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Lisbon

Lisbon was the last stop on our concert tour. Sketch above shows a section of the huge Jeronimo’s monastery in the Belem neighborhood. The OLA frozen treat stand was actually on the opposite corner, but it made a great contrast to the monumental architecture.

Lisbon rooftops Bairro Alto 72Pauline and I stayed an extra four days in a 3rd story flat that she found through airbnb. Here’s a view from our bedroom window in the Bairro Alto neighborhood.

Lisbon flea market 72After riding on the famous tram #28, we stumbled upon a flea market, at the foot of the Panteao Nacional.

 

 

 

 

 

The Rua Augusta Arch is the center of a lively commercial district, where we had an elegant lunch.Lisbon Rua Augusta Arch2 72 On the opposite side of the arch is the waterfront, the site of Eurocup activity, including jumbotron video of matches. During our visit, Portugal beat Croatia, and there was quite a bit of yelling, cars honking and whatnot. Several days after we returned home, Portugal actually won the Eurocup! YAY!

Lisbon Eurocup

Portugal!

Our first stop in Portugal was the town of Sintra. I stood in the middle of a busy intersection, surrounded by tourists, many of whom took an interest in my work. Several Japanese folks followed me as I moved from this location to our bus, adding color and detail as I went.Sintra-Japanese tourists

Sintra street

Sketching people in a cafe

The sketching workshop in San Rafael yesterday focussed on people. After a refresher on basic proportions of the human head and body, we warmed up by drawing from photos, then went to the Aroma Cafe for practice “in the wild.”

The blue and green couple, above, was created by a new student with no prior experience. I did add some finishing touches, using an indigo colored pencil.

That big guy with the beard and curly pony tail was an attractive subject for several of us. Here’s my version, in purple and gold.

bearded guy-computer

Sketching people without their knowledge is a skill worth developing. Find an advantageous point of view at just the right distance. Work very fast to lay out the basic “line of action” of the pose (Thanks to Suhita Shrodkar for that term). People sitting by themselves are likely to move around less than folks who are sitting together. Hand gestures while talking are a challenge. You can choose one position and draw it from memory, or make the moving hand deliberately out of focus.

man with sunglassesThis fellow was waving his right hand around quite a bit as he talked. A collaboration between me and a student ended up with a closed hand held up to his face.

Another collaboration, below, shows a man with white hair seated against a black background. Using that dark area for contrast made the white hair stand out nicely.

white haired man

San Rafael sketches: people, places & things

One of my favorite venues for sketching people is the Aroma Cafe on 4th street in San Rafael, CA, a couple doors down from the award-winning Art Supply store, Rileystreet. This sketch was done with colored pencil.figure sketches 4-2-16I love this colorful victorian building on B street @ 3rd. There is a guitar store on the ground floor, and I was delighted to see this old Chevy pickup truck parked in the perfect spot.

guitar store photo

guitar store 1-2

First, I began with dark red aquarelle pencil, then added blue and green, to establish the basic structure and lay in some of the darkest values.

Guitar store 3-4Then I added some line work with a Micron black ink pen, size .08. More color, including yellow ochre, was applied. A few strong black accents were added with a Faber-Castell B (brush tip) pen. Finally, water from a Japanese water brush was used to release pigment from the colored pencil strokes.

guitar store 4-2-16

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