TravelSketch: Paris

Earlier this year, I managed to cling onto the History Department and took a trip down to Paris since I’ve not been there before. The trip was very history-orientated towards themes like the Ancien Regime, the French Revolution, the Terror, the Napoleonic Era and the World Wars – which was very interesting. Putting aside the history, the food in Paris was fabulous: nothing is better than some roasted French poultry and a warm loaf of baguette. Definitely looking forward to visiting France again. Perhaps Marseilles? Or Metz? This country needs to be further explored more.

You know how people usually write travelogues during their journeys? Well I got a brand new Moleskine sketchbook (A4) and decided to use it as a travel sketchbook. Basically when I was roaming in the streets of Paris I was taking tons of photos like a typical tourist so that I can use them to base on my drawings.


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There simply has to be an Eiffel Tower in this part of the sketchbook.

I used pencil in this sketch and mainly focused on lines in reference to the iron beams of the tower’s structure. In order to give it a strong sense of stability I applied more pressure than usual when drawing the main beams to leave harsh impressions. In addition to using a mechanical pencil, the lines were fine and thin but powerful which I think would create lines that would best represent the iron beams.

To further improve on this, I should perhaps spend more time on the scenery, i.e. the trees, the roads, the lamp posts, etc. or maybe give the sky some shades of graphite and rub bits off to represent clouds. The scenery could be represented in softer tones, lines and shapes in order to contrast the harsh, dark tower so that it can stand out even more.

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This statue is one of the numerous ones on display in the Palace of Versailles. The challenge was the perspective due to the photo I was basing on was taken from beneath as the statue towers up to about six metres. Once everything is mapped into place, I found it rather easy to fill in the details. I did the shades by mapping out the shaded area and simply hatched it out, creating a mid tone. If the tone is darker, I mapped out another area over a hatched area to create cross hatching.


This drawing and the drawing below was done in byro pen and on a Parisian map as I thought it would be interesting to have overlapping patterns (the map and the drawing). This drawing is of Notre Dame with a tendency of third person perspective as it seems to have three vocal points. The drawing below is of a building by the river Seine (which I don’t know the name of). I deliberately left out construction lines as I thought it could further give the drawing a sense of structure and direction, how it is towering over its visitors. Harsh lines were used to try to imitate the solid foundations and the sturdiness of the cathedral. In the drawing below, I deliberately used blue and red pens to portray the French flag since I had used black byro for the entire drawing, which hopefully stood out.

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So this is more or less of my Parisian travel sketches. I visited quite a few countries over summer, so hopefully I would get to post more sketches of the other countries when I get the time to do so.


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