by Armand Cabrera
I’m down with the flu, so this week’s post is a demo from my Richmond Workshop. I want to thank Cathy Ellis for taking and sending me these photos for use in the blog.
Because I was painting complex architecture and I would only have an hour for the demo, I did a small 10×8 canvas. I started with my drawing and realized I had gotten my proportions wrong so I had to wipe it off and start again even though I had 12 students watching me. I wanted to make sure they see the process and how important it is to get things right from the start.
The second take got me to be more careful and I got through the careful placement of my elements.
I was painting Major Lewis Ginter‘s mausoleum, a prominent historical figure of Richmond; I wanted the composition centered giving it a formal reverent feel.
Because the trees off to the left were beginning to cast shadows into the scene I painted the foliage and background first getting the big masses of color and shadows down and locked in.
When those elements were done I began painting the mausoleum itself. I focused on the shifts in color and value and ignored details.
Here is the finished painting. Although there were sweeping views overlooking the city of Richmond, I was drawn to this intimate scene of a part of life often ignored in paintings. I think it is important to always paint what moves you not necessarily a postcard scene of a place. The painting was purchased by one of my students who is with the Historical Society of Richmond on its completion.