Sketch Tour Portugal: Surf Edition V

Day 4 of Sketch Tour Portugal, was a light-on-sketching day, but we sure made up for it on Day 5. It was about the point in the Tour when I felt like I knew what i was doing, but also close so close to the end that there was a real sense of urgency in capturing everything I wanted to…
These gorgeous pines are Umbrella Pines (Pinus pinea). And yes, they did look like they had been perfectly pruned in to these shapes. In Comporta, Portugal


A huge surprise waited for us at the end of a nondescript looking path towards the ocean. The cliffs and beach of Praia de Galé. Red-orange cliffs and an azure sea.Sketchtour_portugal_suhita_book2_7CC

So much of what you sketch depends on how you see and what attracts you. Case in point: @joaocatarino65 and I sketched the same scenes and those are our sketchbooks side-by-side.

We thought we’d do a small lunch to get our day moving along, so we asked for ‘something light’ at Pão Cafè & Companhia. This is what we got. The Portuguese take their food seriously and for a good reason.

And that was before the Pastel de Nata and coffee , of course. I never ever skipped a chance to eat Pastel de Nata, which is not to be confused by the similar looking Pastel de Belem.

Back to work that afternoon, sketching boats and fishermen fixing octopus traps. It’s a slow and meditative process in which bright aqua twine strongly secures a funnel shaped net to a rectangular net-cage. The octopus goes for the bait inside but can’t get back out. I love fishing villages. There is always the main beautiful beach and great food that tourists come for and if you walk around just a bit, you find a smaller dock where the fishermen’s boats are. Chances are you will find them there, fixing, mending or just chatting away the afternoon.


This is how surfers travel. A camper with boards strapped on top and a bed in the back. When the get to a beach with good surf, they pull up, don a wet suit, and head to the ocean. Sketchtour_portugal_suhita_book2_12CC

At Praia de São Torpes, this surfer heads down the wooden steps with his board, just in time to be out on the surf as the sun sets. Sketchtour_portugal_suhita_book2_13CC

I have meant to sketch the agave that line the coast everyday, and I finally get to one today. Those agaves can get gigantic!

We should have ended our day there, but it was our last full day of sketching (Day 6 was a lot of driving back to Lisbon) so we squeezed in one more sketch. It’s a bit foolhardy to think you can do a color sketch under super-yellow sodium vapor street lights, but we did it anyways, because, why not?
Here are Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4 of Sketch Tour Portugal. Our last day, Day 6, coming up next.


About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
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2 Responses to Sketch Tour Portugal: Surf Edition V

  1. Carmela Sunnyvale says:

    Suhita–many thanks for including us in your surfing trip. Enjoyed learning about the surfer culture in Portugal and the super-waves. The last sketch has wonderful color and is a fitting end to the trip, I think.


    • Thanks Carmela, that last sketch was just needed to end the day… I’m reposting months after my trip and I’m sad all over again that it’s almost done. LOVED my time in Portugal. Besides it being a beautiful country, people everywhere are so warm and friendly!


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