Call us crazy, but we are seriously entertaining the idea of returning to Italy next year-- with a toddler along for the ride. I am not really certain where we will go or how this will work with me painting, us touring, and one of us being only 3 1/2, but the fact that we are seriously talking about it seems fairly miraculous in and of itself. Every time I go through my photos and sketches of past travels, I end up wanting to return to this region or that region, and I am no closer to settling on a destination than when we started talking about this trip last winter. And then there are the places we haven't even gotten to yet. Each part of Italy seems to have its own alluring qualities, unique to themselves but quintessentially Italian.
Lake Como remains near the top of my list (so far) in terms of sheer beauty and aesthetic pleasure. It's not heavily endowed with art history or artifacts, (compared to, say, Rome, Florence, or Venice) but what it lacks in museums it makes up for in natural beauty and storybook enchantment.
This is a quick sketch of a composition I have been playing around with for a little while. It is of a little cafe set upon a pier in Pescallo. Not a great photo, but hopefully you get the general idea.
This was drawn to scale on my sketchpad so that when I "scale up" that there will not be a great distortion when I put it to canvas. There will still be some adjustments along the way, but by remaining in the same format, there shouldn't be any major surprises.
Here is the line composition drawn out in oil (burnt sienna) on canvas. I do some toning here to work out a value pattern, but it's not a 100% tonal drawing-- just enough to cement my concept in my mind and get me excited about the piece.
Stay tuned for more to come soon as the painting progresses.