Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sketch of the Week: More Sketches from Barcelona

While I enjoyed taking the workshops at Urban Sketching Symposium in Barcelona (sketches done during those sessions are here), I feel fortunate to have a few days after that to wander around the city to take in the sights, sketchbook in hand.

Sagrada Família is a church built by Antoni Gaudí, and probably the most famous landmark of Barcelona. Little did I know that I had a chance to sketch it twice! The first time was before the workshops, where I met other sketchers across the street by the lake to sketch the Nativity Façade (the sketch is here) - this building is so tall that you can't see the entire building otherwise.

I ended up sketching from the other side (Passion Façade) a few days later:

I had an opportunity to see other buildings by Gaudí during my stay.  This is La Pedrera, as seen from the back:

Here are a few sketches from Parc Güell. There are fanciful benches and buildings with mosaic tiles and bright colors at the bottom of the hill, and quieter buildings above:

Barcelona has many vantage points to see the city.
This is a panorama view of Plaça Catalunya from 9th floor window of a restaurant inside El Corte Inglés department store:

And this is a view from hills of Montjuïc when the sun was setting. Sagrada Familía stands out in the view to the northeast:

Besides Gaudí, the city is filled with other beautiful buildings and monuments, too. It makes for an enjoyable place to look around and sketch:

Casa de les Punxes

Plaça de la Seu

Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia (Barcelona Cathedral)

Parc del Laberint d'Horta

Arc de Triomf

Even the lamp post with a bench along Passeig de Gràcia is so ornate! I love the graceful design and decoration (designed in 1906 by the architect Pere Falqués i Urpí) in what is usually an ordinary outdoor furniture.

People-watching is always fun for me. People in Barcelona gather outside to enjoy the sunny weather. It was unusual for me to see a motorcycle, a bicycle, and a scooter parked next to each other while a father and his two sons and two dogs were resting nearby, so I had to sketch that along with long summer afternoon shadows. 

People gather to shop and eat, of course. This is a sketch from La Boqueria market, along with a view into the narrow medieval streets:

Some more people sketches from a restaurant and a hotel lobby:

The more I walked around Barcelona, the more I appreciated the design of the city infrastructure. For instance, trash cans are made to be tilted so the garbage can be dumped into a bag held by garbage collectors, who are wearing bright uniforms with reflective strips so they can be seen by car traffic:

After a day of walking, I finally arrived at Illa de la Discòrdia with more ornate buildings to admire. But thick trees are covering most of the view, the sun is setting, the bulbs under umbrellas are lit, and people are getting out of work and starting to eat dinner. I thought it was appropriate to draw this to mark my sketching adventure for the day, to capture the feeling of thoroughly enjoying the city. 


  1. These are all so fresh and exciting! All my fond memories of Barcelona come back while looking at your sketches.

    - Tina

  2. Brava, Shiho!... These are beautiful!