Quartier de la Mouzaïa

The Mouzaïa district in Paris is a little bit hard to get to but once you make it up the steep hills past the Butte de Chaumont you  realize that what you find there is well worth the hike. The former working class neighbourhood was built on what used to be a gypsum quarry so none of the buildings are more than a few stories high. Each little street has small alleys leading off of it and each colourfully painted house in the alley is hidden behind climbing roses, wisteria and ornate iron gates.

Le Quartier de la Mouzaia

15 Comments on “Quartier de la Mouzaïa”

  1. Mary says:

    I love the dancing contrasts in shapes and pure colours and looseness which gives this sketch such charm! The fineliner pen provides a fun linear accent too. Am enjoying your sketch book
    blogs so much Shari.

  2. There’s so much interesting detail in your painting – the little red chimneys – the puppet on a string? The lamp, even the TV antennas – nice work!! Helen

  3. Jane Hannah says:

    Love the intenseness of the colours. I love it!

  4. Ross C says:

    These colours are just so vibrant… and that white wall makes me squint so much that I need to turn down my monitor’s brightness control.
    Were you going to go back and scan the posts that you did while you were away? They are now looking quite muted in comparison… or was it just the weather?

    • It’s the photos, not the weather. I will rescan them now that I’m back. When I see them on my monitor now they are so grey.

      • Ross C says:

        I am also curious to see whether the scanner straightens some of the verticals… like in High Gothic. I suspect that the camera wasn’t quite perpendicular to the painting.

      • Maybe we’ll find out that my drawing wasn’t quite perpendicular! I have to look at that again. Sometimes there’s also a distortion from my glasses because I am looking at the scene without glasses and at my paper with glasses.

      • I think High Gothic looks straighter now that it is scanned. And the colours are definitely better. I also rescanned Petite France and I will get around to doing the others eventually.

  5. Ross C says:

    I noticed you using the over-and-through the glasses technique in the video… that was very entertaining. But I was confident that it was the camera as there are plenty of examples in your work where the perspective was just right. Have you studied formal perspective construction? …horizon lines, vanishing points and all that other boring stuff? Or do you do it by copying what you see?
    And the colours look so much more vibrant after scanning! Perhaps next time you travel you could pack the scanner as well. : )

    • I have studied formal perspective but I guess I use a combination of seeing and knowing. I really admire the sketches of buildings that architects do. I wish I could be that dead on. I think I would need to work on bigger sheets so I could draw in all the vanishing points. But part of me doesn’t want to be that finicky either.

      • Ross C says:

        I wouldn’t suggest that you start using vanishing points, etc… I think that has the potential of making paintings look like architectural perspectives… maybe a bit stiff. But I think understanding that stuff helps with your sort of urban painting… a bit like understanding some anatomy helps with figure drawing.
        Looking at High Gothic again, when architects draw an “artist impression” of a tall building, it is common to use a high vertical vanishing point as well, so that the sides taper (very) slightly towards the top… you have done this but I’m not sure if you intended to… maybe just good observation on your part.

      • I didn’t intentionally use a high vertical vanishing point. In fact, the cathedral is not drawn very well at all. Have a look at a photo of the building. It is very complex and that’s why I chose a brush and pencil to do it and not a pen.

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