Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chianti Hills

Back in Italy, and I can’t believe it’s been a year since my last visit. Real espresso, fresh herbs, beautiful landscape, people, pasta and of course, plenty of vino ... what’s not to love! We’ve had great weather too, their first warm spell of the year, so I’m told. The only downside is the lack of poppies, with no fields of red to be found in our area. But there is still plenty to paint!

I thought I’d share the scene above. This 9x12, “Above Vagliagli” is an aerial view from the small town close to where we’re staying. (Vagliagli -- valley of the wild garlic -- pronounced val-yal-yee). I loved the way the shapes grouped together nicely and thought I’d be up for the challenge of a complex scene.

I started by rouging in where the town would be positioned on the canvas, beginning only with the basic rectangle shapes of the buildings. I painted in all the shadow sides first of the main structures that I wanted to emphasize, then added the sunlit fronts. Next I put in some roof shapes on top of those and added some of the trees separating the buildings. After that, all of the other structures are just suggestions of roofs, shadowed sides and lighted fronts, using areas in and around the trees. I next added the shadows under the roof eaves and threw in a couple of windows on the main buildings. I added windows only to the ones I wanted the viewer focus on. In the last stage of painting the town, I worked back and forth between the trees and structures, trying to get the feel of a busy scene without overstating my main focus.

Lastly, the foreground and far hills were kept simple to support the town.

We’re off to Siena tomorrow and since it’s after midnight, I’ll end this post here! Ciao.


  1. Wow! Thanks for the great painting. Your explanations of how you composed/painted are so clear.

  2. Sounds like you're having a wonderful painting trip. Italy is so're lucky! Enjoyed reading about the process.Boungiorno,Laurie