Sketching Pastéis de Belém with Markers

Pastéis de Belém inspires 2 artists: watch a marker drawing done on site in Lisbon, Portugal of these lovely egg custard tarts. the star dessert of the city!

5 min. video

Using alcohol based markers, a bright, colorful marker drawing is shown from beginning to end. Drawing by Teaching Artist Cat Huang with commentary from Art Prof Clara Lieu.

Video Walkthrough

  • Cat draws with colors that are not in the scene because they are sometimes there to establish value, not color within the image.
  • Drawing the squooshed Pastéis de Belém was appealing in order to create contrast between the 2 egg tarts.
  • The alcohol based brush pens are very convenient for drawing on site.
  • When you are drawing on site, the key is to not have any expectations in terms of creating a 100% super polished artwork.
  • Drawing on site, it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll have sufficient time to finish an artwork.
  • When you’re drawing and traveling, it’s pretty much guaranteed something unpredictable will happen.
  • Sticking to just the local colors in the scene is often not as visually interesting.
  • The key to introducing unusual colors in a drawing is to distribute them all over the composition, so they don’t feel like a sour thumb within the context of all the other colors.
  • Cat approaches drawing text (in this case, the box the Pastéis de Belém come in) by viewing it as abstract shapes, not as literal text.

Prof Lieu’s Tips

Clara cartoon

I find that when you go too far and ruin a piece, that it provides a much better reference for the range of what’s possible.

When you have 2 versions of your piece that you can look at side by side, you’ll find that seeing where you want to go becomes a lot clearer.

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