Italy and France Sketchbook

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I’ve been away! I went to Italy, and then to France, but don’t worry- I’m back in horrible old rainy London now. I went to Italy for a painting residency thing as part of my postgrad course, along with all my classmates, and then I came back overland through Tuscany and then up to France. I went to ten different places in total. TEN! It was great fun and I ate ice cream every single day. I also did plenty of drawing in my sketchbook- a small selection of which I’ve scanned in for your entertainment (there’s also more drawing and painting, lots more of it, but it’s staying hidden for the moment). So like a tiresome uncle sitting you down and making you look through hundreds of holiday photos, I’m going to force you to get comfortable and endure all the things that I’ve been looking at. Here they are:

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This one is in Pisa- the one at the top is in Pisa too. I didn’t take any photos of the leaning tower, unfortunately- and I felt like drawing those optical illusion tricks would just be cheating.

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Here’s a fat woman in Pisa, eating in a restaurant

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Some more people in a bar

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Near Pisa, there’s a town called Castiglioncello, a very idyllic seaside town, which I went to with my pal Tim. Here’s a picture of him drawing a picture there, and below, a bit of the sea that we were swimming in.italy and france_0006

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Then I rejoined my classmates and went by bus to a villa in the hills of Tuscany. What happened there was mostly painting of landscapes, for unbearable hour after hour of the day! And those paintings will almost certainly never be shown to anyone, they’re dreadful. But there are a few drawings- above, is a picture of us all eating dinner together. The Tuscan landscapes I can take or leave, but the Tuscan cooking makes up for them.

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On one occasion we were forced not just to paint Tuscan landscapes, but paint Tuscan landscapes by night. I resisted, and instead drew my classmates, who were painting in the dark.

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Also there was a pool, in which proper non-artist guests at the villa were allowed to swim, while we were allowed only to look longingly at it, like Dickensian orphans. They didn’t say anything about drawing it though, so here’s someone in the pool.

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Also, a sulking teenager not in the pool.

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Also, a man cleaning the pool. He had a funny little electric robot which drove around on the bottom all by itself, cleaning it and bumping into the walls.

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Lastly, the owner of the villa! He was very generous in letting us stay there, and letting us eat his delicious food. He himself smoked cigars and drove a little vintage fiat, as shown.

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Onwards now, to Siena, a completely stunningly beautiful city where nothing has happened in 500 years, except tourism.

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Here are some tourists outside a cathedral. This drawing earned me the startling praise of “you’re so good at this, you could draw people’s pictures in the street, like, for money”. Well thankyou.

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Here are some more tourists, lounging in the street. Lounging!

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And hundreds and hundreds of tourists taking photos of the piazza and such things.

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That’s the kind of thing they were taking pictures of- it is quite beautiful there!

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Onwards now, to Bologna! While I was in each of the following places for longer, I was doing more relaxed touristy things- and for the sake of efficiency, I will show only a few drawings from each place.

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Here is a street in Bologna- it’s so idyllic, all I could do was have aperitivo and relax.

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Next, Florence! That there is the cathedral, which looks like an icing covered cake.

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Here are the tourists, who swarm at the icing covered cake like children.

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These are some people working in an ice cream parlour. Wowee, the ice cream! Best thing about Italy, definitely. You can have the beauty, I’ll have the ice cream.

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Here are some people drinking and eating in Florence too, next to a very noble statue.

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Aaaaaand full steam ahead now- to Lucca. Big beautiful walls around Lucca, and a creamy, gelato-y centre. This is a palazzo, as seen from the walls.

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And a square, with people watching some sort of outdoor theatre thing.

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Next I went to Genoa. Strangely, I only have one drawing from Genoa, of a tourist in yellow hot pants, but I think it’s the best drawing from the entire trip. (also in Genoa is an exhibition of Gipi’s artwork- if you happen to be there, you MUST go to it)

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Next next, I went over the border and into Nice- which is nice. Lots of sitting on beaches, drawing hot sweaty people!

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After Nice, Avignon! Idyllic, but dull…italy and france_0028

There’s some more Avignon street.

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And lastly, Lyon! Where I ate the most delicious food and ice cream. That’s all the drawings for now- but there will be more coming up soon.. Au revoir



Filed under Drawing, Sketchbook

2 responses to “Italy and France Sketchbook

  1. brillant drawings, I would LOVE to get my hands on your sketchbook-travel diary. Thank you so much for sharing.
    May I ask whats the format of your drawings?

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