Aperitivo Time!

Painting | Oil on Canvas Panel 11” x 14” 

I’ve had the privilege of spending multiple vacations in Italy and am of the opinion that it is simply one of the most fantastic places in the world. The people, food, wine, traditions and, of course apperitivo time! 

Final painting of Aperitivo Time
Aperitivo Time!

This particular scene is from a street in Lucca, Italy. The reference photo is earlier in the evening, just when the street lights go on, but I pushed the timing back a few hours so the lighting was more prominent. And just like magic, it was apperitivo time – break out the Aperol and snacks! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, rather than stumble through an explanation, just Google it yourself and promise yourself that one day you’ll go experience it first hand. Now back to the art…

This was another session to work on street scenes with people milling about their business (see the previous composition on this topic here, Lilliputian Italian Evening Painting). Ironically, the people were the easiest part of the composition, as the rest of the street and buildings took a lot of rework and adjustments along the way. Not sure why, but sometimes things don’t go smoothly. The other challenge was the surface of this particular canvas board. I had to really load up paint on the brushes in order to make progress, which was due to either the very toothy surface or the fact that it was very absorbent – this canvas board really drank down paint. 

This piece is also meant to be displayed in softer, yellow lighting. It was an experiment that I haven’t purposefully tried to do in the past, but the result is pretty cool. See the side-by-side comparison below, one with “normal” lighting, the other under the yellow/orange soft light. I feel like it adds to the mood and to some degree makes the street glow. 

Progression gallery below shows the block-in, early color layout, and final composition.

2 thoughts on “Aperitivo Time!

  1. Really enjoying your posts. I’ve been sharing with Bernie and we are both so impressed by your talent. We also share your love for travel and appreciate the beauty you bring forth in you’re paintings. Hope we get back in the air ASAP!!!


  2. Wow! Really, really nice, Bern. I think some of that effort a few years ago you put into painting buildings and streets in San Francisco helped jumpstart these latest art works of yours, yes?? Lighting experiment very cool!


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