Sometimes in life you accept an invitation because it´s too nice not to, even though you are not exactly certain of what to expect. That´s what happened to me when I was invitated to follow a sketchbook workshop led by Caridad Barragan. I had never met her before, but I knew some of her work from twitter and facebook and really like it, so the invitation was an opportunity I could not resist.
But then.. I have never ever held a pencil in my life. Still, one needs a challenge every now and then so I went to the small village of Porchiano del Monte near Amelia in the Terni region. It is a lovely village with stunning views of the scenery, so I could tell there would be an abundance of inspiration.
There was indeed. After I met Caridad, who appeared to be as nice in real life as she had virtually seemed to me, we took off to a nice viewing point at the wall of Porchiano. We received nice home made sketchbooks, a pencil, a brush and some water colors.
Caridad told us to pick a spot we liked in particular. Seeing Lugnano at a few miles distance, I thought that would be a nice subject to start with. Caridad taught us how to hold the pencil in different ways in order to draw lines and reach special effects with them.
Seeing that it really worked, I found enough courage for the next step and use the watercolors. In the meantime we had gotten the precious company of Caridad´s daughter Gemma, who is a gifted photographer and film maker, and her gorgeous dog Daisy.
We picked another spot and drew the basic lines using the pencil. After that we filled the sketch with the brush and the watercolors, which were yellow, blue and red. After a while it became easier to mix the colors and apply some nuances.
Wich, of course, still does not make me an artist, but it was fun to sit in the sun, look at the wonderful spots of Porchiano and really get something similar in the sketchbook.
For the third level we moved to the other side of the village where we had a great view of the olive fields and the surrounding forest. The level reached meant to sketch using the brush and the paint immediately. That was the hardest part, but I found out how you can mix the colors and have many different types of green.
This meant the end of a lovely and peaceful morning and I can absolutely recommend this workshop. When looking back at the things you have drawn and painted, you will remember the ambiance and atmosphere and you will be able to keep your sweet memories of Umbria forever.