Hadrian’s Arch

I’ve been procrastinating since returning home from Greece. I have a whole sketchbook full of sketches to scan, but scanning is a tedious process. The only good thing about doing this is that I get to relive the experience of sketching, and sketching Hadrian’s Arch was one of my favourite moments in Athens, apart from sketching the Acropolis, of course.

This is a highlight of any visit to the city because if you stand in the right spot, the Parthenon in the distance is framed within the arch itself. As you can imagine, it’s a place of endless selfies, family portraits and tour guide stops. I couldn’t place my chair in the perfect spot to sketch that view because it was occupied by some other tourists, but this spot nearby was pretty good too because I had a view up Lisikratous Street with the hordes of tourists marching towards the Plaka. A more accurate sketch might have included at least a hundred more people in between me and the arch, as well as a dozen bicycles, their riders and their guide. If you go to Athens to sketch this, leave more time than I did. If you turn your chair around you’ll also be able to sketch the Temple of Olympian Zeus right behind you.

15 Comments on “Hadrian’s Arch”

  1. Barbara Cunningham says:

    I love the shadow purples and the sense of distance you achieved here!


  2. Chris Rusk says:

    So beautiful!


  3. I love that you were able to capture the view through the arch!! This is so nicely composed! Yes, to be accurate most locations like this have crowds of people to include…an impossible task. I find that I rarely have enough time to capture all the sketches I want when I travel. When I was in Athens I was on a cruise and had taken the hop-on bus to the Acropolis. By the time I walked around a little and sketched the Porch of the Maidens I was already worried about being late returning to the ship. lol Thanks for sharing so many of your sketches. I feel like I’m traveling along with you.


    • Thanks Joan. I agree, it’s so hard to get a quick sketch in when you’re travelling with other people. In my workshop we did some vignettes too, just to get people used to sketching quickly if they are ever in the type of situation you were in. Glad you’re enjoying the sketches!


  4. Lori says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!!


  5. Denise says:

    Love the colors in this sketch. Your excitement over being in Greece shines through in your sketches and stories. Glad you had a great trip!


  6. Erik Walton says:

    The video of your sketchbook was fantastic! I love the variety and story. Inspiring!


  7. Timothy Liddy says:

    Love it.


  8. Tami says:

    Just love the bright color as you captured this scene! Stonework is very convincing, has weight to it. Did you use a specific palette or your standard? I imagine with traveling, you might have to limit the amount of materials one brings?! Thanks for this, so nice to see. Might be as close as I get to being there!


    • Thanks so much for having a look Tami. I used my usual palette on this trip, but I must say, my Naples Yellow from Winsor & Newton was the favourite for all the warm coloured walls and stone. Perfect for everywhere we went.


  9. Bonnie says:

    Such a gorgeous sketch!!!


  10. Northern Traveller says:

    Wow – fantastic! I love your choice of colour for the shaded areas.


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