Tile portrait commission. Alcazar de Sevilla

In 2021 I created these art prints that looks at my roots.

art print titled sandaMMXXII by artist alej ez

In this note you will find about the making of this design, but first lets commence with a short festive poem.

‘Make merry, comrades, eat and drink
(The sunlight flickers on the sea),
The garlands gleam, the glasses clink,
The grape juice mantles fair and free,
The lamps are trimm’d, although the light
Of day still lingers on the sky;’

Sunlight On The Sea
By Adam Lindsay Gordon

Alcazar de Sevilla

In September 2021 I went with my partner Simon to Seville, where my family lives. Every time I go to Seville I make sure I find time to visit the Alcazar de Sevilla.

With my dad, Juan Manuel, at the gates of the Alcazar.
My partner Simon and me at the Plaza de España

Alcazar de Sevilla

One morning I took my dad to the Reales Alcázares de Sevilla. Possibly one of the most beautiful historic buildings in Spain. It dates from the 12th century but has elements from the Roman period, the mesmerising medieval era with Islamic and early Christian influences, the Renaissance, Gothic and so on. The palace has the most stunning work of traditional tessellated and painted tiles.

Walking along the many rooms of the palace I picked very distinctive elements:

Reales alcazares de Sevilla. A Collage.

Back at my parents my young nieces and nephews arrived and I proposed to them that we all created a collage with very bright sheets of cardboard to depict the objects I had photographed from the Alcazar Palace.

So we created a collection of individual objects that can be arranged to form their own distinctive collage.

These are some of the results:

Drawing the Seville Alcazar. Familiar faces.

Back in Brighton, in my art studio I drew the elements again with ink. While I was drawing the figures I thought that the heads could be portraits of my partner and I.

Alcazar de Sevilla Art Print

The final process is the addition of colour digitally, and once I have the images I can proceed to create the final arrangement of the collage. I love creating formal symmetries and relations between the objects.One more step was the addition of the tile effect made with two superimposed ink drawings of a grid for the grouts and drawn scratches to form the usually chipped corners of the tiles.

Once completed I showed the final draft to some of my best friends. They got so excited that they commissioned me versions with their portraits and different colours and arrangement of objects.

art print titled Alcazar de Sevilla Sarah and Matthew by artist alej ez

Thank you for reading this short note.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss the commission of unique tile portrait.

15 thoughts on “Tile portrait commission. Alcazar de Sevilla”

  1. Alex, so touched by your thoughtfulness and also the explanation behind the beautiful design – and what a ‘love token’ to you and Simon. Thank you so much. Peter x

  2. Totally extraordinary that you should go this, and also give us an insight into this process & your thinking.
    Such a joy & beautiful colour, balance & shape.
    A glorious end to 2021.

  3. Feliz Navidad, Alejandro!
    What beautiful designs, with such lovely meaning and creative inspiration behind them.
    Best wishes, Rosie x

  4. “Mon ami”
    10 years ago i bought a print from you…. your work has evolved at light speed. What a sophisticated homage to your origins you did. So rich in style and colour. The card is simply splendid. So is your work. Celine Mike and Loulouxxxx

  5. Alej, what a treat to receive such a beautiful card, but then to my surprise I am also treated to the lovely story behind the design. How lovely for you to share such a jewel of Seville, I hope one day to go myself, you have inspired me. I really smiled to think of your family all collaborating with you to generate such lively imagery, which in turn you worked up into your this beautiful card. X

  6. It’s always such a joy to receive treats in the post from you Alej, and what a treat this card is. It’s wonderful to see your research and creative process, thank you for sharing this! I will treasure this card just as I treasure our friendship!
    Feliz Navidad!
    Scarlett x

  7. Hello my absolute love 💗 you make me art love and life all the more – thank you for doing us the honour of creating our alter ‘better’ egos xxx 😘

  8. Dear Alejandro, I was delighted and very touched to receive your card with a personal message. One of my treasures. I love the story behind it too. You are such a gentleman of heart.
    Simon’s photos on Instagram, opened my eyes to Sevilla. I lived in Madrid with family at age 17. We went to Santander for holidays. Husband and I made it to Granada. How fortunate you grew up in Sevilla with the biggest cathedral in Spain and Europe I believe. Tengo gañas a ir! Wishing you well with your career. I would very much like to see your work in person and meet you one day. Mil Gracias.

  9. As your partner knows (it’s where our friendship started) I am a ruthless reader, so that the ‘spiralling tales’ of your mermaids stopped me short. They could not be flicked or used as rudders, but must tell the miseries of bewildered sailors. You’ve made a beautiful and fascinating piece, and I love that it’s a template, into which other heads could be fitted – reminiscent of those painted boards at old fairgrounds and on seaside piers. It’s a wonderful advertisement for Sevilla, which I long to revisit.

    Happy Christmas, John

  10. Dear Alonjandro

    I’ve just opened the ‘square’ – I’ve never done this before!
    A wonderful start ro a new skill
    You have given me so much delight in the development of your design, the beauty of the various stages an the photographic grace notes
    Best wishes for a very happy and peaceful Christmas

    Love to you both

  11. Dear Alejandro – Thank you so much for your beautiful card, which I have just received following our return from the UK, spending much missed time in our beloved home town of Brighton. It was so lovely of you and the story behind it is just wonderful.
    We’ll be back in Brighton again next year so will be sure to pay you a visit and say hello.

    All the best – Kieran, Rob & The Sailor Crew


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