The mosaic that begins this second page of watercolors painted on site at the Baths
of Caracalla in Rome === I approached differently.
Eager to do more than simply imitate the floor fragment in front of me, I decided to
reach out or grasp for the form that the mosaic itself is about and to almost allow
it to emerge in fewer but more intense steps.
So I did several color tests on pieces of scrap watercolor paper to see which sets of
two hues would allow me to cut beyond the atmospheric appearances of the "real"
fragment, and -- instead -- do a reading of the figures in the mosaic and their
First I lightly drew the slab of stone and its figures in hard lead pencil, then chose
the green from my test sheet to establish the ground. Last, the cadmium red in my
color tray almost cried out for me to choose it for the love chase subject --- against
the white, the cadmium was pure joy, I thought, the gladness of the chase.
|Toroazul Painting and Fine Arts
José Grave de Peralta
Cherub with dolphin and seahorse on a chase
watercolor 9" x 10"
In studying and sketching the above mosaic of a seaweed-clad "merman" of sorts,
next to two rampant sea horses, I decided to do a literal reading of the black&white
colors of the floor fragment. Also I wanted to describe its context, as the slab sits
on the ground of the ruins and leans on the ancient brick wall with its niche.