top of page

Florence watercolors

Photo of Ponte Alle Grazie in Florence Italy
Ponte Alle Grazie

As I fly away from Florence I always get the same feeling. The longing of wanting to be at school full time, the comradery of working with other artists, the lively social life and the colourful people.

This trip started out on a bit of a scary note. I was grabbed by a man as I was going home after supper on my first night.

It wasn't very late in the evening, I was in a well lit, populated area just past Ponte Vecchio with other people around so I was surprised when this man grabbed me and pushed me against the wall. I pushed past him and started walking away but he did the same thing, grabbed me and pushed me up against the wall, then was trying to pull me down a sidestreet.

I got quite loud at this point and much more aggressive with trying to get away, a nice italian gentleman heard/saw me and came over to help me out. I was very greatful for the help, I am not a small woman by any means but was clearly out powered in this situation. Seeing I was shaken up he walked me to my street, asked if I was ok now and then told me to have a good night.

At the time, I never thought to ask for his name or anything but if he ever reads this I owe him a debt of gratitude.

The next day my anxiety was horrible. I had a full on panic attack at the thought of going out to eat dinner so just grabbed something to take home with me after school. By the third day I told myself I couldn't let this ruin this trip and made myself go out for supper and enjoy the beautiful city. And I really am glad I did. It ended up being a good time with many interesting people.

With that back to the subject of art.

I find that the more I learn about art the closer I get to figuring out what I want to do art wise. I think that's the benefit of going to university for 4 years because it gives you room to explore and find where your place is.

Being a self taught artist at times it feels like a slower reveal to your true artist. Spending 8 hrs in the studio a day might sound daunting or not like a real holiday but it was so helpful in many ways. I found it relaxing and rejuvenating.

This time around I was focusing on my watercolors. I still have a long way to go to get to where I want to be but the guidence I received has put me in a better position to reach my personal goal.

The first two paintings I did were a copy of a bunch of grapes from a watercolor painting. I find it interesting that anytime I do fruits or vegetables, in any medium, they usually turn out pretty good. It was a fairly non complicated composition. My teacher had me do two of the same pictures. Using the first as an example to see where I needed to fix things and the second as a more cohesive piece.

Watercolor painting of a purple bunch of grapes
Watercolor grapes

My watercolor next to the original
Two paintings of purple watercolor grapes
My painting next to the original

The second and third paintings were a copy of a watercolor of Florence. I had difficulty with this one. The second showed a bit of improvement and towards the end there were those little triggers going off in my head like “oh that's how you do that.” more practice will be needed to hone these skills.

Watercolor painting of buildings in Florence
Florence cityscape
Watercolor painting of buildings in Florence
Florence cityscape part 2

The fourth picture was done from a photo of a night time city scape with reflections in the water from the rain. This one was tricky trying to keep those light areas light as it was a darker picture. This one helped me look and think about the layering in a way I never have before. I normally will lay my darks in first with my works. Watercolors you tend to work from light to dark so this one taught me how to represent the darks in the first layers without compromising the lights so I could mentally see how the lights needed to laid down. I'm not sure if that makes sense to anyone but basically it was a big step in how I look at the structure of a watercolor painting.

Watercolor painting of a night time scene
Watercolor nightscape

The fifth picture was a still life. I think this one was more relaxed. I was starting to get comfortable with the idea of the layers and practicing my patience. I figured out a lot of my issues with watercolours has really come down to impatience.

Watercolor still life of a bottle, rose and tragedy mask
Still life composition

My sixth painting I started but will have to finish at home. This one was done from a photo. It is a landscape with a bunch of stones. This picture brought together more how my brain works when I paint with how the layers need to be laid down. I played with a different technique to help my darks not seem so flat. This painting my teacher related it back to how I paint with oils. Reminding me about respecting the layers and think through my composition before just painting.

Unfinished watercolor landscape with rocks and water
Unfinished landscape
Unfinished landscape

I left with a sense of progress. I know I'm not anywhere close to where I want to be with them yet but this week has taught me so much and I'm forever grateful for the wonderful teachers who take the patience to work with me with how my brain works.

Jackie ❤️

22 views5 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Also, what are your socials? I'll follow, so we share pics of lastest works and the like.

Replying to

Insta and Facebook are @threetenticlesforward


Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Holy shit! That would have ruined my trip! Sounding like the consumate dad, DON'T TRAVEL ALONE and particularly in foreign countries. I'm glad you're ok. I really like the night scape. There's something raw and grungy about it that makes it visually striking. Watercolor is a lot trickier than most people think. You're doing a good job with them. Keep working and get some pepper spray!

Replying to

And thank you for the input and encouragement. yes watercolor is so deceiving! it looks simple and easy but is by far the hardest skill I've tried to lean so far.

bottom of page