I do love drawing fountains, ones with figures spouting water in particular take my fancy. The first I drew was a few years ago when I happened to be in Prato, Italy. It was summer, and hot. My husband was at a conference, so I had time to sit and sketch. But when I found my subject, the sun beat down, my hands got sweaty, and I was forced to close my sketchbook. Back home, with the aid of a good photo I drew the cherub-like fountain feature above. It now hangs on the wall of my study.
It is the nuances I can achieve with different grades of graphite that bring me back to these figurative subjects. I begin slowly, as with other sketches, a dot or dash here to build up the form before I start the rendering of tone. I love being able to to bring out the curvature of the figure, and the play of light on an inert substance so that it takes on a life of its own. I also find the drawings a nice personal reminder of where I was, and when. On the day I sat to sketch the subject above, the sun was beating down, and squinting in the heat wasn’t so much fun. I began the sketch, choosing to focus on one figure, rather than sketch all the figures around the entire fountain lip. Again, I decided to take a photo, and finished the drawing once I was home.
This sketch above is my most recent, done from a fountain I saw in Bratislava. I wanted to sketch on the spot but there was not a seat in sight, and holding up a heavy sketch book is not for me. The fountain, like the one I drew in Valencia, had several figures around a circular lip. I took several photos, but liked the composition in the one I chose.
I am unsure where I shall be when another fountain captures my eye, although Italy is a strong possibility. Varenna, on Lake Como comes high on my list of places I love. Alongside my love of fountains.