Europe17: Venice and Edinburgh

June 13, 2017 | 6 Comments

Last week I spent two days in Venice and two half days in Edinburgh. Both visits were more about spending time with friends than serious travel sketching, but as always I did a lot of sketching. The number of pages in my sketchbook that I did manage to fill is a result of my current obsession with attempting sketches in ridiculous time frames, so many are incomplete and/or simple line drawings. A new trend for this trip is to do more paint only sketches and I am finding that I am able to do these fairly quickly.

This article will contain a mixture of my ‘long sketches’ (approximately 20 minutes maximum) and my super quick 2 minute sketches.

My favourite sketch of the week was this sketch of the Salute – and yes, my favourite sketch from last year’s trip was of the same building. What does that say?

I was in Venice with my great friends Peter, Tove and Nick Moroney. Pete has recently become a sketcher so it was fun to be sketching alongside him (and at times Nick too!) So much fun.

Anyway, here are my sketches.

Scuola Grande di San Marco done from the comfort of a cafe table.

Rialto Bridge standing up (sky added later)

The Redentore (by Palladio) – going a little crazy with blue ink!

Super quick sketch of another Palladio (my last for the trip) – San Giorgio Maggiore

Quick line sketch while waiting outside a supermarket

A collection of sketches – slower paint-only sketch from the balcony to our apartment, another quick sketch while Tove was inside a shop, and an even quicker sketch of San Marco (my pen ran out of ink).

Two sketches while resting on a bench outside the entrance to the Doge’s Palace.

The sketching highlight was painting during a gondola ride!

The photos say it all!

My final sketches in Venice were of the fish market – done while waiting for our pizzas to arrive.


I’m not super keen on sketching on planes, even though I do it all the time, but I want to post this sketch because I had the most social time on the Easyjet flight Venice-Edin. I had long chats with my neighbours and two of the flight attendants. One of them was an architect who is currently reading Wittkowers ” Architectural Principles of in the Age of Humanism” (contains a lot about Palladio’s musical proportion) and whose favourite architect is Brunelleschi, Wow! A bit obscure but very exciting for me.


Gorgeous sunny afternoon and great to not only catch up with Esther Semmens, but also Emma Fitzgerald from Halifax who happened to be in town for a few days.

We had a little sketching session on the Royal Mile.

Here is my sketch of the house opposite…

and then I did a very quick watercolour sketch looking up the Royal Mile.

A little more sketching at Cockburn street

and then dinner with Esther.


The next day was very wet, but I started my morning sketching the view from my flat.

And then Esther and I had a lovely brunch at a Bombay style cafe called Dishoom. Food was great, but ah! it was so good to get a teacup sketch in!

It was too wet to do much so we ended up in St Giles.

And then I headed to the airport early. Here I am boarding a little plane to fly to the Isle of Lewis.

But, that is the start of the next part of my adventures.



  • Bob Cochran says:

    You look much better rested in these photos. I think you probably felt more recovered from jet lag while in Venice, but going to Edinburgh probably tired you again. Consider traveling at a much slower pace — for example, by bicycle. I was excited to see a group of bicyclists in one of your Palladian Odyssey photos. If you go slow, either on foot or by bicycle or perhaps on horseback, the entire flavor of your trip changes. You see so much more. You sketch so much more too. You feel less stressed and pushed for time. You meet so many more people and see so many more places. Try it sometime — rent a bicycle that is equipped with fenders and panniers, fill the panniers with your stuff, and set off for any destination you want. Give up motoring anywhere for a while — instead, pedal anywhere. Stop where you will. Eat where you want. There will be so many more sketching opportunities. With all that said, and regardless of how you get around, enjoy your trip!

  • Tina Koyama says:

    I was just in Venice myself last month, so these sketches are especially fun to see!

    – Tina

  • Beautiful! I love them all Liz. Great to get all the narrative too. Wonderful! Thanks

  • Emily DeArdo says:

    I love seeing a tea cup sketch! 🙂 Love all these sketches, per usual, but I really love the one you did while waiting in line at the Supermarket. You managed to get a whole streetscape in there! Love it.

  • Elena Wolman says:

    LOVE that blue ink! What brand? Thanks for sharing your adventures!

  • Evie Conroy says:

    OK… now I am totally inspired to sketch loose! Love them!

Leave a Reply