Sketching Big: Venice to Croatia, Part 2

[Stephanie Bower, Seattle] Croatia is a sketcher’s paradise. When I get to do my own sketching thing, I’m realizing I LOVE working on large, 8″ x 16″ paper! It allows me to capture both small architectural detail and vast wide-angle scenes (which admittedly, about 10 minutes into every sketch, I stop and ask, “What the heck was I thinking???)  With my background as an architect, I sketch to learn from what I see, so some amount of accuracy and detail are important.  

First big sketch in Croatia was with a migraine 🙁 in the cold, at the amazing Dolac market in Zagreb. Maybe I should sketch with a migraine all the time, as this was the first sketch of the entire trip that I really liked. For some reason, I was finally able to hit the right balance between amount of line and amount of color. Usually, one or the other is too heavy, and more often than not, it’s my nice linework disappearing when I add color. So for me, the struggle is to have a good balance of both. I need to paint with a light touch, which is HARD!

I rarely part with my sketches, but in the end, I gave this to our relatives in Zagreb.

The next big sketch was sitting with my neice in Split, smack dab in the middle of Diocletian’s Palace built in the 300 AD era. It was a smaller space than I expected, but you can sit on the steps in a cafe, on a comfy pillow, and sip coffee and eat the most expensive dry toast you’ll ever encounter…which is what we did to buy the location. 

I really like how the line drawing came out (color, not as much–there’s that dilemma again, I lost the linework!). I struggled to get the right angles, I think I started over 4 times. You can see how I can curve the lines to get a wide angle sense of space in perspective, and still get quite a lot of detail in. And the tower belongs to the oldest Catholic church in continual use in the world.

And since we were on the coast, here is a small sketch done at the rocky beach in Dubrovnik. The water is the most incredible color of blue-green I have ever seen, and crystal clear. It was impossible to capture in a sketch…

And after sketching, I jumped in!!  More in the next post, my favorite sketches of the trip in Dubrovnik. You can see a preview in the blog header, thanks Urban Sketchers!


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