A small watercolor of the Almudena Cathedral. Blue sky with a bit of crimson. The Almudena has a huge evergreen growing in front of the gate. There are a few street lamps with the black latern from days of old. The view is from accross the street.

A small Watercolor of The Almudena Cathedral Madrid, Spain.

I like to start a watercolor with a light grid to keep my parallel lines parallel.  I start with a pencil sketch and then go on to pen and ink.

A photo of a pen and ink drawing of the Almudena Cathedral taped down to the drawing board.

Pen & Ink La Almudena Cathedral 

I tape down all of my watercolors to get the white edge of the paper.  Don’t think you need anything expensive.  I use carpenter’s tape, but it’s only there for a couple of hours.  I wouldn’t leave it there for more than a day.

A small watercolor of the Almudena taped down to a drawing board. There is a big evergreen in front of the gate. The Almudena is seen from accross the street.

A small watercolor taped down to the drawing board.

This is the white edge I’m talking about.  When the tape is taken off, you have a white border.

A small watercolor of the Almudena in my hand to see the size. You can see a thumb holding a corner of the watercolor. The watercolor is a line and wash of the Almudena Cathedral with a big evergreen in front of the main gate. You can also see some old time street gas lamps.

Small Watercolor of Almudena Cathedral June 24th 2018

Click Here is a really short video of the painting site.

Madrid is great!

A small line and wash watercolor of wild flowers in a yellow glass bottle.

Three Small Line & Wash Watercolors

In the spring, there are plenty of flowers to paint.  This is a line & wash.  First you draw with ink and then just lay a wash over the line leaving any white for light.  

A small postcard size line and wash watercolor with a few wildflowers. An orange poppy in the foreground with a crimson flower on the right top corner and small violet flowers on the bottom right. Blue background

Wildflowers in Yellow Bottle with blue curtain 2016

A small line and wash watercolor of wild flowers in a yellow glass bottle.

Wildflowers in Yellow Bottle 2016

A small line and wash watercolor of wild flowers from a top view. It's a bit abstract. You can see a pink petal flower and part of a California poppy as well as the color blue and purple of other flowers.

Wildflowers in Yellow Bottle Top View 2016

These are very quick watercolors that I don’t have any more.  I send them as postcards.

The Retiro Rose Garden, la Rosalera.

The Dolphine Fountain
The Dolphin Fountain at the Retiro Park in Madrid.
I just started this painting last weekend.  I’m still working on it.  I take photos of the process of painting to have a look at later…
The Dolphine Fountain

The same fountain as above around five hours later.

I only paint with natural light.  On Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I turn off all devises, disconnect for the weekend and paint all day.

Summer June Flowers 2017

After our funny hail storm in June, these little yellow sun flowers bloomed on the terrace all at once.

Painting outdoors

I took out my easel and oil paints onto the terrace and started to paint the mini sun flowers early morning.

My Colors

I mix my own colors with natural pigment bound with linseed oil.  The colors are: cadmium lemon yellow, yellow chrome, transparent gold ochre, cadmium orange, magnesium blue, intense crimson, tierra sombra and cadmium red.

Sunny June Flowers in Process

I usually start with my favorite part and build around it.

I just try to paint what I see.

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I put the exact color and shape on the canvas as quickly and accurately as possible.

The Following Morning

Here again the next morning in the hot sun.

Sunny June Flowers 2017

Here I started putting in the skyline.

Sunny June Flowers 2017

Since all the colors influence each other, I try to find all them as quickly as possible before the light changes.

Sunny June Flowers 2017

The background colors are established, so now I start with more detail in the foreground.

Sunny June Flowers 2017

I felt as if I had finished the painting at this point and then I couldn’t resist putting a scumble on it to push the back ground into the distance.

 

 

Egg Tempera Scumble over Oils

So little by little I started building up the foreground, leaving the back ground alone.

 

Sunny June Flowers 2017

Summer June Flowers 2017.

 

White Almond Blossoms in Talavera Vase Watercolor March 2017

This spring I was only able to paint one watercolor of the white almond blossoms. They bloomed, it rained, it was windy and they were gone.

Talavera Vase 2017

These are some of the steps taken.

Starting out with the vase and flowers

I started out by putting the vase and the flowers on the paper first.

Focusing only on what I see

Then I start working around the paper putting in the colors and shapes I see.

Looking for contrast

Here I start looking for contrast.

Looking for depth

Looking for depth.

Looking for Atmosphere

Looking for atmosphere too.

 

Figure Painting

Dante’s Inferno Canto IV in process – Mixed Technique:  Tempera Under-painting and Resin-Oil Finish.

ILLustration in Process of Canto IV, Limbo

Almost finished…(Inspired by Dante Alighieri’s  The Divine Comedy)

Canto IV Session 17

Canto IV Session 20

The mixed technique is oil paint and egg tempera. The resin-oil drying time is more than a few days.

When drying a painting with this kind of mixture make sure the painting is isolated for a few days since all varnishes are volatile and harmful.

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri is as Divine as Epic Poetry gets.  There’s nothing pretty about the poem to paint and art has never been about painting a pretty pictures.

I’ve posted three sessions, the other sessions in between were mistakes taken off of the canvas.  ;).

 

 

 

 

unfinished

Session 19

 

Canto IV Limbo

Canto IV Limbo Session 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figurative Mixed Media Painting Process of Canto IV, an Illustration of Limbo inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy

I start with stretcher bars.

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73 cm x 100 cm or 28.74 in x 39.37 in

I’m using duck cloth. It’s heavy, plain woven cotton fabric.

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duck cloth

I mounted the material on the stretcher bars, gave it a thin coat of rabbit skin glue (let it dry) and then I primed it.  Primer:  Mix equal amounts of zinc oxide, calcium sulfate and rabbit skin glue.  Pour the rabbit skin glue into the zinc oxide and calcium sulfate little by little mixing with a brush.

Primer

Primer

Here is the primed canvas on the easel.

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Primed Canvas

Egg tempera emulsion is made by mixing an egg, oil, varnish and water together in a tall flask of equal proportions, shaking after each ingredient in that respective order.

mixing-emulsion

Mixing the Emulsion

I started off using these earth colors: blanco de España, zinc oxide, verde Veronese, transparent gold ocher and vine black.

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Dry Pigment with Emulsion and Spatula for mixing

This is what the pigments look like when mixed with the emulsion.  This is a water based medium.

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Pigment mixed with emulsion and water container

Egg tempera can be watered down as thinly as you like, but not always as thick as you like.

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Session 1 egg tempera under painting in process

I start adding color and still painting thinly.

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Session 2 egg tempera under painting

This is the under painting.

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Session 3 egg tempera under painting

Canto IV describes a castle emanating a fire-like-light in limbo within a dark forest void of light.

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Session 4 egg tempera under painting

I used gold leaf to represent the light.

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Gold leaf

I paint the area where I want to put the gold leaf on because the canvas has to be sealed or the gold leaf won’t stick.

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Session 5 gold leaf

Here, I’ve just started to use oil color.  I mixed dry pigment with poppy seed oil.  When mixed, the paint should stand up like butter.

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Session 6 oil painting

Resin oil is a mixture of stand oil, thickened linseed oil and venetian turpentine.

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Session 7 resin oil

With wet resin oil, you can paint hair-line brush strokes into it with egg tempera and switch back and forth with tempera and oil.  This is a mixed media.  You must always follow the rule of fat over lean.

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Canto IV, Limbo Session 8

 I’m waiting for this painting to dry completely so I can decide whether I want to stop or continue.

Egg Tempera Figurative Painting Process

Here I’m posting some of the steps of mounting a canvas and starting a tempera painting.
primed-canvas-on-easel
Here is the stretched and primed canvas on the easel ready to use.

In the spring there’s a lot of light and colorful motif, but it all goes away when the fall comes in.  That’s the season I prefer to do tempera painting; when it’s not too hot.

2-stretcher-bars

This is the first step; stretcher bars.

Make sure the corners are squared.

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Step 2; Canvas Material.

This is called Duck-Cloth.  It’s made of good quality cotton and is inexpensive.  After stretching the canvas, it is sized with glue.  I use rabbit skin glue ( in the white coffee cup) brushed on the canvas lightly with a wide brush.

Primer

Primer

Once the canvas has been sized and is completely dry, it is primed. It’s made by mixing  3 equal parts of zinc oxide, calcium sulfite and rabbit skin glue.  I buy these ingredients here in Madrid; most art stores have these products. 

Primed Canvas

Primed Canvas

Primed.

It takes about a day and a half to stretch, size and prime a canvas because of the drying time.

charcoal-drawing

Charcoal drawing on canvas

I made a quick charcoal drawing on the canvas to put everything more or less where it belongs.

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Mixing the Emulsion

Here is my set up with newspaper, brushes, spray bottle, pigments,  water container. This is a water-based medium.

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Pigment mixed with emulsion and water container

When the emulsion and the pigments are mixed together, they should stand up, not run to meet the surface of the table.

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Session 1 Light egg tempera under painting

This is the first session.

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Session 2 Building up Color

Session 2. Building up Color.

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Session 3

This is the 3rd session.  One of the things I like about painting is that I don’t know exactly what it will look like when it’s finished. This painting is still in process.

 

 

Line & Wash of September Roses 2016

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September Roses and Silk Scarf 2016 on Arches 300 gsm

I thought that watercolor season was over since we’re already in September, but not yet.  There are a bunch of orange roses blooming on the terrace.

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Sketch with grid

Pencil on Arches 300 gsm

Pencil on Arches 300 gsm

Line &Wash

Line and Wash

September Roses with Silk Scarf 2016

September Roses with Silk Scarf 2016