Sintra – Palacio da Pena, a Bavarian castle in Portugal

Portugal - Sintra Palacio da Pena loAt the top of one of the peaks overlooking Sintra, stands an amazing baroque palace built in the nineteenth century by Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. With its quirky shapes and its outstanding blood-red walls and washed lemon yellow, it seems to have escaped from a Disney park.

Here, in the drawing, white seems to suit it much better. But at the end of my work, I clumsily made a few small spots of gouache inadvertently. My first reaction was to find how to remove them, until I finally decided to add some more blots, accentuating the fantasy of this strange construction.

Sintra – Le Palacio da Pena, l’incroyable chateau bavarois au Portugal

Au sommet de l’une des cimes surplombant Sintra se dresse un incroyable château baroque construit par le prince Ferdinand de Saxe-Cobourg-Gotha au XIXème siècle. Avec ses excroissances biscornues et ses étonnantes façades rouge sang et jaune citron, il semble s’être échappé d’un parc de Disney.

Sur le dessin le blanc semble mieux lui convenir. Mais à la fin de mon travail, j’ai maladroitement fait quelques taches de gouache par inadvertance. Après avoir longuement réfléchi pour tenter de les supprimer, j’ai finalement décidé d’en rajouter, accentuant ainsi le caractère féérique de cette étrange construction.

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Portugal – The window of the Convent of Christ in Tomar is a well-known example of Manueline style.

Portugal - Tomar Convento de Cristo Fenetre Manueline lo

In Tomar, there is a wonderful monument built by the Templars in the twelfth century, the Convento de Cristo, a monumental monastery perched on the hill overlooking the city: a maze of cloisters, corridors, stairways, chapels and refectories built over time in a succession of different architectural styles
Overlooking the cloister of Santa Barbara, the gothic nave of the church has an exceptional huge window, very emblematic of the Manueline architecture: a flamboyant decor with nautical elements inspired from the Great Discoveries: ropes, shells, corals, algae …
This drawing, hastily executed in the cloister with a brush and china ink has long staid in black, unfinished. The disappointing smoky result could not recall the exuberance of the architecture. Until one day, I decided to open a tube of gouache and try to to illuminate it with a few touches of white …
..and finally give it a little relief!

Portugal – La fenêtre du Couvent du Christ à Tomar,  emblématique du style Manuélin.

A Tomar, il y a un merveilleux monument bâti par l’ordre du Temple au XIIème siècle : le Convento de Cristo, un couvent monumental perché sur la colline qui surplombe la ville : un entrelacs de cloitres, de corridors, d’escaliers, de chapelles et de réfectoires construit au fil du temps dans une succession de styles architecturaux

La nef gothique de l’église s’ouvre sur le cloitre de Saint Barbara par une énorme fenêtre emblématique de l’architecture manuéline : un décor flamboyant aux éléments marins inspiré des Grandes Découvertes : cordages, coquillages, coraux, algues…

Ce dessin, brossé rapidement dans le cloitre, au pinceau et à l’encre de chine est longtemps resté en noir, inachevé. Le résultat charbonneux ne parvenait pas a restituer l’exubérance de l’architecture. Jusqu’à ce qu’un jour, je me décide à déboucher un tube de gouache pour l’éclairer de quelques touches de blanc…                                               …et lui donner enfin un peu de relief !

Portugal – Evora

Portugal - Evora Map loEvora, is a lovely little town in the heart of Alentejo. You should not miss to browse the web of its old streets and let be surprised by the many surprising discoveries: an monumental door with its Manueline architecture, the ruins of a Roman temple, a Renaissance fountain, old azulejos or the remains of an old millennium aqueduct … 

Evora, est une adorable petite ville au coeur de l’Alentejo.
Il faut parcourir la toile arachnéeenne de ses ruelles et se laisser porter au gré des découvertes; une porte  monumentale à l’architecture manueline, les ruines d’un temple romain, une une fontaine renaissance, de vieux azulejors ou les restes d’un vieil aqueduc millénaire…

Portugal – Porto

Portugal - Porto viaduc Dom Luis loPorto is nested on both sides of the Douro gorge. The Maria Pia viaduct built by Eiffel spans across the river, while the Porto cellars stage on the southern slope of the river.

I thought i could play in two tones, white & brown until i realized i needed a third color to figure the light reflected on tile roofs.

Portugal – Boats in the ria d’Aveiro

Drawing in brown and white is great fun; however i could not resist to add a few strokes of color when i saw these traditional fishing boats (so called Moliceiros)in the little town of Aveiro. Every boat has its own pattern and set of colors which makes a enchanted place of this little harbor.Portugal - Aveiro Moliceiros lo

Portugal – Sintra Palacio National

Portugal - Sintra Palacio National 2006-08
Portugal was one of my most surprising drawing experiences. I was fascinated by the fact that this country (at least the architecture) seemed to be a two-tone land: brown from stone and white from lime on the walls.
Unusually, I had taken with me a notebook with brown pages. So, rather than allowing empty spaces on my sheet of watercolor paper to figure the white walls as I would have normally done, I decided to reverse things. I bought a tube of white gouache and loved playing in dual tone.