Stephanie Bower

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

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

And suddenly...Italy!!!

Even though I've been preparing for this workshop for about a year, it somehow caught me by surprise when it was time to pack and jet off to Italy! This will be my 5th summer of teaching in Civita, and this year, there will be two, 5-day workshops almost back-to-back!

Most instructors will tell you it's important to arrive early to a new teaching location when get used to all the variables that change from one place to another: the dryness of the air and how that impacts painting (in Singapore, I remember Gail Wong having to rethink how she would teach her workshop, as the air was so humid that the paint would not dry!), to figure out the colors of a new place (I had a real ah-ha moment when I started using Raw Umber (W&N) in Italy...duh, Umber in UMBRIA!), and to generally warm up your sketching hand before you have to draw on demand for workshop participants (instructors notoriously do their worst work when teaching!)

I arrived in Italy yesterday and challenged myself today to do as much as I could here in the beautiful hill town of Orvieto. I have been here several times before, so I knew my way around...that helped! And it's close to where I'll teach the workshops, which is where I'll head tomorrow. It usually takes me about a week of sketching to get the right "feel" for a place, but as it turns out, today was a good day! 

Spectacular view from my hotel room, this was last
night's moon shining on the famous Duomo,
after all the crowds were gone.
This is the first time I've used this new size (7"x10") of my favorite sketchbook, the Pentalic Aquajournal (descriptions are on my blog). I love this paper, as I can draw in pencil easily on it, and since it is a true 140lb cold press paper, it takes watercolor really well. I was worried I hadn't brought enough paper for 5.5 weeks of sketching, so I had the idea this morning to do four across the spread.

This is the order in which they were done, reading left to right:  1 -- 4 -- 2 -- 3.  I'm super happy with how these turned out individually and collectively, maybe I should sketch with jet lag more often!

I'll be making lots of quick posts on Facebook and Instagram (@stephanieabower), as well as posting images and photos on Flickr...should you want to follow along! Ciao!!

The sketch on the far right was my favorite of the day...I love that yellow sky and
how the paints dried with some texture...

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