Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Brazil, Part 3: Rio, Big and Small

8/24/14 Diamine Chocolate Brown, Diamine Grey,
Pilot Iroshizuku Take-Sumi and Tsuyu-Kusa inks, Zig marker,
Caran d'Ache Museum pencils, Canson XL 140 lb. paper (Copacabana Beach)
I’m embarrassed to admit this, but until this year when I started researching Brazil in preparation for this trip, my most memorable media encounter with the city of Rio de Janeiro was the animated movie, RioNeedless to say, the actual city had very little resemblance to the talking birds and animals in the film (except for the Angry Birds sounds, which are apparently real!).

My very first glimpse of Rio was also the most ahhh-some: Copacabana beach. Before heading to Paraty, we planned our first day off the plane with nothing to do but lie on the sand (a highly recommended strategy!). After renting beach chairs and umbrellas for a small fee from one of the many nearby vendors, we spent most of a very relaxing day there. Greg was up and about frequently to take photos, but I barely budged except to reach for my water bottle and to brush a little sand off my watercolor box.

8/24/14 Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor, Museum pencils,
Canson XL (Copacabana)
After Paraty, we returned to Rio for several more days, and that’s when we hit the “big” can’t-miss sights: Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf) and Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) on Corcovado. Heading for each of these huge tourist magnets, we braced ourselves for the mobs we were certain to face. Rain was forecast for the day that we had scheduled for Sugarloaf, apparently keeping many people away, but the rain turned quickly to sunshine, so we had the place nearly to ourselves (relatively speaking). We spent several hours there sucking up the amazing view.

Corcovado was another matter. We started
9/3/14 Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor, Museum
pencils, Canson XL paper (Cristo Redentor
from tram midpoint of Sugarloaf)
out early as we had been advised, but by late morning the mobs had arrived. It seemed that everyone had the same brilliant idea: Pose with arms outstretched in front of the statue for a photo. (Greg took more photos of tourists in ridiculous selfie positions than he did of the Cristo!) Although the view, higher even than Sugarloaf, was certainly worth the trip, the well-known statue of Cristo Redentor captured my attention even more. Visible for many miles from the ground, the statue is absolutely stunning up close with a striking elegance of form. I spent quite a while sketching it from various angles (the arms are so wide that I kept misjudging the scale on my sketchbook page; it took three tries to get it right).

After checking off each of these can’t-miss items on our list (which, despite the crowds, are indeed can’t-miss items), it was a relief to head back to “our” hotel neighborhood to sketch the everyday life of people not consumed with taking selfies (see more in my post on Rio’s city scenes). 

(For more sketches as well as photos from my Brazil travels, see this Flickr album.)

9/3/14 Museum pencils, Take-Sumi and Tsuyu-kusa inks,
Canson XL paper (Pao de Acucar)
9/5/14 Take-Sumi ink, Canson XL paper
(Cristo Redentor. Oops, I didn't scale it right for the arms!)
9/5/14 Take-Sumi ink, Canson XL paper
(Cristo Redentor. Oops, this time I didn't leave enough space for the full height!)
9/5/14 Take-Sumi ink, Museum pencils, Canson XL paper
(Cristo Redentor. On my third try, I finally got the proportions right.)
9/5/14 Platinum Carbon and Diamine Grey inks, watercolor, Canson XL paper (Cristo Redentor and gajillions of tourists)
9/6/14 Diamine Chocolate Brown ink, Museum pencils,
Zig markers, Canson XL paper (a vendor of handmade windmills, Rua do Catete)
8/23/14 Diamine Chocolate Brown ink, Zig marker, Canson XL paper
(At first I thought this young man near the beach was busking,
but it turned out he was offering lessons on playing the steel drums.
Buskers are one of my favorite sketching subjects,
but I saw very few in Rio. Perhaps it's not legal?)

Tina and Joni sketching the Cristo
Joni, Tina and Francesca sketching at Corcovado


  1. I'm enjoying seeing glimpses of your trip, Tina.

  2. If this is a repeat, please delete it, but I don't think my comment went through. You did a great job capturing the statue from afar and close up. I love how you also included the tourists posing in front of I think you had the right idea to relax when you first got there, especially since it looks like you were marathon sketching the whole time. Thanks for sharing your commentary too. It makes me feel like i was almost there. lol

    Spent the day gathering my clothes together for our upcoming trip. Later I'm planning on making a concertina sketchbook for the trip. After I sketch tonight with my group I can start getting my art supplies together. Getting ready is more exhausting than the trip itself. lol

  3. More good sketches. I like the one that also captures the tourists posing with the statue! Speaking of selfies..... several (Asian) tourists through the Museum of Flight yesterday had there cell phones fastened on the end of a long rod for better selfie-taking! I wish, like Greg, I'd taken photos of them taking selfies!


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