The Passionate Painter in Antwerp - Alvaro Castagnet


The Passionate Painter in Antwerp

Artist: Alvaro Castagnet
Language: English 90 mins
Format: PAL DVD
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Price: £28.55 (Inc VAT where applicable + P&P worldwide)

Alvaro Castagnet is a highly respected watercolour artist with an international reputation. His paintings capture the essence of his subjects with passion, boldness and elegance. In this film he travels to Antwerp and selects a range of subjects which include street views, a café interior, inside the railway station and one of the oldest bars in Antwerp painted at night.

This DVD is also available in Spanish. click here...

For a French version of this film "Exaltez votre imagination à l'aquarelle" click here...

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Review by Oliver Lange

Alvaro Castagnet is equally passionate and inspirational. He paints in watercolour, which he uses with immense feeling and impact. Indeed, there are few artists who can match his skill with this medium in creating paintings that have such power of expression and originality.

In The Passionate Painter in Antwerp he tackles a variety of subjects, including street scenes, a café interior and a night scene, all painted on site in his wonderfully loose, confident style. There is plenty to admire and learn from his work, particularly regarding the content and organisation of paintings and how to convey the mood and drama of each subject.

Review by Theodora Philcox

Light and Atmosphere
Dramatic light and atmosphere are what feeds Alvaro Castagnet's imagination as he moves around the Belgian city of Antwerp for his latest film, The Passionate Painter in Antwerp. It clearly demonstrates why this artist has an international reputation, as his confidence with the brush is breathtaking. He begins with a subject favoured by Monet; the interior of a vast railway station, illuminated by pure and filtered light. Working up from a fairly loose sketch, Castagnet applies a broad light wash before going in with strong variegated darks in the ceiling area on the right. This is then balanced with cooler, lighter definition on the left, after which he masterfully indicates the structure of the iron work, using quick strokes with a rigger brush. It is the atmosphere of the place that draws him, and with the architecture established, he deepens the colour towards the platform, working around the shapes of figures, to create a back-lit effect. This helps to suggest the idea of forward movement, and by extending the legs to create shadows, he adds dynamism. The second and third demonstrations focus on street scenes, the first of which includes a café, church, and bridge that create interesting architectural shapes. As before, Castagnet works his washes from light to dark, using a bolder middle section to throw forward highlighted figures and foreground features. The key building shapes in the distance become silhouettes via deeper washes, and trees are added with textural spattering. He discusses how to lead the viewer towards a focal point and suggests techniques for creating depth. For the fourth painting, Castagnet moves indoors to capture the fantastically atmospheric interior of a café. The light is truly wonderful, and through retaining highlights, and creating dramatic reflections, he evokes a great sense of recession. Different challenges are posed with the final demonstration where he tackles a night-time view of one of the oldest restaurants in the city. At night, the paint doesn't dry as quickly, necessitating greater control. Castagnet has an enviable talent and an engaging presentation style. This film is inspirational. (Theodora Philcox)

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