White Village

White Village

Cristal
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Mixed Media, 60 x 60 cm, August 2016

This painting shows the influence in my work living in one of the white villages in Andalucia.

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Demonstration Step 1

Shimmering Town - Step by Step Demonstration - Step 1

Cristal
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When back home from a short trip to Tangier - a constantly and uncontrolled growing harbour town in Northern Morocco - I started this painting with no specific aim in a quite abstract way.

But very soon appeared a somehow architectural structure on the canvas. And so I went on to built up "houses" with the palette knife and modeling paste in the "skyline" and middle part. Burnt sienna is used for a wash over the hill and other parts.
Then I prepare on my table collage pieces for the „houses“. I cut out pieces of metal or cardboard and paint them in different colors. I don´t mind if all these pieces are rectangles or crooked, because this architecture doesn´t claim at all to be functional or right. In my memory of the old town of Tangier, that is exactly what it is:  a somewhat growing monster with a beautiful overall aspect.
Some "houses" get windows or doors by cutting out holes and gluing bits of metallic stuff from behind.
Then I lay the painting flat on the table and move the collage pieces on top. After deciding the final arrangement I fix them with impasto gel.
White sand is glued with impasto gel in a horizontal line above the dark sand in the lower part.

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Demonstration Step 2

Shimmering Town - Demonstration Step 2

Cristal
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Palette knife and modeling paste mixed with a touch of ochre are used to build up more houses, doorways, windows, bridges and walls in the open spaces.

This town on the canvas is now growing like the real Tangier and while working I feel strong energy and also the kind of tension when I´m really into the painting.
I take care of sharper edges on top of the houses and blend in the lower part which gives shape and a kind of depth.
In the lower part I use modeling paste mixed with ultramarine/red oxide pigment, and for other parts modeling paste mixed with ultramarine/white and blend it into the dark sand. Gold metal is used to create some more windows in the lower part.

The sky got a wash of ochre/white, not really accidental but more in the heat of the flow. Not happy with it!

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Demonstration Step 3

Demonstration Step 3

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Again the sky is changing to blue. I move now in the area of the houses in the upper right side. Burnt sienna and a touch of ochre is used to pull the painting together. With a mix of ultramarine/red oxide pigment and ultramarine/burnt sienna I get very dark violet and some darker grayish tones to modulate more depth.

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Demonstration Step 4

Demonstration Step 4

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The sky gets a wash of lighter blue near the value of the ochre/white houses, so that the houses at the horizon line seem to disappear in the sky. This brings out a stronger focal point which is concentrated in the darker upper left part of the houses.
With the palette knife and impasto gel I modulate a palm tree in front of the wall at bottom right. The dark water gets some more light reflection.

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