This post is about my personal experience participating in an outdoor painting competition in the city of Granada. The event was organised by Caja Granada foundation on the 22nd September 2019. I painted from 10—4:30 pm and it was a beautiful day. On registration (where we got our blank canvases stamped) we got given a little bag with a free packed lunch inside – a bottle of water, a carton of chocolate milk and a Maritoni cake.

The Gates of Justice

This is the oil painting I produced – The Gates of Justice. It’s 80 x 60 cm in size. I really enjoyed daubing on all those vivid colours but it was a rush to get the painting down and whole canvas covered.

Oil painting of The Gates of Justice, Alhambra, Granada.

Preparations

I walked around the free part of the Alhambra the week before to select my ideal painting spot, taking into account that I wanted to be painting in the shade. I drew a rough sketch of the composition and made some notes of how I wanted to approach the painting.

My notes

Get the perspective right by hand, get the angles in, cut in the sky like a mask. Loose underpainting – WILD, EXCITING & FREE. Architectural background with people holding cameras to give a sense of the era and scale of the monument. The architecture sets the scene for something to happen, capture something live. Modigliani style female figure in the foreground.

Equipment list

Materials: oil paints – oxide black, titanium white, 2 x reds (cadmium and rose), 3 x blues (cobalt and phthalo turquoise, turquoise), 2 x yellow (cadmium and lemon) and 2 x green (sap, emerald and yellow-green) some burnt sienna and orange. Brushes x 3 – 1-inch chisel tip, half-inch chisel tip and a selection of quarter-inch, smaller brushes and palette knives. Four empty jars. Bottle of white spirit. Rags. Canvas. Palette. Easel.

The Gates of Justice – work in progress

My husband Honza kindly accompanied me and took these action photos of me painting. I’m not usually seen in public wearing my granny painting smock. However, I’m such a paint magnet that I have to cover up from head to toe.