Stephanie Bower

Stephanie Bower | Architectural Illustration: | Sketching Workshops: | Sketches: & | Urban Sketchers Blog Correspondent | Signature member of the Northwest Watercolor Society

Monday, October 31, 2016

Workshop, Day at the Villa Lante

Near the Entry to the Villa Lante's two pavilions.
I have wanted to see this place for years, ever since I studied the gardens in France with the Gabriel Prize architecture fellowship in 2013. This remarkable garden from around the mid-1500's near Civita pre-dates and likely influenced the ones I studied outside of Paris.

The fabulous lower garden.
The famous table fountain. Apparently, they really served meals on this stone table!
See the face at the end? The fountains cascade down the various levels of terraces.
So this year for the first time, as part of the workshop, we headed about 20-30 minutes drive away to spend a day in Bagnaia, near Viterbo, to sketch in the cool shade of these beautiful gardens. It was a great break from the stone of Civita, and there is wonderful perspective to sketch here.  We will do this again in next summer's Civita workshop as well!

Me and my overlay ambitious sketch of one
of the pools looking toward the lower garden.
Yikes, ellipses gone wild!! What was I thinking????
I finally got to meet the cousin of our friend Sean Cryan in Seattle, Mary Jane Cryan...she lives near here and has wonderful
books and gives guided tours as well. I brought her Etruria book home (the heaviest thing in my suitcase) and it was well worth the extra pounds through Spain and England. Fascinating, and she is a wonderful writer, like her cousin Sean. Sarah and Annie, left and right, work with Sean in Seattle...small world!

At the end of the day, we had fabulous pizza just down the street in Bagnaia...what a great day!


  1. Beautiful gardens and paintings! I would love to take the workshop some day .

    1. Thanks, Nancy, I hope you can join us some day too!

  2. I love the line work and the colors in your elipse sketch! Are the lines all pencil or do you add pen after you paint?

    1. Hi Dory, It's all pencil! Once I paint over the lines, they get darker and impossible to erase.
      Then when I scan the sketches, they get even a little darker...but it's all pencil done before I paint!
      Thanks so much for your comment!