I had taken the source photo for this latest mini piece a few years ago, trying my best to get a little bit of everything wonderful about Venice’s Piazza San Marco into the shot. When I reviewed the shot later that day, my attention went right to the sculpture of Eve on the Doge’s Palace façade. It appeared to me like she was watching over the piazza, all of us tourists below, and the Campanile (tower). She was the heart of the story in this scene for me.
I drew from the picture exactly as it was, with the intention of giving Eve the focus by drawing her in more detail since she’s in the foreground. But that’s hard to do on such a small drawing. Then once I started painting, there was no way that the Campanile wasn’t going to pull the focus away from Ms. Fig Leaf. It was too prominent, in the centre of the scene, and a distinctively different colour to everything else, even when I painted it very lightly. Rather than fighting it, I gave in to the obvious focus of the composition and then splashed the tower with even more Quin. Brown Madder. Sorry, Eve.
As much as it’s important to me to try to capture a story in the art, putting the story front and centre isn’t always what’s right (or even possible) for the piece, especially one this small (2.5″ x 3.5″). Had it been a much larger piece, it might have been possible. Lesson learned about being more realistic and less romantic with my planning!
I still ended up calling the piece “Eve Views Campanile di San Marco”! Giving her top billing seemed like a good compromise!