A visit to Notre Dame

Every morning we can hear the bells of Notre Dame ring out. Still jet lagged we took a stroll through the district and investigate this historic building. As we approached Notre Dame noticing the line for the tower tour was short Jerry decided he would do the climb as he has always wanted to photograph the gargoyles. I decided to explore the interior of the building. So sketchbook in hand I headed off to see what was to be seen inside while Jerry camera in hand climbed the building to see what was to be seen on the outside.

If you sketch, it is easy to be overwhelmed as the cathedral is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture for a reason! I walked around then decided to tackle just a small section. I had about an hour and wanted to keep the goal to do some drawing here realistic.

travel journal sketch Notre DameThere was a service in progress and I sat in front of a pillar and quietly sketched. I really enjoyed this as I got to sit and quietly observe not only the cathedral but how the place was used by both worshipers and tourists. To be honest it is the sort of place I could return to every day for month and barely sketched any of the building at all.

Anyway I hope you enjoy the sketch.


Arrived in Paris to live with a haughty Giraffe

We have arrived in Paris to a lovely compact apartment and haughty giraffe. By chance my first drawing in this city fits the EDM drawing challenge # 288 as the prompt reads “Draw something with spots”.

I think it’s a female giraffe because she has big eyes and a suitable haughty expression. Our apartment in Paris is lovely and is decorated in black white and lime green and has this strange giraffe that is I am sure a very fashionable interior decorator item.

Everyday Drawing Matters Drawing Challenge 288Why am I drawing a spotty giraffe? Well I am dealing with body time clock that is telling me 3 in the morning is 3 in the afternoon. At 3 in the afternoon I am giddy with tiredness. Since I cant exactly bound out and see the sites in the middle of the night I decided to draw my friend here. So this was sketched as I was wide awake while the city slept.

spotted giraffeAs I worked my new inktense pencils over the page, outside I could hear people in twos and threes make their way home from clubs and bars. One stumbled over a couple of empty wine bottles, sending them clattering down the uneven pavement into street, making such a racket on the uneven surface that it drowned out the curses made by the late night pedestrian who had caused the noise.

Anyway here is my EDM challenge drawing 288 “Draw something with spots”

The Every Day Matters drawing challenge has  a yahoo group, a flickr group and Facebook page.


A visit to the DMZ

Whilst in Seoul we decided to pay a visit to the Demilitarised Zone or DMZ.
We are not tour type folks but the only way you can visit the DMZ is via a bus tour because lets face it, the place is technically still a war zone. Having to take a tour meant we had to travel at the rate established by the group.

travel journal sketchSo I could only draw something simple which I have shared with this page spread. The photo was taken before I wrote in my journal about the day. One of the souvenirs tourists could purchase was a section of barb wire that had been used! Each piece had a serial number and was authenticated.

DMZ prayer ribbons KoreaAt Paju there is a bullet ridden steam train which is going nowhere as the bridge it crosses has been blown up. Beside the train people tie ribbons to represent wishes/prayers for peace and unification.

DMZ Merry-go-roundThere is fun park area that contains the quirkiest merry-go-round I have seen as is is composed of cute stylised rickshaws.

DMZ Merry-go-roundIt was very surreal to walk from a barbwire defined guarded border to  play ground!

The actual tour is interesting as in may ways as the war and living as divided country has shaped the national psyche.

More photos taken in Korea coming soon from Jerry.


A review of Winsor & Newton Artists’ Water Colour Compact Set

EDM challenge drawing 190This is the palette of the water-colour set I mentioned in my post about the art materials I have packed for my trip. I had an email asking more aboout about and I thought I would combine the answer with my hurried attempt at the Every Day Matters drawing challenge # 190 “Draw your palette”, with a brief review of the Winsor & Newton Artists’ Water Colour Compact Set as I have been happily using this compact set for years.

Water Colour Compact SetThe Winsor & Newton Artists’ Water Colour Compact Set comes with 14 half pans of artist quality paint in a white lightweight, durable plastic box, which easily fits into a bag, backpack, sachel, purse or what ever you carry your sketching kit around in.

Water Colour Compact Set 3I am pleased with the professional-grade colours but you can easily replace any of the ‘half pans’ you don’t like for your favourite colours. The half pan colours that came with the set are

  • Winsor Lemon
  • Cadmium Yellow Pale
  • Raw Umber
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Permanent Alizarin Crimson
  • Permanent Rose
  • French Ultramarine
  • Winsor Blue Green Shade
  • Winsor Green Blue Shade
  • Permanent Sap Green
  • Winsor Red
  • Cadmium Scarlet
  • Chinese White
  • Yellow Ochre

The brush is a sable and holds what I call a good squelch of paint for its size. It is a short brush (like all brushes in travel sets) and I find I like the feel of a larger brush in my hand, so always take along some of my favourites but there is nothing wrong with the brush that came with this set and in a pinch it will serve well. I hold it in place with a small gob of kneadable eraser.

Water Colour Compact Set 2Unlike many artists travel sets this one has a generous area to mix your paint and the size is doubled when you slide out the bottom. Since I am a bit of sprawler I like the extra room and I have found this set to be ideal for sketching on location.

I found a You Tube video demonstrating the Winsor & Newton Artists’ Water Colour Compact Set of 14