The 2nd International Urban Sketching Symposium began on the morning of July 21 at FBAUL in the hilly but central Chiado district of Lisbon, and after meeting lots of familiar faces and new people at the morning meet-up, and getting our bag of goodies (free sketchbooks, including a gorgeous one by new company Stillman and Birn), it was time for the first workshop. The last workshop that I took in Portland was that of Frank Ching, the famed architecture professor emeritus from the University of Washington in Seattle, and so it was that my first workshop was also led by him, alongside Lisbon Urban Sketcher Pedro Cabral (great sketcher, and a nice guy). It was a very exciting workshop to be part of; also in attendance were Eduaro Bajzek from Brazil, whose work I’ve loved for ages, Melanie Reim from New York, who is an inspiration, and Joao Pinheiro, also from Brazil, who was the winner of the Urban Sketchers fellowship to come to Lisbon as the official symposium correspondent. Frank came around to everyone offering good solid advice, pointing out what could be improved, and same as last time you come away really remembering what he has said. Above, a yellow tram pulls itself up to the Largo Chiado, as an urban sketcher busily sketches away on the street corner.
Above is the famous cafe “A Brasileira” on Rua Garrett. Below, the statue of ‘O Chiado’ himself, the poet António Ribeiro. while sketching this, a very loud street shouter stood next to me and announced to the world in several languages, via the medium of a plastic glass, that he was the emperor of the world or something. We were being filmed by Portuguese TV at the time, and so perhaps he felt that it was an opportunity to spread his message of global overlordship, though I’m sure he is there every day. Well I had to sketch him. If it turns out he does rule the world, I can say I did a drawing of him when he was just a simple street shouter.