Monday, March 24, 2014

Sketchbook Journeys - Italy: Day 15 (From Cinque Terre to Pisa)

I squeezed in one last sketch of the harbor at Manarola on our last morning in Cinque Terre...

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

I used the angled fence of the pedestrian walkway to create a unique lower border on the sketch, and extended the fishing boats out into the white space to make things even more interesting.

Love those striped boat covers - so much fun to paint!

The shadows from the boats and the color of the water were what drew me to this scene. It was a beautiful day and the colors were bright and clear. I spent quite a bit of time drawing and painting this page on location, but eventually had to pack it in and head for the train. Our time in Cinque Terre was coming to an end.

As we rode the slow, lumbering regional train back to Pisa, I drew the little houses on this next page. Just a little something fun to remember all the colors of Italy.

I had two solid pages of journaling text on the next two pages, and I couldn't bear to leave them as boring black and white, so I masked off the edges and painted diagonal stripes across them.

After everything dried, I realized the paint was a little too intense, so I rewet the pages and sponged off some of the color to make it easier to read the text.

Read all about our silly adventures with the Italian train system :)

I peeled away the masking tape and stamped a simple border around the edges.

These pages went from ho-hum to happy and bright - much better! 

Tomorrow: My last day in Italy...and the Leaning Tower of Pisa!


  1. Leslie - wonderful sketches...I so enjoyed seeing all the lovely places you visited. Your houses of Tuscan made a great sketch of colors. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Oh Leslie, loved reading about your train & bus journey, ( lovely script with the coloured wash over it ) I'm sure it was a relief to finally get to your hotel.

    1. It was. We collapsed on our beds and just vegged out for an hour or so before moving again. But that piazza and leaning tower were definitely worth getting up for! So beautiful!

  3. Love the sketches. I had to laugh at your train travel stories...sorry. I once bought tickets from a machine in Venice to go visit a friend in Tuscany. When I got to the town she wasn't there. Only then did I find that there were two town with almost the same name, and I was at the wrong town. lol We did meet Rick Steves when we were in Vernazza. He was really nice and admired my paintings that I had done.


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