We love Cadiz Carnivals


For me, Cadiz has a special rhythm, light and colour. Sometimes the rhythm is so slow that one could think we have travelled in time hundreds or even thousands years ago. Maybe it is because this ancient city is three thousand years old.

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Its architectural style, its narrow and labyrinthine streets, the old little shops, the calm way of living, the sea surrounding the whole city and the coloured sunsets over the rooftops, they all make you feel the quietness of this place.
But, during The Carnival, this rhythm turns into an explosion of colours, songs and a lively happy mood. All the neighbours and local people transform the city into a real performance, and the street into a theatre just for for sharing and having fun together.
We wanted to discover all these different rhythms and colours, and there we went!
We worked first at the street level, looking for local people doing old jobs such as selling flowers, sharpening knives,in their small shops; we used colour to get different goals: to express mood or action, to focus on something or to simplify some part in the scene.

During the breaks we found ways to share and learn about the local food: “chicharrones”, “tortillitas de camarones”, and all the treasures of this land and ocean, and why not, its wine taverns.

In the afternoons, we escaped from the noisy city and went up to my rooftop, where we aimed to capture the light and atmosphere, draw depth by using different colour and, finally, feel that “colour is in the air”.

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The afternoon ended with an orange sunset over the rooftop panoramic view.
During the weekend, the Carnival was everywhere around us and we enjoyed
catching its rhythm, light and colour.

For me, the best part, without any doubt, has been having the chance of sharing these days with such lovely and lively group, so enthusiastic about learning and enjoying everything. And, of course, to work with Isabel Carmona and Víctor Swasky and live together this amazing adventure.


Absolutely, I fell in love with Cadiz during our last #PYSBCadiz2018 workshop. The light, the streets, the squares, the sea, and most of all the people, generous, funny, critical in their humour.
Light (and shade) is everywhere in Cadiz. I am very glad to have chosen this theme for my workshop and in my first session we explored them in depth from high contrast (light or shadow) to tonal variations (of light and shade) and then the colour of shades. The concepts are not easily to comprehend but all participants had a good stab at it.


The most fantastic views, slightly overwhelming, awaited us on top of Tavira Tower, the tallest of the 133 merchant watchtowers in the city. The light changes quickly as well in the afternoon until sunset – a few quick colour exercises took the panic away (or accelerated it) and then a more reposed exercise where we could spend slightly longer time, working in colour, repeteadly, with intervals looking and checking our focus.


The same colour exercises, in the cathedral square, and with the morning light, also produced some great work, each participant’s style shining through. That morning, people streaming along the square into the narrow streets towards the carnival performances in the market.



Before I start teaching a workshop I always feel butterflies in my stomach. Nevertheless, this time I was not just nervous because I was teaching but also because I was coming back to Cadiz, one of the most wonderful cities of the south of Spain. My first time was with my family and my memories are from a city surrounded by the sea where the light was so bright that our eyes couldn’t cope with it. Now to those exciting memories I will add the experience of enjoying the Carnival of Cadiz with chirigotas, funny songs, and party in all the streets.

I focused my sessions in storytelling working mainly with colored pencils. I wanted to work with a technique fast enough to catch the bustle in all the situations we were about to face and also being able to work color and light.


My chosen venue was the market a bright and open designed central market from the 18th century recently refurbished, which has attractively displayed local products on the lines of the stalls. Fishmongers offer nice and fresh fish and there is also an area where you can eat local delicatessen like “tortillitas de camarones”, “calamares”, “croquetas”, “chocos fritos”, “cazón en adobo” or “gambas fritas”.

We had the opportunity to draw also in the evening around the market and capture all the buzz before the carnival and chirigotas went outside to start signing their shameless, irreverent and provocative songs.


All along four days we had the opportunity of drawing and relish Cadiz thanks to the smiling Celia and her partner César, they both received all of us warmly.


I’ll keep in my mind the first evening where they lead us and we spent together with all the participants in “la Caleta” beach an spectacular sunset with incredible reds, violets blues, yellows and oranges.


Thank you to everybody and an special mention to Jonatan Alcina who offered an interesting speech about his beloved birthplace Cadiz.