This Sunday afternoon we went with my daughter for an outing to La Défense. When the weather is gray, humid and gloomy like most of these November days, I enjoy seeing a little light and color. During a coffee break, I took to the terrace to do this little ink study of the towers of La Défense. I have always loved this urban architecture. When Paris gives itself the air of a great New York lady, it gives a skyline of buildings with slender silhouettes. Glass structures, metal joists, the city never stops reinventing itself. I always enjoyed sketching cities.
To change technique a bit, I started entirely with an ink drawing. When I paint outdoors, I usually bring specific painting supplies, mostly watercolors, brushes, tubes of gouache or acrylic. This time I opted for a sergeant major pen drawing. A tool that I really appreciate for the full and the fine, a subtlety that the glass nib does not provide. This offers better varieties of line thickness, with a formidable finesse. The steel nib is naturally harder than the bristles of a paintbrush, so graphic writing is more edgy.
After hesitating to leave my line drawing, I wanted to add an ink wash to give more dimension and relief to my sketch. I stayed in sepia tones in order to keep chromatic consistency. In addition, the fall colors are well represented by these colors of bistres, ocher or walnut stain. Melancholic hues that go well with autumnal atmospheres.
I had brought with me a travel sketchbook in a slightly panoramic format. I did not regret the choice of this size of sketchbook in order to be able to capture the urban panorama of the Towers of Defense in Paris.