Saturday, November 28, 2015

YouTube Video of Antonio Lopez Garcia painting in Madrid – Aug 2010

August 23, 2010 by  
Filed under cityscape painting, videos

Painting urban views is hard enough but I can’t imagine the added frustration of “crowd control” while painting! Being famous clearly has its down sides… Thanks to Dean Fisher who just emailed this link to this new video of Antonio Lopez Garcia painting this month on the street in Madrid.

9/28/2010 update
I just ran across another video of him painting at the same spot, this time filmed by a TV crew it seems, much better footage of his drawing tools. Also impressive is his 2 assistants carrying all his gear. That’s the way to do it! (like as in the song money for nothing…)

Antonio López pinta cada tarde en la Puerta del Sol

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20 Responses to “YouTube Video of Antonio Lopez Garcia painting in Madrid – Aug 2010”
  1. jeremy says:

    Do you know anything about the wooden device that Antonio is taking measurements with? Do you now what it is or how exactly it is used?

    • Larry says:

      I was wondering the very same thing, However I would guess that it likely involves determining a plum-line of sorts to gauge how things line up on a horizontal/vertical axis as well as proportion. At first I thought,” WTF is he smoking some kind of ritualistic Carlos Casteneda type Indian pipe?!”

  2. jeremy says:

    hey, I’ll have whatever he’s having.

  3. (Puff, puff, give!) It gives me ideas. Could it be to keep a set distance for measuring, kind of like holding the arm out straight and using a brush to help the drawing? He’s using a caliper or compass and resting it on the block at the end of it, I think, to transfer to the painting. Genius!

  4. james says:

    that wood thing…is nothing more than a means of checking perspective…helps keep the visual referenced to a marker to see where the lines are going…as this..perspective …assists in our “seeing reality” a physical and psychosomatic (interaction of mind and body) sensibility that illudes to our reality…assuming we have lived a world of earth and sky and our own physical reference point…perspective is just the evolution of Euclidean geometry. So his “bag of tricks” is his perspective sensibility which greatly affects our sense of perceptual psychology of what we see and is it grounded in the real. (see…Downcast Eyes by Martin Jay, Kant after Duchamp by de Duve and many other theory…that will explain the sensibility and parlay by artists who capitalized on this secret knowledge…and surprising still secret) Hockney explains is somewhat well in his art history reality book…) Now go take some tracing paper and a soft pencil and analyze many of Mr. Garcia’s images…and you will see the truth unfold…he is quite a master of this. Really that simple but often totally and completely overlooked by many many realist type artists…composition and use of perspective are paramount to creating visually stunning images…that and restricted colour use…go see Gurney’s blog…he explains that really well. Love ya all.

  5. james says:

    P.S. The best teacher is not what we “see” but what is “seen referenced to a fixed reference…namely ourselves” Grids, diagonally assist better to see perceptual space than grids that are square. Really.
    That is also why studying and re-creating a master’s (some artist you just love) work will teach you more than trying to paint in his “style” before you understand what that style is. Style is selection restricted. Really.
    Visual theory 101, to truly understand is to reduce and to restrict. Visually we …us humans…can only ascertain visual in reference to something else. We are not able to make sense of the world unless we have learned to “see” with reference.
    Baby’s do not see as we logical think we see…they see a jumble and patterns. Our faces show limited reference from which we compare and learn …from this initial reference….think about it…compositionally as well….take a look at the great Church painters…and our unwavering and consuming passion for the human face….and our unflinching reference of the world to our human face. Really!

  6. Interesting, James. I would like to hear more, maybe start a thread in the forum regarding this topic. Like what you say about reduce and restrict. I use a limited palette b/c I get overwhelmed otherwise. Too much for me to contend with out in the field, I don’t need 20 colors confusing me more- so I do it out of necessity.
    And the face comment, there is a book, Understanding Comics(can’t think of the author), that states the same point. We see the human face everywhere.

  7. Neil Plotkin says:

    All I know is that Lopez-Garcia is a very patient man and if he ever finishes this canvas he’ll be contending with those crowds for a very long time. That just seems nightmarish to me. I think what is interesting is that he is painting with his back to the subject and really relying on those measurements. I think james is right, especially when painting landscapes, there’s just too much information to be able to record the entire event and we have to limit what we want to put on the canvas. perhaps by having his back to the subject, Lopez-Garcia does some mental editing.

  8. That’s great! Reminds me of a golfer trying to play in a pro tournament. He must really like what he’s trying to paint to put up with that. I’m sure the spectacle of the whole thing adds to the challenge and enjoyment of it, for him. As with all his work, I’m sure the finished piece will be amazing.

  9. Kevin D Smith says:

    I think the position of Lopez-Garcia and the canvas likely has more to do with avoiding direct sunlight on the painting and palette surface, which makes it difficult to see paint mixtures and relationships accurately. The glare is also harsh on the eyes.

  10. Philip Koch says:

    He is a very fine painter indeed.

    Couldn’t help but think though that
    he could have found a great source to paint from in a slightly less
    traveled public place. Maybe the guy is just tired of years of isolation
    in his studio and enjoys the crowds around him. We all need some

  11. Larry says:

    Interesting point Philip but I would imagine he gets lots of interruptions from people in his studio as well unless he has a very good system for keeping people at a distance – like not having a phone or someone to field calls and callers. He does seem to be asking for trouble though at this particular spot. I agree with Kevin about the position of the canvas in relation to the direct sunlight.

    Reducing and restricting is a great topic for discussion on the forum – if no one else starts it first maybe I’ll figure out a way to get one started.

    I’m not sure I understand how this device could be for checking perspective as in a traditional one to three point perspective. I can see it more as a means of checking angles and proportion and how objects line up or relate to one another on a grid. But I really need to watch the video again and study what he’s doing more closely.

  12. I think that Garcia isn’t drawing a crowd because he is Garcia. Probably most of those people have never heard of him. It is just because he is in a busy place with a huge painting.

  13. Bill White says:

    It seems that the experience is to be in the midst of the public not isloated in a zone that is deviod of the human contact of the city. Lopez Garcia seems to be focused on the act of measurement and reduced tonality. The color in his works are very grayed and tonal with a simple warmer and cooler coloration. When he on site he seems to want to find the sense of the place – which is a feeling of place – much beyond the act of measurement he is insistent about. His works rise above the simple act of measuring and finds that special ineffible sense of the place that can’t be defined by the simple “act” as he proposes of measuring. I find his works to be much more full of sentiment than it would appear by his “act of measuring” sems to represent.

  14. christian says:

    james, that’s a very nice theory and all, but in this case, the wooden device is much simpler. obviously it’s part of his measuring technique, but rather than using an outstretched arm, as is the case most of the time, he uses this to maintain the same distance each time he makes a measurement. using an arm can be inaccurate for a variety of reasons (fatigue, elbow bending, etc). by placing the device to his cheek each time, the accuracy is increased for sight-sizing and for measuring angles across the x and y axis. euan uglow used a similar device in his studio. both jimmy and larry were correct.

    stephan, antonio lopez garcia is actually very well known in spain. he’s a national hero. i’m sure most of them were very aware of who he is.

  15. alex kantor says:

    jesus christ! what the fuck is all this bullshit about euclidean geometry and kant and duchamp and our relation to the fucking world crap?
    how much money did someone spend to acquire the balls to spew such pretentious, pointless drivel?
    Here’s a novel idea…
    How about someone saying the handle sets the distance, one closes one eye and sights along this shaft, the sliding blocks (when slid) demarcate relative distances and there’s a fucking plumbob to make certain that you are getting a true verticle… throw in a simple adjustable angle finder and you have a multi-purpose tool which is a practical drawing aid.
    put that in your mfa artspeak mumbo jumbo bullshit pipe and smoke it.

  16. simon says:

    it’s just a stick with a block of wood at the end which he puts his compass against. The compass is just measuring width and height of different parts of the motif. Once he measures something he takes the compass with the distance he has just measured and places it on the canvas and marks off the exact same distance he just measured. A compass is perfect because one end has a pencil on it, so voila. He puts it against his face and puts his feet in the same spot to be sure his measurements are always consistent. If you are an artist who knows anything about painting realism, what he is doing is pretty obvious… ie, sight size method…and this has nothing to do with perspective lines or plumb lines or anything else.
    Of interest is that he needs to be a certain distance from the motif to make a certain sized painting.

  17. christian says:

    thanks simon for just repeating what i said.

  18. simon says:

    thanks christian!! you just explained it more…crappier, that’s all !!
    that part in the second vid with the little old lady waddling up to make some smart remark so typical. I get that all the time when i am painting outside…. just with the geriatrics though, most ppl are usually pretty respectful of the whole thing.

  19. There’s something strange and hilarious about this video. You can be one of the great living painters on the planet and you’re still not out of the woods. I love the way he nails the highlight on the right side of that building, late in the film.
    I think that the lady who walks into the film was telling him about a painting of an eggplant that she did back in the day.

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