Stephanie Bower

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

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Orvieto Today...

This morning, I arrived in the hilltown of Orvieto by car, thanks to a happy coincidence that Felice, Margarita, and their grandaughter Chiara (from Seattle) were heading to the same place--grazie!

Orvieto is a lovely town, and its crowning glory is the Duomo, famous for its striped stone sides (enough to give me a migraine...), and it's glittering mosaic facade.

I sat and did 3 sketches of it today, two in color--cheating, as most of the church is cropped by a street! When I started, the facade was backlit, and when I needed to paint, there was already light hitting the, it gets a little heavy as I try to add shadows, then adjust the value of the street in front. I think I'll try this again tomorrow.

When I was just about finished, I looked down at my sketch and decided it would be nice to get a picture of me and the sketch in place, heard some english nearby, looked up, and asked the closest person if they would take my photo--amazingly, it happened to be the lovely actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (I had just seen her in a movie with Kevin Costner about two months ago, but did not let on that I recognized her), who very kindly took several shots from different angles, even retaking some after I tied back my wild, crazy-looking-woman-in-Italian-heat hair. If she ever reads this blog, grazie mille!

By late in the day, I sat in the Piazza Republica, ate a slice of pizza, and did a line drawing--I'll have to go back tomorrow evening to paint it, as the light was already gone when I was ready to paint!

Tomorrow, the museums and caves thanks to an all-museum pass from Ben Cameron!


  1. Geez, Stephanie, I think your sketches are STUNNING! This Duomo sketch is so striking with the strong lights and darks. All your sketches you've been doing on this trip have been so beautiful...such wonderful color, so nicely "sketchily!" It really shows that you are sketching daily!!

    1. Hi Peggy, thanks for this message--I hope you are enjoying the Italian summer in SEATTLE! As for the sketches, it's taken me a while to figure out the colors, and I still wrestle with getting the right color for shade and shadow. But I'm so glad you like them, thank you! And yes, sketching and resketching helps a lot...