Summer 2017 in Catalonia, Spain

My summer this year was spent well travelling and sketching in a new country, (Catalonia, Spain).

En route to Barcelona was a 5 hour transit in Zurich which did not allow me to leave the airport and so I passed the time sketching.

Left: Aircraft in waiting Right: Labels of beer bottles available at the airport (I didn’t try any)

I didn’t spend more than one day in the city of Barcelona on arrival and headed instead to Esterri d’Aneu in the Pyrenees. I expected it to be much cooler up in the mountains (it was 37 degrees Celsius when I arrived!) and unfortunately, was the same there. However, the view from my hotel window and the picturesque town pretty much made up for the weather.

I spent the next couple of days exploring the area though it didn’t include much time for sketching. I have got to learn to make quick sketches!

Arros: The town is characteristic with lanes in traditional houses and sloping roofs. You can see the mountains at the vanishing point. It seemed like a sleepy town, probably due to people hiding indoors because of the hot weather.

Heading back to Barcelona, I felt obliged to catch my first view of Casa Batllo. I have been a fan of Gaudi’s work, and to me, it felt quite surreal. Sitting amongst the tourists at the façade, I spent an hour drawing this fascia.


Park Guell, another marvel of Gaudi’s work framed under a stone arch. This is one of the two gingerbread houses on the grounds.

I love the lifestyle in the city sprawled with numerous cafes and bars. For me it’s something special since the super hot weather in Dubai doesn’t allow one to stay outdoors for too long. As is my habit, I rule out drawing people in my sketches but I made an exception on this trip breaking my pattern for the first time. It’s been interesting combining my favourite part in urban sketching (building facades) with a person in the foreground.

Pau: ¡Kataclak mola! [Tr: I like Kataclak!]
Marc: ¡Mola mucho! [Tr: Really like it!]

Forgive my Spanish, it’s very, very basic!

Guillem, a character sketch: ¿Se puede arreglar en postpo? [Tr: Can it be fixed in post-production?]

I have to include the little town of Cervello I called home in Catalonia. The Pyrenees are visible behind and the level differences allow for lovely viewing angles. I am charmed by this town that the people living here call a “village”. In India, villages may not have electricity, running water or their own cars and as such, Cervello is a “developed town”!

I was lucky to be around during one of the festivities, Sant Joan. There were many gatherings and plenty of fireworks during this time. On the eve of the celebration, Revetlla, I drew this streetscape at Carrer de la Marina.

My last day was spent at Rupit, back in the mountains. Another quiet town hidden behind green forests.

I imagined myself making many more urban sketches since there was so much to capture around. This is a reason I have to go back on a longer holiday to do justice to Barcelona!




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