I’m back from an incredible 10 days in Brazil at the Urban Sketchers Symposium. And I’m back with a head full of ideas and inspiration, and long lists of things to work on and learn. But instead of recording my trip from start to finish, I’m going to start with one of my last days in Brazil, a day spent in Rio, sketching with fellow Urban Sketchers on Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar).
When I travel and sketch with my family, I’m stealing sketch time between the things we have planned for the day, which means I do a quick sketch and move on to the next location. This was quite different: 8 sketchers, on top of Sugarloaf Mountain, with nowhere else to go for the day. Here are my 6 sketches from my day up on the mountain.
Sketch 1, my first one from the morning. The view is so spectacular, that I try to capture it all : The bay, the city, the favellas spilling down the mountains and the gigantic figure of Christ on Corcovado Mountain. Maybe that’s way too much for one sketch?
Sketch 2. This time I try to focus on a vertical slice of the landscape instead of drawing the whole vista. Drawing from the same location a secrond time around helps me work differently. I don’t need to describe everything in line anymore. A few things are described in line, some in color, some in both line and color and many with just the white of the paper.
From there I move to the other side of our viewing platform, this time looking up at Sugarloaf Mountain itself. Sugarloaf is one of many, many strange monolithic rock formations that stick right out of the landscape all around Rio. I sketch it here with the ocean in the background to ground it and with cables running out of it into the foreground.
My next sketch of Sugarloaf. More Sugarloaf, less everything else. I’m enjoying carving things out of the white paper – the structure at the top of the mountain, the cables and the highlight on the mountain.
And one last sketch, in monochrome this time, which is unusual for me. One of my big takeoutsf rom the Symposium, something I’d really like to work o this year, is to focus on value. It’s hard for me to abandon color, I love it so much. But I’m going to try and do value studies when I can. And using a warm and cool grey together makes it not seem so monochromatic at anymore.
And finally a couple of shots of the amazing group I sketched with that day. It is incredible how much you learn with you hang out with such a talented bunch!