Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Vacation Sketches

Here's a few more sketches from the vacation. There's three or four more apart from this, but they are in varying stages of completion (I took some reference photos so that I'd be able to finish some of them, but I don't like to take reference photos of people. For one thing it's rude, and for another thing it forces me to draw quickly before the subject buggers off).

This is a sketch from our hotel balcony in Viterbo. If there's one thing that I think I would truly enjoy, it would be a quiet spot above a semi-busy street where I could sit and watch people on a warm summer evening. Neil sat beside me with his camera, watching pigeons roosting across the street and taking long-exposure photos in the dark, while I tried to sketch people below us. This was a guy standing outside a pizzeria, waiting for his friend who had just stepped in for a few minutes, and having a smoke.

A week (and a few unfinished sketches) later, Neil and I were hiding from a downpour under an overhang in Orvieto. It was right beside a bus stop, so there was a small crowd of people there, waiting for buses or tours or for the rain to stop so that they could run home. This was a dapper old Italian man who was having a great time joking around with some older Italian ladies. Eventually they broke into a song and did some dancing. They looked like they were having great fun.

A couple days after, we wandered around the Palazzo Pitti museums in Florence. We were worn out long before we had a chance to see everything. This was a tourist I sketched out during a rest stop.

We had to hide in the waiting room of the train station in Florence. We sat outside for a bit, but then we got waylaid by someone trying to bum a cigarette off us. He couldn't understand that we were non-smokers and didn't have a cigarette to give him. Anyway, train stations are great for catching people napping, and napping people are great because they don't notice you drawing them and they don't wander away nearly so quickly.

And last of all... my backpack and bike helmet at the airport, before heading home. The thing about airports is that either you have to race for your gate or you have a five-hour layover and plenty of time to kill. We had a couple hours at Roma Fiumicino so I got the chance to do a longer drawing than I usually bother with. It turns out that more detail makes the drawing look much better. Who knew?

I'll post the other sketches up as I finish them. It may take me a while. It usually does.

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