uskporto2018: Lisbon Part 2

August 21, 2018 | 2 Comments

After the first three epic days in Lisbon (read about it here) I was worried how I would last for the full week I had booked in Lisbon. But the next day Suhita and I decided to have a quiet morning (ie. not hang out with other sketchers) and we headed to the markets – Suhita has to sketch in a market everywhere she goes. But sadly it was too empty to be interesting for her, so we headed back to Praca do Commerico to sketch the classic view. This was my first version where I wanted to record how the arch relates to the expanse of the long yellow buildings which define the square – in other words, the big picture.

I was then free to do a detailed paint-only version of the arch. Just for the record the sun came out as soon as we had finished sketching and it changed the lighting and the colour of the stone.

On our way back to the markets we stopped at the Lisbon Shop and was delighted to see a lot of merchandise covered with the wonderful art of Pedro Alves (more about ‘Pedro A’ soon).

Before I attempted to sketch in the food market, I needed a pastel da nata. So we tried one from a Manteigaria store in the Time Out part of the market – this is supposedly the best nata in town. And well… I totally agree. It was better than the famous Belem one.

The market was still very empty but we decided to sketch a fish stall where two ladies were working. I started by sketching the fish, to warm up, and then guess what happened? One of the ladies disappeared – and so did all the customers.

Suhita on the other hand caught the movement of the ladies first and then added the context.

I know that I should have drawn the people first, but I’m so out of practice that I chickened out of doing that. Ah! I always learn so much when I’m sketching alongside Suhita.

We headed back to the hotel so Suhita could pack (it was her last day) while I went to Praca Luis De Camoes where a lunchtime sketchmeet was planned by Pedro Alves and Pedro Loureiro (two amazing local sketchers who work nearby).

Rob Sketcherman and I found a shady bench and started sketching.

Then a good group formed with sketchers from California (LA and SF), Germany, Sweden, Hong Kong, Australia and Lisbon.

And here is my second sketch.

And here is the happy group. It was really fun to have a short and focused sketchmeet of 30 minutes.

The two Pedros – Pedro Loureiro and Pedro Alves – both incredible artists whom you should be following! In particular check out their night sketches.

Our next stop happened to pass the Manteigaria shop, so guess what we got. More natas! (I had to confirm my opinion that they are the best, didn’t I?)

A great group and a great sketching spot. Notice two ipad sketchers!

Here is my small quick sketch of the Bica Funicular.

Just for the record I have lots of great memories from a workshop run by Joao and Asnee in this location in 2011, but I was able to keep them to myself and not bore my friends with my stories.

After a healthy very late lunch (not a nata) we tried to find a spot for Suhita’s last sketch and we ended up back at Largo do Carmo. I sketched the ruined church.

Meanwhile Suhita and Uma sketched the guard opposite us. When I had finished my first sketch, I did a quick version on the grey sample paper we got in our symposium goodie bag.

We had organised to meet Pedro L for dinner outside Rossio station. I tried to get there earlier so I could sketch the facade but didn’t allow enough time. An incomplete ink sketch with some grey watercolour marker was all I could manage.

Drinking Ginjinha (cherry liqueur) from a ‘hole in the wall’ bar before dinner is apparently a big thing in Lisbon… so Pedro offered it to those that were interested before climbing a big staircase to get to our local restaurant.

We had a fantastic dinner with a lot of portrait sketching. I am so out of practice, but these were my attempts.

John from LA did this delightful sketch of me sketching – was I really holding three tools at the one time? Yes, probably!

Pedro L loves doing ‘potrait duels’ but oh! I was way too tired at the end of the night to be attempting it! But Pedro, I definitely want to have another go next time we meet – okay?

And here was the happy group at the end of the meal – thanks to Debbie’s husband, Michael, for this photo.

Non-stop sketching dinners like this happened a lot more in the days of the early symposiums. I’m not sure why we don’t do it as often anymore – I know part of the reason is because we are conserving energy as the demands as an symposium instructor seem to increase. So it was really great to have a good meal and fun sketching like this once again.

Wow! I just realised that this long post only records one day – but it was a very special one.

I was intending to include the rest of my Lisbon adventures in this article but 45 images is too much in one go. So you will have to wait for the final few days.



  • I really enjoy seeing how much you accomplish in one day of sketching. You must have been exhausted at the end of the day. Glad you had time to do some people sketching too.

    • Liz Steel says:

      thanks Joan – it was a great day and quite productive but not one of my biggest days. The sketching with this bunch of people on this today was totally energising so in some ways I was buzzing at the end of the day (rather than exhausted) however the lack of sleep earlier in the week meant that I was very tired towards the end of the day- if that makes sense.

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