With a love of sketching since she was a little girl, Luísa Petiz is an architect with a penchant for sketching and watercolor. Her works are of places she’s been and show how she sees the world, through paper, pencil and watercolor. Find out how Macau charmed her and inspired her to sketch its beauty along with updates on exhibitions of her works!
First of all, congratulations on all your beautiful sketches, we are such fans! How long have you been creating watercolor sketches like these?
Thank you! I started drawing when I was a little girl, even my bedroom walls would work for me. But during high school, I took an art course and we usually did urban sketching–we randomly chose some spots in Lisbon to go to, and there we had to make a certain amount of sketches, they had to be fast because we were always moving. I guess that’s when I started using watercolor. Ever since then I started sketching more and more, so my style got better over time.
What made you decide to start sketching Macau?
For many years I’ve been sketching cities I would usually travel to. Maybe because I’m an architect my interest was always buildings, I became fascinated with the different styles between them. At the beginning of the pandemic, Macau closed borders, so I wasn’t allowed to travel anymore. With time, I started looking at the city’s details differently. The more I discovered new characteristics the more I got excited with the idea of putting it on a sketch. That’s when I started sketching Macau!
Why do you prefer to use watercolor?
I really like to work with transparency when sketching, it allows me to do layers and make a more elaborate drawing. Also because it is mixed with water so you can control the quantity of color you want to use, you can make gradients and others. Besides it’s super practical, it dries fast and I can take my little watercolor box everywhere.
Can you share with us a little about your background?
Well as I said before, in high school I chose the visual arts course and later I graduated as an architect in Lisbon. During those years I had sketching lessons every semester that helped me improve my technique a lot and I drew with different materials.
Have you always been interested in drawing or sketching? What are your first memories of drawing?
According to my parents, yes! I was always sketching when I was young. I don’t remember much of how it started but I remember I used to draw on my bedroom walls a lot. I would literally do anything that came up to mind, I think my parents had to repaint my room a couple of times! Aside from that the only memories I have are the actual drawings of some weird dinosaurs, houses, and rainbows that my parents insist on keeping, it’s a bit embarrassing (laughs).
How did you find yourself in Macau?
Honestly, I never thought of moving to the other side of the world but my boyfriend had a job opportunity in Macau so he moved. When I finished college, about one year and a half later I decided to join him, I thought it could be a good experience to work abroad plus to travel around Asia
What are your favorite places in Macau to explore?
The old town, definitely. It has so much of it. The mixed electric cables, the air conditioning boxes, the rusted metal windows with clothes hanging, and plants growing everywhere. And everything is piled up, sometimes you can barely see the actual wall behind it. The small shops and restaurants on the ground floor and the narrow shaded streets look like a labyrinth. When you think you’re lost, you look up and you can see Grand Lisboa smiling on top of the block, and from that moment you know where to go, it’s awesome! And that’s describing just a small part of it.
Are your sketches for sale? How can people buy your sketches? Do you do commissions?
Yes! They are all for sale and I also make prints from my original sketches. I do make commissions, all I need is a picture or to know what the client wants. So far, aside from the watercolors of Macau, I have been asked to do private houses, landscapes, and a lot of wedding gifts too. You can reach me through my Instagram page, email, or WhatsApp, and then in the end I will deliver in hand the sketch (depending on whether I’m in Macau or in Lisbon), or I send it through the mail. I already had a few clients overseas and the drawings arrived safely, I always provide the tracking code. And I currently have some of my prints available for purchase in the Livraria Portuguesa in Macau.
Have you thought about doing an LP World Sketches exhibition of all your work?
Of course! I think it could be interesting to show the rest of my work aside from Macau, the watercolors from the places I have traveled so far, like a travel journey. Let’s see what the future brings!
If you had to pick three of your favorite artworks around Macau, which would they be?
That’s a tricky question! Probably Rua da Felicidade, I love that street. The architecture is the same but the restaurants and shops are always different and it ends up changing and making every building unique. The second may be the Lou Lim Ieoc Garden, it’s really beautiful and the one that reminds me most of the Chinese culture. And the last one, the one I did from my house. It may not be the prettiest and definitely not the most well-known, but it’s basically what Macau means to me.
What’s coming up in 2022 for LP World Sketches?
Well, I’m happy to announce that I will be having another exhibition! It will be in Fundação Rui Cunha in Macau, by the end of March. I’m currently developing more artwork of Macau but this time in a different context. I’m focusing more on what Macau really is other than the popular landmarks plus a few other surprises!