Still Life

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Small pieces

Happy Easter!!
Getting back into the groove of anything after an absence is usually a slow process, theoretically at least, and in my case the process has come in spurts. But, this week I´ve been able to come up with small pieces, little "exercises" for no other reason than to put paint down on a surface and observe and record what I have in front of me. Nothing earth-shaking, nothing people will marvel at any time in the future, trust me. Here they are, nevertheless, the four small oils that make up this post...

Academia de Infantería, Toledo
oil on canvas on panel, 16 x 23 cm
This is from my previous post, sorry for the repeat, just wanted to lump this together with the rest since it was done in these last four days. 

Squirrel brush
oil on canvas on panel, 16 x 23 cm

Peeled clementine
oil on canvas on panel, 16 x 23 cm

Red gate
oil on canvas, 20 x 23.5 cm

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

...more Toledo

Taking advantage of a few days off work, as we´re right in the middle of Holy Week here in Spain, I drove down to Toledo again today with my son. He´s a first year Architecture student and likes sketching on site as well, so he goes off to do his drawings while I do my stuff.
I wanted to start the final painting on site--get all the elements placed properly, deal with the proportions and lay down some basic color. The scene is quite daunting, what with all the little structures crammed together in a city that definitely had no planning whatsoever, so I wanted to place a few of the major elements which will serve as a reference point for the smaller ones.

It was a beautiful day, cool when I started and verging on hot by the time I packed up. My chosen spot also happens to be the spot of an endless stream of tourist buses unloading eager tourists as they mill about taking snapshots of the city and countless selfies. Makes it a bit hard to tune out and focus on the task at hand but, hey, I don´t own the spot....

My set up and the initial charcoal outline painted over in a thinned-out neutral color. That stain in the middle of the canvas is the result of having had to rub out globs of paint that had ended up on the canvas after it had fallen with a gust of wind. Slight mishaps are bound to happen. No harm done.

And this is how the initial block-in looked like by the time I decided to call it a day...more to come...

But, I also took advantage of where I was to shift my attention to a smaller detail of the whole view and painted this sketch in about 2 hours. Oil on canvas on panel, about 15 x 23 cm. 

Am not really sure what that structure is that sits atop the hill, nor the name of the fortress on the left middle ground. I just liked the way the light played on these elements as well as on the rocks on the side of the hill. It was good exercise...