hanging around in the pond and there was a recent litter of kittens. I’m almost afraid to see what it looks like now.
I really like to paint from real life. It’s very similar to meditating. Concentrating and thinking about shapes and colors is a pleasure. I’m going to do it while I can.
This is a miniature painting of a view I saw when I was walking on the Paseo del Prado with my pal.
I like painting small paintings as well as very large paintings. I put my hand next to the painting as a size reference.
The Crystal Palace in the Retiro Park is so colorful and beautiful in November that it attracts so many visitors.
The experience of painting this amazing sight was absolutely fulfilling, Here’s a little clip of the day painting the Crystal Palace in Madrid, Spain.
I like to put my hand near the painting to have a reference size of the watercolor. Also, the natural wood is what looks best when framing one of my watercolors.
It is a lot of fun to paint out doors even though it’s chilly, brrrr.
Thank you for supporting the Arts my dear friend. Cheers to your togetherness and happiness!
It was a really cold day when I was out there painting, but the only time to catch these colors in nature is in the months of November and December. Lots of big beautiful birds and ducks came to visit me. I’m going back again on Sunday. I hope it’s not so cold.
Some people have asked me about framing. I think the color of the natural wood is a nice color combination.
It’s so nice to be in the forest surrounded by pine trees. Here’s a short clip to click.
Stolen Spring of 2020
Here is a short clip painting the painting
|En el Parque del Retiro Esta Mañana 2020|
|Miniature Pink Roses in Bombay Sapphire Shinning Blue Bottle 2020|
Art Set 2
Four postcard size watercolor collection – click here
The spring is so beautiful in Madrid. I’m glad I was able to make a few paintings before the quarantine. I haven’t gone outside to look at the flowers since March 8th.
This is a small studio painting of the artificial lake in the Retiro Park. I can’t wait to be able to walk in the Retiro Park again.
The marble and bronze Monument to Alfonso XII, designed by Josè Grases Riera is located in the Buen Retiro Park in Madrid. It is 30 meters high, 86 meters long, and 58 meters wide. At its center is the equestrian statue of King Alfonso XII, cast in Bronze, which was created by Benlliure in 1904.