Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Sketches from Croatia - Part 3 - Konavle & Cavtat

One of the most memorable meals of my Croatia trip was at an out-of-the-way place about an hour from Dubrovnik. Our villa host had recommended the restaurant, but she didn't prepare us for the very different experience that awaited us at Konoba Vinica Monkovic.


A 20-minute Uber ride took us south from Cilipi, through fertile valleys bordered by soaring mountains.


When we arrived at the restaurant, located out in the country off-the-beaten-track, our handsome young waiter led us across the road and through the woods to a shallow creek where our table was set up on a wooden platform under an arched bridge. To reach it we had to "walk the plank" across a slow-moving stream where fish swam lazily in the clear, cool water.


We were welcomed with a complimentary liqueur tasting - my favorite was the sherry.


We spent hours wining and dining, chatting, and enjoying the peaceful ambience of that special place. We were all so tickled about the whole experience of eating outside in a secluded place, over a stream, under a bridge. My friend Teresa spoke for all of us when she said, "This is a peak life experience!" These are the best kinds of memories to take home from a trip, those serendipitous events that turn out to be better than you could have ever imagined.

Our lunchtime view

Our happy days at the villa came to an end the next day when we moved to nearby Cavtat to meet the rest of the tour group and begin the workshop. We had some free time in the afternoon before our welcome dinner that evening, so we meandered around town, did a little shopping, and had a yummy gelato. The day had started out sunny, but a storm blew in late that afternoon and we took refuge at the apartment where two of our group were staying. We sat on their balcony overlooking the harbor, watching the sky darken and the water get choppy, then soon the rains came. But not before I had drawn the scene, complete with drinks that we had ordered from the restaurant below.


Sketching hint: Use a wide border to decrease the size of your sketch and make it more easily finished in a limited time. One of my goals on this trip was to come home with completed sketches, not just drawings waiting to be painted. So I kept this sketch small and manageable, enabling me to finish all but the blue border while I sipped my gin and tonic on the balcony that day in Cavtat. I added the painted border during a free afternoon later in the trip. (This post has a description of the technique I used.) Check one sketch off my to-do list!

We got to meet the rest of the workshop group at dinner that night, then we all headed to bed, anxious to set off for the island of Korcula the next day.

Coming up next: Sketches from Korcula island

For information about my September 2020 workshop in Croatia, click here. To register early and be assured of a great room, click here. Don't miss out - it's filling already!

3 comments:

  1. I LOVE how beautifully you paint liquids. I have such a problem with them!

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  2. Funny you should say that. I always feel like I don't know what I'm doing when I have to paint liquids. :) But I just muddle my way through it and do the best I can. I guess they turn out okay - at least they're recognizable!

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  3. Wow, Leslie, this looks like an absolute trip of a lifetime! I’m so glad you got to experience it all with your mom, good friends, and great sketching. I don’t know why, but I haven’t been getting your blog post notifications, so it was so nice to pop in here this morning and catch up with the last four posts. Thank you for the tips and all the beautiful photos and art work to soak in. Croatia is definitely on my wish list of places to visit!

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