Canto VI Cerberus 2016
The Divine Comedy (Illustration)
Dante awakens in the 3rd circle.
Cold dirty rain-fall, mixing with heavy hailstones, pounding down, finally, streaking the nude bodies of the condemned souls lying supine in the filthy mud. (epic poetry of Dante Alighieri)
Cerberus, the three-headed, dog-like worm beast stands over the souls clawing at the slightest movement made by the supine lying in the filth.
The process of the painting is below.
I did a few drawings like this one above and a watercolor.
Next, I painted a similar version on a canvas with egg tempera to start with.
I started building up shape and color
Then I changed my mind about something
I wanted a frontal view of the mouth
I put everything more or less where I wanted it
And then I changed my mind again
That’s what I like about art
After our funny hail storm in June, these little yellow sun flowers bloomed on the terrace all at once.
I took out my easel and oil paints onto the terrace and started to paint the mini sun flowers early morning.
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.
I usually start with my favorite part and build around it.
I just try to paint what I see.
I put the exact color and shape on the canvas as quickly and accurately as possible.
Here again the next morning in the hot sun.
Here I started putting in the skyline.
Since all the colors influence each other, I try to find all them as quickly as possible before the light changes.
The background colors are established, so now I start with more detail in the foreground.
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.
So little by little I started building up the foreground, leaving the back ground alone.
Summer June Flowers 2017.
This is the largest plein air watercolor I have done so far. It was quite an adventure.
The fountain was dry when I got there. I asked the gardener if it would have water soon.
The gardener told me that they were cleaning it but that he would turn it on the following morning so I could paint it with water.
The next morning the fountain had its beautiful cascade!
There was a heat wave in Madrid and the sky turned a dark, almost purple color that I didn’t want to paint. I was waiting for the sky to turn light blue again.
Finally the sky was blue like the first day and once I got everything in place, I stopped painting.
Painting the Lds Temple was a really nice experience. I made two new friends A and J. They told me a lot of interesting things about the Temple and gave me a beautiful book related to the Temple.
There’s nothing like painting in Madrid
I realised that I had to focus. First I got a body of watercolors together 2014 to 2016.
Here’s a short clip of the watercolors in the show and a few pictures.
When I got together around 50 watercolors, I started matting them.
This is the style I used for presentation – A beige mat with plexi-glass and swiss clips.
Once it was all set up, the show looked really nice. I Saw a lot of family and friends I hadn’t seen for a long time as well as meeting new friends.
Although it was very hard work, it was something I wanted to do and I’m glad it happened.
The light in Madrid, Spain is always inspiring.
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.
These are some of the steps taken.
I started out by putting the vase and the flowers on the paper first.
Then I start working around the paper putting in the colors and shapes I see.
Here I start looking for contrast.
Looking for depth.
Looking for atmosphere too.
The next day, we came to the foot of a noble castle, circled seven times by high walls. A fair creek encircled the walls, but we crossed it as if it was hard ground. I went in through the seven gates with the sages, and we came to a healthy green meadow.
Jim Belton’s modern language version of Canto II by Dante Alighieri. Click here to read Canto IV.
It was a nice sunny day in early December, just as autumn was leaving and winter was coming in.
So I was painting at the Retiro Park and someone stopped to see the painting. Suddenly we discovered that we had met in San Francisco around 20 years ago.
The light started to change quickly, so I hurried up and finished.
This is how it turned out.
It was a cold grey day, Friday the 3rd of March 2017. The Agrupaciòn de Acuarelistas de España of Madrid did some Plen Air Painting at Bustarviejo.
It started raining just about now…
So I went in for lunch and then it started pouring cats and dogs!
After lunch, I painted from the windows.
Then it started snowing so I started a new watercolor of the snow covered hills.
Dante’s Inferno Canto IV in process – Mixed Technique: Tempera Underpainting and Resin-Oil Finish.
Illustration in Process of Canto IV Limbo.
Canto IV Session 12