Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Italian Sketchbook

Church in Pescara, watercolor
Happy PPF a bit early! I have to work early in the morning, so thought I would get this posted before I go to bed tonight. Finally photographed my sketchbook from Italy, pitiful showing for two and a half weeks, though we were busy going here and there! And I have over 3,000 photographs to work from in the future.

Most of these are from a lovely 8x10 sketch book that John gave us when we arrived at The Retreat. It took the watercolor surprisingly well, with minimal buckling.

Street in Force, watercolor & ink

Fountain in Vittoria, pencil
Grape study, watercolor
Ivy takes a nap at the beach, pencil
Archway, Montifortino, watercolor

Force, pen & ink
rustico at dawn, watercolor
The beach at San Georgio, pencil


San Taddeo, watercolor

Field of Sunflowers

View of Montifortino from Mt. Sibillini

Wine Jugs, the big one is about 35 litres or more

water study, 16x20 handmade paper watercolor
San Taddeo, 16x20, handmade paper, watercolor

These last two, San Taddeo and the water study are done on luscious handmade paper that I bought at the paper making museum, made right there. They have a rough surface and a lot of sizing so they barely buckled when I did the big sky washes. I don't usually go for rough paper, but this was great for the stone texture. I bought about 20 large and 20 small sheets, along with some sheets that are colored but not as thick. I haven't tried them all out yet. 


  1. These are wonderful, I'd say you had a great time in Italy!

  2. Awesome! Wow! Just wonderful work ~ ^_^ ~namaste, Carol (Share the Creative Journey) Happy PPF

  3. Oh, gorgeous! I love the first church, the grapes, the green bottles and that last one the best. They really just jump out at me. You captured Italy beautifully! Happy PPF!

  4. oh Mary, how wonderful! Not only that you could paint in Italy, which must have been magical....but your sketchbook is awesome!! Those glass jugs are beautiful! I love the sketch of your friend sleeping on the beach, and the sunflowers, and....Oh I wish I could see it all in person! Great job. Happy PPF! :-)

  5. oh my gosh how beautiful,, where do I start I love them all, the green glass , the grapes, the buildings,,,, just amazing!

  6. What an amazing sketchbook filled with fantastic places and memories! Happy PPF! POP ART MINIS

  7. Oh wow they are all fantastic. Happy PPF, Annette x

  8. Hardly a pitiful showing!! You really captured Italy so well - colour, pace of life, warmth. And 3,000 shots of inspiration waiting... lucky you!!

  9. Such beautiful work, I especially love the 'street in Force' and the 'archway'~

    // - T.W -

  10. beautiful sketches inspired by your trip to Italy!

  11. oh wow... i am speechless by the beauty of your sketches and watercolor. You are already an urban sketcher who sketch on location! Makes me wonder how long it takes you to draw each place or things you see with the colors? I am learning to draw on location too. Great work!

  12. What an INCREDIBLE way to commemorate your trip! These are all beautiful, and I'm sure each one has it's own special memories for you!
    Happy PPF (a day late ;))

  13. Hi Mary,

    These are fantastic! What a great trip and what fabulous painted memories. Your painting are awesome!

  14. These are gorgeous sketches - it looks like you were in a beautiful place. I'd love to visit Italy (been to Rome once but I mean some of the gorgeous little village in Tuscany). You mentioned on my blog that you normally work over the whole drawing at once and then add darker. because mine are made up of individual dots, it's easier to do one area at a time to create definition but I'll still have to go over it all at the end to add more dark areas - it really is a labour of love using stippling!! I think if I was using graphite pencil I would probably do the same as you and work over the whole drawing at once. Anyway, I'll look forward to seeing some of the 3,000 odd photos you have get turned into more artwork!

  15. P.S. Mary, your link is broken on PPF - maybe you'd like to re-link it? :)
    (Unfortunately I'm not sure how to edit it for you)

  16. I just adore all these sketches! It must have been amazing at the retreat. :)

  17. Such beautiful work!! Love the fountain!!

  18. Wow, you are so talented, these are ALL incredibly gorgeous! Thanks for the tour, it was like being there on retreat with you!!!Awesome! Deb

  19. Oh my goodness...these are fantastic. I really like them all, but I love the church! Looking forward to seeing more inspired pieces from the 3,000!

  20. Your works are wonderful and it sounds like you have an endless supply of inspiration from photos and memory! Happy PPF!