The Passionate Painter in the North of England - Alvaro Castagnet


The Passionate Painter in the North of England

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 is one of the world’s most respected watercolour artists with a passion for his medium. He is an expressive painter with a strong and colourful style. In this film he explores the cities of Liverpool and Manchester, choosing to paint street scenes and Liverpool docks as well as an interior with two figures.

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ARTIST & ILLUSTRATOR - September 2012

Review by Laurence King
Filmed on his last visit to the UK, the flamboyant star of our Summer issue, Alvaro Castagnet, returns with his fourth DVD. The Passionate Painter in the North of England sees the South American watercolourist tackle Mancunian street scenes and Liverpool's Albert Docks in his typically vibrant style. He's entertaining company, yet his advice on simpifying compositions and varying the pigment strengths is fantastically useful when seen in action, too.
THE ARTIST - December 2012

Review by Oliver Lange
If you paint in watercolour and are wanting to inject more passion and daring into your work, then I warmly recommend Alvaro Castagnet’s The Passionate Painter in the North of England. ln this film Alvaro visits Liverpool and Manchester, where he finds varied and challenging subjects, each of which he paints with great feeling and skill. lnterestingly, Alvaro always starts with a sound drawing, and this gives him the freedom to work more expressively as he adds the watercolour washes. He shows how to look for simplified shapes and sound composition, and how to exploit the full potential of the medium to create more adventurous and personal results. And, as always, his commentary throughout is rich in helpful information and enthusiasm.
LEISURE PAINTER - December 2012

Review by Theodora Philcox
It's always an experience to watch the watercolourist, Alvaro Castagnet at work, and his latest film The Passionate Painter in the North of England allows us to follow him around Liverpool and Manchester, capturing urban and dockland scenes, before finishing with a more intimate interior.

The first composition features the impressive Victorian pub, The Vines, on Lime Street. Castagnet sketches it in, capitalising on its position on an incline that creates a greater sense of perspective. Washes are built up gradually, culminating in a stronger variegated layer that gives weight and dynamism to the building. To pull the composition together he links the figures both to each other and the vehicles, taking care to create a balance between the larger architectural elements and the smaller, sometimes brightly coloured, street-level details. Finally, opaque highlights are added that bring the painting to life.

Moving to the Albert Dock, smoke from a tugboat catches Castagnet's eye. Anchored in front of the Pump House pub, it adds interest to a composition featuring architecture, trees, and reflections on the water. Spattered colour instantly indicates the trees, and he reserves highlights whilst he washes in key areas of colour. The atmospheric smoke is created by lifting out colour with a water-Iaden brush and then adding a little Chinese white to give more visibility, without making it look thick and heavy.

For the second half of the film, Castagnet moves to Manchester, first selecting a street view, leading to a large Victorian building set squarely across the end of the road. He keeps things simple and fresh, adding figures, including waiters at a café, and dynamic lines on the pavement, to Iead the eye into the painting. His final city composition takes a dramatically different viewpoint, painted from a window high up on Peter Street, looking down towards an intersection on Deansgate. Making a pedestrian crossing his focal point, he paints quickly, to capture the busy atmosphere.

The film concludes with a quiet interior study of his stylishly dressed wife and a friend, drinking tea. This provides the opportunity to work very fluidly, gradually defining the variety of colours and textures within the room, as well as the soft light that almost silhouettes the figures.

Viewers of all levels will enjoy this inspirational and highly entertaining film. Castagnet's enthusiasm and tangible enjoyment make it a pleasure to watch.

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