Archives for the month of: July, 2018

The next morning, before we could go inside the “Hub”, Alfândega, to check in for the start of the USK 9th International Symposium, a lot of Sketchers were sketching the buildings across the street. The view across from where we met up every day was unbelievably beautiful, complex and a constant inspiration and this day I just attempted a tiny snippet of some woman’s daily wash hung out to dry. In the days to come I would find myself, facing the unbelievable jumble of buildings, along with numerous others drawing away in the sketchbook.

Stillman and Birn Beta Series sketchbook; Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen (hard tip), Pitt brush pen; if there is color it will be from Molotow and/or Posca acrylic paint markers.

After sketching all day at Ribeira Square we made our way to Alfândega Porto where we were meeting up with other NYC Urban Sketchers for a pre-symposium opening dinner just down the road. Of course dinner included sketching.

Stillman and Birn Beta Series sketchbook; Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen (hard tip), Pitt brush pen; if there is color it will be from Molotow and/or Posca acrylic paint markers.

The next day, one day before the USK 9th International Symposium was scheduled to begin, Benedicte and I spent the day under a tree looking across the Rio Douro. I won’t bore you with repetition, the whole day there was documented in a blog post from July 18 where you all already saw the third drawing (which has now been properly scanned) in this post.

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Stillman and Birn Beta Series sketchbook; Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen (hard tip), Pitt brush pen; if there is color it will be from Molotow and/or Posca acrylic paint markers.

The day I arrived in Porto I texted Benedicte. She was nearby so I met her in my hotel. Thank goodness. Over the next few days I discovered I was prone to getting lost in the narrow, twisty up and down streets and alleys. I have no memory of it, since I was so dopey from all the travel and airplane movies and no sleep, but I probably got lost that evening after we finally found someplace to eat that suited us both. Before that she took me to all the places she had already discovered. The zillions of steep steps by Ponte Luis I that I found myself on were very alarming in my fuzzy brained state. Oh, what had I gotten myself into. We looked at every menu outside of every restaurant, it seemed, until finally the perfect one appeared and we were both exhausted but happily scarfing down deliciousness. At one point we ran into Mel and his girlfriend but, since I couldn’t remember where we had been, it turned out to be a problem when I was supposed to meet Benedicte there the next day. Oh well – that was the next day’s problem. After dinner I asked Google maps to lead me to the hotel. I had never used GPS thingies – I’m a paper map person – so, at every street corner (no exaggeration) I got lost. It was dark, I was lost, I didn’t cry, I was exhausted, I persevered. Oh, and I was tipsy from the ONE glass of wine at dinner. Tipsy did not help anything. Finally I arrived at the hotel and I discovered a Gelato store with outdoor tables right across the street from the hotel. I can find gelato. I’m never too tired for gelato. I figured out how to get some – foreign country remember – got some, sat outside and then sketched. Everything was OK.

The color was added later in the hotel room.

Stillman and Birn Beta Series sketchbook; Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen (hard tip), Pitt brush pen; if there is color it will be from Molotow and/or Posca acrylic paint markers.

Traveling to Porto started on Sunday night and ended a bit later than expected on Monday afternoon. I watched three movies ’cause I was wide awake.

The guy in the front turned out to be “my” flight attendant.

Stillman and Birn Beta Series sketchbook; Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen (hard tip), Pitt brush pen; if there is color it will be from Molotow and/or Posca acrylic paint markers. Any gray is provided by Tombow Brush pens.

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Small Moleskine; Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen (hard tip), Pitt brush pen

I actually finished the 30x30directwatercolor2018 (acrylic used) challenge before I went off to the USK Symposium in Porto. I’m home now and have a lot of sketchbook pages to scan so be patient. You’ll see that this 30 day challenge had an effect on some of my on-site Porto sketchbook sketching. For better or worse. Sitting on a stool in the middle of a train station is is trickier than at the kitchen table but a substitution of materials made it easier. The 30 day challenge pushed a button in my brain.

30x30directwatercolor2018 (acrylic used)
Referred to a reference photo snapped by me.

Tiny Hahnemühle Bamboo mixed media pad; acrylic

For some reason I glanced out the window and spotted laundry. IPat jumped for joy, I could hardly control her. We had to sketch Right Now. That was ok, I had plans but they were very loose and only involved me. This fortuitous sketch opportunity foreshadowed the rest of the vaguely planned day – my last whole day in Porto. I sketched and walked and ate, sketched and walked some more. A sketcher from Israel ran into me and I ran into two more as I was leaving Ribeiro Square for the last time. I managed to get everywhere without a map for two consecutive days. Didn’t get lost at all. That was a major breakthrough – could be a miracle. It was a very serene ending to a very exciting and exhausting USK Symposium.

iPadPro: Pencil
Apps Used: Procreate

The USK Symposium ended last evening and I am on my own for two days. Reiberia was my second stop for the day and I ended up staying somewhere in this area until evening. Running into Sketchers and sketching until there was no more sketch left. I turned around, my other drawing of diners was complete, and I now faced the Douro River. There was a line of people sitting on the quay before me watching the boats speed and/or sail by. We were in the large shade provided by the only tree. It doesn’t matter where the sun is, there is always a big pool of shade. There were two benches available that allowed people to face in different directions. The breeze was constant and a bit chilly. Earlier there had been a busker attached to a life-sized dummy, taking up too much of the shade, dancing very entertaining tangos. It was nice when he left. Still crowded but quieter with a really cool view.

iPadPro: Pencil
Apps Used: Procreate

Picture 800 Sketchers stretched along the wide meridian between the Avenue leading up to the impressive edifice of Porto’s City Hall fronted by an imposing statue and regal stairway. The Sketchers were on the ground, on tiny stools or bolted down chairs, standing, chatting, perusing – all of them holding an open sketchbook, a pen, brush or juggling a palette. Picture all the tourists taking pictures of the sketchers. Coolest thing.

iPadPro: Pencil
Apps Used: Procreate