Italy DRAWN: Last days in Perugia

b/w, colour, sketchbook, travel

I spent my last days of this five week trip in Perugia, paying one final gallery visit to the National Gallery of Umbria.

I couchsurfed a lot of the way through Italy, its such an awesome way to meet people and experience the country in a different way, they helped answer a lot of questions I could only glean from the surface as a tourist. In Perugia I was hosted by the lovely Fabrizio, who got a snazzy haircut and taught me how to say almost! in Italian whilst we played basketball – quasi! Probably the only Italian word I’ll remember since it was repeated so often.

Waiting for Fabrizio one day, freeeezzzing cold and super hungry (badly dealt with by a big bar of chocolate) I caught the leading cast of Lezioni di Cioccolato filming a scene for the sequel, not too dissimilar from a repeated scene in this trailer, with a whole lot of chasing and shoving going on.

A bit of live music with The Dad Horse Experience – German playing a banjo and occasionally the keyboard with his toes. Not usually my kinda thing, but fun nonetheless, and nooo love songs! Just songs about dead dogs he saw on the highway…good stuff.

Went to check out Rocca Paolina – a 16th century fortress, stumbled upon a cheese fair, as you do in Italy. Really friendly stall owners gave me a free and tasty lunch. Nom!

I ate too much on this trip. And now I’m several pounds heavier for it..dammit.

Italy DRAWN: Easter in Rome

b/w, colour, sketchbook, travel

Paid a brief visit to the Vatican City, sending off another postcard. The Pope was in the house, it felt like some sort of concert, ‘And thank you to the students of Ohio…’ ‘WOOOOOOO!!’

Some rather dramatic sculptures walking along Via della Conciliazione.

A mish-mash of Rome’s most famous sites, a lot of queuing and yet more tour groups. Not having brushed up on my Italian history, and not being the biggest fan of sightseeing, a lot of the things I was seeing went straight over me.

Museum of Criminology, probably my favourite museum whilst I was in Italy. Really interesting displays, some crazy torture equipment, and a good place to get away from the tour groups – I don’t think this was on their itinerary list.

Most of the places I visited were small enough to get around by foot, but there were days in Rome when my little feet couldn’t take it in anymore.

Italy DRAWN: Starting in Florence

b/w, colour, portrait, sketchbook, travel

After three major scanning sessions, here is the first part of my five week excursion in Italy. Starting in Florence, I took a two week drawing class with Glenn Vilppu, with some awesome classmates to keep me company.

We did a spot of people watching..

I couldn’t get over how picturesque everything was, really, EVERYTHING! Landscapes, streets, ceilings, you name it.

I even started drawing the door knobs,

and there was no way I could miss the statues.

There was a marathon taking place the first weekend. Funny, I’ve never been interested in checking out the London Marathon (and even less so about participating) but when in Rome…well not quite in Rome, yet. When abroad then. Plus everything was within such a lovely walking distance from each other it would have been hard for me to miss it.

I loved the Duomo, rising over all the narrow winding streets which also acted as the perfect frame for this looming piece of architecture.

My brother came to visit during the second weekend, but being a bit of a dope, accidentally booked his return flight for early Sunday morning, so he only stayed for a day, getting a brief glance of the city.

Luckily, Cultural Week had just started which meant free entry to a lot of places, so we popped into the Boboli Gardens. I spent my last day in Florence wandering around the Galleria Accademia and the Uffizi. Considering how the Uffizi is such a popular place for tourists to visit, the gallery was really badly laid out. As it was also teeming with tour groups, I was more than happy to get out of there, but not before checking out some more statues..

and sending off a quick postcard.

Protest against cuts

b/w, sketchbook


I’m off to Florence in three hours! I wanted to put these sketches up whilst its still current. They were drawn on location, I got there after most of the protestors had moved on, but they’d left their mark on Topshop on Oxford Street. I would love to add some colour to these drawings when I’m back, which will be at the end of April, so this blog may be a quiet for the next month..

Life drawing

b/w, life drawing

I love life drawing, it can be really therapeutic and intense, trying to capture this life form in front of you. These are some I worked on last month, I don’t think any of them were more than 20 minutes long. Working at speed, forcing me to not deliberate on creating a pretty picture always helps.