At the Xochicalco Pyramids

At the Xochicalco Pyramids by Sarah Sullivan

At the Xochicalco Pyramids

We went to the Archaeological Monument of Xochicalco, which features the ruins of a huge commercial and religious center of the Olmeca-Xicallanca people. There is a museum and extensive excavated ruins of what once was a very large town constructed mostly of stone. Portions of the ruins are reconstructed and visitors are allowed to climb on these parts. The monument was filled with families and tour groups. My goal with this sketch was to communicate what an amazing place this is and the appreciation people seemed to feel for it.

This was a challenging composition and I drew it several times before I was somewhat satisfied. There were many people visiting the monument and at first I put in so many of them that the pyramid was overshadowed. Additionally, the now faded relief carvings on the side of the pyramids are important in signifying the importance of the site but when I painted them as they seemed, the pyramids were understated. Eventually I reduced the number of people and then both abstracted and emphasized the carvings and stones, and that seemed to communicate my feelings about Xochicalco better.

This is a pastel and gouache sketch on black paper. 

About Sarah Sullivan
This entry was posted in Deliberate Practice, Landscape, Telling a Story and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to At the Xochicalco Pyramids

  1. tprevey says:

    Love the strong design pattern of the pyramid and the figures on the stairs!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sheila Greer says:

    A very complex rendering, Sarah! I would have been “all over that place” but in a different non-art way…..LOL. Today was Annette’s last Figure Drawing Class. Made me sad…… for the fact that it was the last class, AND that both you and Karen were missing. Look forward to more of your wonderful art!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Charlie Jaffe says:

    Hi Sally, I have been Following your travels via your drawings. I love them. They remind me a great deal of my grandma’s drawings. I am going to be in Cuernavace later this summer and have added the pyramids to my schedule.

    Liked by 1 person

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