Drawings of Florence, Italy

My vacation in Florence was very special to me. Below are sketches and a recount of my memorable trip.

Florence Rooftop Garden Drawing by Nicole Barker

Florence Rooftop Garden Pencil and Paper Drawing by Nicole Barker

After a day of tasting gelato, moving about streets of Florence, and mingling in the shops, my fiance and I retreated to the hotel and walked up to the secluded garden on the rooftop. At midnight the city was almost dead quiet, and I felt inspired to sit and draw in my sketchbook the view I had towards the Piazza Ognissanti. It was beautiful. I sat there for hours drawing what I saw. Then the clock tower chimed, and I decided to head off to bed.

Florence Arno River Drawing by Nicole Barker

Florence Arno River Pencil and Paper Drawing by Nicole Barker

In Florence we stayed at a quaint hotel called the Hermitage right on shore of the Arno river. Our room had a breathtaking view of the river through the arched walls that lined the coast. One grey morning while my fiance was getting ready, I started drawing the buildings, the river, and the arches. I drew a little bit each day. I found the windows and terraces of each building the most difficult. Unlike other skylines, the architecture in Florence is not uniform, and therefore cannot be created with a simple grid. Since I did not have time to finish my drawing before we left the city, we took many pictures outside our window for me to reference. So that I could finish the drawing when I returned to the states. I finished the sketch last night, and each bit that I added brought back a wave of memories of our lovely trip.

Florence Villa Drawing (updated) by Nicole Barker

Florence Villa Drawing (updated) by Nicole Barker

The main objective of our trip was to find a location that we wanted to get married in. We saw four different beautiful locations while we were in Italy, but the Villa di Maiano sketched above was our first choice by far. It had the look of a wealthy 17th century manor, with vaulted ceilings and gorgeous furnishings inside. Outside, it boasted a one hundred foot long terrace above the villa’s lavish gardens that overlooked the entire city of Florence. For documentation, we took many pictures of the villa. When we returned home I decided to reference those pictures to draw a likeness of the villa for the front of our wedding invitations. For those who are truly geeky, I hid an easter egg inside the drawing of the inspiration for our trip to Italy.

 Cleary-Barker Family Crest Photoshop Drawing by Nicole Barker

Cleary-Barker Family Crest Photoshop Drawing by Nicole Barker

After drawing the villa, and reading a lot of Game of Thrones, I was inspired to create an identity that would represent the joining of our two families. But more importantly, something that represented both my fiance and myself. Our family crests were separately very interesting. Mine being a roaring lion. His being three distinct leaves, that represented his families’ original profession and livelihood. I quartered and combined these images to create the family crest drawing above. Later, I added the crest to the front columns of my villa drawing.

My vacation in Italy was truly memorable, but our wedding there will be even more so. I can’t wait to share that moment.

3 Comments on “Drawings of Florence, Italy”

  1. Your drawings are wonderful! Thank you for choosing to liking a recent post of mine, ‘Random Bouquet’. I will be back to look more closely at your work and reflections.

  2. Nicole, I also find it very satisfying to draw when I am visiting a place. I find drawing really helps me to ‘see’ what could easily be missed by casual observation.

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