Friday, March 16, 2018

France Sketchbook - Day 3 - Versailles (continued)

I spent ten wonderful days in France last summer, and I've been working off and on to finish up my travel journal from the trip ever since then. I posted my sketches from Paris right after the trip but never got around to posting anything from my time in Provence. I've been loving working on this sketchbook, and I thought you might enjoy seeing the pages that I've completed so far. In case you missed them earlier, here are the posts I wrote about the beginning of the trip:
Bon Voyage!
France Sketchbook - Day 1
France Sketchbook - Day 2 - Paris
France Sketchbook - Day 2 - Paris (continued)
France Sketchbook - Eiffel Tower Step-by-Step Watercolor Tutorial
France Sketchbook - Paris Edibles
France Sketchbook - Day 3 - Versailles

I left you at Versailles the day before we were to head for Provence. (See this post.) When we returned to Paris from our tour of the palace, we spent the rest of the day just meandering...

Click to enlarge and see the full two-page spread

Ink & watercolor in a 6" x 8" handmade sketchbook filled with 140 lb. Kilimanjaro watercolor paper

We checked out the vendors at a little outdoor market we found...

Then we had lunch at a nearby cafe, settling in at an outdoor table so we could watch the parade of people walking by. There was a mix of tourists and native Parisians, and you sure could tell the difference!

I love the shop windows in Europe, and especially in Paris. They're just beautiful! I find myself taking pictures of them everywhere I go.

I finally decided to sketch one of them - the window of the Ladurée macaron shop. Isn't it just dreamy?

Here's my sketch...

Ink & watercolor in a 6" x 8" handmade sketchbook filled with 140 lb. Kilimanjaro watercolor paper

I used Fine-Tec metallic watercolors for the elliptical design surrounding the tower of macarons. I wish you could see the shimmering gold line work and lettering better. The scan doesn't do it justice. The Fine-Tec paints look just like gold leaf.

I wanted to be faithful to the look of the Ladurée window, so I kept my colors to a range of pink shades, but, look at what I didn't include...a rainbow of luscious greens, yellows, blues, and chocolate browns!

The whole shop is gorgeous...

Look at that chandelier and the filigree wall...

It's hard to control yourself when faced with all that temptation, but the prices introduced an element of restraint.

I bought a couple of macarons and my friend, Candy, splurged on several flavors, too, so we had a chance to share and try quite a few varieties.

By the time we walked all over Versailles and roamed the streets of Paris for an entire afternoon, we were beat and just couldn't face up to another marathon walk back to our apartment, so we finally got up our nerve and tried the Metro.

Candy and my mother, Saundra

I don't know why we were so nervous about it - it was easy and convenient (once we figured out how to purchase our tickets). Next time I'll be a regular Metro rider.

We toasted Paris with one final Aperol Spritz, then packed our bags, ready for the next adventure.

Coming up next: Arriving in St. Remy-de-Provence


  1. What beautiful pages! I always enjoy the journaling you include from your trips. I love how you simplified the Laduree window to work on the page. Did you mix your pinks? They are gorgeous. Did you hand letter the “Fabricant de douceurs” in the same pink watercolor or use a marker? If you used a brush and watercolor, you have an incredibly steady hand! Either way, your lettering is beautiful.

    The French seems to do their markets in such style and artistry. They must be fun to browse. Thank you for sharing photos of them, as well as of your lovely artwork.

    1. You're so welcome, Susan. Glad you enjoyed the post, even if it is way after the trip.

      I think I used a either a gel pen or a Staedtler Triplus Fineliner for the pink lettering, definitely not a paint brush.

      The pinks were mostly mixed from permanent rose and opera pink with ultramarine added for the more purplish color.

  2. Leslie, thank you so much for answering Susan's comments because they were much the same as mine! I think Laduree should hire you for their designs! Simply beautiful, as are all the wonderful photos. Merci beaucoup!

    1. Thanks so much, Jeanie. Your kind comments mean a lot to me.

  3. Luscious, I look forward to seeing Provence.


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