Brazil Trip: Sao Paulo Day 2

September 16, 2014 | Leave your thoughts

(Two posts a day for a little while so that I post my Brazil sketches while they are fresh….)

Day 2 in Sao Paulo….I start with a photo of the wonderful MASP building by Lina Bo Bardi. Until I started following Eduardo’s work online I had never come across this incredible architect. The way that this building sits amongst the skyscrapers of Ave Paulista, the way it sits on the ridge and the reflections of the surrounding buildings really moved me. Of course the form is  very dramatic as well – but I often find that it is the context of a famous building that strikes you the most when you see it first in real life. I didn’t get to sketch this building till my return to Sao Paulo 2 weeks later.

Another big day of sketching!


Marc and I headed a little further up Ave Paulista to a lone mansion. While we were setting up to sketch, a girl that lives there came out the gate and we went up to say hi. When she returned she invited us inside the property which was very kind and rather special!


But first – here is my sketch of the exterior of the building from the pavement. This was my last conscious attempt to sketch in the ‘traditional way’ of ink first and then paint. Although I am not unhappy with the result… I find mixing it up – paint first or alternating between line and colour –  is more fun and more responsive.


So this is what I did for the second quick detail sketch on the left side of the page.


Once inside we had 20 minutes to sketch…and I decided that I wanted to capture as much of the design of the building as possible. With all my recent architectural thinking (and reading Charles Moore on the plane) I decided to just go for it in rapid pace with ink. Making lots of minor errors as I was working furiously and the building was nicely complex… but somehow in the end result it doesn’t matter. Adding grey ink brush pen work and then black brush pen to it really pulled those crazy loose lines together. The little thumbnails are fairly rough but enough to remind me of some details.


The second sketch was more a volumetric study of the entry area and I worked up my sketch with my beloved brown ochre watercolour pencil, the grey brush pen and my lamy over the top.
I was really excited by these pages…. these are exactly the type of quick architectural descriptive sketches I have wanted to do for years. I have in a way been distracted by watercolour painting in recent years but all the urban sketching that I have done and the way of working I have developed through this  (a big part of my Feeling the Edges workshop) has given me the ability to do these extremely rapidly, with an acceptable degree of accuracy and an aesthetic that I am pleased with.
SO you can see in these spreads from Day 2 AM, how the two big concepts (that I mentioned in this post) had already emerged as hot topics in my head!


Next we met up with my dear Sydney friend Claudia (who grew up in SP) who took us to Estacau de Luz an impressive train station that is a little similar to FSS in Melbourne and the lovely Pinacoteca museum (no sketch inside it but we wandered through it and found a nice spot to sketch the station from a balcony). Time to sketch without ink lines ….

 Then I got my sailor pen out. I felt like my sketching was warming up now.
(BTW I think that a symposium trip is like a sport tournament – one has to do well in the early stages but peak at the right time!)


We did some fun driving through the streets of Sao Paulo and I got a real feel for the tunnels and overpasses and the crazy one way streets everywhere (enough said hey Claudia???) before ending up at an incredible cemetery –  Consolacao Cemetery. Very elaborate tomb structures… Marc and I were very happy!

More fun, unplanned expressive sketching ….


Alternating between line and colour and different tools but with a limited palette


And then since I was hanging out with a man who was painting with masses first I went paint only.


One final cemetery sketch while waiting for Alex – one of Claudia’s friend (it is always so nice to meet local USKers everywhere we go!)


Alex took us to another lovely part of Sao Paulo and one of the oldest church in the city. Puc Capel.

 It was a lovely way to end the afternoon sketching this lovely church while wedding guests where waiting for the bride to turn up.


We finished the day with a Urban Sketchers dinner – with the hard working Edu and the other USKers in town.

My great friend Esther from Scotland had just arrived … lovely to see Fernanda and Bruno again

 and have a great chat to Matt Brehm about values (I get so excited talking values with Matt and see his incredible work in real life)

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