Friday, February 7, 2014

Sketchbook Journeys - Italy: Day 10 (Sketching in Lupia)

After spending the morning at the market in Vicenza, we decided to take it easy in the afternoon. It was our last day in Northern Italy - we'd be leaving the next morning for Tuscany - and we wanted to do a little sketching.

10" x 7", watercolor and brown Pigma Micron pen in Stillman & Birn Beta series sketchbook

We had passed this scene in Lupia many times in our wanderings, but this time we stopped, got out our stools and supplies, and took twenty minutes to record it in our journals.

I loved peeking at the secret world beyond the old stone archway. The wrought iron gates were open, and I was sorely tempted to walk right in and go exploring, but I stayed on my side of the wall, like the well-behaved  tourist that I am, and contented myself with looking at it from afar.

I decided to experiment a bit and only paint the colorful scene that was framed by the arch, since that is the focus of the picture, leaving the dull gray walls and arch unpainted. What do you think? Should I leave it this way or go ahead and paint the surrounding buildings and wall? My impulse is to "finish" it by painting everything, but I'm trying to resist.

I'd like your opinion. Does it look good this way, or would it be improved by adding color to the rest of the picture? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Remember...leaving a comment will also enter you in my


  1. don't touch it, it's done and I like it just the way it is.

  2. Do NOT touch it,,, the arch outline has made it's mark, and draws the eye in. Love it.

  3. Had to look at it awhile, but think if you added more it would take away from the draw you in feel.

  4. I like the effect of moving into the color!

  5. Please leave it exactly the way it is. It looks like you had just enough time to capture that moment before heading on to more adventures. It has character. It seems to talk to me like, "Hey, look over here."

  6. I do like the way the arch guides you into the COI and make it look even richer color wise. I think adding color would change the feel of this a bit...but I can understand your urge to add color...I would feel that tug too.

  7. Thanks for the input, everyone. I guess it's unanimous - I'll leave it as is!
    And I'll enter you all in the "Italy Sketch Giveaway" for February. :)

  8. If you look up Lizzie Napoli, a French artist who creates lovely travel journal books (some are on Amazon too) you will see how she leaves lots of white...She's one of my favorite illustrators. So, I agree with the others, part of the charm of this image is the white that makes you peek in...


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