Back to Architecture: Chiesa di Ognissanti, Italy

1280px-Chiesa_di_ognissanti,_firenzeChiesa di Ognissanti, Florence, Italy.  I wanted to draw something comforting last night, and pulled out images from Italy.  This is comforting to me — portraits are NOT!

W14 12 CHIESA DI OGNISSANTI 1This is the “doodle” I did to understand the building relationships.
Understanding how the architect Matteo Nigetti created this Franciscan church,
the shapes he used and the logic behind them is like reading a language.
I easily read the language because I am a classically trained architect.
However, you can learn to see the geometric shapes if you begin to sketch them.

W14 12 CHIESA DI OGNISSANTI 3I looked first to see the symmetry — was the building symmetrical?  Yes.
(*sigh* i love symmetry*)
I then found the center line, or the place where each side begins to mirror the other side, right down the center of this facade (see the dotted line with the initial “CL”?)
Then I looked for basic distances (dimensions) between floors and columns, or how the building details articulated various quadrants.  This building facade is quite square,
and so I easily discerned three nearly equal dimensions across the front (“A”).
Two of the lower “floors” (signified by windows) also were close to equidistant (“B”).
I also noticed the two arched shapes appeared to be circular, not elliptical,
and this made them easy to draw (if one can draw a circle)
if you can “spot” the circle’s form on the facade.
I did this unconsciously, but recreated it for you above, so you could see
how I “think” as I read the classical rhythms.  I quickly saw four repeating
dimensions I could use to distinguish sizes.  I saw the circles,
and the place where the building roof drops at an angle.

W14 12 CHIESA DI OGNISSANTI 2This “homework” allowed me to move forward confidently in creating a watercolor
with no lines, just a gradual buildup of Daniel Smith’s Terra Ecole and Minnesota Pipestone, above.  I am loving experimenting with no line-work, though I think
I will never do away with line work altogether.  I love line sketches.

W14 10 21 WA CAPITOL ROTUNDA 5I also show how I dissected the rotunda clearly in my own notes on the
Washington State Capitol Legislative Building Rotunda (more info on the post.)

Images in Stillman & Birn Alpha journal with Preppie pens and Noodler’s Heart of Darkness ink (not waterproof), Tombow pens, and Daniel Smith watercolor paints.


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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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4 Responses to Back to Architecture: Chiesa di Ognissanti, Italy

  1. Annette G says:

    wonderful sketches Kate. Happy PPF, Annette x


  2. Danielle says:

    Love your drawings!!! Architecture is so fascinating!


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