01 julho, 2019

Journey to Oslo

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Both me and Pedro Loureiro were invited by Urban Sketchers Oslo to teach our usual dual workshop in the Nordic Capital. Scandinavian  countries are for us Portuguese, an achievement to unlock. Tales of quality of life, high salaries, higher education and health, are ever present in our minds as an example of society to follow, and Norway being the cherry on the top. So, this opportunity to visit one of the most-wanted countries on earth was something like a dream.  

...and it didn't disappoint, far from it. The city feels like an architecture Computer Rendered Image that come to life, a Masterplan project turned real. The people, the sea, the urban structure, all felt like as all cities should be. 

We start our long workshop day in the morning by Aker Bridge for our Watercolor Storytelling workshop, then we went for a big break waiting for the Night Sketch. Meanwhile, we stood by the Salt area with a fantastic view to the fantastic Oslo Ópera house, with its iconic walk able roof, designed with fashion. 
Image may contain: 11 people, including Pedro Alves and Carina Tornqvist, people smiling

Which was the last workshop setting, as the night was still a long waited dream. The sun was setting at 23:20, which was struggling for a NIGHT SKETCH WORKSHOP ending at 00:00... But we still did it and the results were surprisingly good!  Staying up way past midnight to sketch with us was a fantastic effort Oslo Sketchers!! 
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A big thanks to Elisabeth Berge for inviting us and also a big thanks to Escoda Brushes, Hahnemuhle and Urban Sketchers International for making this possible. 

The day after was all about sight seeing, and after a rainy morning we went to the museum quarter, and while my wife and kid went to the FRAM, me, Pedro Loureiro, Patricia and our friend Carina Tornqvist went to the Viking Museum to sketch actual Drakkar Viking ships! In this composition, we can see the Museum building and the remains of the Oseberg Ship found in a burial mound near Tonsberg, Norway. 

After that, a quick lunch near the marina in Bygdoy, with a fantastic view to the city, and soon we were on our way to the airport. There´s still a lot to see and experience in Oslo, a fantastic city. 

28 junho, 2019

Óbidos - Latitudes '19

Para alguns, o encontro de Óbidos do dia 19 de Maio começou na noite anterior, durante o workshop de Night Sketching em conjunto com o Pedro Loureiro, com o fantástico apoio da POSCA Portugal  que forneceu canetas brancas para todos os participantes, que usamos bastante nos nossos desenhos nocturnos. 

To some, the sketching meeting in Óbidos on the 19th May, started the night before, during mine and Pedro Loureiro's Night Sketching with the fantastic support of POSCA Portugal, that granted pens for all participants. 

Resultado de imagem para posca pcf 350
Todos os participantes estiveram a altura do desafio, numa vila medieval que teimava em ter pouca iluminação pública, fulcral para os nossos desenhos nocturnos. 

All our students rose to the challenge in a Medieval Village that insisted in not having much public lighting switched on, essential to our night sketches. 

Na manhã seguinte, debaixo de um surpreendente sol abrasador, o número de participantes duplicara. A Vila já estava ao rubro, repleta de gente de todos os cantos do mundo e como muita animação pelas ruas, que brilhavam à medida que o Sol ia subindo. A praça do pelourinho estava repleta de gente e desenhar confortavelmente só foi possível debaixo da pequena arcada que nos protegia do sol e do olhar da multidão.

Next morning and under a boiling sun, the number of participants had doubled in an already paced village, full of people from all over the world and plenty of medieval style animation in the streets with it's shinny buildings due to the rising sun.  

Antes do almoço, tempo para uma imperial e um desenho de uma das mais interessantes ruas de Óbidos, o Arco da Cadeia. Ao lado, um rápido estudo de valores que fiz antes de pintar, que me ajuda a verificar a intensidade de tons antes de pintar o desenho final. A luz-sombra de um dia fantástico como este são um must, nesta rua tão pitoresca.

Before lunch, time for a sketch of  one of the most interesting streets in Óbidos. On the corner of my sketchbook, a quick values study that helped me to accurately get the right intensity of colours on the final sketch.  The light and shadow contrast is a must and in a sunny day like today

Depois, do almoço, num divertido café com amigos, mais um desenho ao lado da Igreja da Misericórdia com uma vista fantástica para a calçada.

After lunch, another sketch in a café with good sketching friends, next  to Misericordia Church.

E para acabar em beleza, a usual foto de grupo depois de um lanche fantástico oferecido pela organização. Foi um encontro fantástico, cheio de talentos e pessoas fantásticas! Um grande obrigado aos Urban Sketchers por terem dado esta oportunidade fantástica aos Oeste Sketchers de organizar este encontro. Um grande obrigado à Câmara Municipal de Óbidos e ao staff do festival Latitudes pelo apoio, especialmente à Carla Pinho, incansável durante todo o apoio que nos deu.

The usual group photo after a fantastic  coffee break offered by the organization. Once again, Oeste Sketchers delivered a fantastic Sketchers meeting in one of the most iconic settings of our region. 

22 abril, 2019

Pedros Mastercourse in Urbansketching - Oslo

Most sketchers enjoy their cities during the daylight, when views are crisp, shadows are sharp, and colors are vivid. But when the night comes, a different challenge begins. 

Sketching the cityscape at night is both easy and challenging! The easy aspect of it, is that your palette gets reduced to a couple – three at most – colors. Simplification of what you see – that includes lines, shapes and colors – is key. One dark, cool color for the shadows and sky, one light warm color for the illuminated parts, and a third one for special details and highlights. 

The challenge is to be precise in saving the whites in your paper. With watercolor, there’s no going back – at most, you can wash off the amount of pigment in a lighted area. And the light parts, the glare of public lamps, the shiny surfaces, are scarce and vital for the success of your sketch. In the Night Sketching workshop, sketchers learn-by-doing a myriad of concepts and techniques that make their lives much easier, while producing results that will make them proud. 

After an evening out sketching, daylight comes, and out come the morning city dwellers, going about their business – working, relaxing, loitering, running late. It’s time for a sketcher to shift focus from the city to the stories of the citizens, the storymakers of a city. Moving people are tricky to capture, but by focusing on their actions and with the help of a few techniques, any sketcher can quickly lay out a crowd in a sketchbook. 

As we warm up, we also get closer to the people and want to better convey their movements, their expressions, their poses. That’s what the Watercolor Storytelling workshop is all about! In it, sketchers get a grasp on people and their day-to-day stories, resorting to a few quick lines and a limited palette. The more comfortable sketchers get with people, the more they want to represent the spaces around their subjects, which is the final challenge of the workshop. 

The dual workshop Night Sketching and Watercolor storytelling, by the Pedros – Pedro Alves and Pedro Loureiro – has toured around their home region in and around Lisbon, Portugal, and also around Europe, in Barcelona, Spain and Riga, Latvia – always with the help of the amazing local Urban Sketchers chapters. Now, the Pedros are inviting the Urban Sketching global community to Oslo, Norway, for a Scandinavian night sketching and storytelling experience! Together, we’ll share experiences, techniques and tricks of the trade, and we’ll capture the late dusk of the beautiful Nordic capital, and the stories of its citizens in our sketchbooks. 

Participants will learn how to: 
· Quickly establish a viewpoint that will make for a dynamic and focused sketch;
· Effectively balance the linework and the color phases of a sketch;
· Use a limited palette to create rich and intense night scenes.
· Get familiar with sketching a crowd of passing people, quickly and effectively;
· Incorporate a facial and bodily structure that will ease the portrayal of any person;
· Use a limited palette to create rich and intense street scenes.

Workshop dates 
May 25th 2019, from 10AM to 2PM and from 8PM to 12PM

Oslo, Norway (specific location to be determined)

Maximum number or participants 
30 people (all levels)

Supply list 
Sketchbook with 180 gsm + ;
watercolor kit;
water recipient;
cloth or paper towel;
white Posca pen or white gouache.

Registration fee 
150€ per participant

To register, please contact 

09 abril, 2019

NightSketching Óbidos 18 Maio '19

Night Sketching está de volta a Portugal depois de iniciarmos a tour europeia por Barcelona, seguido da viagem  a Riga. A Vila de Óbidos será o magnifico cenário que nos irá acolher em mais uma noite de desenhos. Inserido no Festival Latitudes e com o patrocinio da Posca Portugal , todos os participantes irão receber uma Posca PCF-350 Branca e ainda se habilitam a prémios POSCA no nosso habitual sorteio final. 

Mais informações e preços por mail: dklimpgen@gmail.com e/ou pedro.mac.loureiro@gmail.com

Night Sketching is back in Portugal after we started our European tour! Medieval town of Óbidos is the perfect setting for one more night full of sketches. Sponsored by POSCA Portugal, all participants get a free PCF-350 white Posca pen and could win more POSCA prizes in our usual final raffle. 

More info and prices via email to: dklimpgen@gmail.com and/or pedro.mac.loureiro@gmail.com 

04 fevereiro, 2019

The Riga adventure

Ready, set, go! Our Riga adventure begins! At 16:30 on the 18th January, me and my family board the AirBaltic flight from Lisbon to Riga in Latvia, for a two-day sketching course with Pedro Loureiro on an invitation by Urban Sketchers Riga. Pedro L. was already in town and we were on our way to meet our friends there. My 6 year old daughter Lia was most excited  for being on a plane on her way to a land covered in snow! 

...and snow we had! Riga was colder than what we were used to in Portugal, but it was a good to endure and the white landscape with blue and violet shadows were totally worth it. The canal separating old town from the most recent part, was completely frozen, something I've never seen before. 

Later in the evening, time to start the workshops with our usual Night Sketching. We had to improvise a bit because the extreme cold had us doing most of the activities indoors. We had an art gallery just for us, with hot coffee and tea to counter the -5º outside. Here, I was showing a bit of our work, to explain that with time and practice, these are the results everyone can accomplish. I took a bit of my hometown Torres Vedras with me, while explaining the importance of lighting on these situations. 

After that, everyone grabbed their coats and scarfs and went outside because it wouldn't be urban sketching if we were only sketching indoors. Pedro Loureiro usually is the only active "Pedro" at this stage, but (once again we had to improvise) not enough for 30 people to watch, so I had to interviene and by splitting the group in two, it was much easier for everyone to get what we were teaching. We were able to endure about 15 minutes in the cold sketching without gloves... after that we went inside once again to restore our heat levels. 

We presented two options afterwards: Complete all exercises indoors or make the main sketch in a different point of view outside. I stood outdoors a while longer to assist the brave ones that chose option 2. But since water can't resist the extreme cold as well, we wrapped up the workshop session inside, with tea, chocolate and sandwiches and lots of heaters :)   

Since we had two sketches from the previous demo, we improvised once more and we exchanged sketches for the color stage. Pedro L. (in the picture) painted my sketch and vice versa. We chose to take much more time in this part to address the beginner sketchers in the class. We took a photo and used it as a reference for our work and explained the this is a common practice when dealing with extreme weather and time shortage, the main constraints of a consistent dose of daily sketching. 

Soon after, the session was over and everyone seemed very happy, and so did we. the results were fantastic and to celebrate, we went for a beer in a pub nearby. 

 Next Morning we went to the terrace of Shopping Riga to a very cozy coffeeshop in a greenhouse overlooking the city. This session was all about reportage sketching and how to create a story with simple sketches. The focus was on the human figure and to include it in our sketches. 

 As usual in our workshops, we end with a raffle, where two participants can walk away with one of our sketches. 

 A huge thanks to all participants in the most international Winter School ever! Latvian, Russian, Estonian, French and even Portuguese participants were present in an event I'll never forget. 

...and a HUGE thanks for the duo that make all this possible. Our gratitude to Masha and Agnese for the invitation and all the support we had. We felt at home, away from our home! I'm waiting to sketch with you here in Portugal! 

Meanwhile, we had some free time to explore the city and what it had to offer. It's not a big city like other Metropolis I've been, and I was glad about it. Since I live in a small city as well, Riga seemed quite familiar sometimes, mainly due to the short walking distance between places to visit. The park near the canal acts like a frontier between old and "not so old" Riga, and all covered in snow, is truly wonderful, especially for 6-year old kids dreaming on making snowmen. 

It took a bit of courage from me to get to the top of St. Peters basilica and sketch. Fear of heights, extreme cold, wind all contributed to the constant fear that I could fall down in any minute... Still, some of the best views of the city are here. The contrast New-Old is astonishing and the sleek design bridge over a frozen Daugava river fits perfectly on the landscape. 

The Livu square is one of the most iconic in this World Heritage city centre by UNESCO. The snow covered floor and rooftops turned this bit of city very appealing. Riga was cozy, picturesque and as soon as we walked into the old quarter, I felt I was truly in the presence of a multicultural European capital. 

The Riga Dom, city's main church was being repaired at the time, but it's "verticality" and it's interiors were no less than impressive. 

To end this Latvian adventure, the crown jewel of Riga's historical centre, The house of the Blackheads, and old guild for unmarried merchants, shipowners and foreigners. The original building was almost razed to the ground by the Germans in WWII and was completely rebuilt in the end of 20th century to it's former glory. It's a wonder and a challenge to sketch this masterpiece of Baltic architecture.

11 janeiro, 2019

Urbansketching Winter School - Riga 2019

Urban Sketchers Riga have been organizing a sketching school in their hometown every six months for the past two years, always with guest artists and instructors from abroad. Pedro Loureiro and I were thrilled to have been invited as instructors for the 2019 Winter School, on January 18th-20th! We’re taking our Night Sketching workshop (January 19th) and our Watercolor Storytelling workshop (January 20th) to the Latvian capital.

There are still spots available! Register in Urban Sketching Winter School Riga 2019. This event and our workshops will be sponsored by our friends in Lithuania, the sketchbook brand SM.LT. 

 Os Urban Sketchers Riga tem organizado uma escola de desenho na sua cidade a cada seis meses durante os últimos dois anos, sempre com artistas e formadores estrangeiros convidados.

O Pedro Loureiro e eu ficámos felizes ao receber o convite para conduzirmos uma oficina na Escola de Inverno de 2019, entre 18 e 20 de Janeiro! Vamos levar as nossas oficinas de Night Sketching (19 de Janeiro) e de Watercolor Storytelling (20 de Janeiro) à capital Letã.

 Ainda há lugares disponíveis! Inscrições em Urban Sketching Winter School Riga 2019.

Este evento e as nossas oficinas são apoiadas pelos nossos amigos da Lituânia, a marca de cadernos SM.LT.

10 janeiro, 2019

Simpósio Porto IV

 O simpósio tinha terminado mas o Porto ainda tinha muito para nos dar e como tal, reunimos um grupo de "vadios" com "oficiais" e lá fomos para a zona da Sé, que ainda não tinha visitado desde que chegara. Aqui fiz um dos meus melhores registos até à data, uma vista estonteante da cidade, confortavelmente apoiado no muro do largo da Sé.

Symposium was over but Porto still had a lot to offer to all sketchers still around, so we gathered a small group of "wanderers" and "officials" and off we go to the Sé area, still unexplored by me at the time. Here, I made one of my best sketches to date, a stunning view to the city, standing on the edge of the square. 

 Todos estavam já do lado de lá da ponte e eu pertencia ao grupo dos atrasados. Ainda assim tentei a proeza da semana, desenhar do cimo da ponte, proeza que se revelou uma frustração porque tenho um pavor (pavor mesmo) de alturas. Não consegui fazer o desenho que se pedia daquele local porque o medo se apoderou de mim e sentia que a qualquer momento ia cair ao rio...

Everyone was already on the other side of the river and I had to catch up. Still, I've tried the feat of the week, a sketch from the top of the bridge! But my terrifying fear of heights prevented me from doing so as I was constantly feeling that I was about to fall down on the river...

Depois de um almoço (diga-se Francesinha + tinto) com montes de sketchers, fomos fazer um desenho rápido desde o mosteiro da Serra do Pilar para uma vista fantástica sobre o Porto... 

After lunch (Francesinha + red wine) with lot's of sketchers, time for a quick sketch from the monastery at Serra do Pilar to a fantastic view of the city...

...e num instante, era altura de rumar de volta a Torres Vedras. Esperei aqui com os meus amigos e família que uma procissão acabasse de passar na marginal de Gaia, enquanto bebíamos os últimos finos. Para relaxar, um último desenho da icónica ponte que só faz sentido neste local mágico. Foi um simpósio fantástico, o meu primeiro e logo como instrutor. À distância que escrevo este post, fui vendo e lendo as opiniões dos meus alunos sobre as minhas aulas e o balanço não podia ser melhor. Super positivo e um orgulho para mim, que 4 anos antes era um completo desconhecido neste meio. Não irei conseguir estar em Amesterdão e desejo tudo de bom para os que conseguirem estar presentes. Até 2020 espero eu...

...and in a flash, it was time to go back to Torres Vedras. Time for a last minute relax with my family and friends, while sketching THE Porto landmark one more time. It was a fantastic symposium, my first and as an instructor nonetheless. I won't make it to Amsterdam due to my work but hope to return in 2020! 

09 agosto, 2018

Simpósio Porto III

Sábado era o último dia do Simpósio mas para mim ainda havia trabalho a fazer com um último workshop logo pela manhã. Desta feita, mudei o local para o local original escolhido pela Virgínia, o Jardim da Cordoaria, um pouco mais acima das Virtudes, para não coincidir com o Sketchwalk também à mesma hora. Acabei com nota alta com mais um grupo espectacular! Ainda deu para fazer esta demo para um aluno que chegou mais tarde (obrigado ao Marco Costa que o levou até mim ;)  Como o grande amigo Marcelo de Deus estava por ali, convidei-o também a assistir e terminava aqui a minha odisseia de workshops. 

Saturday, the last day of this Symposium but for me, there was still work to do with a workshop session early in the morning. Instead of Passeio das Virtudes, I changed the place to Jardim da Cordoaria to avoid a Sketchwalk in the previous location. Another fantastic group for a perfect ending in my workshop odyssey...    

Depois de almoço nas Virtudes, descemos até aos Aliados onde iria acontecer o último Sketchwalk global com todos os participantes. Enquanto falava com o grande Eduardo Bajzek, eu e o Pedro Loureiro íamos fazendo um desenho como nunca se deve fazer... à torreira do Sol! Um escaldão no pescoço depois e lá fomos para junto do edifício da Câmara para a foto final de grupo. 

After lunch we went down to Aliados Av. where the final Sketchwalk was being held with all the participants. In the crowded streets, while I was talking with the great Eduardo Bajzek, me and Pedro were sketching fast like no one should do... Under de boiling sun! A sunburn in the neck later and we went near the Town Hall for the final group photo.  

Mas antes, ainda deu para um desenho rápido da icónica torre que normalmente (poucas vezes ultimamente) só testemunha vitórias do FC Porto... 

But there was still time for a sketch of this iconic tower that only witness victories from FC Porto in the domestic league. 

Depois da foto e antes da cerimónia final, eu, o Pedro Loureiro e a amiga Carina Tornkvist (e mais uns sketchers que eu não me lembro ) ainda nos sentámos na Praça de Lisboa no meio da relva para um desenho rápido enquanto descansávamos  da subida e do Sol que se fazia sentir nesta altura. 

After the famous foto and before the ending cerimony, me, Pedro Loureiro and other sketcher friends, rested on the grass of Praça Lisboa for 10 minutes, and we made another sketch. 

Depois da cerimónia de encerramento e de sabermos que o próximo simpósio será em Amesterdão, fomos jantar e voltámos à Ribeira para a ultima sessão de night sketching. Já estava tão cansado que os meus planos iniciais de fazer uma panorâmica 100% colorida, rapidamente se esfumaram e fiquei-me pelo Pestana Hotel. Mas isto ainda não estava acabado...

After the cerimony and knowing thet the next symposium will be held in Amsterdam, we went back to Ribeira for the last Night Sketching Session. I was so tired that my initial plans of making a fully coloured panorama went down the drain and only did the area surrounding the Pestana Hotel. But the symposium was not over yet...

07 agosto, 2018

Simpósio Porto II

A sexta feira foi o dia mais longo, com workshops de manhã e à tarde e com apenas 4 horas de sono, estava receoso para com os meus "alunos" e com algum medo de não corresponder às expectativas porque no fundo, todos eles se inscreveram no workshop da Virginia Hein, não no meu... Trepámos as colinas do Porto até ao Passeio das Virtudes e comecei a minha odisseia de workshops. Depois de muitos pedidos de desculpa em nome do povo português por construir cidades em sítios escabrosos, 10 minutos volvidos e já todos nos sentíamos em casa. Após a minha demo, o grupo foi fantástico e respondeu de uma forma exemplar aos exercícios propostos. 

Friday was the longest day with workshops from dusk to dawn and with only 4 hour sleep, I was a bit afraid for my "students" to be somewhat disappointed if somehow I fail to meet their expectations. They were registered in Virginia's workshop after all, not mine... 10 minutes into it and we're all feeling at home. After my demo, all participants did a fantastic job, and executed all exercises brilliantly!  

À tarde, mais do mesmo... Mais um grupo fenomenal e uma tarde muito divertida e bem passada a desenhar (eu a andar de um lado para o outro feito louco). Achei interessante publicar ambos os resultados da minha demo para verem como a mudança da luz altera um desenho do mesmo local, quase por completo. De repente a fachada que outrora estava com a luz total, perde força e detalhe quando se encontra à sombra. 

In the afternoon period, more of the same... Another fantastic group and a very laid back and funny sketching session. I thought it was most interesting to publish both sketches from the same place so we can see how light can drastically change a drawing. The facade that once was in full light, looses detail and character in the shade.  

Às 18:30 eu estava exausto, parecia que tinha sido atropelado por um camião, à medida que descia lentamente a encosta em direcção à Alfândega. Ao chegar à cota zero, alguns "vadios" estavam na esplanada logo ali ao lado a desenhar, conversar e beber. Para eles, as sessões de "Drink and Draw" duravam o dia todo e esta sessão ainda estava a meio ;) Bebi um "fino" de "pênalti" (Obrigado Bruno Vieira!!!) e outro logo a seguir para saborear com mais calma... Depois disto foi tempo de rumar a Ribeira para mais copos que duraram a noite toda...

Around 6:30 pm I was exhausted, it seemed I was run over by a truck as I was crawling all the way down towards Alfândega. When I arrived ground zero, some "wanderers" were sketching/talking/drinking in the street cafe next door so I gladly joined them to do the same. For them drink and draw sessions lasted all day long, and this one was still far from being over...