Friday, November 11, 2011


Some time ago I was struggling to find the features of an imaginary character: in my mind he was quite clear, but I couldn't put him on the paper. I guess you know. So I looked for the most similar real face I could remember, and that was the smart and nice face of Alfalfa (actor Carl Switzer) from Our Gang series (yes, we know this series in Italy, too). I collected some photos and started to copy, hoping this would help me ("when you are stuck, go back to nature"...).

In fact my character turned out quite different, but the exercise was definitely useful.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Green woodpeckers

The (european) green woodpecker (Picus viridis) is a beautiful, middle size bird of our countries. It's quite common to ear his funny call, a kind of sonorous mocking laughter, and you can spot him while he moves with his undulating flight, but he tends to be rather shy, so it's not easy to watch him for a long time.
But this summer I was lucky enough to see a couple of them breeding in a field near a wood, and the observation was rather long and accurate. They are mostly green and mimetic, but they have a bright red crown - as if they were a bit vain. They walked calmly and watchful on the grass, looking for food.
When you see wild animals busy in their activities, it's easy to understand why  many traditional legends regard them as "small persons", little human creatures with a secret life. So I decided to remember my lucky encounter with a painting, "the secret life of green woodpeckers".

Done mostly in watercolor, with some gouache and colored pencils (sorry for the bad photo). Unfortunately I was not consistent in the color of the characters.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


A basilisk is a dreadful mythological animal, known as the king of snakes.
It is often depicted as a rooster with a snake tail and bird wings, however different versions of the myth report a mixute of almost any animal, so I felt free to imagine my own version. I simply tried to express the main characteristics, such as the terrific appearance, the deadly gaze and the poisonous breath.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


A weird creature today.
A krivopeta (or krivapeta) is a mythological figure coming from the border between Italy and Slovenia. As many other figures from myth, her description varies greatly, from a benevolent friend of people (sometimes she even marries a man) to a evil-minded witch. One thing however is distinctive of a krivopeta: her feet point backward.
Drawing such a strange woman is a challenge: the anatomy clearly doesn't work, and she look unbalanced... although after drawing a few, she now looks quite natural to me...  :)
Another question arises: is she an ugly witch, or a beautiful girl cursed with a deformity?

Friday, August 5, 2011


One more attempt with color.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sketching in the mountains

Some sketches from my recent holidays.

The simpler the better.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


This is a sample from my attempts to mix drawing and color. Gouache and ink.
Many errors, but I think there is something good which may be a starting point for the next ones.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Airship Sirius

It's an imaginary airship, of course, it could be the main character in a story set in late nineteenth century, I don't know if I will have enough time for that.
The model is probably not definitive yet, and the name is temporary, too. Also, lighting is rather basic in these renderings.

On the traditional side, besides doing some works I can't show on this blog, I'm struggling quite a bit with colors. I'm trying to find a way to "color my drawings". Basically I want to draw, but it would be nice to integrate lines with some color. Watercolor, inks and gouache are the best candidates, but I still have to find my way.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Landscape with malga

According to my dictionary, malga translates to "shepherd's hut in the Alps".
Sketched yesterday during a walk in the mountains. The big cloud timely arrived at the end of my drawing session, and filled a space too empty.
My landscapes are always "tasteless", unfortunately...(EDIT: "flavorless", not "tasteless", as blog readers pointed out)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Some more birds

I've been busy recently with some works I can't show on this blog, so here are a couple of my usual "bird drawings".

I'm grateful to my friend Antonio, who loves watching and photographing birds and other animals, for providing me with many good photos and allowing me to use them freely as reference.

Sandwich tern (Sterna sandvicensis or Thalasseus sandvicensis) and other seabirds.

Barn swallow (Hirundo rustica), young specimens.

Monday, February 21, 2011


This watercolor was done some time ago, but was left in my drawer because I thought it was unbalanced. Basically I still think it is, but I have no clear idea how to fix it...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Airship study

A study for the next image on airships - much less realistic, as you can see. I show the preliminary drawing here because I'm quite sure that the painting will be less incisive and interesting - so, why do you make a painting? Because people (including me) like colors, sometimes...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

More gulls

As I have already said, it's easy to take pictures of gulls in my town, so I'm afraid you will see a lot of drawings/paintings of gulls in the future, I'm experimenting a bit on different styles and techniques.

A couple of drawings. The first is done with a more tonal approach, suggesting a kind of "moist atmosphere"

in the second I reverted to my usual line style, which seems more lively to me

I also did a watercolor study (with very limited gouache and pencil touches). Due to lack of planning, I completely messed up the backgroud.

I'm still hesitant between a true soft watercolor effect, and a more precise description, which is what I actually got despite my initial intent.
Painting watercolor twice in a year is not the right way to improve...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


A quick sketch from life. Unfortunately she looks older than she actually is (but luckily you don't know).
Made in sanguine.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Airship Norge/2

According to some old photos, airships were carried out of hangars simply by pulling ropes. Sometimes a kind of trolley could support the airship, but I was interested in showing the magic of a giant weightless baloon being carried around.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Gulls are common on the river in my town, especially in winter. They gladly accept some food (mostly old bread) and "pose" for some photos.
These are probably young specimens of black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus). The big one on the lower left is a different species, probably a yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis).

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Knight and dragon/6

A new drawing on an old theme... the title actually could be "the knight's nightmare", possibly the night before the battle (but did he know in advance?).
I'm using a bit more of shading than usual, but I'm not very satisfied with the super-polished look, I have to look for a freer effect.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Airship Norge

The second project I'm working on is a set of images of airships.
I'm starting with some images inspired by the explorations of Umberto Nobile in the '20s, in particular the first polar expedition with airship Norge. However I'm not claiming that my images are faithful to real facts: I'm just fantasizing on them. I will probably make some completely "imaginative" pictures in the future.

Airships are magic objects, possibly the most beautiful and poetic technological objects ever made by men. They are huge and impressive, yet "light" and "immaterial"; they look like dreams made real.

I decided to mix 3D and 2D graphics, because airships are complicated objects which need an accurate rendering, and I don't like to draw mechanical objects. I'm not really fond of 3D (I don't have much fun with it), but that seemed the best option in this case.

The airship (made with the open-source program Blender):

and some settings, on digitally painted backgrounds:

Exploration of Svalbard island (two versions, same background):

The evening before leaving

Leaving in the morning