Thursday, 19 May 2011

Final Bargue & The Leaning Tower

Here is the final Bargue copy drawing finished. I took a photo every day (except when I forgot to) and made it into a time-lapse video which you can see here:

Now we have moved on to charcoal cast drawing. Roxanna and I are working on the same cast of an eye. Dianna has an ear. I'll take a photo of our set up and post it soon. Charcoal is very different to work with than graphite... messier and the dust gets into the nose and mouth and no doubt the lungs. (We invested in some face masks and started a bit of a trend with some of the other students. Really only needed when sharpening the charcoal as the dust goes everywhere. We look more like medical students than art students... anyone need a bandaid??). Charcoal has a far greater tonal range than graphite though (ie. you can make a very deep black which is not possible with graphite) and I'm seeing how it's a great foundation to understanding how to paint. We also started a new 5 weeks long life drawing this week which is also in charcoal. It's a lovely pose and I'm beginning to see some improvement in my ability to get the shapes more accurate, more quickly.

Last weekend Dianna and I decided we needed to broaden our horizons and headed for Pisa, primarily to see the Leaning Tower. There's not a lot else to Pisa. The Arno River runs through it on its way to the sea, which isn't very far away, so it has similarities to Florence with it's bridges... but completely lacks the charm of the historical centre of Florence. As Pisa was largely wiped out in WW2 it is architecturally newer and we all know that people lost the knack of making beautiful buildings and edifices somewhere along the line. What other bridge could possibly compete with the Ponte Vecchio let's face it.

Anyhow the leaning tower is gorgeous. I was expecting it to be bigger, but wasnt' disappointed with the lean. It really leans. To the point where one wonders if this might not be the moment when gravity wins and the whole thing flops to the side. It was recently restored and scrubbed clean so it's sparkling and very petite and ornate. We would have climbed to the top if it didn't cost an arm and a leg, so after oohing and aahing for a suitable duration, we gallantly worked out how to get the bus back to the station where we could get another bus to the coast. I did a bit of research before we left and discovered that Marino di Pisa is the closest coastal town, just 20 mins by bus from Pisa and not touristy as there are better beaches down the coast a bit. What more could a girl longing to sniff the sea air ask for? Again, a feat of charades and broken Italian and we found the bus and the ticket office and finally Marina di Pisa.

Well, the beaches down the coast must be good because here is a pristine stretch of coast with aqua waters and not a wave to be seen. That's if the beach was really a beach. I mean, is it really a beach if it doesn't even have sand? I don't think so. It had big pebbles actually but this didn't stop anyone sunning themselves as if they were at the beach. The surrounding rocks were also draped with people just like a colony of seals. Curious!

We found a seaside restaurant with outdoor seating at which to share an enormous pizza with thin crispy crust... didn't feel so great afterwards but it was extremely GOOD! Especially with the sea breeze blowing fresh salty air through my whole being. Refreshing for the soul. It was like being in Manly without all the tourists (or the shops, or the beach... ok nothing like Manly except the coastal 'vibe').

You can see more pics here...

È tutto per oggi!
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