To get a proposal: 413-250-8800 or jakers3(at)

Painting Tutorials

How-to watercolor and sketching tutorials demonstrating tips, tricks and techniques used in the Procreate app, using Apple Pencil and iPad Pro. Also, thoughts about life and architecture in NYC and the Berkshires, MA

Pen, Ink, Puccini, and the Internet

In 2001 my wife and I went to Tuscany and Umbria. Our itinerary came out of a book called Small Hotels and Country Inns of Italy, and every one of the book's recommendations were great. I was looking at the pics the other day and thought it might be fun--twelve years later--to compare some sketches I did then to the nearest photo approximations of the same views I could find on the web. So here they are:

Hotel di San Leonino in chianti country, 10 miles north of Siena:

Next came San Gimiginiano:

Then to Lucca, with the famous tower with the oak tree (the family crest of the nobles who built it):

Finally, Montepulciano:

So what does this have to do with Puccini? Buy me a beer someday and I'll tell you the story.

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(Author James Akers is a registered architect and illustrator with over 25 years experience. He provides both in-house and studio-based sketching, rendering, and what one might call "design stenography" services to many of NYC's and Boston’s leading architects.)

James Akers