Most Serene

“Most Serene”   Neocolor 2 wax pastels and Luminance pencils. 33.5 x 48.5 cm. January 2020.

On my final morning in Venice I plan to sleep in, having risen before daybreak for the previous six days in a row.

In our dark bedroom at 5 o clock, a mosquito is sent to wake me up.  Eventually this insistent messenger’s whine is enough to toss me out of the room into a cold foggy dawn.

I cross the Accademia bridge without a particular plan.  As I wonder which way to go, a vaporetto (little steamer) materializes through the mist.  As she glides nearer she brings the scene to life – aglow, awake and at work (as am I) in a still-slumbering city.

Venice – La Serenissima – Most Serene

Postscript:  What a funny thing that something as irritating as a mosquito could lead to a serene situation.  There must be a moral to this story.  Happy endings may come out of perceived misfortune.

Notes on colour-building with Neocolor 2 and Luminance are in my previous post Perfect Partners

Neocolor 2 undercoat







15 thoughts on “Most Serene

  1. Nick Shiroma

    You evoke so many wonderful feelings! I can smell the air, feel the dampness and hear the water swirling around me! Thank you Julie, also appreciate your sharing of the way you work.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hi Nick, you’re very welcome – regarding my sharing of the way I work. I enjoy sharing my own techniques as well as reading what other artists do. I must say I lapped up all those elements you mention; the air, the dampness, the swirling water. It was a pleasure to visit Venice (at my easel) to daily reacquaint myself with that magical place.

  2. anna warren portfolio

    This is wonderful – the potential of that underpainting has been beautifully realised. The little boat is so key to the life of this drawing, the bright lights bring it out of the classic scene and give us something new, a heightened sense of Venice. Thanks to the mosquito!

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Ahh – the mosquito. When I was writing the post I originally finished it with, “I’d like to say thank you to the mosquito, and I hope I passed the audition”… (in the manner of Ringo Starr in the “Let it Be” film) – but then I thought it was a bit dumb. So I’m saying it on my reply to you instead.
      Ringo’s original quote is, “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition”.

  3. Tess Lee

    Julie…your work is just phenomenal…gorgeous. And your generosity is showing us how you do your undercoat is so very appreciated. I’ve tried to comment on Instagram from time to time, but always get “unable to post”…frustrating. Thank you for the incredible work you do. 💕

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Thank you, Tess! Hmm, I wonder why there’s that problem with Instagram?!
      I like to share about the Neocolor 2 undercoat because I’m so excited about it myself. What I mean to say is, without it, a drawing this large would have been a nightmare with coloured pencils alone. I’m not sure I would have even tried it. But the Neocolor allows the pencils to go over the top so easily – it makes all the difference in the world to the actual process. …and adds richness to the finished product.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Speaking of memorable, Judy, thank goodness I keep a written journal because I wouldn’t have remembered the details of the mosquito getting me out of bed without it. It is always good to go to my journal and read the circumstances around any particular photo I’m going to draw from. The written word helps me to bring the subject to life.


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