Monday, August 3, 2015

//How to Carry and Paint Water Color Sketch on a Trip//

I had so much fun sketching and painting during our last trip to Paris that now I am sharing my tools and how to pack the water color materials to carry a long on a trip.

First you want the materials as small as possible. So let's take a look at below image of water color materials the last time I took on my trip to Paris.

1. A small paint palette. This is important as this one material you need to mix in the paint.
2. A flat water color pan. I love using water color pan rather the one in a tube. I found that a tube will dry faster and no longer can be used.
3. Mechanical pencil and it's refill
4. Various sizes of water color brushes
4. Good eraser. Choose good eraser because some of them leaves smudges on the paper after being used.
5. Small sketch pad - mine is 6 in by 9 in.
6. Brushes and pencil case
7.  Last a fairly large bag to put them all. Mine is a shoes bag given free from the airline.
8. Ideally you will need to bring 2 empty containers for the water but I did not bother to carry these with  me as I figured I can use a cup of glasses from the hotel. Which was what I did.

These water color materials will stay flat in the suit case and place them in the bottom of the suitcase underneath clothes so the paper will not get damaged.

Upon arrival unpack and place your water color bag within reach and where you can see it all the time. Otherwise with all the excitements coming you will forget all about it.

During the first day upon arrival, explore the hotel and the surrounding area. This is the time when you will see a quiet place where you can sketch. It can be in a quiet lobby hotel, in the garden, in a quiet brasserie near by or a garden nearby outside the hotel.

Do not shy to paint with people around you. Usually they won't bother you and won't even come to you to ask what you are doing. And do not hesitate to ask a cup of water from the hotel staff. Or you can use an empty bottle water and cut the neck and fill it with water.

Use your imagination to paint as a subject. It can be a flower in the hotel garden or public garden. Or buy yourself a bouquet of flower from the nearest flower shop like I did. It always makes your hotel room pretty anyways! And do not hesitate to carry the flowers a long with you to the spot where you are going to paint. I brought my flowers around the hotel area to create a photo shoot and a video (here). No one care about it - they looked but usually they just kept on walking a way.

Find the time to do this is the hardest part - because you are on a trip. And you are in your destination to explore the city for sight seeings. So it is up to you how you squeeze your time to do it. For me, I usually get up early morning before we started to go out exploring. And when we came back in the afternoon since the day is longer during summer I still have time to paint and to photograph during late afternoon. And the light during that afternoon is the best light to paint and to do a photography because the sun light is soft.

You can use anything for your subject. And you can also paint in the hotel room. "A window hotel room' is always pretty to paint. "The flower you bought in a cup sitting on the table', "your cosmetics', "your pretty high heel shoes". If outside, you can paint "fruits", "a window", "your pocket book sitting on the chair", "the street", "the building" or "part of the building like door", etc. Do not try to analyze the subject too much. You do not have a lot of time to do this perfectly anyway. So just do a sketching. It is okay if it is not perfect.

Last do not forget to sign, put the date and place where you painted it. Later on it will be nice to see it back with the date and place where you painted the arts.

Keep your book especially to do this so next time when you go on a trip to other places, bring a long this book and paint again.

I painted these peonies in our hotel room sitting by the window. I love painting flowers but what I really like about this is the window wrought iron railing. This painting was a quick sketch and it has not finished but I like it when it is spontaneous like that. The art "love" I painted at home a long time a go. One thing is that I forget to put the date which is not too late to do so since I still remember when I painted this.

I painted these cherries in the hotel garden and the cherries came from the breakfast buffet provided by the hotel. Mentioned in my last post (here).

The next day I painted the apricot and strawberry breakfast fruits from the breakfast buffet. I was going to do the bananas but I have not gotten the time anymore. Mentioned in my last post (here)

This sketch painted in the garden while looking straight at the door and and the window above it. It is the hotel door that leads to the garden where I was sitting and painted this.

The two roses sketches below I did it just yesterday at home. This was a quick sketch. The one on the left was the first and the one on the right I painted it after. I like to repeat the same object to loosen my hand and to see how to manipulate the water. It is a practice.

This is the final roses painting. Although it is far from perfect I started to find the right technique to do it. From there I can add other technique to it. Well, this has nothing to do with the traveling water color subject but I thought I add them on here for you as well.

So I do hope you will bring your sketch pad water color materials and paint during your trip. It is a fun and beautiful way to practice but it is also wonderful to look back when your traveling sketch pad filled with beautiful of your sketches from the trips you went.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

//Paris Trip Part Four - My Arts//

Months earlier when Steven mentioned about going to Paris to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, I was very excited and happy. Immediately I knew what projects I wanted to do while visiting Paris; do some photography (taking pictures) and do some water color art.

My head was spinning around with images of me paint in a cafe or brasserie and snapping interesting object in Paris.

I requested that we stayed in a Parisian hotel room rather than a high rise American hotel like the last time we stayed in Paris that we stayed at the Marriot somewhere near Luxembourg garden. My request to stay in a Parisian hotel because I love that window balcony with the decorative wrought iron railing. So we searched together on the internet and found one called The Regent's Garden Hotel (here) in Porte Malliot near Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysees.

Upon arrival we were surprised by the size of our hotel room. It was very tiny. So Steven asked for an upgrade. We immediately got one. Although still was small but larger than the last one. After a few days staying in that room we both started to like the room. Everything was very clean and all staffs was very friendly and helpful. And the boutique hotel has  beautiful garden. That was a spot for me to paint and had breakfast almost every day.

During our 6 days visit I think I sat in that garden 3 days in a row. Each day while Steven was still sleeping because he was having a serious jet lag, I got up early so not to miss the buffet breakfast at 10:30 and paint after eating breakfast.

It was a sketch really, a quick sketch! I would plan and paint carefully had I gotten all the time. But we were there to explore and celebrate our anniversary plus there are so many sight seeings to visit. So I sketched quickly.

These were fruits available from the buffet breakfast provided by the hotel. I took them into the garden and after having breakfast I painted them.


Apricot and strawberry.....

The breakfast.........

The hotel garden....

The wrought iron window railing caught my eye. And  on the little sketch pad is a quick rendering of the hotel's window and door.

I bought these vintage letter and post card for 3 Euro at the Marche aux Puce.

Photography art with Peonies Steven bought me....

Remember I mentioned about I found a vintage curtain panel that turned into a skirt in my previous post? I found these two night gowns at the same time. I had totally forgotten about them. When found them I was so happy and brings back memories to the days when I was a student in New York City and used to purchase many vintage items in a flea market near my school. And these are one of them. So I packed them up hoping that I will photograph them.

Again, I asked Steven to take this picture while I stood in front of the window in our room. I love this picture very much because of the wrought iron window railing.

Here is another another picture of me wearing the other vintage night gown.

I took this picture and love it very much. But there is something odd about it. Can you tell? The table cloth has pocket. That is because I covered the original table cloth with a bath robe. That was the only thing I did not like about the room that the curtain and table cloth decorated with a dark thick brown motif fabric. But still it was a lovely little boutique hotel.

So this is pretty much sums up everything about the trip.

I do recommend this hotel because, 1. it is a lovely hotel. 2. it has a beautiful garden. 3. friendly and helpful staffs plus delicious buffet breakfast. 4. it is a perfect location and near a metro station. 5. near Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysses. 6. there are a delicious boulangerie right a cross from the hotel which we bought croissant from in the morning - a super market and a pharmacie just a few door steps from the hotel.


Thank you so much for reading. And until next time...

//Paris Trip Part Three - Steven and I//

Although I love posing in front of camera - recently I do not feel confidence like I used to when it comes to having my picture taken.

This time is different. This is Paris. And I think I am ready for it, just for the fun. 

But wait a minute! Who is going to be the photographer? Yes, it will be Steven. He does not like this job at all. But since at home, I promised him that it will be easy and he will not be taking pictures all the time. And he agreed.

Ideally I would like to take picture of a model in the street of Paris. But I do not have anybody but me. At one time in my life and as mentioned earlier I love being my picture taken. And I was not shy about it, but that was many years a go. So this time I planned in advance in my head what type of photography I wanted. And the type of clothing I wanted to wear during the shoot. Again, this is just for fun and curious about how it goes.

So let's take a look at them.

Recently Steven brought our rented storage boxes into our home. Between Steven and I we collected so many junks. So prior to this trip I opened one box and found a vintage fabric that I bought when I was a student about 15 years a go. It was actually a curtain panel. When saw it again, I said to myself that this would be great as a skirt. So I searched on youtube (here) about how to create the flaired pleated skirt. And I sewn the fabric into a skirt that I am wearing on below photograph. And I like the DIY skirt very much!

You see the pink back bow top? I also sewn the top myself. The material bought at Jo Ann fabrics. The cullotes bought at Forever 21.

These pictures was taken a block or two a way from our hotel. And the last 2 days we were in Paris; it was raining a lot.

I taught Steven on how to use the camera. Although they were not perfect like I had in mind - Steven did a great job. It is hard for someone who never even hold this type of camera to use it. The composition is not right. The Parisian building in the background was not in the picture.  The bokeh is not there and is not sharp as this camera is very sensitive. One must be still while pressing the release button and takes practice to be able to do this in order to get the sharp focus.  But I am happy that he is patient enough with me to do this shoot. I think he did a good job, right?

At The Marche aux Puces St Ouen.

Having pizza at Marche aux Puce de Paris

At Sacre Coeur

The Arc de Triomphe was near our hotel. So we started our trip from the metro station Charles de Gaulle Etoile a lot and we go where ever we wanted to go from there.

July is the busiest tourists season in Paris. We went to de Louvre because Steven wanted to see Monalisa. But we could not even get near it. And the museum is so big that we thought we can never get out of that museum after we have seen and walked around a lot in that museum. If you ever visited Musee du Louvre, please wear the thinnest outfit and comfortable shoes like sneakers because there is no air condition in there and with a lot of tourists, each hall was a little bit hot and humid.
 Thank you for stopping by!

//Paris Trip Part Two - The Buildings of Paris//

I do not know why but I really love Parisian apartment buildings. 

When looking from the outside I can only imagine the elegance decor of the inside with its parquet floor, high ceiling and beautiful molding on the wall. What really fascinate me is the doors and windows with its wrought iron balcony and beautiful stone work around it. I really love the elegance of this type of apartment building. So while visited Paris where ever I go - I always look up for the wrought iron balcony;  apparently it has many beautiful designs.

It is in my bucket list that one day if I ever visited Paris again; I will spend more time painting these buildings or take more beautiful pictures of Parisian apartment buildings.

More story about this (here).


These two pictures below was taken during the river boat cruise.


Don't you just love that little balcony?  

Thank you for stopping by!

//Paris Trip Part One - Our 10th Anniversary//

I can't wait to share our trip to Paris a few days a go. We spent 6 days in the beautiful city of Paris to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. 

Prior to the trip - Steven has booked a restaurant  to celebrate our 10th anniversary in Paris. But upon arrival I suggested that we take a dinner boat cruise so that was what we did. It was a beautiful evening cruising a long the Seine river while having dinner and live piano on board the boat. I really recommend that if you ever visited Paris please take this dinner river boat cruise. You will not be disappointed. I think the best time to do it is during summer like we did in mid July where the sun goes down by about 10 pm. The most beautiful part about the trip was that the boat goes a long the Seine river where all the important historic building situated a long the Seine river and with the sun set about 8 or 9 pm it was the most romantic scene to be witnessed this dramatic view especially when the boat reached the Eiffel Tower. From a distance she is starting to show off her twinkling light. It was just beautiful.

There are a few companies that does this kind a tour. We took the Bateaux Muches one (here).

I did not take many pictures although I brought the camera with me. And when I took some shots I had forgotten to change the setting. So all pictures came out grainy and not what I wanted then I realize the mistake I made. This happened with me on numerous occasions - when I got very excited I forget to change the setting as I always take picture during sunny day.

So let's take a look at those pictures.

Since I took so many pictures on this trip - I decided the best way to post them all was to divide them in four categories or 4 parts; Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four. So the story will be continued to Part Two.

Thank you so much for reading!