Summertime in Paris

9:00 AM

Took some time out from the frantic pace of weekend life to sketch the Eiffel Tower. I was experimenting with combining ink and watercolors on watercolor paper. A bit labor intensive for using on site. I first sketched the tower and trees in pencil. Then I went back and laid in the sky wash. Blotted it with tissues to get the clouds. Then washed in the trees. If you look closely, you can see where the trees bled into the sky wash. Oops.

To make the bleed look like it was part of the sketch and not a mistake, I waited until it was dry and then added some darker color so the bleeds appear as a second row of trees. (Click to enlarge.) I then washed in the foreground (lawn). After everything was nearly dry again (oops! the ink started to bleed), I started inking in the tower, building and trees. I washed over the ink to blur the lines (even more) so that they too had a watercolor feel. Start to finish took about two hours.

Things I like: The strong contrast between the building and the landscape, the depth and scale captured within the piece and that second row of bleeding trees!

Things I would do different: Probably not so much ink, or maybe no ink. Maybe not wash the ink lines.

I will be trying other media to see what will work best for capturing the essence of the scene but without so much labor. Time is fleeting when you're on location. I want to make sure that whatever media I finally settle on will allow me ample time to capture the scene with enough information that IF I had too, I could finish the piece later from memory.

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