Palladio's Villas Week 3: Some favourites in new colours as well as lost and found edges

August 4, 2021 | Leave your thoughts


Last week’s collection of Palladian Villas (as I work through them chronologically) contained five favourites! So it was a lot of fun.

Because I’ve sketched all of them before, I was freer to experiment. I tried new colours from my new testing palette and go myself into ‘lost and found edges’ mode – which tied in perfectly with the final lesson of my Edges course.


PV12: Villa Saraceno

I sketched this last week, but I wanted to come back to it again.

Colours from my testing palette included in this were Quin Burnt Scarlet, Yellow Ochre, a few greens and Phthalo Blue (Red shade) for the sky. It looks as if I used Moonglow in this sketch (and the one below) but it was a mix of paints in the mixing well. Don’t ask me what they were as I don’t remember – sorry! 🙂


PV13: Villa Pojana

This is another villa which I love! It has a beautiful arch detail at the entrance. I added some pinks to the wall colour to suit the rose gold teacup on the page – see below for the full spread. On this spread I also added a random comment about sneaking downstairs – this is from the docufilm on Palladio that I saw in Bassano during my 2019 visit.

So far in this project I have been in the mood for traditional ink and wash sketches – using a few quick pencil setup lines, then ink and then wash. But it all changed with my next one…


PV14: Villa Chiericati

I haven’t visited this villa (hopefully one day!) but I love its simple use of a temple front. It’s a really great villa to sketch with lost and found edges – starting with the shadow shapes. Oh ah! I really enjoyed doing this one. (You can see my first few steps in the full spread below)


PV14: Villa Cornaro

The day I sketched this villa it happened to be Mike Botton’s birthday which was a nice touch as this is one of the villas on the itinerary of our Palladian Odyssey tours. And it’s another one that I love a lot… even without all the associations I have with it.

This villa is the first time that Palladio designed a facade with a double portico and is one of his most copied buildings.

During the PO tours we’ve had a sketching session in the rear garden, but I’ve never had the chance to sketch this view from the garden on location. While doing this version I was flooded by memories of  my time in Italy and also more recently, sketching the Yass Courthouse by James Barnet (it has a strong Palladian influence and a similar setting.)


I had to do another sketch of Villa Cornaro from the rear – a partial sketch in my experimental style.

LizSteel-at-Villa-Cornaro
I relived a number of emotions that I experienced over the years sketching from this spot. For some reason doing a sketch of this view during each Palladian Odyssey Tour was a significant moment. 

(See this article for more about why I was sketching on this particular occasion)


PV15: Villa Pisani in Montagnana

This villa has a very similar design to Villa Cornaro and I had a lot of fun exploring the area around this villa thanks to Google Earth. I had never understood its context before and it’s fun to sketch a city villa.


Here are the full spreads… with teacups and text blocks. I’m loving the Sketchbook Design aspect of this project.


And so there you have it… another 5 Palladian Villas and a good week of sketching.
Note: Most of the sketches this week use Quin Burnt Scarlet, Yellow Ochre, Bloodstone Genuine and some of the greens in my testing palette.


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