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Church of San Martin

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The Church in San Martin, Watercolor of Spanish Mountain Village by J. Armitage

The Church in San Martin (16 x 23 watercolor) Reserved for WSO Fall 2018

San Martin de Trevjo is a sleepy mountain village in Extramadura, Spain.  I spent a happy couple hours wandering among the half-timbered homes there.

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Grass in the Window

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Grass in the Window (10 x 14) $225.00

Grass in the Window (10 x 14) $225.00

Most of Central City is so well maintained that period-town would be a better description than ghost-town.   But some of the buildings  have been left to nature for some time.    Grass grows out of a low window in one such wall were two building used to abut each other.

If the wall ever had any mortar, it’s not visible now. The quality of the dry wall construction obviously varied greatly between the two buildings is backed.  On the right hand side the wall is neatly constructed and looks purposeful and solid. On the left hand side the stones are hardly squared at all are stacked more and more erratically the higher the wall gets.   Some stones near the window have fallen away, revealing the depth of the wall.

I began the stones by making an under-painting of phthalo blue.   The under-painting showed the shadows between the stones and some of the stronger shadows in the stones.  Phthalo blue is a great choice for under-painting because it is strongly staining and won’t wash up with successive layers of paint.  After the under-painting dried, I washed the stones wetly with burnt sienna and burnt sienna mixed with rose madder quinacridone. Washes of cerulean blue and phthalo blue mixed with burnt sienna followed. I built up the shadows slowly using the under-painting as a guide. Finally I splattered the rocks with various combination of cerulean blue, burnt sienna and burnt umber using a toothbrush. I smudged the splatters with a paper towel.

The window casing is burnt sienna, cerulean blue, new gamgee, and burnt umber. I applied the paint wet first and then in dry brushed layers.

The grass I masked before beginning the painting. I finished it with greens mixed from new gamgee and phthalo blue. I added the shadows over the window sill last.

I’ve always shied away from building detailed rock and wood like this because I was afraid I couldn’t get the textures right.  But I”m pleased with this and may do some more like it.


Or purchase a print at Fine Art America.com.

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