Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sketchbook Journeys - Italy: Day 9 (Rialto Market, Venice)

While winter winds howl outside and the temps hover around zero here in Pennsylvania, I've been contentedly ensconced in my studio, painting the colorful fruits and vegetables at the Rialto Market in Venice.  

10" x 7", ink & watercolor in Stillman & Birn Beta series sketchbook
I did the drawing on this page in Venice while being serenaded by a musical ensemble playing lovely Italian classics in the pavilion behind me. It was a cool morning, but the sun was warm as I sat watching Italian housewives buying their groceries for the day. Gondolas glided by on the Grand Canal. I almost had to pinch myself to believe it was all real.



The produce in Italy is absolutely gorgeous! Wandering through the market, I took a ridiculous number of pictures of asparagus, strawberries, beans, peppers, carrots, radicchio, and the prettiest purple baby artichokes you'd ever want to see. 

10" x 7", ink & watercolor in Stillman & Birn Beta series sketchbook

Heirloom tomatoes and radishes...

Oranges, peppers, and sugar peas...

Deep red strawberries...

Fresh asparagus...

and scallions...

I love how this page turned out. It's jam-packed with stuff, just like the fruit and vegetable stands at the Rialto Market. And it was fun trying a different sort of page layout. I penciled in the circles that day at the market and jotted down what I planned to paint in each of them, then I did my journaling that evening, leaving plenty of space around the text for borders or...something. Last week, when it came time to work on this page, I decided I had so many pretty pictures of fresh fruits and veggies that I wanted to include them all. I painted the tomatoes, oranges and strawberries in the circles, then, instead of a border, I squeezed the other vegetables in around the circles and text.

Now, on to the next page!


  1. Oh, I hope you went to the fish market too! When we were in Venice we shopped at both markets almost every day. You captured it perfectly with the vendor, the shoppers, and the wonderful array of produce.

    1. Yes, we wandered through all the markets. Those fish displays were something else - I didn't even know what half that stuff was! I took lots of pictures to show my family. They were totally grossed out by the octopus. :)


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