Europe18: In Vicenza - again!

May 20, 2018 | 8 Comments

I have now been in Vicenza for 24 hours and it’s so wonderful to be back again for the third time. It is a beautiful but relaxed city and I’m starting to feel at home here even though I don’t speak Italian.

I will be very busy for the next fortnight teaching two back-to-back Palladian Odyssey Tours, so it was important for me to get my sketching up to speed and have a little ‘me time’.

After a long haul flight (34 hours door to door this trip: Sydney-Dubai-Milan-Vicenza) it often takes a few days to get the sketching flow happen. But this time I’m very happy with what I managed to achieve straight away, especially as I’ve been so out of practice and lacking my usual motivation over the last few months.

So here is first real sketch for the trip – of the incredible Basilica Palladiana in Piazza dei Signori. This was done ‘paint-only’ and it was great to start off preparing for the upcoming 30×30 challenge.

This morning I managed to sketch…

Loggia del Capitaniato – a building that I have sketched numerous times, including a demo for SketchingNow Buildings. I love it so much that I don’t think I will even get tired of sketching it.

After ‘finishing’ the Loggia sketch I decided to extend it and include the building next door. I ran out of steam a bit, but it was fun.

It was then time for a cappuccino – freal chocolate on the top (rather than just sprinkles) and a fun cup.

View from the cafe of Piazza dei Signori with the Basilica on the right (the loggia is on the left but it’s extreme foreshortening was too much of a challenge for me today!)

Here are photos of some of my double page spreads so far:

Title page with my sketching kit. I sketched all the pens/brushes/pencils very quickly in the plane and might add another pass so that they are ‘as finished’ as the palette (it’s somewhat neater as it was done a month ago for an exclusive Palladian Odyssey video).

My usual clothes packing list (also done on the plane) and then a record of my paper weights (useful for next year) and a schedule of my sketchbooks (how many I intend to use, when I am picking up new books and when I am hoping someone can take one home for me).

A Palladian building under scaffolding and trying to sketch my dinner as a way of keeping myself awake. I hope to sketch more food this trip!

Piazza sketch with a lunch view included – making the most out of cafe table sketching locations today!

It has been really weird being alone in Vicenza for the last 24 hours – I kept thinking of all the lovely people who were here last year for the first PO Tours and it didn’t seem right without them. But sketchers are starting to arrive and I can’t wait to meet everyone this year – we have people from 12 different countries attending!

Well, it must be time for me to hit the streets again for another sketch or two and maybe a gelato. So I will finish with the view I am looking at right now – from my hotel room.

I hope to write a report on PO Tour 1 next week, but in the meantime I will be posting regularly to Instagram (including lots of stories).



  • Cathy says:

    Hi Liz. You are on a roll! And your sketches are inspiring. Can’t wait to see you again.

  • Bonnie Miller says:

    Amazing sketches…beautiful renditions. Oh for the talent!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks Bonnie… but just the record it takes a lot of intentional work (research practice and testing) to get my art to where i want it?

  • Luca says:

    Hi Liz! I’m Italian and I live in Verona just 30 minute from Vicenza, I saw the Palladian tour and surprisingly is not included Verona, also here around Verona there are few projects of Andrea Palladio, but other than that, Verona is a lovely city to sketch. I’m trying to improve my skills but my inner critic always prevails over my reasoning, so I always throw everything in the trash. Anyway, I love your art, is Amazing.

    • Liz Steel says:

      There are a lot of places to visit and we were trying to find non-stabdard places. I’m coming to Verona afterwards as i know otd lovely

  • Your view of the Piazza dei Signori is beautiful. Very inspiring. I lived in Vicenza for almost 20 years and you managed very well to render the relaxed artistic mood of the town.

    robert, absolute beginner

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