“Drawing in the Streets of Florence” by Nellie Farrow (SACI Late Spring & Summer ’17)


Guest blogger Nellie Farrow (SACI Late Spring & Summer ’17) shares her reflections about drawing on site in Florence under the summer sun, filling her sketchbook with drawings of Renaissance architecture, sculptures and monuments while curious locals and tourists peer over her shoulder

Drawing in the streets of Florence
Nellie Farrow

Drawing on site has been one of the most unique experiences that I’ve had studying art in Florence. We have so much amazing artwork surrounding us here to learn from and to capture. In my drawing class, our teacher (visiting instructor Kathryn Betz) brings us to museums almost every class, despite the heat and despite our complaints about not sitting down for hours. We stand in front of sculptures and paintings in museums, sit on benches overlooking the city from above or perch on the curbs of streets and draw the works on the facades of buildings. It was definitely an intimidating feat at first; focusing on your drawing is difficult with the hustle bustle of the city moving around you and often in front of your line of sight. Tourists constantly stop behind you to watch you draw or point to their families to come see what you are doing. At first it felt like we would never learn to tune it all out, but of course we did. Once you focus completely, all the rest becomes a blur and it’s just you, the Florentine art, your paper and your pencil. It is a skill that I feel is very valuable as an artist no matter where you are drawing and it opens up many opportunities to take in art in a much more intimate way than just stopping to look and snapping a photo.

Sound like fun? All of our drawing classes take advantage of great works of art available at your fingertips in Florence. Sharpen your pencils and dust off that drawing pad–Florence will keep you busy!

To find out more about the drawing courses at SACI click here


About SACI

SACI is a US non-profit College of Art and Design in Florence, Italy, for undergraduate and graduate students seeking accredited instruction in studio art, design, conservation, art history, and Italian language and culture. Founded in 1975, SACI offers the following programs: Academic Semester/Year Abroad, Summer Studies, Venice Summer Program, Post-Bac in Conservation, MFA in Studio Art, MA in Art History.

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