Today we were to paint again in Valletta. Alvaro first went to Baracca Garden, a garden that overlooks the Three Cities. It was windy and Alvaro hesitated, he decided we would paint there later. We walked a bit into the town and Alvaro found a small square. He sat down and showed figures. He made a quick sweep of the brush, a messy stroke. Then he put heads there and painted bones there and suddenly there was a group of people. Figures should be painted, not outlined. Exercise, do 200 per day.
He also showed that each image should contain five degrees of strength, from white to darkest dark. You must never just make a picture with only too light scales, which is easily done with watercolor.
He then went to a street in Valletta, an impossible place with tall buildings on either side and lots of people. He sketched quickly and then did a first wash with colors that flowed together. When it dried, he added details and made a superb picture. He tinted a lot, made a clear shadow in red. Then he saved everything with some figures and car at the bottom. He wasn’t quite happy, grumbled about the watercolor sketch. Personally, I think it turned out very well. Here is the high resolution image.
Then we got a long time to do painting ourselves. I found a church by a narrow staircase that went down to a larger street. It was raining and I was sitting under my umbrella, or rather I had the umbrella over my paper, I myself was sitting in the rain. I did as Alvaro said, with connected buildings and bright areas. I tried to use the whole scale, from light to dark. I placed the figures in front of the bright part to increase the contrast. I thought it turned out okay. Alvaro forgot that he was supposed to comment on our pictures, he was busy with himself.
In the afternoon, Alvaro did a demo of the harbor from the Upper Baracca garden. Very difficult motif and it didn’t turn out so well. He uses viridian green, which I don’t think is going to be very good. But it is amazing that he manages to put together a picture of such a difficult subject.