We started sketching class yesterday at Piazza di Spagna (aka the "Spanish Steps"), and I spent my time helping students - it's a very challenging subject. When we broke for lunch, I scooted ahead to do a sketch of the Palazzina di Pio IV, which turns the corner with a beautiful composition of engaged columns, inscribed tablets, and a fountain at the base. My students caught up and started gathering around just as I was beginning to put down the first washes. I sort of rushed it at the end, but was still happy with the result.
Next we walked down the street to the Villa Giulia, built for Julius III in 1550-55, and designed be Vignola, Vasari, and Ammannati ... "with some help from Michelangelo," or so says my guidebook. It contains the national museum of Etruscan antiquities - though I suppose it's redundant to say "Etruscan antiquities," because, if it was made by Etruscans, then it must be ancient. The museum is very interesting, but the villa is really fascinating. The organization of the plan and the way the nymphaeum drops in section ... it's a sequence of spaces that's impossible to capture in one or two perspectives, so I opted for a plan/section/paraline combination. It was a great challenge!
I teach architecture at the University of Idaho - design studios, architectural graphics courses, and a professional practice course. One of my passions outside of teaching ... and music, and plants, and mycology, and ... is observing and understanding the world through sketching with various media, such as pencil, pen, charcoal and watercolor. Passing along the same skill and interest to students is a goal I've pursued through my teaching here in Moscow, Idaho, and through an 8-week study-abroad program in Rome each summer.