Open Air Watercolor Cercedilla, Spain August 2016

Cercedilla August 2016

Cercedilla, Spain August 2016

Trying to get away from the heat here in Madrid, we went to Cercedilla.

By the time we got to the top of the hill, we had to look for a shady place and wait for it to cool off.

This is the view I had for the next three hours. We were sitting in the shade behind a huge group of boulders.

Looking through the Terrace Window at El Cerro de los Angeles Vallecas, August 2016

Looking through terrace window in vallecas august 2016

Looking through the Terrace Window at El Cerro de los Angeles Vallecas August 2016

As the sun started going down yesterday, the colors got really vibrant.  I also got these new blue curtains.  I wanted to see what they’d look like in a watercolor.

Open Air Painting of Neptune Fountain on the Paseo del Prado in Madrid, Spain August 2016

I’ve done two watercolors of this fountain from opposite stand points.  This is the first one.  It was a really hot day.  When I say hot, I mean hot.

Fuente de Neptuno 00

First two and a half hours

I was standing in a sliver of shade next to the bus shelter. painting Neptune Fountain.  I had the perfect spot but it was really hot. I stopped painting after two and a half hours and went back to finish the next day.

Fuente de Neptuno 01

The second day Painting

I was painting there again the next day for almost three more hours.

Fuente de Neptuno 02

Here it is finished.

I went back to the Paseo del Prado last week and painted the same fountain from the other side of the fountain, but from a street view.

Fuente de Nuptuno en el Paseo del Prado

Someone from Florida took this picture

He also sent me this picture of me painting.

Painting in Ritz Parking Lot 2016

Someone from Florida took this picture

Again I had a perfect place in the Ritz parking lot.  The space was so small, only a mini, mini car would fit.

Paseo del Prado August 2016

A street view of the Paseo del Prado in August 2016

This is the second watercolor of Neptune Fountain.  It was a lot of fun painting there.  I’m glad someone showed me and took me to this spot to paint.  It’s not easy finding a good place to paint in the middle of a  fast-moving busy city.

Three Still Life Watercolors

Vibrant color and immediacy is what I like the most about the watercolor medium.  consistent practice is important whether inspired or not.

Vase 1a

I start with the idea of putting the exact shape and color.

 I use a grid here to keep my parallel lines parallel. I paint little pieces at a time so I can transfer the color and shape exactly as I see it.

Vase 1b

I work around the paper always going to a blank part on the paper instead of building up any one area.

I want the painting to have balance, so work on different areas going to opposite places on the paper and touching the corners as well.

Vase 1c

Since I used an a la prima technique, I stopped when the surface of the paper was covered.

I was happy with how it turned out, so I did two more water colors the same day.

Vase 2a

I started out with a diamond grid.

Even though I wanted to use the same exact technique, I didn’t.  I painted larger areas and didn’t work around the paper.  The left side is too heavy for starting off.

Vase 2b

Finished Watercolor

Since it was too heavy on the left side, I automatically tried to balance it out by making the right side heavy too. I finished quickly to start again.

Vase 3a

Started out with my favorite part.

 I focused on the flower and built around it, trying not to fill in large areas to start with.

Vase 3b

Working around the paper.

I wanted to give the same importance to every object but I got hung up on the white rose and gave it too much attention neglecting the glass work.

Vase 3c

Finished Watercolor

No matter how many times I paint this motif, there is always something new and different in each flower and reflection.

Open Air Watercolor Painting – Paseo del Prado Madrid, August 2016

I had been thinking about painting in the City Center for a while now, but …all that traffic.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Paseo del Prado 0

Starting out with a quick drawing; trying to block everything in.

Paseo del Prado 1

Light colors ’cause I’m not sure about anything yet.

Paseo del Prado 2

As soon as I think I know where everything goes, I start using final colors and shapes.

Paseo del Prado 3

Here it’s finished.

Paseo del Prado August 2016

Paseo del Prado August Madrid, Spain 2016

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. 🙂