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  • Thursday, July 7, 2011 - 21:17
    Jim Richards

    I'm James (Jim) Richards, an urban designer and landscape architect from Fort Worth, Texas. I'm very excited to be giving a lecture at the symposium called "The Freehand Renaissance." Urban Sketchers are at the forefront of a pendulum swing from over-saturation with digital media to a newfound appreciation and demand for the immediacy and freshness of hand drawn imagery, and the creative freedom it affords. What's old is new again, and the implications for education and range of creative endeavors is truly exciting.

    I'm VERY INTERESTED in your thoughts on this topic! Please come to the lecture, and share your observations and experiences. It should make for some interesting "happy hour" discussions at the local pubs as well!

    I draw most days in my work, and I've been sketching on location for several years, mostly associated with travel. But I've been inspired by the wonderfully talented friends I've met through Urban Sketchers to sketch on location more often, in more places, and with more enthusiasm! I'll always be grateful for that. I look forward to meeting you all in Lisbon and sharing a great adventure!

  • Thursday, July 7, 2011 - 15:38
    Rosário Félix

  • Thursday, July 7, 2011 - 02:41

    Italian architect Claudio Patanè, 32, was born in Catania, Sicily, and currently resides in Lisbon. He will teach the workshop Panoramania with fellow architect and compatriot Simonetta Capecchi.

    When did you start sketching on location?

    When I went to art school, during the course of drawing, traveling by train, or bus between my home and the school.

     Tell us about one of your most memorable urban sketching experiences, what did you draw and where?

    One of the most important experience was to draw the volcano Etna in 3000mt of altitude, trying to represent the greatness on the paper sheet. Designing for the first time Lisbon on a terrace under the scorching sun in August and be satisfied with the design I had done.

    What's your advice for someone who is just starting out as an urban sketcher?

    I can say: “Not afraid of the white paper. Find your own time, the way to "copy", and let’s go. Immerse yourself in the subject”.

    How often do you go urban sketching? Do you have a specific time of day or week when you practice drawing on location? 

    It depends. Generally, I’m drawing every day, but especially on the weekend. Sometimes when I'm waiting for someone, or something.

    What's your teaching style?

    My style of teaching is based on improvisation. I’m an improviser. I can communicate my idea of drawing as a tool that generates pleasure, and that is born from an interest and curiosity toward all things that surround them, and learn a new way of looking at reality.

    What urban subjects do you like to sketch the most?

    Usually I draw more architecture than people because the architecture it’s still, and the people "go fast". I draw landscapes and different perspectives. Sometimes it’s a particular shade of a building that attracts my attention, or a particular articulation of a trunk of a tree, or simply a line that divides the Earth and sky. Sometimes I like to draw parts of the city fringe, unnamed, who are unable to identify. Sometimes cities. I draw because it makes me feel good, because when I draw the time stop and I meet my time.

    What are your primary sketching tools and sketchbooks or paper, what do you like about them?

    I like to draw with the “feet”, because they allow me to record things and their distances. There are many tools that I use: the pen, pencil, watercolor, sketchbook (a small format). All of my tools are poor, not expensive. I like the noise of the pen on the paper. Sometimes, after a long time, I browse the notebooks to remember the drawings I made. I use the scanner and the laptop to publish them.

    Besides urban sketching, what other hobbies do you have?

    I like to walk in city, parks, I like reading, going to the movies and concerts and share time with my girlfriend.

    Follow Claudio's work on his blogflickr, Urban Sketchers Portugal and

  • Thursday, July 7, 2011 - 00:04

    Hello from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    My name is Daniel Green.  We (my partner Amber and I) are looking forward to meeting all the amazing sketchers in Lisbon.  As my first visit to Lisbon and Portugal, I'm really excited to get to know the city by capturing the vibrant culture, amazing buildings and incredible LIGHT on paper with people I already count as friends. We start our holiday with a brief visit to Barcelona before coming to Lisbon on the 20th - see you all very soon!  Warmest regards - Daniel.


    A few of my sketches.

    First, a landmark in Minneapolis - the Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg...


    I primarily sketch in ink - and enjoy capturing reflections...


    I've recently been adding watercolor to my pen sketches...


    Skeching with my partner in Mexico...


    more travel sketches on Flickr

  • Thursday, July 7, 2011 - 00:55

    Portuguese artist and educator Luís Ançá will teach the workshop Pessoa’s Village along with Lisbon’s illustrator Catarina França.

    Luis, 55, was born in Lisbon and lives in Reguengos de Monsaraz, a small, quiet town in the interior of Portugal, very close to Spain, in the Alentejo, a region he says has a very strong culture. Here's our Q&A with Luís:

    When did you start sketching on location?

    My father was a painter and he had a studio at home. I’ve drawn and painted ever since I remember, but I’ve been more disciplined about art since I attended the School of Fine Arts. I never stopped drawing what’s before my eyes because I always believed that any form of artistic expression inevitably requires to master representation and drawing techniques. Conceptualism, minimalism and other isms need to be rooted in those principles, otherwise they are fake.

    Meu pai era pintor, tinha um atelier em casa. Desde sempre desenhei e pintei. Disciplinei o meu trabalho desde que entrei na Escola de Belas Artes. Nunca deixei de desenhar o que estava à minha frente porque sempre acreditei que qualquer forma de expressão artística tem de passar inevitavelmente pelo exercício e domínio da representação e de suas técnicas. Conceptualismo, minimalismo e outros ismos ou passam por aqui ou são falsidades.

    What's a memorable urban sketching experience for you?

    All "Diários Gráficos" meetings with other urban sketchers that I have participated have been the special for the spirit of camaraderie and sharing.

    Todos os Encontros de Diários Gráficos em que tenho participado têm sido especiais pelo espírito colectivo e de partilha.

    How often do you go urban sketching? 

    I don’t have scheduled hours or days, I draw and paint almost every day.

    Sem horas nem dias marcados, desenho e pinto quase todos os dias.

    Tell us a bit more about your workshop with Catarina.

    We'll start by talking about the surrounding area from a poetic and historic standpoint, discussing how to convey its unique atmosphere, that’s the most important thing we want to accomplish. We’ll suggest different ways to frame the scene and its different layers. And we’ll also propose sketching a view that is a continuation of the view drawn by another workshop participant. In the end, each participant would have created a collection of stories in the form of sketches that will capture the scenery and history of this particular location, the Largo de S. Carlos.

    Começaremos por falar do espaço envolvente do ponto de vista histórico e poético, de forma a transmitir a sua peculiar atmosfera, para que isso seja determinante no resultado final. Vamos propor a realização de trabalhos incidindo sobre o enquadramento, a diversificação de planos e, por último, a realização de um desenho que seja a continuação de outro desenho de outro desenhador. No final, cada participante ficará com uma colecção de histórias sob a forma de sketches, tendo com cenário a História do Largo de S. Carlos.

    What do you like urban subjects to sketch the most?

    I like to draw. I like to draw everything. Any subject is worth being sketched. I particularly like to exercise the power of magically transforming the three dimensions of reality in just two. The Expressionists of "Die Brucke", the Fauves and the Neo-Realistic Portuguese had much influence on me as a student. I also take inspiration from music, film, poetry and comics.

    Gosto de desenhar. Gosto de desenhar tudo. Todas as formas são um bom argumento para desenhar. Gosto particularmente de poder exercer o poder de um mágico e transformar as 3 dimensões da realidade em apenas 2. Os Expressionistas do «Die Brucke», os Fauvistas e os Neo-Realistas Portugueses tiveram muito influência em mim enquanto estudante. A música, o cinema, a poesia e a banda desenhada, também.

    What are your primary tools sketching and sketchbooks or paper?

    For drawings of everyday life, I like to take a sketchbook, a waterproof pen, a 5B pencil graphite, watercolor, a waterbrush, and regular brushes. In my studio, I use many different materials and experiment. My studio work is very experimental. I do not follow what’s fashionable or trendy.

    Para os desenhos do dia a dia, gosto de andar acompanhado de um sketchbook, de uma waterproof drawing pen, de uma lapiseira com grafite 5B, de aguarelas, de um waterbrush e de pincéis de pêlo de esquilo. No meu atelier, o meu laboratório, uso diversos materiais e faço muitas experiências. O meu trabalho de atelier é muito experimentalista, não sigo o ciclo das modas nem das feiras.

    Beside urban sketching, what other hobbies do you have?

    Teaching, spending time with my son, drawing and painting are my main occupations. My life is my own hobby. When I work alone, I like listening to Baroque (Bach) and classical music (Beethoven and Schubert) and also music from the 60s and 70s.

    Ensinar, estar com o meu filho, desenhar e pintar ocupam-me o tempo. A minha vida é o meu próprio hobbie, sem lobbies. Quando trabalho só, gosto de ouvir música do barroco (Bach), do romantismo (Beethoven e Schubert) e dos anos 60 e 70.

    Follow Luís’ work on his blog Desenhos.

    Luís Ançá, Q&A
  • Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - 17:32
    Pedro Cabral

    I have never been robed, and I think Lisboa does not have that problem more then other towns in Europe, but when sketching I tend to forget about other things and, in crowded places, nothing easier that picking up a forgotten rucksac.

    That's why I always have a strong line and, when I stop for sketching, I attatch it to the chair, or to my belt or something.

    Maybe i'm just immagining things, but like that I sketch more at ease.

  • Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - 11:21

    Hello from Rochester N.Y.

    My name is Genine Carvalheira.

    I am so excited to participate in this years symposium.  What a great opportunity to be around people who share the same passion for sketching the world around us.  As well as actually see your sketches in person!

    This will be my first trip to Portugal. My partner and I are making it an exteneded trip arriving on the 16th and staying until the 26th.  I hope to get some sketching in during the first four days down on the Algarve.

    I look forward to meeting all of you!





  • Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - 09:31
    Stella Jurgen

    Hello from Canada, can you tell me where do we meet for the Check-in on July 21 at 8:30 am?
    I am also wondering if we will be walking as groups from the original meeting place to the different drawing locations? I am not very familiar with the city. Also, after the lunch break, where do we meet for the lectures?

  • Monday, July 4, 2011 - 21:41

    Catarina França works as an illustrator and graphic designer, specializing in children’s books and scientific illustration.

    Catarina 38, was born in Lisbon and lives close to the Chiado district. She will teach the workshop Pessoa’s Village along with Lisbon artist and teacher Luis Ançá. Here’s our Q&A with her:

    When did you start sketching on location?

    From an early age, but especially from college. Then it became a regular, daily exercise. I always carry a small notebook that functions as a laboratory of ideas. It holds sketches and thoughts that are often starting points for new projects. 

    Desde pequena, mas sobretudo a partir da faculdade. Aí tornou-se um exercício regular, diário. Trago sempre um pequeno caderno que funciona como laboratório de ideias, onde cabem esboços, pensamentos, e que são muitas vezes pontos de partida para novos projectos.

    How often do you go urban sketching?

    Whenever I can, almost every day, and with more time on weekends or holidays. 

    Sempre que posso, quase todos os dias, e com mais tempo aos fins de semana ou nas férias.

    What urban subjects do you like to sketch the most?

    I like to draw squares and environments, but especially gardens where I can find a wide variety of topics, from the people passing by to the natural elements. I like to spend some time sitting someplace and track their motion, becoming the narrator of this space through my drawings. 

    Gosto de desenhar ambientes e praças, mas sobretudo jardins onde posso encontrar uma grande variedade de temas, desde as pessoas que passam aos elementos naturais. Gosto de ficar algum tempo sentada num sítio qualquer e observar o seu ritmo, registar o seu movimento, até tornar-me narradora desse espaço através dos desenhos.

    What are your primary sketching tools and sketchbooks?

    I like to draw with graphite to study the light and mid-tones, and then at home I add color, usually ecoline, watercolor or gouache. Sometimes I also like to make more spontaneous and expressive studies with ballpoint pen.

    Gosto de desenhar a grafite para estudar a luz e os meios tons, e depois em casa junto a cor, normalmente ecoline, aguarela ou guache. Às vezes também gosto de fazer estudos a caneta ou esferográfica, mais espontâneos e expressivos.

    Tell us a bit more about your workshop with Luis Ançá.

    Throughout the history and context surrounding the venue, the Largo de São Carlos, we will try to translate this environment  from different angles, framing the scene and the movement of pedestrians in different ways. We will propose creating a panoramic sketch where a sketcher continues the scene started by another one, making the records and stories fade and spread. Each of the resulting sketches will be a frame of the story performed before our eyes in this space.

    Através da história e do contexto que envolve o local escolhido, o Largo de São Carlos, iremos procurar traduzir esse ambienteatravés de jogos com os planos, de diversos enquadramentos e do movimento de quem passa. Num registo panorâmico iremos propor que um desenhador continue o esboço começado por outro, fazendo com que os registos e as histórias se esbatam e difundam. Os desenhos realizados procurarão ser os vários frames de uma narrativa própria criada no local.

    What's your advice for someone who is just starting out as an urban sketcher?

    Keep it simple! Do not overdraw! And draw anytime you can, whenever there is something that catches your attention and curiosity. 

    Keep it simple! Don't overdraw! E desenhar sempre que possível, sempre que surja alguma coisa que desperte a atenção e a curiosidade.

    Tell us about one of your most memorable urban sketching experiences, what did you draw and where?

    It happened when I was drawing at a fish market in Istanbul. I was drawing standing in the middle of the mess, looking for a corner to be more or less discrete, because I knew there would be some time to draw. And what is my surprise when some sellers, after lurking  over my notebook, offered me a seat, and fruit, also sat down and began to draw to each other. It was quite the scene!

    Aconteceu quando estava a desenhar num mercado de peixe em Istambul. Estava a desenhar em pé no meio da confusão, procurando um canto para estar mais ou menos discreta, pois sabia que iria ficar ali algum tempo a desenhar. E qual não é o meu espanto quando alguns vendedores, depois de espreitarem o caderno, de oferecerem um banco, e fruta, sentaram-se também e começaram a desenhar-se uns aos outros. Foi a risota total!

    Besides urban sketching, what other hobbies do you have?

    Anytime I can I flee the city and go on hikes and mountain climbing. I always take the sketckbook for those moments of rest when I can draw at will without having to make anyone wait.  I am also learning to play violin, I will train on breaks from paintings and illustrations. 

    Sempre que posso fujo da cidade e faço caminhadas no campo ou trekking/escalada. Levo sempre o sketckbook para os momentos de descanso, quando posso desenhar à vontade sem ter de fazer ninguém esperar.Também estou a aprender a tocar violino, que vou treinando nas pausas das pinturas e das ilustrações.

    Follow Catarina’s work on her blog, Histórias a Lápis.

  • Monday, July 4, 2011 - 15:45
    Pedro Cabral

    Two things you should not forget bringing to Lisboa:

    Hat and sun screen.