2018 Palladian Odyssey Tour 1

May 27, 2018 | 10 Comments


We have just finished the first of two Palladian Odyssey tours for 2018, and it has been absolutely amazing. It’s really hard to put into words how wonderful the last week has been.

I’ve chosen some photos to give you an idea of the locations we visited and the sketching we have done, but what can’t be portrayed adequately in these photos is how great this group of sketchers was. Everyone got on so well together (we had lots of laughs and great times) and this created a safe and supportive environment for sharing sketches. And, like last year, it was so exciting to see major developments in everyone’s work over the week.

A few other random comments:

  • 9 countries represented: Australia, USA, Canada, UK, France, Spain, Austria, Germany and Turkey.
  • In addition to my workshops, we also had wonderful private guided tours and exceptional food for every meal. So it was not just about the sketching.
  • Like last year I tried to sketch during the tours. This super fast sketching is always a good way to stretch myself when I am not teaching.
  • I tried to sketch more of the meals this time, but would like to do more next week.
  • Having the opportunity to combine my love of classical architecture (especially Palladio) with sketching was a dream come true.
  • My first A4 moleskine is now completed!

And once again Mike Botton, tour director, did an incredible job getting us from A to B and making sure everything ran smoothly! Without Mike this special workshop would not be possible.

So here is a collection of photos from most of our sketching locations. I have chosen a mix of either photos of the location, my own sketches, or the work done by the group.

Warning: this is a long post!

First afternoon included some warmup exercises in the lovely garden of the farm we are staying in.

Then we went to Castelfranco for dinner – here are a few quick sketches I did on the way to the restaurant.

Pizza! Need I say more?

The next day was wet but we were able to sketch lots from the shelter of this colonnade (the Barchessa) of Ca Marcello.

Wow! amazing work from everyone!

After lunch, the owner of the villa – Count Jacopo Marcello – gave us a tour of the gorgeous gardens.

It was still wet so no sketching during this guided tour.

In the afternoon session we focused on garden views using shapes.

That evening we visited our first Palladian villa – Villa Cornaro – which is just up the road from where we were staying.

Here are my sketches from the street, just inside the gate, and an attempt of the interior. The Gables – the lovely American couple who we met last year – have now sold the villa, but a local was able to take us on a short tour. We are not sure if this will be available in the future.

My loose sketch of the rear of the villa.

We then went back to our accommodation and we treated to a wonderful dinner of local produce. I sketch a few of the courses but hope to do more next week.

Morning at Maser – sketching Palladio’s Villa Barbaro from the street first (constructing volumes).

During the workshop there was a short period when no one needed help, so I managed to sneak a super quick sketch of the Tempietto (also by Palladio) which is visible from the same spot.

Then we went up to the Villa and had our first private tour with the incredible guide and art historian Monica Facchini.

Then we had lunch in the Winery attached to the villa which included some very long platters of meat and cheese. We also learnt about the making of prosecco.

Then onto the beautiful hilltop town of Asolo…

… with a freer sketching assignment for the afternoon. I love seeing the different things everyone chooses to sketch.

A view from Asolo near the restaurant where we had dinner. I’ll tell you more about this next week.

Another day, another Palladian villa. This time it was Villa Emo – considered perfect as it follows Palladio’s design in his “Four Books of Architecture’. I did this super quick sketch of the main building during Monica’s tour.

And then we all sat down for a dramatic perspective sketch.

This wasn’t a long sketching session, so it was a little challenging to explain perspective in a short time. But everyone did a great job, don’t you think?

Time to head to Bassano del Grappa for some more sketching… but first lunch! Another amazing location for our meal…

… and for our sketching!

I did a fairly quick demo, but really emphasized the importance of looking for a few key edges and shapes before starting.

Back in Vicenza we spend a morning sketching an elevation Palladio’s Loggia Capitaniato and developing skills of proportions, careful sight measuring and ‘working structurally.’

Once again, I was blown away by the results.

After a light lunch (truly!) we had an afternoon filled with short (10minute) 1-on-1 sessions with me. It was great to go through everyone’s work, answer specifc questions and give some advice for the next step. This is the first time I’ve implemented this type of session in my workshop (it was like ‘The Big Crit’ which was run at a few USK Symposiums) and I really loved the chance to catch up with everyone individually.

And then for the last evening we met up on top of the Basilica. Wow! what a spot.

On the final morning we had a wrap-up session which including sharing our favourite sketches.

What an incredible adventure… and I do it all again next week. Thanks so much to everyone who was part of it!



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