Since I taught two week-long workshops at Fattoria Bacio this past year, I had two visits to Certaldo alto, so I got lots of sketching done. On this page I included the delicious lunch I had at Taverna L'Antica Fonte. It's a cute little restaurant perched on the edge of a hill and has panoramic views of the Tuscan countryside.
|View from L'Antica Fonte in Certaldo alto|
This little terra cotta cherub sculpture I saw on the wall of a shop was so cute I couldn't resist adding it to my page.
Can you find it in this photo of Certaldo alto's main street?
A cup of cappuccino is good any time of the day. Normally caffeine in the afternoon would keep me awake all night, but in Italy it seems I always sleep like a baby. Maybe it's because we do so much walking during the day. Or could it just be that there's magic in the air?
I captured a slice of that panoramic view we saw at lunch in this sketch....
This page is a great example of why it is a good idea to narrow your focus when sketching onsite. I couldn't paint everything I wanted to, so I chose a few favorite scenes and put them all together to give an impression of my day in Certaldo.
In contrast, this next page features just one scene, but it has EVERYTHING in it: a fountain, a castle, a tile roof, blue chairs, people sketching, an umbrella, bushes, and, yes, even a herd of turtles!
I really think I overdid it here. In trying to include everything, I lost my focus. Oh, well, live and learn.
Those are my buddies Linda, Cathy, and Cindy working in their sketchbooks.
To paint the water in the fountain, I masked it with Pebeo masking fluid before painting the background foliage. After the masking fluid was removed I added a few touches of grey-blue to the stark white.
|(The text is continued on the next page, which isn't quite finished, so you'll have to wait to read more about the turtles.)|
The landscape in the upper right corner is only about 1 1/2" x 4" wide, but it sets the scene and serves to illustrate the words on the page.
For this next sketch, I climbed the tower at Giovanni Boccaccio's home (now a museum). Boccaccio was a poet and the author of The Decameron, a masterpiece of early Italian writing. The view from his tower is pretty amazing.
|A colorful underwash brightened up this scene filled with greens and browns.|
You can see the rooftops of the old town, where everything looks much as it did in the 14th century....
as well as the modern city with its cars, trains, supermarkets and schools.
Certaldo alto is one of those non-touristy places that are challenging to find on your own. I'm so glad I had my friends Teja and Claudia from Artravelitaly to show us the way and organize everything so flawlessly for us.
|Claudia, me, and Teja|
I'll be teaching another Tuscany workshop next fall, September 23-30, 2017, and I'm looking forward to seeing my Italian friends again and enjoying another perfect week at Fattoria Bacio. There are still some spaces left - why not come along? It's a dream vacation, one you'll never forget. Click here for more details.