The Coast Road Diorama – Part 1

One of the challenges we all face is squeezing reality into a small space.   We could pick a sliver of reality to turn into a scale model.  Or we could boil it down to its essence.  We can convey the spirit of the place and give ourselves the freedom to work in our small space.  The Cost Road Diorama shows us one inventive way to comfortably seat miles of winding highway in a few inches.


A beautiful coast road snakes between Sitges and Castelldefels in Catalonia.  It is called Las Curvas del Garraf,  The Garraf Curves.  Known by the more prosaic name C-31  Castelldefels-Sitges, it rides the edge of the Garraf providing stunning views of the Mediterranean.

Most of us will never get a chance to drive this road ourselves, but we can experience it through a video.

Inspiration Not Duplication

The Garraf Curves are the inspiration for a diorama by Jose at wikislot.  Here he does not strive for photo-realism. Rather, he captures the signature elements of the road  – the  barrier wall, cliffs, and sea.  From these elements he creates a diorama which distills the Garraf Curves

Diorama Major Structural Elements

The basic shape of the roadway and cliff are created using cardboard and  expanded foam block.  Once these are in place he creates the cliff face using paper mache and gesso. The wall is made from air-dry clay.  Finally, the exposed tableau base will turn into the sea in a later video.

First Painting

Once the structural diorama elements are in place, he moves on to painting.  The roadway is given a flat black undercoat.  The cliff face is painted using the color cues from pictures of the road. 

Jose uses a paper towel technique to weather the rocks.  A strong wash of gray paint is applied over the rock face.  Then he uses a paper towel to remove the excess.  This leaves  color in the creases creating the weathered effect.


Capturing Las Curvas del Garraf


Additional Resources

There are lots of other roads available at the Roads of Europe(verreme).

Posted in Diorama.