This morning we wrapped up the second Palladian Odyssey Tour, completing an incredible two weeks exploring the Veneto region of Italy.
Like last week we had a very special group – this time with lots of Australian including six friends from Sydney. We had good weather and once again I was really impressed by the quality of the sketches produced. Everyone’s work developed during the tour and I really enjoyed getting to know their sketching goals and finding ways to help them head in the right direction.
Not surprisingly, I am pretty exhausted at the moment but putting this article together is a way for me to re-live the week and also create an ending to this first stage of my big trip.
I love everything about the Palladian Odyssey and I’m so glad that we were able to run it for a second year. I am not sure how long we can continue doing these tours (hopefully more years to come) so I want to savour every moment of them!
Doing back-to-back tours is great as it gives me a chance to refine the workshop lessons, and I’m loving the way I can weave a few themes throughout the week. As I mentioned last time, I’m so thrilled to be able to combine my long-time interest in classical architecture with sketching. This year I mentioned Bernini’s Donkey Ears while we were sketching in Maser. (Google it if you are interested in finding out more!) I’ve also loved the opportunity to talk constantly about entablatures and work out the easiest ways to draw them. It might sound a little technical but I aim to keep it practical and the goal is always to improve our sketching.
This is going to be another long post and will include some overlap with last week. So let’s get going!
In the evening we went to Castelfranco for dinner and I did almost the same sketches as last week, so I won’t bore you with them a second time.
Here are a few photos for the afternoon tour of the grounds – the dovecote, an interesting part of the rear of the villa which Jacopo told me was a bathroom, and then he showed us the bathroom added to the boy’s room. Too funny! We were also treated to some behind-the-scenes stories about life as a teenage boy in a grand villa.
Wednesday: A morning at Maser sketching the volumes of the villa as a whole and doing some measuring. On the right is our wonderful videographer for the week – Vinnie Botton (Mike’s son). Thanks Vinnie – I loved having you with us and look forward to seeing your creative work with the camera!
We then went up to the villa and sitting in the shade (as the sun was hot) we worked out how to draw classical details from an oblique view! I have some tricks for this which I have been developing over the years and will share in Porto.
This week I didn’t go inside the villa for Monica’s wonderful tour as I really felt the need to have a quiet moment and do a little sketching for myself. This isn’t the best view of the villa, but I did have a shaded seat!
I did a quick demo of how I start with a few paint shapes before switching to pen and then allowed everyone to explore the town and do three small sketches of their own choice. After the workshop we had an hour or so until dinner so I went for a walk and found a nice seat where I could sketch an 180 degree view in pen. I really enjoyed this one!
After another wonderful tour by Monica we had a short-ish workshop period in order to draw the building in perspective. This week I did a staged demo – ie. I did one step at a time with the group following along with their own sketch. I was quite pleased with how well this approach worked and will do it again in the future. Having some white plastic chairs to sit in was a nice treat too.
Every time I teach in this location I refine my explanations and demos and it’s great to see such impressive work done.
Thanks Monica for being such a special part of our Palladian Oydssey tours.
In the afternoon I offered 10 minute 1-on-1 time with everyone, which I love doing! I’m too flat out talking to take any photos of this session.
Thanks again to Mike Botton for everything!!! The PO Tours are a dream come true and I love working with Mike so much!
It’s been so hectic that I haven’t yet had a chance to process the last fortnight, so I hope to do one final post about the Palladian Odyssey in the future.
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Coming up next I have four days on my own, so stay tuned for that!