Sketch Tour Portugal: Surf Edition I

Last month, I was in Portugal on invitation from Portugal Tourism and VisitPortugal.
Sketch Tour Portugal consists of 22 sketchers from around the world, capturing different aspects of Portugal through their sketches over the period of a year. The Tour pairs an international sketcher with a local sketcher: a fabulous way to get the best of both worlds- the expertise and understanding that a local brings and the fresh eyes of the international sketcher.

João Catarino and I did a really intense 6-day tour of the coast of Portugal. Our focus was the surfing culture and surfing beaches of Portugal. We covered atleast 15 beaches up and down the coast, and also stopped to capture some of the fishing culture and beautiful towns, chapels and monuments linked to these beaches. Exhausting? Yes. Rewarding? You bet!

I could go on and on about how wonderful Portugal, the food, the hospitality and the tour were, but let’s just get down to the sketches…

First drawing of Day 1. We start our day at Praia de Carcavelos sketching Forte Sao Juliao da Barra. It seems right to start here: João Catarino is a surfer and knows every little hidden gem of a beach up and down the coast, but this is his home beach, where he surfed as a kid. Purple skies today with a possibility of rain.

Just as I start to pack up, this little ship appears on this horizon… how could I not do a quick sketch?

We hurry up the coast to Praia do Sul. This is my view as I eat lunch.

And below is a sketch of my lunch. Polvo à lagareiro. Oven-roasted octopus and baby potatoes. If you’re not a fan of octopus, you haven’t had it Portuguese-style.


Later that afternoon at the beach in Coxos. This fisherman walked back from the beach with a rod and a net slung over his shoulder.


Coxos is not a beach for beginners. The big, emerald colored waves are gorgeous, but challenging to surf. This surfer waxes his board before heading out to the waves. Watching surfers is fascinating. They have such a reverence for the sea. They watch it intently, and those moments spent slipping on a wetsuit and waxing a board are focussed, meditative moments.

This is from up on the cliffs above Ericeira. The surfers are little ants on the beach below.

And this is João drawing the surf.

We ended our day drawing this statue called The Guardian. Ericeira is part of the World Surfing Reserve. This statue stands up on the cliffs looking out for surfers and all people of the sea. People come here to take photographs with the guardian or of the breathtaking view before them.

And that was Day 1. More from Sketch Tour Portugal, Surf Edition coming soon.



About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
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11 Responses to Sketch Tour Portugal: Surf Edition I

  1. Laurie Householder says:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Annie says:

    These are so different for you, another capturing of feeling and place, almost unrecognizable for you – except for a careful look at people to know they are yours. Yes, awesome, and again, thank you for sharing. Wonderful to receive such an invitation and to be recognized for your talent and work!


    • Annie, thank you: new place, new sketchbook ( a lovely book, but a totally new size and paper for me), and no time to ‘get in the swing of things” : I arrived from the day before and we jumped right it. It’s fun to see what happens when you change up everything. I really enjoyed the experience and learnt a LOT! Hope you enjoy the rest of the posts I’ll post over this week and the next.


  3. Ruth Kaldor says:

    What are you using for a sketchbook?


  4. rhodadraws says:

    What a great idea….pairing you with a local sketcher! Looking forward to seeing more. So, will you be in Portugal again in July for the Symposium?


  5. Awesome sketches Suhita, I cycled that coast once. It’s so rugged – I don’t know if you would never get me surfing there. I loved the villages and old houses stuck to the cliffs.


  6. Virginia Hein was telling me about this adventure of yours. These are great sketches. Full of your signature vitality. Your waves are wonderful!


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