Standing Under The Eiffel Tower

Today we have a quick and loose little sketch of the Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel), since I still have Paris on my mind. Also, there’s no better exercise in sketching than to attempt something impossibly complex in a very short amount of time. Getting all of the details is out of the question, so it becomes a lesson in abstraction. From a safe distance, this looks rather like it has far more detail than is really there and that’s one of my favorite bits about sketching with watercolor. Creating a quick little illusion on paper. It’s actually been several years since I’ve stood this close to the Eiffel Tower because I can’t bear the crowds there and have never returned. The locals don’t usually go near it either so it’s simply become a tourist trap by the time you can see it at this angle. Though it’s an impressive view and certainly worth trying once, trying to dodge all of the people peddling souvenirs and others holding clipboards asking you to sign a scam petition quickly becomes overwhelming. But, if you simply look skyward, all of that disappears and the view suddenly changes to become only a magnificent marvel.

The last time I visited the Eiffel Tower was several years ago when Philippe and I had just started dating. He was working during the day on those trips, so I was left to wander around Paris on my own. In truth, he doesn’t go near la tour Eiffel because of the crowds it evokes, so we’ve never actually been there together. I think my own patience lasted for only about 15 minutes before I was heading in another direction, but I still remember that glorious view. Famous monuments have a sort of magical appeal. We have all seen them in photographs, and they’ve become a bit like inanimate celebrities. So, to see one in person is always such a thrilling treat. I remember experiencing the same feeling when traveling by train to see The Leaning Tower Of Pisa. There is literally nothing else to see in Pisa and so it’s a day trip out of Florence, simply to view it. Yet, I wasn’t at all disappointed. Suddenly seeing something you’d only ever seen in icons and photographs is just a thrilling experience!

Of course, there’s an endless list of monuments and manmade marvels that I’ve still not seen in person. I know I’ll never see all of them in my lifetime, but it makes me happy knowing they’re out there, waiting to be enjoyed. It’s never possible to truly relive that very first time of seeing something extraordinary. The very act of seeing it makes it magical in the moment, but also serves to diminish some of that celebrity once enjoyed. I’m quite satisfied with my Leaning Tower Of Pisa memory and will probably never see it again in person. And though every couple of years, you’ll find me in Paris, I’m equally happy viewing this particular icon from afar. That same distance that makes my little doodlewash seem just a bit more real. And in doing so, I get to preserve all of the allure of that first time. All of the memories of staring up into something towering and grand while hoping that guy named Philippe I’d recently met would end up being a permanent part of my life. That story had a happy ending. So, I’ll always have incredibly fond memories of that singular moment when I found myself standing under the Eiffel Tower.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Terra Cotta, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 4 - Standing Under The Eiffel Tower Watercolor - Doodlewash
Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

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!

25 Comments
  1. prior.. 4 months ago

    Enjoyed this post very much – first for the way you noted it does seem to have more detail than it does –
    And the awe you describe is something that really has to be experienced
    A big regret I have from 2016 was when we went to Kansas City KS by car and never got close to the arch in St. Louis – ugh – my son and spouse needed to see the awe that you only get from being closer
    And so sad it is a big tourist trap – reminds me of the statue of
    Liberty crowds (and same gut as the la tour Eiffel)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks! So happy you enjoyed the post! 😃💕 Yeah, those crowds make seeing those monuments less of a fun experience. I did take the trip to the top of the St. Louis arch (it’s a terrifying journey, actually, and a bit claustrophobic… hehe). But I’ve still only viewed Lady Liberty from a safe distance. 😉

      • prior.. 4 months ago

        Well tip for you – if you decide to explore lady liberty- make the reservations – we were in line for hours and folks walked on by with reservations they made weeks prior.
        But it was also a fun wait because there was a flute player and then some musician who was interactive and he would ask what city or state folks were from and then sing songs or state facts – tugged at folks connecting to their home and kept the dollars flowing – we played along and at one point we said something like -“here’s another dollar for shoutIng out our team…”
        anyhow – book reservations is possible
        And I will be back later this month to possibly join in the travel story challenge

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

          Oh wow! Sounds way too involved for me! hehe… I think afar might still just be the best way to view it! 😉

  2. louiseaprimeau 4 months ago

    Well done Charlie! That is an unusual angle but you nailed it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Louise! 😃💕Thrilled you liked it! Trying to challenge myself a bit more this month with difficult subjects!

  3. Sandra Strait 4 months ago

    I’m glad I visited the Eiffel Tower in the 70’s when it wasn’t quite so bad. It was already too late for the Mona Lisa. After nearly an hour trying to get close enough, I barely glanced at it because it was so dense with people. I’ll probably keep myself content with photos for those marvelous places I’ve not yet seen.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Yeah, the 70’s would have been a better time! And I did manage to get close to the Mona Lisa, but had the luxury of being in Paris for quite some time and picking the most unpopular day to visit. Still crowded, but I at least got to get near it! 😉

  4. memadtwo 4 months ago

    Good one Charlie. I find architecture impossibly hard.
    It’s the same with seeing the actual painting, when you’ve only seen a reproduction. magic! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Kerfe! 😃💕 It’s been so long since I’m sketched architecture, I wasn’t sure if I still could! Glad you liked this!

  5. Sharon Nolfi 4 months ago

    Great perspective on the tower!

  6. SnehLata Maheshwari 4 months ago

    To drow Eiffel tower is very difficult as i was sitting in side of Eiffel but u drown it. It s excellent. To make its architecture oh me can’t think.charli amazing art.lovedit.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Snehlata! 😃💕 Trying some extra difficult subjects this month when I can. It’s good practice to choose something super complex! Helps if you have a time limit like I always do… hehe… you just have to make something appear and can’t fuss over it! 😉

  7. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 months ago

    That iconic huge erector set had a part in your budding relationship with Phillipe – what a very cool story. Thank you for sharing.I’ve never seen it in person but i love the photos of the tower when it’s lit at night.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, this one was complex to sketch, but glad I attempted it! And it’s a lovely structure, day and night, and actually, I prefer seeing it from afar.

  8. Mary Roff 4 months ago

    Lovely view of the Eiffel Tower and it is also beautiful from a distance. Glad that your Eiffel story has a happy ending.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 Glad you liked this! It would have been WAY easier to sketch from a distance… hehe… but I figured I should try to push myself a bit more and choose challenging angles.

  9. Vicki Murray 4 months ago

    As an introvert, I totally understand. But for a blue grass festival, banjos and faces with character that smell of moonshine (I know moonshine doesn’t smell, how could looks a sweet old lady know that, my grandpa made moonshine) anyway, I’ll endure the crowd and take the next 3 days at home. Thanks for your site!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Yay to that, Vicki!! 😃💕 Yep, some gatherings are more than worth it for the sights and sounds. And my dad used to make moonshine in our backyard, but that’s another story entirely! lol

      • Vicki Murray 4 months ago

        Backyard moonshine! My grandpa was running moonshine in the 1930s, he would roll in his grave to know you could make in the backyard now, or all the flavors, apple pie shine is good.. .

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

          Well it still was quite legal back then. We used to have cops visiting our house, but they were only there for their bribe of a bit of moonshine. 😉 lol Great memories!

  10. LoriCtoo 4 months ago

    Even though you say it doesn’t have much details, it does. You still had to paint all those little lines, dots and marks and those give it the details. I just love this concept and would love to learn it. Add that to your request list. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      hehe! Thanks! Glad you enjoyed this one! 😃💕 It’s funny… I have no idea where to begin to teach the way I paint. It’s so slap dash and quick… I usually just sum up the process by saying, get a good base drawing, splash some watercolor and then set about jabbing bits of dark in places to make it look more dimensional. 😊

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