Brazil Trip: Pao de Acucar(Sugarloaf) and Copocabana Beach, Rio

September 25, 2014 | Leave your thoughts

Day 2 in Rio was the BIG day… visiting two of the top tourist destinations and getting a feeling for its incredible setting.
It turned out to be a big output day despite being surprisingly relaxing… doing a number of quick large panoramic landscapes. These are impressive in scale in my sketchbook but translate poorly to my blog – so I have cropped them a little so they are not so small. When I put my issuu edition together you will get a better feeling for them.

Being around Lynne Chapman was one of the most inspiring follow-ups to Richard Alomars “Unfolding Story” – she just didn’t stop sketching once all day- recording every part.  Suhita is also quick to pull out her sketchbook.. so when I arrived at the front of the hotel after breakfast- they were already sketching…and Lynne never stopped.

She inspired me to try to sketch the hotel while waiting for the taxi… and then do a quick sketch of the dramatic cliff face of Corcovado.

And then to sketch in the cable car on the way up to the first level.

The gang had met at the base of Sugarloaf early to beat the crowds. We settled down in a comfortable spot to do the view back to the city. This was the start of over 6 hours of sketching together – bouncing ideas off each other…and basically all having a grand time.
Suhita has put together a wonderful group post over on the Urban Sketchers blog which I recommend you check out. Not only is is full of incredible paintings but it describes how we inspired each other that day.

My first two sketches were from this spot – very fast and using different tools – watercolour pencils focusing on the hills  and then using my sailor pen for the second sketch trying to record how the built form integrates into the landscape.

Next we walked around to sketch Sugarloaf itself – the best view was in the bright sun.
I made the mistake of putting my sunglasses on – something I never do when I am painting. I was reminded why – just a bit heavy handed and then to make matters worse I closed my book and got paint everywhere… so this sky involved a lot of scrubbing. 
I then moved to the shade(others were already there)  and quickly did this one preserving more white. It is great to have the chance to do multiple versions of the one scene. 
This was amidst chats about pigments and values and layering washes (as we do!)
Two happy characters – those Marmoset monkeys were cute (of course Lynne was sketching at the time!)


The view up the top was surprisingly different… and look who wanted his photo taken? Another character indeed! His appearances these days are very rare and unexpected!

Sitting on the edge sketching….

The view this time was more looking down to the beaches where we were headed next…

The gang for the day – Claudia (Australia/Brazil), Suhita (USA/India), Lynne(England), Esther (Scotland), Marc(Canada), Me, Shiho(USA/Japan), Omar(Berlin/Ecuador)…and of course Laurel too who takes all the wonderful photos. We certainly have a spread of nationalities!
As much as we wanted to stay up for the sunset… the cloud was closing in so we headed down.

Next stop Copacabana Beach… (no singing a certain song by Barry was allowed!)

The beach was very empty – no good icecream to be found and it was quite chilly. Not quite the Copacabana experience we were expecting… but of course, it goes without saying it is a spectacular location. And I always get excited on an occasion for getting my feet in water.

I keep thinking to myself… have I really now been to Rio? It is one of those famous cities that you dream of going to many years but never expect to visit… but yes I have been there – I have the sketches as a record!!


We ended the day with a lovely dinner.  What a great day (am I sounding like a cracked record???)
This turned out to be the last full day sketching I did in Rio… my ‘pollution’ sore throat (or so I thought!) turned into something nasty… but there are still  some exciting adventures to come!


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