Toroazul Painting and Fine Arts
C l a s s e s
L a n d s c a p e
These student landscapes were produced in
one of the Freehand Drawing classes I
taught recently  at the University of
Miami's
School of Architecture. The overall
course focus and content were designed and
supervised by SOA Professor David Fix. I
taught an individual studio of 10 students
how to draw "freehand" using pencils, pen
and ink, and pastels.
First, the class was introduced to basic color theory and
landscape composition, particularly in the architectural tradition
of travel sketching and on-site drawing and documentation.
Every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, our studio scouted the
City of Coral Gables, Florida, looking for examples of Moorish
designs in the architecture, fountains, and landscaping of the
"City Beautiful," as this area of Miami is traditionally known.
Soon the students were working out their lessons of color,
3-dimensional space, and page design in the various CG
landscapes and structures exhibited on this web page.
A final part of the class work at semester's end required that the
students apply the Moorish garden and building elements
gathered from their travels to create a color illustration of
setting for one of 19th century American travel-writer
Washington Irving's "Tales of the Alhambra,"   which in fact
were told having the Moorish city of Granada, Spain, as a
setting.
Just as Washington Irving's 19th-century visit to Granada and
its Alhambra palace and gardens, then in a state of virtual ruin,
was broadened by his previous readings about the history of the
Umayyad, Almoravids, and Nasrids in Islamic Spain, my class's
readings of Irving's tales gave them a somewhat romantic
historical context as they explored "Moorish" Coral Gables. They
also came away from the experience with a more visionary
appreciation of George Merrick's original inspirations in designing
Coral Gables as he himself "quoted"  and celebrated Islamic
architecture and garden designs in his City Beautiful.
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