Île Saint-Louis

Île Saint-Louis Sketching

For this little doodlewash I used a photo we took while in Paris and tried to do something is less than 20 minutes to see what it might be like to travel sketch. So I guess this is a virtual tour plus a virtual exercise in plein air sketching making it a a full little fantasy I apparently had to get out of my system. 

This is only the second time I’ve tried a panorama in my little 3.5 x 5.5″ Moleskine Art Plus Watercolor Album. The other time was at the Doodlewash Dinner Party. It’s sort of fun to just boldly sketch right across the seam, and particularly when you’re sketching this quickly. Fast sketching is very freeing and for some reason, I worry less about messing up inside one of these little sketchbooks than when I’m using my fancy Arches paper. Likely because this sketchbook was less than 10 bucks!

Île Saint-Louis - Moleskine

Île Saint-Louis is actually the little bit of building in the center, so this sketch is primarily the Seine river and bridges. The island was one of France’s first examples of urban planning, and it was mapped and built from end to end during the 17th-century reigns of Henri IV and Louis XIII. I’ve walked past this view many times, but have never visited the island. One mansion built in the 1600s has been turned into the elegant Hôtel des Deux-Îles, which sounds pretty awesome and extremely expensive.

One the best things about a virtual trip is that you don’t have to use your credit card! Any time you want to take a stroll down the Seine, you can. All you really need is a travel photo, 20 minutes, a sketchbook, a pen, with some watercolors and you can doodlewash your way to just about anywhere you want to go!

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
21 Comments
  1. Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

    Wow! Fabulous Charlie! How did your moleskin journal handle the watercolor paint? 😊

    • Author

      Thanks Jill! 😃This moleskine handled it great! Can’t do a lot of layering or lifting of color, but it’s good for quick washes. You do have to get the Art Plus Watercolor version though, as it’s made to take water. The regular version doesn’t work as well from what I’ve heard from others.

      • Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

        Just realized I was spelling the name of this journal incorrectly. Hehe! Glad to know there is a special kind that is for watercolor. Thanks for the info Charlie! 😊🐩🎨

  2. Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

    Love this 2-page architectural spread! Funny you mention Moleskine being cheaper than Arches; I almost put that down in my post for today. 😀

    (p.s. in case you’re keeping tab, this post did not show up on Reader)

    • Author

      Thanks!! Yeah…it’s weird with posts…not sure what’s happening, but if I pause or save as draft it gets confused. When I hit publish it automatically switched to scheduled and I had to hit publish now. Not sure what’s up, but I’m looking into it!

      • Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

        Hope you’ll get it figured and sorted out! 🙂

  3. artandmoondreams 2 years ago

    Lovely painting! My virtual trips via your beautiful sketches are a delight. I was motivated to bring home a freshly baked loaf of french bread, (to go with the cheese and wine), to add another dimension to these Doodlewash journeys. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on using the Moleskine, always on the look out for the next watercolor/sketch book. Peace.

    • Author

      Thanks so much Haunani!! Yay! Une baguette!! Parfait!! And so happy you mentioned that the cheese and wine were also present. It’s really not optional if you’re going to be in Paris, even virtually! 😉

  4. Beautiful sketch, Charlie! I love the movement in it, and the trees over to the right are kinda singing to me. 🙂 I’m also kind of taken with your little travel palette. Did you make it inside a Sucrets tin? I like!

    • Author

      Thanks so much Laura! Hehe…love that the trees are singing to you! Though it’s probably credit for Cadmium Orange. 😉 My palette is actually a Cheap Joe’s travel palette that I did a little mod to by adding 6 more empty half pans. Philippe bought me the travel bag as well which I posted in an early post. It comes with 2 collapsable water cups and 2 flasks for water! I love it!

  5. Sharon Mann 2 years ago

    Very cool, in 20 minutes! I’m going to order one of theses little sketch pads. Thanks for the visual trip.

  6. Jodi 2 years ago

    Charlie! Did you really do all of that in 20 mins??!!! The drawing and painting!!!???? Wow! It is GORGEOUS! Oh – some day I hope to be you! 🙂

    • Author

      Haha…thanks Jodi! But don’t wish that…it comes with a healthy dose of crazy. Hehe… I did the sketch in 10 minutes and didn’t think I’d doodlewash it, but changed my mind and spent another 10 splashing color on it. My other scenes took a lot longer!! 😊

      • Jodi 2 years ago

        Amazing!

  7. kirkistan 2 years ago

    This is great stuff. I love the shadows and how you arranged the water. And so many greens! Wow.

  8. dkatiepowellart 2 years ago

    Yay! A virtual trip! Nice sketch!

    • Author

      Thanks so much Kate!! Yeah, I figure you don’t have to wait to travel to France. If you want to go there you can just go in sketches! Hehe

  9. amaryllislog 2 years ago

    Oh lovely! So happy to continue the Parisian virtual tour via your sketch book. This is so lovely. I love your painting, its so fresh. I have a few sketchbooks developing at the same time that I use for different mediums and attitudes. I like the portability of Moleskine but when I have finished the last page the book, it tends to have some flare, good that it has the elastic band to keep it shut.

    • Author

      Thanks Cathe! Yeah… I like the Moleskine, though there are sketchbooks with much better paper. I just started so it’ll take me awhile to fill one. Hehe But the flare actually sounds very satisfying. Like proof you stuffed it full of art! 😉

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