Drawings of France - Travel Memories

This page is a collection of drawings that I have been putting together from my recent trip to France last summer. I am working on drawing two pictures for everyday that I was there so that I will always be able to look back on them and remember. My wife and I traveled from Paris to Burgundy to Chamonix and had a truly wonderful time. I hope you enjoy these pictures and a little about each of my travel days.

May 1, 2011. I have finally been able to add some more of the drawings that I have done and they show up at the bottom of the page. I have a bunch more that I will add soon. Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoy.

Note: I am planning on making similar drawings for clients once my time schedule settles down in the next two months and the backlog of work goes down. Send me an email if you think you might be interested in having one done.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower, Pen and Ink Drawing From France

Picture Size:8 inches x 12 inches
We started our trip to France with a few days in Paris. Paris is one of those places where you can always spend more time. On our first day, very jet lagged, we walked from our hotel on Rue Cler over to the Eiffel Tower. Its one of those places that is even better in person than in pictures. Everyone has a picture of the Eiffel Tower from the front, but this picture is from the back near a small carousel. A lady was walking her dog down the path and it made for a perfect picture.

France Cafe Marche

France Cafe Marche, Pen and Ink Drawing From France

Picture Size:8 inches x 12 inches
The Rue Cler is a tiny street tucked away near the Eiffel Tower. One of the best things about it is that it has everything you need for basic necessities. Wake up in the morning and it is a quick walk to the Cafe Marche for your espresso. During the day a great bakery opens along with a fromagerie, wine shop and vegetable market. The ladies at the bakery are extremely nice and we were there everyday. There is a pharmacy too if you need it. At night, the street becomes lively and you can walk from cafe to cafe enjoying true authentic Paris night life. Not to mention some really tasty fast food crepes. We went to the Cafe Marche daily as well, and on our first day ate lunch there. The bar tender is great and he will even tell you about his trips to New York. This picture commemorates this lovely cafe.

Musee Orsay Drawing of Renoir Painting

Musee Orsay Drawing of Renoir Painting, Pen and Ink Drawing From France

Picture Size:8 inches x 12 inches
One of the greatest museums in the world is the Musee dOrsay in Paris. What was once a train station is now an amazing collection of impressionist era paintings. A wide open entryway with sweeping ceilings leads to side rooms full of paintings by Monet, Sisley, Pisarro, Renoir and many others. They are some of my favorite painters and I wanted to capture not only the memories of the pictures, but of the gold frames they are in as well. This picture is of a reclining woman by Renoir. I tried to capture how Renoir carefully changed his values so that the woman was accented with darks around her body.

Musee Orsay Drawing of Rodin Statue

Musee Orsay Drawing of Rodin Statue, Pen and Ink Drawing From France

Picture Size:8 inches x 12 inches
In the upper area of the main central room of the Musee dOrsay there is a wonderful Rodin statue that sits in front of a doorway to a side room The white marble of the statue directly contrasts the darker interior of the next room. It is hard to capture the subtle muscles the artist portrays in the marble with a blunt pen.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral, Pen and Ink Drawing From France

Picture Size:8 inches x 12 inches
Probably one of the greatest and most well known cathedrals in the world is Notre Dame de Paris. Our Lady of Paris is a Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral located on the Ile de Cite in central Paris. Construction began in 1163 and wasn’t completed until around 1345, almost 200 years! If you were wondering, we didn’t get to see the hunchback or the gargoyles up at the top. As a recommendation, go early if you want to climb to the top, otherwise the line is too long! One of the best features of Notre Dame is to take a walk around the entire outside of the church, look at its spectacular backside and enjoy sitting on a bench watching everyone stroll by. I hope you enjoy the drawing, it actually took several nights to complete this one!

Bridge Near Notre Dame Cathedral

Bridge Near Notre Dame Cathedral, Pen and Ink Drawing From France

Picture Size:8 inches x 12 inches
When you are standing near the backside of Notre Dame, there is a bridge which goes over the Seine. Standing over the bridge, you can watch ships and boats full of tourists pass by underneath. If you cross the street and look out, there is a wonderful view of the river and the next bridge downstream. In the evening, this bridge is lit up as the sun sets. If you walk back to Notre Dame, you are near the back where there are some great places to sit and relax under the trees. Itís a great area to be in and truly relaxing.

Pen Drawing of the Arc de Triomphe

Pen Drawing of the Arc de Triomphe, Pen and Ink Drawing From France

Picture Size:8 inches x 12 inches
Another one of the most famous landmarks in Paris is the Arc de Triomphe. It was started in 1810 by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and was commissioned to commemorate the victory against Austria and Russia at Austerlitz. It is at the western end of the Champs-Elysees (place of blessed dead) in the center of Place Charles de Gaulle. As you walk around it, you can see the names of French victories and generals and beneath is the tomb of the unknown soldier from World War I. As you wait in line to climb the stairs, you can see patriotic stories of naked French youths fighting Germanic warriors. Once you get to the top, the Arc de Triomphe is one of the best vantage points for looking out over the layout and city streets of Paris (not to mention some of the most expensive shopping).

Rose in Gardens of Versailles

Rose in Gardens of Versailles, Pen and Ink Drawing From France

Picture Size:8 inches x 12 inches

In the city of Versailles, the Palace of Versailles is one of the most well know chateaus in the world.  As Paris expanded, it is now basically a wealthy suburb of the famous city.  When you get there, golden gates restored in 2008 (to a tune of $8M) will great you which are a replica of the gates torn down during the French Revolution.  Once inside, you can marvel at the hall of mirrors, bedrooms and period furnishings that make this chateau so famous. 

One of the best parts though, is the 800 hectares (3 square miles) of gardens in Classic French style of Andre Le Notre which await you to the west end.   Although a very small part, this ink drawing of a rose from the gardens is one of the many flowers you will find here.  As you walk though, there are areas that seem mazelike which open on courtyards and finally a large pond.  You might even find yourself wandering into the labyrinth which features statues from Aesop’s Fables.  With all the fountains and plants, water supply has always been a problem. If you go far enough, you will get to Marie Antoinette’s hamlets, subject of the next drawing.