The Square

The square behind the Palazzo Dario, a favourite place to paint. The little dog is always there waiting for a game with his toy…

Work in progress...

The square is very special, such a lot of charm and the view of the back with the pink Palazzo Dario. (The front is far more decorative and is on the Grand Canal.) I love the colour of the trees and the buildings. The little dog hangs around near the shops, wanting to play with the ball by the tiny ice cream shop and café. It’s difficult to get it all in and, of course, the missing piece is the canal to the left. 

 

I sketched out the scene while I was there to get a sense of the proportions and carried on working from photos at home. I enjoyed capturing the sunlight bouncing off buildings to the right. I added a figure which is unusual for me.

 

The blue sky was very, very blue and I decided to use Lapis Lazuli – such a precious paint, but I wanted to get this in.

The Red House

This wonderful red house is just across a small canal from the Church Paolo and Giovanni, and very near the Hospidale. I was taken by the colour and the mystery of the small scene beyond the bridge…

Work in progress...

I was immediately struck by the colour of the house as it was just so bright. I was also attracted to the view down into the little passage. It gives you a bit of a journey into the picture, wondering what is through there. 

 

My challenge was layering colour to give richness of red house walls. I like using different colours to get depth but I’m not a fan of impasto. I hope I have done the house justice with several shades of red to give movement within lots of colour. It was also interesting to carry just the right amount of red into the reflections in the canal. 

The Bridge

This bridge with its ornate ironwork is very close to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, and also to the Palazzo Dario…

Work in progress...

This location is not far from the little square in my first painting. I like the suggestion of what is around the corner. It is lovely to see it in my mind’s eye and know what is there. You could call it ‘Venetian Backwater’ as so many painters have done before!

 

I have to say that this scene proved really difficult. It’s a strange set of buildings, at staggered distances from the viewer. The canal actually goes around the corner. With some buildings set back and the bridge in front, it was quite a challenge. It took more skill that the other pictures. The curve of the bridge proved especially testing and adding just the right amount of detail to suggest complicated ironwork took some time. (Just when I thought I had finished I realised that I had left out a section of ironwork.)

The Madonna

I really love this view. The beautiful Madonna against the orange crumbling wall and then beyond, the majestic Grande Canal… 

Work in progress...

I’m very fond of this spot. I’ve taken photos of this over the years and can see the orange of the plaster has decreased over time. There are always carefully tended little pots of flowers in front of the Madonna and I wonder who puts them there. 

 

It is the perfect place to paint from as it is not a walkway. It’s actually on the Grand Canal, which gives this split view. I was worried the split wouldn’t work. 

 

It is an intimate little scene, the Madonna so worn away right next to the bustle of the Grand Canal beside it. A subject I would definitely go back to. 

The Pensione Accademia 

The very romantic entrance to our favourite hotel in Venice…

Work in progress...

A memory of the wonderful Pensione Accademia. The iron gate leads to a lovely garden – it’s nice for me to remember and the viewer to wonder!

 

It was a challenge to get the angles of the two dominant walls correct. I worked from a photo when I returned home. I had to be on a bridge to take the photo, so I couldn’t set up and work there. When you work from a photo it is difficult to get the balance of details but I hope I have done it justice.