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The Doors of Portugal – Part One

Back from 3 weeks of travel, my Camera Roll is bursting with new subjects for paintings.

And some favourite subjects for paintings, like doors, doors and more doors!

I can’t help it, people! It’s a bit of a travel addiction, but these doors never fail to captivate me. Like the doors I came across on my first stop in Porto, Portugal.

Bright colours or pristine white. Some adorned with the local decorative ceramic tiles. Each with unique ironwork detail, done intentionally to proudly represent the building’s ownership. Often door, window and balcony design in harmony on buildings. Geometrical lines are more popular than ornate curves. There’s a simple beauty but just enough adornment to make the architecture stand out.

The first door I chose to paint is one I came across on my first day. I was drawn to the bright red door within the two-tone wall on a very steep street. When I got close to it and after a few seconds, I saw that each side was not symmetrical – one side was much longer, I’m guessing to accommodate the incline of the street. At first glance it looked perfectly symmetrical though. Hmm… either my old eyes were playing tricks on me or it’s a clever design trick.

#134 – Red Porto Door

2.5″ x 3.5″; ink and watercolour

The second door I chose is very representative of Porto’s beautiful doors – bright colour, distinctive ironwork, and the accompanying ceramic wall tile. Many of Porto’s buildings have traditional “azulejo” tiles adorning their frontage – the geometric designs influenced by the 13th century Moors. It was a way to beautify otherwise plain structures, without having to rely on paintings or carvings (that need continual care). The ceramics are often blue and white, as on this building, and the door complemented the azulejos.

#135 – Blue Porto Door

2.5″ x 3.5″; ink and watercolour

I took dozens of door photos, so no doubt there will be more Porto-inspired miniatures of doors to come!


(“Enjoy” in Portuguese, I think)


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