2018 Palladian Odyssey Tour 2

June 3, 2018 | 4 Comments

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!

Monday morning before the tour started: I had to do another version of Palladio’s Basilica, didn’t I?

Another lovely afternoon (and refreshments) in the garden of Ca’ de Memi for our first workshop -sketching wooden chooks in edges, shapes and volumes in order to explain some main themes of the week.

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.

On Tuesday we headed to Ca Marcello and had a lovely relaxed day sketching the grounds and being shown around by the owner, Count Jacopo Marcello. It was pretty special!

Amazing collection of ‘volume’ sketches of the villa in the morning…

… and ‘shape’ sketches of the garden in the afternoon.

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.

On the same day we also visited our first villa by Palladio – Villa Cornaro – and after a brief tour we got to sketch in the garden.

I love sketching this building and this version is a little looser than the week 1 sketch.

And I also managed to get myself into the mood for a paint-only version, really simplifying the building.

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!

This sketchbook page shows my quick demo of the villa and also another paint-only sketch – this one of the Tempietto just down the road. I will share more about this in a separate post.

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!

After lunch at the Maser Winery (see last week for a photo) we headed to the gorgeous hilltop town of Asolo for a ‘free sketching’ workshop.

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!

Here is the collection of sketches from the afternoon. I love the variety produced in a ‘free’ workshop.

Then it was time for dinner with a stunning view. BTW the well-dressed man at the end of the table is our bus driver – thanks again Andrea for looking after us on the road so well.

And of course the food was amazing.
Finally, on my fourth tour, I had the energy/motivation to sketch the beautiful food at Due Mori.

Thursday: Villa Emo and Perspective.

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.

Very impressive work hey? Time for another meal?

I can’t help sharing the same view as I did last week – Our beautiful lunch spot in Bassano del Grappa and of course the food was good here too.

Or our sketching workshop location.

Wonderful sketches, hey?

Every time I teach in this location I refine my explanations and demos and it’s great to see such impressive work done.

Friday: Back in Vicenza we had our final tour by Monica and at the end of this, everyone understood why I am so crazy about Palladio!

Thanks Monica for being such a special part of our Palladian Oydssey tours.

Time to sketch the Loggia – it’s a great spot for a workshop but we always have to negotiate with the local musicians! Everyone sat around me and I did another staged demo.

I also managed to sneak in a second sketch – this one paint-only – to kick off my 30x30watercolour challenge.

The final throwdown and once again everyone did a great job…

… and they were all still smiling!

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.

And then it was time for the final evening – postcard exchange on the Basilica terrace and then dinner in the Piazza.

One final group photo!

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.

Click here if you are interested in joining us next year and join the mailing list.

Coming up next I have four days on my own, so stay tuned for that!



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