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Pizza San Firenze, Florence, Italy

January 3, 2012


I was impressed by the scale and the perspective displacements that the surrounding buildings created for this enclave. The building elevations seem to create a dynamic backdrop to the space while the scale of each building made a comfortable environment for the pedestrian. Hawkers respond to these spatial qualities resulting in a pleasant and casual shopping precinct. This is one of my few sketches where I did not search for a station point before starting my sketch. When I entered the junction I knew I faced the view that would make a desirable sketch. This sketch took more than two non-stop hours to complete

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4 Comments
  1. Charlie Chan permalink

    It always intrigues when I compare your still-life sketches with the photo, especially when you were dealing with a complex background like the above market place of Florence. All the more when you mentioned you didn’t even have a station point to start off with. The perspective, elevation, relativity..etc is just mind-boggling. Well done.

    • Errol Hugh permalink

      The process to sketch an on-site view involves keen observation to details and perspective displacements. Some artist would do a quick overall sketch of the view before the start of any details, but that is just one approach. In my mind’s eye the perspective surfaces of the buildings are the elements that help me create and compose the overall sketch. Many times I purposely seek out a view that compliments my initial response to what I want to sketch, but in this particular case I did not have to.

      Many mornings I wake up with a particular music playing in my head. A similar sensation occurs when I am about to sketch a view that I am interested in, except that these times I “see” the image imaginatively on my sketchbook page before I start to sketch. There are also occasions when I feel compelled to venture out to do on-site sketching. Back in 1993, my early year in Hong Kong, I took many exploration walks throughout the island to find interesting views to sketch. This Florentine Pizza San Firenze was a view that immediately grasps my visual coconsciousness as a perfect view to sketch

  2. Clara Chan permalink

    I like this sketch, it is full of life in the midst of an interesting landscape.

    • Errol Hugh permalink

      It would have been nice if I had progressive stages of this sketch in which you could see how the sketch started and ended. The photograph does not show clearly some of the buildings in the background due to the lighting conditions, but they are prominent in the sketch which makes the composition interesting. Anyway the sketch started with the foreground kiosk at the right and then the rest of the images radiating from there out towards the left and finally to the buildings in the background. By the time I added the shades and shadows the enclave was overcast in shade from the buildings behind me.

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