Ah, gondolas. Gliding through the canals of Venice in one is so totally unique and romantic. At one time gondolas were painted in various colors, however black was prevalent because it looked so elegant and was suitable for every kind of big event. Some say the black color is derived from the black pitch used to seal the boats and make them waterproof. Whatever the reason, the graceful gondolas are all now black and a ride in one has become a tradition for visitors to Venice. A mixture of Alizarin Crimson + Pthalo Blue is used to paint the gondolas. A little White is added for the highlights. This mix gives a blue touch to the Black; ideal for replicating the highly enameled surface of the boats.
The ferro, on the front of the bow, has become a symbol of Venice. The S form imitates the winding of the Grand Canal and the six teeth represent the six districts into which Venice is divided. The semi-circular break between the curved top and the six teeth is said to represent the Rialto Bridge. The ferro of the gondola on the left catches the light from the lamp above, while the foreground one remains in shadow.
Geraniums fill the foreground containers. The flowers are blocked in first with a large Bright brush. The blossoms are done first so the color will remain crisp and clean when the foliage is painted.
The leaves are now painted around the pinks and reds of the Geranium blossoms. Some of the blue paint, leftover from the water, is used in the foliage to add variation and coolness in the depths of the warm leaves.
The final step is to let the glow of the lamplight illuminate the promenade behind the containers of flowers. I think Venice is one of the most romantic places to visit. In the evening after the tourist traffic dies down it is absolutely magical. We’ve wandered the back walkways along hidden canals without seeing a soul, the only sounds were the calls of the night birds. You feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. I must admit, I’m extremely pleased with how Memories of Venice turned out. Jack said he is really going to miss seeing this piece on my easel. We will enjoy it a few more days while it dries and then ship it to the newlyweds, Laura and Mike. This has been a lot of fun, thank you for following along. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik
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