One day sketching in Paris

One day sketching in Paris

7 hours in Paris, 15 km of walking, 7 sketches – my kind of city trip

Although Paris is not far from my hometown Karlsruhe in Germany I haven’t been there for more than 20 years. So when I had the chance to spend at least some hours in Paris on my way back from Rendez-Vous du Carnet de voyage I gladly took the chance and spent one day sketching in Paris.


My airbnb was centrally located with easy access to the train stations, the view out the window was not very impressive and somehow there must have gone something wrong in the bathroom. The sink was installed so high up, that I could barely see myself in the mirror ... 🙂

I asked some sketchers for their advice on where to go and what to see. One of the suggestions was the area around Saint-Denis. A charming area with lots of cafés, bars and shops. I ran into a film crew that was shooting in a Kebab takeaway.

I arrived at a big intersection and really liked the shape of these buildings. I had to do this sketch standing up. The constant honking of cars was a little nerve wrecking and it was really cold. So I did not spend too much time and kept on walking further south towards the Seine.

I wanted to go down to Notre-Dame. It has been three years since the horrible fire. When I arrived at the square in front of Notre-Dame the sun came out. I found a place to sit, a guy was playing the piano and there was a really nice atmosphere - until a tour guide arrived. She carried a microphone and unfortunately drowned out the nice piano music.

From the other side of Notre-Dame the damage of the fire is 

I got really cold so after sketching Notre-Dame I needed to go somewhere warm. I knew about an english bookshop close by. Shakespeare and Company is a small place but it is packed with bookshelves. The shop looks just like a movie set for Harry Potter with small wooden staircases and wonky floors. There is a sofa in one of the rooms, where a cat resides, ready to be pet and photographed by the visitors. Apparently she liked the fact that I cared more about my sketch than about her because at one point she came over to sit on my lap. Much to the regret of other visitors who were hoping to take a picture with a cute cat.

After lunch I just got lost in the streets and cute little shops until I thought that it might be nice to look for an art supply store. Sennelier was on my way back so I gladly took the chance to take home some art supplies as a souvenir. The Sennelier shop is worth a visit for artists of any kind. They carry any art supplies you could possibly think of!

A last sketch at the train station before boarding the train and heading home.

And as a little reminder - a map of my city stroll through Paris.

Materials used:

  • fude nib fountain pen with waterproof ink
  • diluted china ink 
  • watercolor (added later)
  • A5 travel sketchbook
  • Christoph
    Posted at 18:23h, 11 December Reply

    Wunderbare Zeichnungen und Fotografien!

    • Kerstin
      Posted at 00:30h, 12 December Reply

      Vielen Dank, Christoph! Freut mich, dass sie dir gefallen.

  • Angela KINZER
    Posted at 16:54h, 19 December Reply

    Ich schätze deinen Zeichenstil: grau in grau mit Schrift ……super

    • Kerstin
      Posted at 17:20h, 19 December Reply

      Vielen Dank! Normalerweise gehören Aquarellfarben zu meiner Standard-Ausstattung, aber in diesem Fall war das minimale Sketching Set einfach besser. Wenn man die Zeichnungen teilweise im Stehen machen muss, ist weniger einfach mehr. 🙂

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