Tag Archives: Tuscan

San Gimignano

Alan Reed

San Gimignano, Afternoon Sunlight

Susan and I first visited San Gimignano in February 1999. We were staying in Florence for several days and having seen San Gimignano featured on a holiday programme, we decided to go there for the day. A local bus took us to nearby Poggibonsi then after a short wait, another bus to our destination, the medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano.

From a distance it looks like a mini Manhattan with its 14 towers gracing the Tuscan skyline. Apparently it did boast 72 towers, built by the Patrician families who controlled the town. The bigger the tower, the greater your wealth! I remember painting a watercolour by the well in Piazza della Cisterna whilst Susan went off to buy some wild boar salami for an al fresco lunch. Even though it was February, it was bright, warm and sunny, ideal conditions for painting “en plein air”.

After lunch I spent the afternoon wandering about gathering further reference to do a studio painting to add to my Italian Collection of Limited Edition Prints. As the sun began to set and we made our way to the bus I noticed that the stonework began to turn a beautifully warm pink with hints of orange. I logged the colours in my mind and decided that this would be mood and atmosphere I would aim to capture.

The studio painting of San Gimignano which was reproduced as a limited edition print was an immediate success. I still sell copies of it online and from our gallery in Ponteland. More recently I’ve painted a portrait version of a similar view which is also available as a limited edition print.

You can see a short video on YouTube of the original watercolour “San Gimignano, Afternoon sunlight” which can also be seen at my Studio & Gallery.

 

 

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Painting Holiday in Umbria

Near Pienza, Evening Sunlight

Near Pienza, Evening Sunlight

There are only 2 double rooms and a single room left on our Painting Holiday in Umbria, Italy 9-16th May 2015.

I’m really looking forward to what promises to be a lovely time of painting “en plein air” in and around a beautiful part of Italy.

Guests will have a fabulous opportunity to brush up on their painting skills whilst enjoying a lovely spring break in the glorious Umbrian countryside.

I recently demonstrated to my Friday watercolour class how to paint the Tuscan landscape using a series of simple washes to create depth and mood. This was done over two paintings. One was of Val d’Orcia early morning. The other was a scene near Pienza capturing the early evening sunlight. I’ll be planning similar exercises for the folk coming on the Painting Holiday in Umbria.

Guests will also be able to enjoy 7 Night Luxury 5* accommodation with heated swimming pool at the enchanting Italian hideaway, 5* luxurious Chiesa del Carmine.

We will have the opportunity to explore the surrounding villages and towns, as well as enjoying ample time to capture the stunning scenery surrounding Chiesa del Carmine.

After enjoying a delicious breakfast together at the Villa, a typical day will either be spent visiting one of the nearby towns like Cortona, Assisi, Spello or Perugia, or we will spend the day painting around Chiesa del Carmine or Casa San Gabriel.
Non painting guests are also very welcome and can either join us on days out or explore for themselves the beautiful surroundings. We will endeavour to meet your every requirements.

Antognolla is a championship golf course only 10 mins drive away and golf clubs are available.

Evenings are convivial gatherings, with pre-dinner drinks taken on the terrace, followed by a delicious Italian home cooked evening meal by our own chef either at Chiesa del Carmine or at a nearby restaurant. Breakfast and evening meals are Included in the price.

Guests will need to organize their own flights and car hire. However, it may be possible to share the cost of car hire with other guests.

If you would like to find out more, then please contact Alan or Susan on 01661 871 800  or email.

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San Gimignano, Italy

San Gimignano Print

San Gimignano, Tuscany

For more than a decade, I have been building up a collection of limited edition prints taken from some of my paintings of Italy. Before embalming on the finished watercolour, I like to spend time in the chosen location (who wouldn’t?) making at least one small watercolour on the spot to trigger off memories of the mood and feel of the place. For the painting of San Gimignano above, I wanted to capture the famous towers bathed in the warmth and clarity of late afternoon sunlight, that would evoke happy memories for those fortunate people who have spent lazy days under the Tuscan sun.

I spent a day and a half driving about the surrounding countryside, wandering in and out of the medieval town, enjoying the occasional glass of wine or espresso and sampling wild boar salami in-between painting and taking reference photographs. However, it was not until we left San Gimignano that the sky turned a wonderful pink, creating a beautiful golden hue on the various buildings and in particular the famous towers. I took some photographs from the car and logged the colours in my mind. This is the mood I wanted to capture as I began the finished piece that has been a successful limited edition print. Since then, I have painted the scene again as an original watercolour which you can see online or at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

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San Gimignano

San Gimignano

San Gimignano, Evening Sunlight

The first time I went to San Gimignano was in February 1999. We took the bus from Florence to visit this Medieval Tuscan hilltop town after seeing it on a holiday programme. Seeing its 14 famous towers for the first time from several miles away made me even more eager to explore and paint the distinct skyline. We entered the small walled town, making our way to the piazza via the enticing shops selling wild boar salami and other mouth watering local produce.

By now it was lunch time so whilst Susan went off in search for salmi, bread and wine, I painted a small watercolour which I later sold from my gallery. Although it was a bright, sunny day, the afternoon was short but I managed to obtain sufficient reference to do a large studio watercolour of the town’s famous towers bathed in the winter sun. I had the painting reproduced as a limited edition print which has been extremely popular over the years. The prints of Italy and the smaller original watercolour (inspired by the trip) can be seen at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland and also online at alanreed.com

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