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During the few days I spent in Rio de Janeiro, I had the opportunity to see so many incredibly beautiful views together with my fellow sketchers. Many cities have some places where you can get up high and see a panorama view of the city, but Rio really makes the rest of them look a bit… ordinary. The mountains right in the middle of the city makes nature take center part of the view, in spite of the size of this place. And because the mountains keep appearing behind one another, as far as the eye can see, the impression you get is so atmospheric. It is quite a breathtaking experience to see a sunset from Pãu de Açúcar, Sugarloaf mountain. And it is a bit stressful (but fun!) to try to draw it while the light disappears! The sunsets in Rio are much shorter than they are in Sweden this time of the year, I was quite taken by surprise several times when drawing near sunset – the light just disappears in a quarter of an hour!
On one of the days in Rio, local sketcher Thais lead the way to Jardim Botânico. I really enjoyed drawing all the fantastic organic shapes, wish I could have spent more time there, though, there was so much to discover! And, as a bonus, I got to see the first wild monkey I´ve ever seen. Cutest little thing. And no, it didn´t really lend itself to sketching, it was moving too fast.
The morning after visiting Pâu de Açúcar, we headed up to Corcovado, where the famous statue of Christ stands – and where the next fantastic view was waiting to be drawn. This view is sort of the opposite of the one from Sugarloaf, so visiting both gives you a pretty good idea of the layout of Rio. Also, it´s funny that from one of these mountains, you can draw the other, and vice versa.
Th train ride to get to the top of Corcovado was actually a nice part of the whole experience, moving through very dense forest which now and then opened up to completely breathtaking views.
I was happy to spend at least a few hours in Centro in Rio, a part of town which is more about business than about smashing views. We grabbed something to eat in the classic Confeitaria Colombo, and of course everyone was drawing during the whole meal. I also managed to squeeze in more of a street sketch before heading back to the hotel for the evening. Needed to get some sleep before the bus trip to Paraty and the 5th Urban sketchers symposium.
All drawings: 21 x 14,5 cm, or 42 x 14,5 cm, various ink pens and watercolour on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook paper.