The Passionate Painter in Antwerp with Alvaro Castagnet




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 caf? interior, inside the railway station and one of the oldest bars in Antwerp painted at night.

 5 demonstrations. APV Films, 90 min runtime. NTSC format for North America

A film Review by Jim Salchak

Just released, The Passionate Painter in Antwerp is another great film produced by APV Films of Great Britain. This is their second film featuring internationally renowned watercolor artist Alvaro Castagnet. Like the first film, Inspired Watercolor, Castagnet is painting on location and this time in the city of Antwerp, Belgium. The film is beautifully done and the 90 minute DVD shows the artist completing five paintings from beginning to end. It is a great learning experience to see what the artist sees and watch as he interprets the scene to make it his own.

Throughout the film, Castagnet talks about his process, what he simplifies, what he leaves out, creating a focal point, brushwork, and the colors he is using as he is paints. He shows how he takes a very complicated view and turns it into a simple but wonderful watercolor painting.

The first demo is painted from inside a railroad station that is enclosed by an intricate glass covered iron roof structure. Castagnet creates the roof structure with ?one go? by using pigment with little water and making dry brush marks on his rough paper that gave a wonderful impression of the enclosure. The trains and people are silhouetted against the glass end wall of the station. Strong value contrasts create a wonderful feeling of light.

The second and third paintings are city street scenes with buildings, people, cars, and street cars. He simplifies by eliminating unnecessary detail and emphasizes focal areas with strong lights and darks. All this is done with a fairly limited palette.

The fourth demo is painted inside a cafe looking toward the windowed front of the room providing a high contrast backlit scene. His first medium dark wash covers most of the sheet leaving white paper for the windows and portions of the bar and bar stools. Adding strong darks into this wet wash creates the feeling of a dark interior. Intricate chandeliers are created with a few dry brush marks and customers and waiters are silhouetted against the windows with warm and cool darks. More darks emphasize the focal area. This is a great demonstration of how to simplify a complicated scene.

The last demo is painted at night looking at an exterior of restaurant. We see the glowing light from the windows and people and a red umbrella in an outside patio area. Castagnet create a painting that is much more exciting than the scene before him by exaggerating the reflection of the lights and the red umbrella onto the foreground. A demonstration of a night scene is something we seldom get to see.

This film and Castagnet?s first film where he is painting on location in Spain are available from The Artists? Place. The phone number is 1-800-278-7522 and their web site is