Sketching After Morning Tours

I've tried to get in the habit of sketching after our morning tours. We tend to do lengthy walking tours (usually 3+ hours) in the morning when it's relatively cool and we're all relatively well-rested. At the end of the tours, we're often in some part of town that I might not visit otherwise. And, at the end of the tours, I'm usually very eager to stop walking or standing and just sit somewhere for a little while. All this creates ideal conditions for sketching, and shown here are a couple efforts that came directly from these situations. The first is one of the 13 obelisks currently standing in Rome. This particular one is in the Villa Celimontana, and it's just the top third that's actually a chunk of an obelisk, sitting on a granite shaft below. This one is from the Temple of Isis (one of a pair with the obelisk in Piazza della Rotonda), and is the smallest obelisk in Rome. It was nice to take my time with this sketch ... for some reason I've been shying away from watercolor in favor of pencil sketches, but this one helped to break the ice a little.

This sketch is from a bus stop adjacent to Piazza Venezia. It's a rather chaotic part of town, so it had never really appealed to me as a sketch subject before. But it seemed like a nice spot to sit, rest my feet, and watch Rome swirl around me. Lots going on in this drawing, so it was a struggle to avoid too much detail.

Next up ... a couple watercolors from Ostia Antica.


Sketching with Luc

Last week I was able to meet up and sketch with my friend Luciano Cisi here in Rome. Luc lives a little distance outside the city, so it was very kind of him to fight the traffic and drive into town to meet me at the Campidoglio. We sketched there for a little while, until it seemed that the piazza was being overrun by polizia and carabinieri who were apparently preparing to greet some sort of protest march. There are interesting political changes happening here in Italy at the moment ... party politics in the wake of the ongoing Berlusconi drama, as well as a burgeoning anti-nuke movement and an effort to prevent the privitization of public water supplies. Good reasons to get out into the streets, but Luc and I were more interested in doing some sketching.

After a short break for something to drink at a nice little cafe adjacent to the Tarpeian Rock, we headed over to Santa Maria in Cosmedin for one more drawing before Luc had to drive back to Latina. We were interrupted several times by tourists looking for directions ... often to places that were clear across the city. But we managed to finish up before too long, and said our goodbyes until next time - hopefully just a little later this summer!

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