Matthew Brehm in Umbria, Italy
I led my students on a brief visit to Umbria last weekend. We stopped for the better part of a day in Spoleto, then spent two nights in Perugia before two more nights in Assisi. All of these are "hill towns" and they're among my favorite places to sketch. Always challenging subjects, always amazing light, and generally a peaceful, unhurried daily life. The food is outstanding too, of course - lots of cinghiale and tartufo. I was trying something different this time, working on watercolor blocks rather than in a sketchbook, and found it to be easier in many ways to apply nice large washes without constantly wrestling with the book. The paper (Arches Cold & Hot Press) is also much better than anything I've encountered in even the best sketchbooks - it simply takes the water better. We're now back in Rome, and I hope to post some of my work from this crazy, incredible city soon!