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Brick by Brick

I have this habit of drawing somewhat loosely to start, and then some detail will pique my curiosity or admiration and I’ll think “well, I have to add that”. I’ll go through this cycle dozens of times until I have a very detailed drawing. This happens in an iterative fashion as I don’t intend the drawing to be one way or another. Kinda happens.

That happened with this drawing of a street in Panicale, Umbria. I took this photo because of the different ways brick was present in this little square – the building, the sidewalk, the herringbone pattern in the piazza, the brick and stone mix in the back buildings. Not only were all the brick patterns interesting to me, so were their differing colours from maroon to burnt orange to blue-grey and more. Plus I’m a sucker for pots of geraniums, and these big ones were glorious!

The first version of this piece was solely a watercolour with a loose pencil drawing of the bigger shapes to guide the painting. But as I was in the process of painting it, I found myself rapidly losing interest. What intrigued me about the original scene was all the patterning which was being muted in the painting, so I ditched the watercolour version, started over and turned to ink. Then I battled the age-old (and highly contentious) question of “Do I draw every brick?” Because the image had the brick so prominently featured in the foreground, I decided to draw every brick up close and gradually fade out to a few. And plus, I was drawn to this photo because of those bricks, so honour ’em, baby!

This was definitely one of the most detailed and challenging pieces I’ve done. And great learning, especially keeping my sanity painting each of those frickin’ brickins!

Panicale Path

Panicale Path


14 replies »

  1. This is so great!! Fantastic image, and so glad you tackled those frickin’ foreground bricks…hehe… it truly makes this piece wonderful and your eye sort of assumes the ones in the back would be detailed if we could only walk into the painting. When I’d love to do, because this scene is beautiful!

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