fabrice moireau

Urban sketching in Venice

Venice is so very visually stimulating I feel ashamed I did so little sketching there. I took a load of photos but, as we know, snapping is no substitute for sketching when it comes to getting really involved in a scene.

One reason I fell short was that I found a book of fabulous Venetian sketches by Fabrice Moireau, and felt such a novice in comparison…

Here’s a selection. They are well worth studying for the underlying drawing (especially of buildings and water – of course!) and easy watercolour technique.


Before my trip, I read the book Rooftops of Paris. It contains utterly beautiful watercolor paintings by Fabrice Moireau depicting this “levitated, almost unreal world”. To capture his views, he would slip into apartment buildings, pretending to live there, and painted while perched precariously on high. I wasn’t quite as bold as Fabrice, but was determined to capture this landscape of form, pattern, and rhythm. There is nothing like the feeling of stepping out onto a rooftop to suddenly have Paris there in front of you, in all its magic, at an unfamiliar altitude.
—  Irene Suchocki