Urban sketchers - Lisbon

Before we get started, USK provides us different fantastic sketchbooks. I grab a card at the bar near Belas Artes to craft my name on it.

First workshop: influence of cars on street life - Joao Ramos.
I forgot cars : so fond of people ! And I'm just introduced to Lisbon fellows.
I'd have loved to travel with Claude Levi-Strauss, that's why I chose this workshop. We soon discover that our instructor Joao Ramos, an ethnologue, is studying "sketchers studying people on the street"... Impressive !
Urban sketchers are quite at ease drawing together in public places. Being part of the group allows not to be so shy, great !
As we are on the firemen's place, we think of Toño's amazing fire trucks...
Through the exercice, I see the difficulty of living on a hill, above all for a pregnant woman, hard gravity balance. And I'm amazed by people speaking to each other, so different in France. I am surprised to see so many maids, in uniform like in the XIXth century. It's the same in Spain.

At night, we gather down town. Symposium gives us nice surprises, life's presents : I've not seen David Magli for ages. We share artistic experiences while drawing this street singer. Such a good musician too, could be noticed as Keziah Jones was in Paris subway.

Second workshop : Lisbon ruins - Clara Marta and Guida Casella.
First shock : drawing part of Lisbon ruins, from 1755 earthquake, the one which made Voltaire change his vision of life. "Life is short, everything can change" (find it in his book Candide)
Second shock : attend to a workshop with impressive architects ! And we share our notebook... Both students and instructors have such a high level in USK !
We have a coffee together to fight the cold wind. I discover nice old ladies from Lisbon, whether on the street or watching us through their windows. Lisete, a portuguese sketcher seating next to me, tells me they have mermaids in the Tagus river, and I believe her ! No wonder why I illustrate children books.

Third workshop : lining over colour - Richard Camara :
Hard to get ! I stick to reality and habits.
Finally I get it : first the silhouette of the sky, then windows, then shade...
Line is option. Sounds good to me !
While drawing, an injured guy falls in front of me. I want to help him but he refuses. He looks exhausted and finds artificial paradises to stand it. There are many poor lost guys around. What you hear on the news suddenly becomes real.
We go to the museum nearby. Guides follow us secretly to see the transformation of their treasures on paper. At the end, the ticket officer shouts at me "Come here, wanna stamp your sexy drawing." In English please, cause they are so good at speaking languages in Portugal !

Fourth workshop : Movement - Eduardo Salavisa and Monica Cid.
Let's go to the station and draw people, and better the same one, twice in different moves !
At first sight, stations are the same all around the world : people running everywhere.
While drawing, you get noticing local details, such as typical populations (gipsies, inmigrates from Angola, sunny fashion girls. And lots of colours, when Parisian people seem to wear only black and white.)
Really enjoyed drawing people from above an escalator !

Fifth workshop : sketch mix - Pedro Fernandes (PeF) and Joao Moreno.
I did not end my below drawing, lack of time. I went to see the others' work, and get a chance to know about their experience. Also part of the Symposium's greatness ! Kim tells me about the 60 persons' USK group in Paris, huge ! Mariana (Marianaarquitecta) feels free with mixing two views of the street, so original !
I thought this drawing below was kind of lost, but it was without relying on its destiny : on my way to the airport, I found two wonderful wires.
We also had to draw 3 views of the same thing. I chose pigeons, typical of Lisbon. But they kept on moving a lot. PeF, who's a bird specialist, showed me the fountain was full of wasps. Easier to draw the fountain itself maybe !
This one was about composing a picture with 3 elements + background, all from different views.
Sometimes you get recomposing different views together as if they were the same one : sometimes hand and eye work together without caring about what brain tells them. Freeky !
Street classroom with Monica Cid and Eduardo Salavisa...
Lecture with Monica Cid and Isabel Fiadeiro...
I speak soon about people I met in popular Lisbon just after symposium : sunday isn't sunday anymore in Portugal ?

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