Lisbon: Family Travels in Spain and Portugal

From the little town of Evora to our first big city of the trip: Lisbon. Here is a ‘mixed bag’ page: bits of Evora on the left,(that was possibly the best pastel the nata I had in Portugal) a train sketch from the ride into Lisbon and a page of train sketches on the way to Sintra a few days later.

My third trip to a city I love. We all loved Lisbon, can you tell?

We stayed in an apartment in the Alfama, the oldest district in Lisbon, and one of the few areas of the city not destroyed by the earthquake of 1755. Narrow alleys festooned with streamers, always filled with conversation. I loved staying here: a good part of the day, the streets are filled with tourists. But in the early morning you hear the tiny stores opening, the locals bantering and you see all the bright clothes being hung out to dry.

At night, there was fado to enjoy, literally around the corner from us.
Here’s a little fado-tip for you: Fado and dinner is an expensive deal. But if you turn up at 10pm or later, you can just order a carafe of wine and enjoy the music until about midnight when the last song is sung.

Lisbon is full of miradours or lookout points with wonderful vistas to sketch. I will never tire of view after view of terracotta tiled roofs and whitewashed walls (with the occasional yellow house to punctuate the scene).

We spent a day in the town of Sintra and I didn’t draw much, I just wandered through the Pena Palace and gardens. The palace is an eclectic mix of styles. The gardens are wild and huge and shrouded in mist and wonderful to wander around. This turret of the palace cut through the fog with it’s bright yellow color. For the quickest of sketches, I do color first and then some linework with the Pentel Pocket Brush pen.

Back in Lisbon, we watched France play Spain in in the World Cup on a giant screen at Praça do Comércio. One of the things I love about sketching when I travel is even sketches don’t turn out that great, they’re all tied deeply to memories and places…and then it doesn’t seem to matter how good or bad they are. For the record, France won.

At halftime, I walked over to the edge of the river to sketch this iconic spot, Cais das Colunas.

Here is one last sketch from the Alfama, on our last day in Lisbon. I knew I was going to be back in the city in a couple of weeks, (that post coming up by and by) ,still it was sad to leave Lisbon, even for a short time. So I sketched my idea of a ‘happy Lisbon scene’ with two terracotta roofed buildings, one covered in blue and white azulejos, the other one unabashedly new gamboge.

If you haven’t seen my earlier posts, here are sketches from Granada, Cordoba, Seville and Evora. Next up: The crazy, exciting city of Barcelona.


About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
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3 Responses to Lisbon: Family Travels in Spain and Portugal

  1. Wonderful intro to Lisbon! What am I waiting for? Must go!!


  2. Val says:

    I love watching at your sketches, you are doing a really great job!


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