I just returned from three weeks in Paris. I draw the Eiffel Tower every time I go to Paris.
Why the Effiel Tower, an over-done icon?
→ Why did George Mallory want to climb Mt. Everest?
→ Why did Willie Sutton rob banks?
→ Why do I draw the Eiffiel Tower?
So, enjoy Eiffel 2013. I will be posting drawings from my trip over the next few days.
They are online! Yeah! All of the drawings were completed on location. They are my usual travel size, 12x17cm (5×7″).
Some of them took a couple of visits, like the Cafe scene on Rue Lombarde, which always seemed to entail more beer and wine with each visit. I had to finish the view of the Seine more quickly than intended. Either that or toss the homeless guy who decided to sit next to me into the the river. He endlessly played the same 5 notes on his accordian. I decided to spare him and I moved along.
My view of Notre Dame was from near Shakespeare and Company Bookstore. Someone had placed one of the store’s chairs quite far from the store. However, the chair was almost perfectly placed for my drawing. I only had to move it “slightly” – – I did put it back. Pont Alexandre III epitomizes Paris. Unfortunately there isn’t any place to sit and enjoy it’s splendor. It’s surrounded by busy roads and is a fair walk from most tourist sites. Pont Neuf is my sentimental favorite. It was painted many times by Albert Marquet, an impressionist era painter whose work I like. My sketch is an homage to him. As near as I can figure, he either lived in, or knew someone, on the second floor of the building along Quai des Orfèvres that overlooks this span. The Left Bank is on the far side.
I have 4 travel sketches at the Landstuhl Public Library. It’s part of their Artothek program. Artwork can be checked out, just like books, but there is a fee and some other restrictions. I like the program because it’s a way to get original artwork into more people’s homes, even if only for a short time.
Sorry to my friends living elsewhere. We’ll have to create an Artothek-like program where you are living!
When you take a photo, are you really looking at your subject? What do you remember? Think about it. How many levels does the Roman Coliseum have? What does the ceiling look like in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul?
Travel watercolor sketches, that you paint, are an excellent way to create long-lasting memories of your travels. Research has shown that travelers who sketch, or even just look, remember more than people who take photos.
Cannot draw? So what? If You Travel, You Can Paint. No excuses. If you think you cannot draw, then please read my next blog post. But first…
Travel watercolor sketches are easy for everyone. I am not talking about painting the Sistine Chapel here (arts equivalent of rocket science). A 3×5 piece of paper with a square building, a tree, some stick figures, and a splash of color makes a wonderful travel memory. Try one, I dare you. Then look at it when you get home. You will be amazed at what you remember; not just the subject of your little sketch, but your feelings, who you were with, the temperature, what you had for lunch, the ceiling, and way more.
In my next post I will talk about philosophical, procedural, and practical issues with travel watercolor painting. If you survive, then in my last post in this series, I will give you my ideas on what supplies you should carry as you travel.
Hey… it is an icon. I had to paint it. It was a nice bright spring day, a bit cool. I stood on the bank of the Seine for this view. Same spot as I took the photo in a previous post. The photo was actually merged from several photos because this location is too close for a single shot, at least with my camera. Fortunately, that is not a problem with drawing.