Barcelona sin Gaudi - Part Two

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Have I mentioned the amazing food in Spain? We really didn't eat a bad meal the entire time we were in Barcelona, though at a certain point I did tire a little of the ubiquitous pan de tomate ;)

At Matamala, Barcelona, Spain


Another warm, sticky day. Before the first workshop, went up to the 6th floor spa deck of Le Meridien hotel to sketch the view. Next time I'd like to go up into those hills.

View from Le Meridien Hotel 6th floor, Barcelona, Spain

Started off in the morning with Shari Blaukopf's Triad Symphony workshop, where we explored the possibilities of working solely with Alizarin crimson, Ultramarine blue and Aureolin yellow. After some value studies, we painted a small flower stand near the Església de Santa Anna, a lovely church. A bit bummed that I didn't actually go see the cloister.

Florist, Barcelona, Spain

After the class, a few of us took the metro to Barna Art -- because, you know, one never has quite enough art supplies. I snagged one of the few remaining Escoda travel brushes as well as a pack of Catalan-made watercolor paper at sister shop Barna Paper. After inhaling sorbet for lunch (yes it was that hot), I attended the Sketching with Dry Twig and Chinese Ink demo by Ch'ng Kiah Kiean. We watched closely as he deftly and rapidly sketched the cathedral with just a few tools.

Then it was off to Capturing Space Through Form and Color, taught by Marion Rivolier. Was not happy to walk nearly 30 minutes to the location, down in Barceloneta. (Plus, by now I know from experience that the second workshop on the second day of each year's symposium is generally my low point in terms of energy!) So I probably wasn't paying attention to the exercises, but I managed to paint a number of these panoramas of the buildings and trees down there. No pen or pencil lines, thus no "safety net."

Barceloneta panorama in red/blue, Barcelona, Spain

Barceloneta panorama, Barcelona, Spain


I knew this morning's workshop was going to be hard. Omar Jaramillo and João Catarino showed us how to paint around what we wanted to highlight in their workshop, titled Negative Forms as First Structures and Minimal Storytelling. I struggled with the first part, where we had to paint just the buildings, leaving the trees, cafe umbrellas, etc., white. I won't show you my sad attempts. The second part was more my speed -- we had to quickly paint gestural forms of the people wandering around near Placeta del Pi.

People at Placeta del Pi, Barcelona, Spain

After lunch at a Vietnamese place near the cathedral (a welcome break from tapas), I attended an informative and charismatic lecture by RISD faculty member and illustrator Fred Lynch. He was quite the storyteller.

Finally it was time for the 40th Worldwide Sketchcrawl! Keeping with tradition, the last day of the symposium coincided with a worldwide sketchcrawl, so we all gathered at the Arc de Triomf to draw, have a group picture taken and celebrate.

Arc de Triomf, Barcelona, Spain

Sketchcrawl at Arc de Triomf, Barcelona, Spain

A few of us went on to dinner at Luzia Street Grill, where the blank white paper placemat begged to be filled with a sketch.

At Luzia Street Grill, Barcelona, Spain


A day to rest, at last (sort of.) M. and I splurged for tickets and took a ride on the hop-on, hop-off Touristic Bus so that I could get a feel for the city (not to mention see some of the famous Gaudi buildings). It was nice to be off my feet. Of course, there were many stops along the route where crowds of people got on and off. I took the opportunity to sketch the Palau Nacional from the top of the stopped bus.

Top of Palau Nacional from Touristic Bus, Barcelona, Spain

I leave you with a sketch of the beach in Barceloneta, where we stopped for lunch and to dip our feet in the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean.

Barceloneta beach, Barcelona, Spain

Looking forward to next year's symposium, wherever it may be!

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