Stephanie Bower

Stephanie Bower | Architectural Illustration: | Sketching Workshops: | Sketches: on Instagram at @stephanieabower & | Urban Sketchers Blog Correspondent | Signature member of the Northwest Watercolor Society

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Four Views of the Piazza San Donato

I've been spending lots of time in Civita trying to learn about its architectural history. Lots of books, including some I stumble through in Italian, lots of walking around, and a fair amount of sketching (although I need to do more). 

The main piazza here was an Etruscan then Roman forum nearly 3000 years ago, and it is still the heart of all the activity in this tiny town.  Tonight, there is a jazz concert here, and the entire town and visitors will turn out in the piazza.

I decided to do a series of wide angle drawings of this ancient space, with notes that would describe some of the buildings whose history I was learning about.  Here are four images of the Piazza San Donato, one view in each direction, turning counter clock-wise. My favorite is the last one.  I hope to do more project drawings in this same format.

And you can see how I eventually figured out the color palette, including shadows and shade-- a lot more gray than I expected! And I switched from Burnt Sienna to Quinacridone Burnt Orange for the glow...

Looking East toward the Chiesa San Donato
Looking North toward the medieval Priest's House and prison
Looking West toward the medieval house turned Town Hall in the Renaissance.
Looking South toward the grand Palazzo Alemanni


  1. I am so enjoying your Civita project. Thanks for sharing your drawings, which are beautiful, and your research.

    1. Thank you so much, Lynn! I have so many more to post, I need to get busy! The opportunity to learn about this place is so amazing and I really can't wait to have people using the walking guide, as the many many visitors have almost no idea what they are looking at. It is tough to be here by myself, though, I miss my friends and family a lot! So thanks so much for this helps to keep me going...

  2. These are gorgeous!!! I can't wait for next year's workshop :D

  3. Beautiful sketches and I love that you are identifying the buildings too. Your guide will be lovely!