Sunday, February 17, 2013

Europe Sketchbook 2009

In 2009, my wife and I took a 4 week sojourn to Europe, traveling to London, Paris, Anzex, Bayonne, Madrid, Barcelona, Interlaken, Munich, Vienna, Prague, Amsterdam and Brussels.  It was an amazing experience and the museums and cities were an incredible art history lesson that can't be found in books.

The Louvre.  Paris, France
Paris, France. Sculpture study in pen 

At the Louvre

Michelangelo's "Dying Slave". The Louvre

                                                                                         on our walk into the small French town of Casteljaloux, my wife and
                                                                              I saw this hurt deer on the side of the road.  

Anzex, France. Painting the fields at sunset 

2 hour study from our hotel window in Bayonne, France.
8" x 10" oil on wood panel

sketch of a tree in Bayonne and a sleeping girl on the train to Madrid.

sketch of a John Singer Sargent's "Venetian Onion Seller"
Velasquez sketch at the Prado in Madrid.

statue of Diego Velasquez in pen. Madrid, Spain.
 drawing of one of the cool Gaudi apartments
 in Barcelona, Spain.
I forgot to bring thinner with me on the hike up one of the mountains and attempted to paint the Alps with paint from the tube.  It was one of my first plein air oil paintings and it was lesson in itself: 1) Don't forget paint thinner!  2) Practice painting outdoors in your home city before trying it on a trip to a foreign country.

early attempt at a mountain watercolor study
sketch of the Alps from our apartment in Interlaken, Switzerland.

wall relief in Munich, Germany
hand studies from paintings by
the Masters: Titian, Van Dyck , and Ribera.
Munich Germany

Daumier sculpture sketch in pen

One of Franz Xaver's expressive busts in Munich.  He made about 69 amazingly
expressive busts that were ahead of there time.
They went completely unnoticed until many years later. 

Lord Leighton statue in Munich, Germany
Prague has some of the most amazing
Art Nouveau architecture /statues
Greek statue in Vienna, Austria

morning sketch at a cafe in Prague

cupid statue study in Amsterdam
statue at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

Ivy studies in the park in Amsterdam

street musician sketches in Amsterdam

busts in pen at the National Portrait Gallery. London, 

These are "master drawings" I did at night and on the trains during my trip to help me capture the rhythm and movement of lines from the drawings by great artists.  This is a really beneficial exercise, copying the works of the Masters, because you learn to draw with the same beautiful lines and finish as they have and it inevitably begins to affect your own work.




Thomas Couture

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