Tag Archives: david clark olhao

Art in the Algarve – watercolours and sketches

As I mentioned earlier, the purpose of this course was to work on watercolour technique and at the same time observational skills.   The watercolours shown in this post are a small sampling and they are in no particular order.

I would begin each session with demonstrations….in this case using flowers from the Market, I made rapid watercolour sketches on white paper and paper with a colour ground.

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The course is for all levels, including total beginners, which brings me to the first image which was painted by someone who had never been to a watercolour class before.

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One of the key elements of the course is to show people how to avoid the age old problem of muddiness in their watercolours.     One of our group who had worked in watercolour for quite some time had become very frustrated with this issue, and so I was delighted to see the work she produced…..with absolutely no mud!

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Although the emphasis of my workshops is to use watercolour in a spontaneous manner, sometimes it’s very helpful to make more detailed observational studies.

This watercolour of beans from the market, is just that – an observational exercise.

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Much emphasis throughout the week was all about the use of sketch books.    Here you can see the sketch made when visiting the Island of Culatra, and the beginnings of a watercolour painting from the sketch.

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A series of lily watercolours – exploring the use of negative space in an image.

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Taken from a small sketch.

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One of the group had a particular interest in trees and made many interesting studies.

ImageSketch on a colour ground in sketch book.

ImageUsing strong colour in the negative space to achieve a sense of drama.

ImageThere was so much more work, but these images will give an idea of what was achieved.

One of the lasting memories I will have is painting in the courtyard later in the day when local pigeons would be let out.    The flapping of they wings would cause a beautiful dream like echo…..quite lovely.

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The pigeons seen from the roof of the school….flying free.

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I will now look forward to my course at the school next April….

http://www.artinthealgarve.com

http://www.janetweightreed.co.uk

A Bientôt

   

 

 

Art in the Algarve – a closer look at Olhao

Today a closer look at Olhao.

I loved all the little alleyways each full of colour and interest, and of course the wonderful Azelejo – a form of Portugese/Spanish painted tin glazed, ceramic tile work.     These tiles have been produced without interruption for five centuries. 

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A lifetime could be spent capturing the change of light in these alleyways….and note again the cleanliness of the streets.

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Many of the buildings in Olhao reminded me a little of Cuba or South Beach Miami before it was renovated….a sort of decaying splendour ripe for people with vision to restore, which is clearly what is happening all around the town.

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These images show the main street…..again immaculately clean.

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One of the views from the many levels and balconies at the school.

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The alleyway behind the school….

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Everything we needed and much more was within a few minutes walk of the school.    Last year there was a local art shop, but this year the school has its own shop, which is very convenient.

Ana, the lovely lady who ran the art shop, also an artist.

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There is so much to learn when visiting somewhere new.    I am ashamed to say that I didn’t know about this before, but in April 1974, a revolution happened in Portugal….called The Carnation Revolution.

After many years of brutal dictatorship, there was a military coup in Lisbon organised by the Armed Forces Movement.    The movement was soon coupled with an unanticipated and popular campaign of civil resistance. 

The name Carnation Revolution comes from the fact that almost no shots were fired and when the people took to the streets to celebrate the end of dictatorship and war in the colonies, carnations were put into the muzzles of rifles and on the uniforms of the army.    The national holiday of Freedom Day is celebrated every year on the 25th April. 

As I said, much to learn.

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http://www.artinthealgarve.com

http://www.janetweightreed.co.uk

A Bientôt

Art in the Algarve – Our day in Culatra

Another special event during the week at Olhao is visiting the island of Culatra.     It’s a short walk from the school to the boat taxi dock, where last year we were met by these two men and their lovely dog.    Culatra is a large sand bar, located south of Olaho, part of the Ria Formosa National Park.

Initially, it was quite cool, misty and overcast…however, by the time we reached Culatra…the sun was shining, and it was absolutely beautiful.

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Both men were extremely knowledgeable,…and came from long lines of local fishing families.     There is so much to learn about Portugal and this particular area,

The island community of Culatra is made up of fishermen and others.    I could see that it would be an ideal place to paint and write – especially during the off season.

This was the scene that met us when we arrived.

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There are no cars on Culatra, definitely my kind of place.    With a year round population of approximately 800, there are a couple of shops, cafe/restaurants, a church and even a little football stadium.

There are narrow walkways between the houses.   Culatra reminded me of some of the Bahamian Islands where I have spent time.      Very relaxed and laid  back.

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Although only a one day visit, I could see that there was much to explore…and for those looking for beaches and solitude the Island has long stretches of unspoiled sands.    Apparently even during the height of the tourist season, empty, pristine beaches can be found, and of course the wildlife is beautiful.

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Another place where it’s best for the group to split up to find places where they can take photographs and make quick notes in their sketch books, followed by another excellent lunch of fresh fish in one of the Island cafes.

Some of the sketches made last year by participants.      The idea is to accumulate as much information as possible to be used for reference at the school and after returning home.

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After lunch, more sketching and exploring and then back to Olhao where we had another delicious evening meal at the school.

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http://www.artinthealgarve.com

http://www.janetweightreed.co.uk

A bientôt