Instead of leather

I’ve just finished a week of teaching with French Escapade in Tuscany, and before my next group arrives tomorrow, I have a bit of a break so what do I do? More sketching.

When I was with my group in Siena the other day, we found an art supply store with lots of interesting materials, some of which I had never seen in North America. Of course, for most of us this was a lot more interesting than the shoes and bags in the leather shops.

I walked out with some new Tintoretto brushes and a block of Magnani 1404 paper. I tried out both this morning, setting up my easel right at the agriturismo where we are staying in Chianti. The Magnani paper reminds me very much of Fluid CP paper. It has a soft texture that yields to pencil, and it maintains colour saturation just like Fluid does.

I’ll do some posts about the workshop soon, but for now I am just enjoying the views and catching up on laundry.

20 Comments on “Instead of leather”

  1. While you were shopping for brushes and sketching, I was going to Costco and Walmart. Try not to be too jealous! ENJOY! John


  2. Carol says:

    lovely work!


  3. Barbara Beynon says:

    I love the clarity of these two pieces. They can only be in Italy! I still have part of a small block of Magnani paper I bought in Florence in similar circumstances. (However, I confess to also having bought a leather wallet at the leather school attached to Santa Croce.) If you are in Florence, the art supply store is Zecchi Colori Belle Arti, Via dello Studio 19R. If you haven’t been, this shop is worth a visit. It’s close to the Opera del Duomo (Cathedral workshop/museum).

    Thank you for the generous sharing of your work.


  4. Jeff Gold says:

    Beautiful images. You are a marvel of energy and devotion to your creativity. Maybe I’ll refer to you as “Captain Marvel”!


  5. Beautiful sketches. Especially the greens. Wondering if you like the brushes? I picked up two of the Tintoretto brushes from an art store in Florence in May…along with some sandals and leather pencil case! I don’t remember which store….it was over the bridge in Florence. I did not ask about paper. I love my brushes but have not been able to find out what they are made of through searches on the internet.


    • Hi Carmel. I do like the brushes. Some of my students bought the sable travel brushes which are really nice, and well-priced. I bought a very long haired striper which I like too. I also bought a mop brush which is ok but not great. There is a website with info if you google Tintoretto brushes.


      • He Shari, Oh I wish I had seen the travel brushes. I was somewhat tired when I came across art shop in Florence and found myself standing in front of the brush display. I did get two mops … so far I like them. I will google the website … would like to find more information. They will remind me of Florence when I use them.


  6. Yes on the Magnani paper, I had a block ,loved it, but it’s too hard to source here in the US.
    Enjoy your break, I’m loving seeing little bits of Tuscany pop up in my social media feed all of last week.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. M Cirfi Walton says:

    #response_container_BBPPID{font-family: initial; font-size:initial; color: initial;} Hi Shari, did you go to the art shop Acquarello Bellearti on Via delle Terme or the one on Banchi di Sopra closest to the Campo?  I usually go to the one on Via delle Terme.If you are going to Firenze at all, and you haven’t gone to Zecchi’s, it is worth the effort. It is a mecca for professional and aspiring artists alike. They are near the Duomo on the aptly named,  Via dello Studio, 19Zecchi Colori Belle ArtiThey are closed mid day.Hours: 9am-1pm and then 3-7pm.  Sat. 9-1Sunday – closed.Www.zecchi.itThey have everything on earth and if you don’t  see it ask. They are very knowledgeable.  They also speak English if your Italian is a bit rusty.Your work is inspirational  and makes me homesick for Siena and that whole area.Have fun,Mercedes  From: comment-reply@wordpress.comSent: September 24, 2019 08:33To: villa.urbana@gmail.comReply to: comment+ry8qmgd_mm00uxvrlw7cm_59@comment.wordpress.comSubject: [New post] Instead of leather #ssc35155 a:hover{color: red;}#ssc35155 a{text-decoration: none;color: rgb(0, 136, 204);}#ssc35155 a.primaryactionlink:link,#ssc35155 a.primaryactionlink:visited{background-color: rgb(37, 133, 178);color: rgb(255, 255, 255);}#ssc35155 a.primaryactionlink:hover,#ssc35155 a.primaryactionlink:active{background-color: rgb(17, 114, 158) !important;color: rgb(255, 255, 255) !important;}

    Shari Blaukopf posted: ” I’ve just finished a week of teaching with French Escapade in Tuscany, and before my next group arrives tomorrow, I have a bit of a break so what do I do? More sketching.

    When I was with my group in Siena the other day, we found an art supply store wi”


    • Hi Mercedes, I did not go to either. I went to a nice little one on Via di Citta. Small but well stocked and with interesting stuff. I’m taking my next group back this week so we will look for the other stores too. Thanks for all the info. We are not going to Florence this time but I will remember this for next time. Of course I can’t resist a nice art shop. Ciao! Shari


  8. joantav says:

    It is always so much fun to visit art stores in other countries and see what they have that is different from what we have home…and then go out and create lovely art!


  9. These views capture the Italian feel so well!


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