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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

Seville

In Seville, we enjoyed a Flamenco performance and paella dinner. I found more Moorish architecture to draw. The building with a green-and-white striped tile dome is on the Avenida de la Constitucion.Seville-green striped dome 72

In addition to the usual waterproof black pen and aquarelle colored pencils, I added some decorative scribbles with a white gel pen.

Cordoba

Continuing to catch up with sketches from Spain, the highlight of this town is the Cordoba Mosque. The breathtaking series of candy-striped arches is shown here, along with my attempt to capture it on paper.Cordoba mosque-1I also had the opportunity to sketch a street scene, featuring this “Marrakesh” souvenir shop. While I was working, the owner of another shop, just out of frame, came to his doorway and offered me a chair. I was nearly finished, so I declined, but I crossed the street to show him the sketch. He immediately brought me next door to meet the owner of the Marrakesh shop. He took a photo of the page, and we agreed to Friend each other on FaceBook.Cordoba street 72

Granada

We begin to see more Moorish influence in architecture and ornament. I am delighted with the colorful tile patterns on walls and domes.

Plaza de Santa Ana-stage1Granada Plaza de Santa Ana 72

the Mediterranean sea

On our way down the coast of Spain, toward Valencia, we stopped at the little town of Peniscola, where a medieval castle was used in the filming of the 1960s epic “El Cid.” (remember Sophia Loren?). Climbing the steep and winding streets, I got a good view of  this charming house overlooking the Mediterranean.

Peniscola view of Mediterranean 72

Medit view

Hola! I’m back from Spain & Portugal tour

After three weeks of sketching in the Iberian Peninsula, I’m eager to catch up. Let’s begin with Barcelona, the only city on this trip that I had visited before—22 years ago. The moderniste architecture was even more amazing than I remembered. Variable thickness lines in the sketch above were done with a Sailor bent nib fountain pen. When the pen dried up, I searched for waterproof ink all over Barcelona, with my new friend…Maria Picasso, a fellow member of ISCA, the International Society of Caricature Artists.

This Barcelona skyline was improvised from the terrace at our hotel. The elements were all there, but I moved them around and changed their size. Notice the Sagrada Familia cathedral in the background…it’s still not finished! The playful forms at Parc Guell are some of Antonin Gaudi’s most delightful creations.

Barcelona hotel terrace 72

Park Guell-72

sketching Monterey buildings

I spent three days on the Monterey peninsula, and I forgot to bring my sketching supplies along. That turned out to be a good thing, because I discovered a great resource—Imagine art supplies in Pacific Grove.

Here are stages in my sketch of
El Torito, a Mexican Restaurant in Cannery row.

El torito photoMy first strokes, in red aquarelle pencil, didn’t please me, so I used green to fix it. I used this very quick pencil layout to guide my ink drawing, using a Micron 08 for the thin lines and a Faber-Castell B (Brush) pen for the bold black accents. More color was applied.

ElTorito-1

ElTorito-2

 The final sketch has water-brush effects and a few details
created with a uniball Signo opaque white pen.

El torito

“Life is Short…Buy the Shoes”

That advice is posted in the window of “Foot Traffic”, a great shoe store on 4th street in San Rafael. My Thursday workshop finds many styles to sketch, along with some hats and handbags. Here is some recent work at Foot Traffic (left) and Macy’s (right). The green line drawing of a sneaker was done “blind” (except for the two areas of quick shading). By “blind”, I mean keeping my eyes on the shoe and my pencil (or pen) on the paper. Part of the process involves drawing the object in one continuous stroke, if possible. This is a powerful exercise for learning to draw what you see, and it is the essence of eye-hand coordination.  Also, when you can’t see your drawing, you can’t be judgmental of your skill!

Foot Traffic-2Macys shoes

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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