Porto’s narrow spaces

After a much needed few days rest in Strasbourg, I’ve arrived in Porto. Wow, what a city! It took a good walk around the city to fully understand how hilly it is here. I spent the day sketching the narrow spaces, looking up and down lanes and trying to get a sense of the place.

My workshop at the Urban Sketchers Symposium is about colour, light and shadow in these narrow spaces, so you can understand my disappointment when my first morning was overcast. Looking up at the Escadas do Codecal and the supports of the Ponte Luis I overhead, I drew the narrowing grey stairs, waiting and hoping for the clouds to part.

After walking across the bridge and having a quick bite, the sun came out so I returned to the staircase and drew the plunging view down to the Douro River.

When I travel I always hope for a room with a view, and in Porto I have one of the best — a terraced garden with pink buildings at the top. In the afternoon I sketched a quick one before heading out again into the streets, to eat my first Pastel de Nata and then sketch some more.

The last one of the day was one looking down Rua de Fabrica in the Aliados neighbourhood. I think my umbrellas are a little too high in the sketch but the perspective is REALLY hard here. I have to forget everything I learned from Stephanie Bower here and draw by intuition alone. There are just too many vanishing points to keep track of!

I’ve started seeing sketchers all over the place — hidden in corners, sitting on little folding stools. It’s going to be an exciting week in Porto!

And even though I was mostly resting (and shopping) in Strasbourg, here’s the quick one I sketched on Place Kleber.

22 Comments on “Porto’s narrow spaces”

  1. Jauch says:

    Ah!!!!! I live in Portugal for 10 years now, and I NEVER been to Porto!!! lol
    I loved the sketches! Hope you enjoy Portugal 🙂


  2. Sasala says:

    Looking forward to Porto and your workshop next week 😊. I was in Strasbourg couple of years ago – such a beautiful city!


  3. Wonderful. Thoroughly enjoying your travels and sketches this summer.


  4. Judy Sopher says:

    Love how you say these are “quick” paintings. Just wonderful! All of them. I admire your ability to see color through dark areas. And clean colors. All of these are just great tho I love the one looking down on the river.

    Time for another Craftsy course for those of us who can’t take part in your workshops.


  5. Nancy Dwight says:

    Just lovely, Shari. The emotion and light come through well. Enjoy!


  6. I love it when you show the scene as well as the sketch! Fabulous!

    Last week I was sketching in Copenhagen and bumped into another sketcher. I mentioned how I am a huge fan of your work and she too is “following” you!

    Hope we will meet one day.




  7. monique says:

    Wonderful work..always..anywhere..anything!


  8. Alison says:

    I’m excited to think of you there! You are doing soooo much painting, so I KNOW you’re having a great time. Beautiful work.


  9. Mira says:

    Hello Shari,
    I love your paintings of Porto…. you continue to amaze me! Hope you have a good week and look forward to seeing more of your work! Thank you for sharing!


  10. joantav says:

    Hope to join you in those narrow spaces soon. These are gorgeous. Can’t wait to touch down in Porto tomorrow.


  11. Jeff Gold says:

    It’s wonderful to see your first impressions of Porto. Your energy, both physical and artistic are an inspiration. But it’s the drawings themselves and the skill that goes into them that really move us all. Have a great time in Porto. Looking forward to more of your wonderful work.


  12. Donna says:

    WOW!!!! That’s all I can say.


  13. Dee Ludwig says:

    Wow! Wow! Wow! What an amazing step forward you have just taken! I will look at these over and over! You just grew as an artist before our very eyes!


  14. Tylara says:

    goodness gracious you are one productive sketcher! Beautiful and inspirational.


  15. Rita says:

    Really nice ones, Shari! Have a great class this week!


  16. Carol Bershad says:

    You sure do love challenges! Amazing sketches from so many different perspectives. Enjoy Porto! Thanks for a terrific workshop in Provence. Wish I were there now to celebrate France’s World Cup victory. It must be electric. Take care, Carol


  17. Yorky says:

    Wonderful work Shari.


  18. ehwilson2013 says:

    Well, Shari, Amber was right, last year, when we were discussing that no way I could deal with Porto! Even with my rolling walker or even a rented scooter, could I do Porto! Loved seeing your sketches and the accompanying photos! Enjoy! Have a fantastic time! Elsie Hickey-Wilson


  19. Tracey Phillip says:

    So beautiful; my favorite is the last one.


  20. tmikeporter says:

    Enjoying all your posts and wish I was in Porto!
    Barb and I will be doing a cruise down the Duro river next year and spending time there and Lisbon. Also thinking of going over to Madrid and Barcelona while we’re at it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s