If you’ve seen Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia only once, then it wasn’t enough. That was my conclusion as I savored the amazingly detailed drawings in Drawing Around Sagrada Familia by urban sketcher and blogger Nina Johansson. I spent the whole day at Gaudi’s masterpiece cathedral, exploring both the outside and inside with sheer awe and wonder, and Johansson’s art helped me relive that experience. Yet with each beautifully rendered drawing, I kept wondering how I could have missed this detail or that. She has carefully observed subtle nuances as well as the grand picture. Unlike photographs, Johansson’s drawings convey not only what is seen but what is felt by the thousands of tourists who pass through the Sagrada Familia daily. More important, the drawings convey what Johansson herself felt as she transferred keen observations to her sketchbook with intelligence, reverence and humor.
(This book review also appears on Amazon.com.)