The villa is perched on top of a hill, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. One pretty fall morning, I walked out along the ridge, about 1/4 mile from the villa, and found a spot that gave me a great view of our temporary home.
I started with a very rough pencil sketch, just to block in the major shapes of the fields and buildings, then I inked it with my Platinum Carbon fountain pen filled with Platinum Carbon ink.
|10" x 7" Stillman and Birn Beta series sketchbook|
I applied the first washes of color, starting with the sky and painting it wet-in-wet, then I let it dry before starting on the landscape. For the base wash on the landscape, I primarily used olive green and raw sienna. Wetting the page along the lower edge of my drawing allowed the paint to run, giving it a soft, diffused look.
Next, I painted a base color on the olive groves, then began adding medium value tones to everything. I indicated the rows of grapevines by letting my round brush dance across the page, creating irregular lines.
Next, I filled in the palest shades of color on the buildings.
Spots of darker color were added to window openings, roof overhangs, bushes, and the large tree.
Or was it?
After I got back home, I took a look at the page. I liked the sketch but kept debating about whether or not I should add some hand lettering. I liked the vignette effect I had achieved, but I kept thinking the page needed a little something more.
So I added a title...
and then played around with some options for a small decorative element to set off the lettering, finally deciding on this one...
Here's the final result...
|10" x 7", ink & watercolor in a Stillman and Birn Beta series sketchbook|