Open Air Watercolor – La Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, Spain

Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena is the Catholic Cathedral of Madrid, simply called, La Almudena.  It is dedicated to the Virgin Almudena, the patron Saint of Madrid, Spain.  I went to an outdoor terrace to paint it.

Las Vistillas Madrid 2015

I was sitting outdoors painting in a terrace in the area called Las Vistillas which means the Views.

I had  been planning to paint the Almudena Cathedral for a while.  I had a perfect view of it from where I was sitting.

Open Air Painting

Here you can see part of the Almudena Cathedral.

When you are painting outdoors, you never know what might interfere with painting.  Well, it was a really hot day in September so the waiters put out the terrace tarp for all of us who were sitting outside in the sun and the tarp blocked half of my view.  I had to stop right there.

Almudena Cathedral 2015

Almudena Cathedral September 2015

That’s alright though, I got something like a ghost image. Since then I found a shady spot to paint the Almudena again from a street view.  So I’ll go back one day and paint it again.

 

Small Watercolors of Flowers in Vases

I like to paint small watercolors of colorful flowers and transparent glass filled with water.

Bouquet in Crystal VAse 1994

Bouquet in Crystal Vase 1994

These small still-life paintings date back from the 90’s to  the present 2016.  

They are all post card size 5.5”x 7.5”or smaller.  I started off making this size in the mid-eighties to send as post cards.

Almond Blossom in Raku Pinch Pot

Almond Blossoms in Raku Pinch Pot

Almond Blossoms are really nice to paint.  In the spring there are a lot of these trees in Madrid.  I sent this watercolor to my Mom.  When I go to California I see it on the wall.

Pea Flowers in Purple Vase

Sweet Pea Flowers in Purple Vase

 I remember visiting someone who had sweet peas growing in their vegetable garden, I couldn’t resist taking some home to paint them. I’m going to have to get some sweet pea seeds.

Red Bottle with Ceramic Dish 1994

Red Bottle with Ceramic Dish and Irises 1999

The Red Bottle is one of my favorites. I bought it in the mid-eighties at the Salvation Army in the Gaslamp Quarter when I was living in sunny San Diego.  I’m always on the look out for beautiful glass bottles and vases.

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Red Bottle, kumquats and Sugar Bowl 1998

This watercolor is wet on wet with my favorite red  bottle.

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kumquats and Glass Bottle with Pinch Pot 1998

 What I like the most about glass are the reflections; especially clear glass with water in it.

Red Bottle with REd Flowers 1998

Red Bottle with Red Flowers 1998

I paint a lot; not everything turns out.  It doesn’t matter.  I like to include everything I see around my model.

Bouganville in Purple Vase 2011

Bougainvillea in Purple Vase 2011

I go to California often, almost every year.  I like to paint the flowers in my Mother’s garden.  Bougainvillea is so fun to paint.

Bouganville in Crystal Vase 2011

Bougainvillea in Crystal Vase 2011

Sometimes I paint the motif twice.  Here I changed the vase.  I like this vase; I like the fact that you can see the stems and leaves in the water.

Roses in Crystal vase 2011

Roses in Crystal Vase 2011

Here is the vase again with my Mom’s beautiful roses.

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Glass Bottles on Shelf 2012

I like colored glass. They have everything I like, color, shape, transparency and reflection. 

RedRoses in Greek Vase 2015

Red Roses in Greek Vase 2015

Someone gave me this vase.  I think it’s beautiful with the vertical grooves imitating a greek column.  This one got sent off in the mail.

Red Roses in Glass Vase 2015

Red Roses in Glass Vase 2015

I like to do more than one painting to try a different view.

Poppies in May 2016

Poppies in May 2016

When the spring comes around, I go a little crazy.  I can’t stop painting.  Spring is such a bright season full of color and warmth.

Poppies, Daisies and Red Roses 2015

Poppies, Daisies and Roses 2015

You can really see the difference of the light in the spring.

Red Glass Bottle with Orange Poppies 2016

Red Glass Bottle with Orange Poppies 2016

These are California Poppies and wild flowers.  I brought the seeds from California and planted them here in Madrid. I recently sent this one to my Dad.

Small Red Bottle with Wildflowers2016

Small Red Bottle with Wild Flowers 2016

I wanted to paint my model with the reflection in the mirror and on the table.

Chartreuse Bottle with California Wild Flowers 2016 B

Chartreuse Bottle with California Wild Flowers 2016

This is the latest small watercolor.  A friend told me that the color of  this bottle is chartreuse.

 I’m glad she told me.  I had never heard of that color.  Thanks to her the title isn’t yellow bottle with wild flowers, but Chartreuse Bottle with California Wild Flowers. 🙂

 

 

Watercolor of Fountains in the Retiro Rose Garden in Madrid, Spain

The Buen Retiro in Madrid, Spain is my favorite park.  Here are a few open air watercolors from the collection of Fountains in the Retiro Park.

Dolphin Fountain 2007

The Faun Fountain in the Buen Retiro Park Rose Garden – Madrid, Spain  2007

This fountain is called the fuente del Fauno. It’s located in the Rose Garden at the Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain.

 The sculptures integrated in the fountains are fascinating!  I should have included the Faun above the dish but I usually focus on the Dolphins.

 The mythological creatures on the same fountain have opposite poles, angelic and demonic.

 

Rose Garden June 2009

Fuente de Amorcillo or de Cupido

 This one is called Fuente de Amorcillo or Fuente de Cupido.  Again, I didn’t paint the top and ommited cupid from my watercolor.  I was more interested in the base.  Next time, I’ll paint the whole fountain.

RoseGarden2005

Fuente del Faunito, Rose Garden in the Retiro Park – Madrid, Spain 2005

There are only two fountains with figures in the Rose Garden, so I paint the same figures over and over again.  I just love to paint them.

The Rose Garden 2010

Fuente del Faunito in the Rose Garden at the Buen Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain 2010

Here is the Faun Fountain at the Rose Garden again; a frontal view.

The Rose Garden June 2015

Fuente del Cupido in the Rose Garden at the Buen Retiro Park in Madrid Spain 2015

This is a view of The Cupid Fountain from an angle.  Painting outdoors is a great experience; those of you who do open air painting know this and those who haven’t done it yet must put it on the bucket list.

Open Air Painting

Open Air Painting at the Rose Garden in El Buen Retiro in Madrid, Spain

I like to get a picture of the painting in process with the model; it’s fun to see them together.

My Grandmother

I’ve always liked to paint my Grandmother.  She is one of the few people who sits still for a few hours regardless of how the painting turns out.

Maria de Laguno 1982

Maria de Laguno 1982

This is one of the first sanguine pencil drawings I did of her in 1982 in her living room in Madrid.

Maria de Laguno 1982

Maria de Laguno 1982

I took my watercolors with me everywhere I went to capture a moment.  Here we were sitting at a terrace having a coffee after visiting the Prado Museum.

Grandma's Studio 1983

Grandma’s Studio 1983

She had a beautiful, luminous studio in the city center; it was great to be there with her and all of her students.  Here, she was touching up a student’s painting.

Maria de Laguno 1983

Maria de Laguno 1983

I love to hear stories she tells about her life.  She used to talk a lot about her grandmother’s life too.  It was fascinating to hear about how things were so far in the past.

Maria de Laguno 1984

Maria de Laguno 1992

She has the most amazing personality and I wanted to capture it. This watercolor is from 1992 when I visited her 10 years later in the month of June.

Maria de Laguno 2015

Maria de Laguno 2015

As I was looking through my watercolors I noticed that 35 years had gone by between the first drawing and this watercolor from 2015.  This is the day before she moved from Spain to Brazil.  She is 97 years old in this watercolor.  My Grandmother still lives in Brazil and is 98 years old now.  She is a great Artist.  I wish there were a record of all the paintings she has painted.

 

 

 

 

 

Spanish Spring Blossoms in Talavera Vase 2016

This year, the spring was like an explosion of colors.  We had a lot of rain and the flower season was abundant and long-lasting.

Paper pointing to model

When I start a watercolor, I point the paper at the model. The paper is thick, 640 GMS. I tape it down with normal carpenter’s tape because I will finish this watercolor before the sun goes down and the light changes drastically.  I wet the paper  with a brush, wait til it soaks up the water and wet it down again. I don’t always do this, but I want the flowers to blend in with the background.

Moving around the paper

The paper is completely wet, but not soaking to the point where the paint runs. Then, I start laying in color where I see it, trying to get the form as exact as possible.

Estabilshing Vase and Flowers When I establish where the vase and blossoms go on the picture plane, I focus on my favorite part, respecting the whites and emphasising color.

A la Prima

Here, I start paying attention to detail, painting a la prima from here to finish of painting.

Spanish Spring Blossoms on Easil 2016

Spanish Spring Blossoms in Talavera Vase 2016 on Easel. It is still taped down.  When the tape is taken off, it has a white border which gives it a nice touch if you let it show in a mat.

Spanish Spring Blossoms in Talavera Vase 2016

Spanish Spring Blossoms in Talavera Vase 2016

Spanish Poppies in front of Window 2016

Spanish poppies are very large and vivid in color which is why they are so fun to paint.

FavoritePart
I started with the poppies, keeping in mind what else I wanted to put in the painting
SettingVase

I set in the vase very lightly in case I had to move something.

BuildingUp

When everything was where it belonged on the picture plane, I started painting a la prima.

Background

The metallic bar across the window was white, so I respected it and painted around it.

Spanish Poppies infront of Terrace Door

This is the final result.

 

A painting of Spanish wild flowers in an exhibition at La Casa del Reloj del Matadero in Madrid, Spain

Spanish wild flowers are so colorful, ideal in watercolor.

In this post, I’m going to show a few steps in the making of a painting which was presented and accepted in The  Salòn de Primavera 2016 of Madrid, Spain.

wildflowers

I started with my favorite part and visualised the finished composition in my mind without a preliminary drawing.

Spanish Wild Flowers

Here, I continued by using the first flower as a measurement for the rest of the painting.

The watercolor making process

I continued  building around the first flower while observing shapes, colors, linear directions and placement in the picture plane carefully. In watercolor, you only have one shot.

Red Poppies in Blue Vase

This is the finished watercolor, called Spanish Wild Flowers in Blue Vase 2015

Casa del Reloj Madrid, Spain

The exhibition was held in the Casa del Reloj at the Matadero in the Arganzuela district of Madrid, Spain

Salón de Primavera 2016

Here is my painting exhibited in the Salón de Primavera 2016 in La Lonja Sala of Casa del Reloj in Madrid, Spain.

Fountain in Retiro Park - Madrid, Spain

Open Air Watercolor in the Retiro Park – Madrid, Spain

It’s almost Spring and the Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain is full of Color.

I went to the Retiro in the first week of March to paint a specific fountain near the old zoo, called Antigua Casa de Fieras.   I couldn’t go into the area because it was taped off, but I could still see it, so I was able to make the watercolor I wanted.

Fuente cerca de Antigua Casa de Fieras

This is one of the many beautiful fountains in the Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain

Fuente cerca de Antigua Casa de Fieras

The Retiro is one of my favorite places to paint.

Fountain in Retiro Park - Madrid, Spain

Fountain by Antigua Casa de Fieras 2015
Watercolor on Arches 300 GSM – 5.5 in x 7.5 in – 14 cm x 19 cm