Monday, April 1, 2013

Why not try Virtual Paintout?

Ink & Watercolor of Ravadinovo Castle, Bulgaria
One of the blogs I follow is by Jana Bouc (, and it was a recent post of hers that made me aware of The Virtual Paintout.  This is a blog for "virtual paintouts using Google Street View as a resource for traveling the world to find interesting locations and subjects to paint."  This blog and project is hosted by Bill Guffey.  Anyone who wishes can submit artwork to this site for display.  The only rule is that you must use a view from Google Street View as your reference.  Other than that, have fun!  Every month Mr. Guffey selects a new location, and this month (April 2013), it is Bulgaria.

I've never been to Bulgaria (I have an ex-half-brother-in-law from Bulgaria, though!), but after cruising around virtually via Google Street View, I almost feel like I visited part of the country this morning.  It's kinda tough to figure out how to find interesting subjects; it helps to do Google searches on things like "Bulgaria attractions" then try to find a view of a resulting interesting place or subject via Google Street View.

It didn't take me too long to find an attraction I wanted to paint--Ravadinovo Castle.  It took me a little longer to find the darn place using Google Street View.  A Google Maps search didn't yield much except one hotel that purported to be 6 km away from the castle.  It helped to read reviews of the castle in Trip Advisor, as those who visited provided better clues to its location.  I "cruised" the main street of the small town of Ravadavino until I saw it, then found a perspective of it I liked well enough.  Save the link in GSV, and start sketching!

I recommend participating in this fun exercise.  The images you get from Google Street View has its issues (distortion, non-optimal lighting or weather conditions), but the artwork can be freely done without worry of copyright issues.  And it's fun to virtually visit a place you've never been before!

Google Street View of Ravadinovo Castle

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