Thursday, December 1, 2016

Tuscan Hills Sketch + GIVEAWAY

It felt good to finally arrive at Fattoria Bacio and have a chance to settle in for two full weeks.

Home Sweet Home...temporarily
We made it!
It was as beautiful as ever...


And there were just as many cats as last year, if not more.

Kitties routinely get dropped off at Fattoria Bacio, and the owners, Alberto and Patrizia, don't have the heart to turn them away 

Our first evening was spent sampling wines from the surrounding vineyards while getting to know each other and being introduced to the program for the week.



The next day we got down to business and had our first instructional time in the studio, then headed outside to paint the beautiful view...


Most of us painted this scene...


while some chose a spot of their own...

Jan sketching the view

Here's the sketch my friend, Jan Shipe, did from her perch on the porch. I like it so much that I begged her to let me share it with you. Thanks, Jan!

The Pine Grove at Fattoria Bacio by Jan Shipe

I chose to do a vignette of the vineyards across the valley, but instead of using my Platinum Carbon fountain pen, which is my go-to tool these days, I did my drawing with a Tombow #977 Saddle Brown felt-tip pen. After the drawing was completed, I applied watercolor with a size 8 brush, to keep things fairly loose, talking the students through the process as we sketched together. Some of the students were brand new to sketching, but they dove right in and gave it a try and were quite pleased with the results!

10" x 7", ink & watercolor in a Handbook Field Watercolor Journal

Tombow pens are water-soluble, so when watercolor is applied over top of the lines, they blend in, leaving just a hint of color.

Detail

My lettering was done with a pointed nib dip pen later at home. I'm just learning how to use a dip pen, and I still need a lot of practice, but I love the look of the blended watercolor lettering that coordinates with the colors in my sketch.


We took a break for a wine-tasting outdoors under the huge chestnut tree on the lawn...


and had traditional Tuscan beans on crostini drizzled with olive oil, to go with the wine.


Then it was time for lunch...so fresh and delicious!


The ladies were feeling pretty happy by the time they finished their sketches (and had a few more glasses of that wonderful villa vino).


It was a full first day with lots of informative lessons, good food, and relaxed painting time. We could hardly believe how lucky we were to be in this amazing place...


I'll be returning to teach in Tuscany again next September - why not join me? Click here for details. Or check out my other European workshops in Provence and the Greek Isles

And don't forget to enter the
DECEMBER GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a set of five American Journey Interlocked Synthetic Brushes (a $38.69 value) plus a handy Cheap Joe's Folding Brush Holder (a $14.69 value) to keep them all in, courtesy of the friendly folks at Cheap Joe's Art Stuff.

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment on one or all of the seven sketches I'll be posting between November 27 and December 3. Yes, you may enter multiple times! 

The drawing will be held on December 7, 2016.

Each day I'll ask a question that you can answer in the comments, if you like. Today's question is...

What makes you smile?

Leave your comment below, and good luck!

40 comments:

  1. The first warm no-sweater day in the spring makes me smile.

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    Replies
    1. You're so right about that. What a delicious feeling when that warm spring sunshine beats down on you.

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  2. In the spring when the mockingbird and small wrens start singing their wonderful greetings every morning.

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    Replies
    1. The birds do sound different in the spring, and they seem to be singing their little hearts out. I guess they're as happy as we are that winter is over.

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  3. A picture of my great-nephew on Santa's lap, slightly bewildered.....

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    1. My little grandchildren want nothing to do with Santa - they're very leery of him. I can't really blame them. The whole idea of sitting on a stranger's lap is kind of off-putting - I know I wouldn't want to do it! :)

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  4. PUPPIES!! (and really any animals at all ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Agreed! How can anyone look at a puppy and not smile?

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  5. Our grandchildren. They love spending time in my studio with me.

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    Replies
    1. You're a lucky lady. Aren't grandchildren the best?

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  6. Winter makes me smile: snow flakes, warm wood stove, children anticipating Christmas, cookie baking, I even love shoveling snow!

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    Replies
    1. I agree, shoveling snow can be very satisfying. I'm really looking forward to the first big snow of the season. I love to cozy up inside and watch it fall. It's so exciting, wondering how much we'll get. And then it's so beautiful afterwards. Love it!

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  7. My grandkids! Even though they are all grown up and already adults!

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  8. Reading blogs such as yours makes me smile. Tuscany looks beautiful and what wonderful pictures. So glad you shared. Have a great weekend.

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  9. No contest: my sweet grandson makes me smile and he melts my heart.

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    Replies
    1. I know what you mean. Sometimes my heart feels so full with my love for them that I feel like crying. It moves me so.

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  10. Being out in the warm sunshine painting makes me smile

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  11. What makes me smile? Your posts of both delightful journeys and sketches for one! And, today I was out saying goodbye to one of my girls when a Bewick's wren started attacking the suet block and making what seems to be a Pewik call. It sounded like it was happy with its food.

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  12. Everything that warms my heart when I see it. Greetings, Leslie! :)

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    1. Love hearing from you, Shirley! I was just thinking of you the other day. I'm hoping we'll have a chance to reconnect one of these days, maybe when I come to California to teach in February?

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    2. Yes! I'll try my best. That'll be a lot easier than me visiting you at Summerhill :D

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  13. First cup of coffee and the start of a brand new day! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Mmmm, coffee....
      I love to come downstairs in the morning, make a cup of coffee and go into my studio for an hour or two to paint. That's my definition of a perfect morning.

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  14. Kitties and learning how to do your lettering would make me smile!
    I always smile at your adventures...

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  15. The sun on my face on a cool clear fall day. It's bliss!

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  16. Sitting in my living room, drinking a cup of tea with my Christmas Tree lit and watching Hallmark Christmas movies!

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  17. The spontaneous delighted laughter of my daughter...soon to be 30, but still gets a giggle out of the silliest things...

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  18. I saw your sketch on Facebook. Love how you render water!

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  19. The beauty of nature always makes me smile! I especially enjoy catching a colorful sunrise or sunset painted by the Master creator. ;)

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  20. Thanks so much for sharing all your smile-inducing delights. Your comments make me smile!

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  21. My kids and their pets make me smile.

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  22. My dog and animals in general make me smile and warm my heart.

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  23. my pets make me smile; love the watercolor art

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  24. Cute puppies and kitties! I loved that donkey and goat playing by the way!
    Elaine in Bradenton, FL

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