After the intensely social sketching I had done in my first four days in Lisbon, I woke up on the Firday morning to the realisation that I had nothing planned! Although most of the sketchers I had hung out with in the previous days had now left, there were still a few around. And of course there are lots of local USKers in Lisbon as well.
I could have found someone to sketch with, but what I really needed was some solo time. So I headed to Alfama, the oldest part of the city full of hairpin roads and narrow staircases. I didn’t get to this part of town in 2011 so it was great to be in a new area.
One of the most iconic views in Alfama is this one from an outside cafe at Miradouro De Santa Luzia. If you are wondering, I started painting the red roofs first and then added line over the top later on.
Coffee and a panoramic sketch – what a nice way to start a solo sketching day. (I was wondering if it would stay solo – would I run into another sketcher?)
There were lots of nice vistas but at the streets, pavements (sidewalks), passages were all so narrow, it was hard to find a safe spot to stop and sketch standing up. SO this was just a quick ink sketch with some tone added with my Ecoline Watercolour marker.
After lunch I found a shady bench outside the Se – Cathedral – and amazingly at a time where there were not many tuk-tuks around. I had a nice chat with some of the drivers who gave me tips on the best cakes to eat! (Just for the record, I didn’t track any of them down!)
I then went in search of a good tourist map as the general maps were terrible and impossible to read and then I ended up at another Miradouro – this one was Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara. The edge was fenced off so I sat back and drew a bit more of the context. This is my favourite view of the city.
And as I was leaving I ran into a USKer – Anabela one of the volunteers. (It would have been a miracle if I had gone all day alone!)
In the end I had a wonderful dinner with Gail Wong and her husband John. I chat to Gail every year but I don’t think that we have had as good a catchup as we did this night. It was a sketch-free dinner even though I did pull my sketchbook and put it on the table.
I wanted to go back and do another sketch of Arco da Rua Augusta – if you haven’t realised it’s the SOH of Lisbon. (See here for an explanation of SOH.)
I then headed back to Alfama to meet up with Gail and John who were at the castle. After having another great chat to Gail sitting on a table under the trees, I had about 40 minutes towalk about and do some sketches. What? That’s crazy!
Yep! I went into obsessive quick sketching mode and this is what I achieved….
I had less that two hours to go out for a little sketching. I wanted to sketch the view from the top of the elevator Santa Justa (see here for my sketches of it) but it wasn’t open yet.
I had such an incredible time in Lisbon and I was really pleased that I managed a few quieter days towards the end. A huge thanks to everyone with whom I hung out during the week. It was a great way to finish up my epic European adventure.
Well, that is it for my articles on my big trip – with the exception of my ‘Reflections’ which I will try and share in a few days’ time. It was such an amazing trip and I’m so happy that you came along with me.