This is a street scene outside Samaritaine.

Samaritaine is a store near the River Seine which offers one of the best views of Paris from its roof. It has a painting on the balustrade around it on which the landmarks are illustrated.
However, since the painting dates back a number of years, some landmarks are not identified and others have disappeared.
The great thing about the roof of the Samaritaine is that your photographs will include all the other viewpoints such as the Eiffel Tower, the Sacre Coeur and the Tour de Montparnasse and you get a very good view of Notre Dame.
There is also a very good roof garden cafe.
On leaving the store, this was the scene which greeted me. What intrigued me particularly was the way in which the Samaritaine red echoes round the scene
These are Watercolours, Acrylics and Pastels which are mainly of London and Paris although other towns have crept in. Originally I started doing them to meet a double challenge - dealing with buildings and tackling people. Many amateur artists I know are perfectly happy to do landscapes but as soon as they need to put a person into the painting they go to pieces and quite often they will populate a nice loose watercolour with stiff over-detailed people.

My inspiration for painting cityscapes comes from the artists John Yardley and Trevor Chamberlain. Both these artists have a wonderful knack of suggesting very busy scenes with very little apparent effort. John Yardley in particular is able to leave the figures in his paintings without faces but somehow one's eye supplies the missing detail and you know exactly what they look like and what they are saying as well. I have tried this but I had to add some detail afterwards - the first two paintings show what I mean:
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Location: Paris in October. Paris never fails to provide interest whatever the time of year and this lively October scene has all the ingredients.

One thing that struck me about this scene was the total lack of pigeons - do the French eat them? Compare this scene with the next picture.
Another picture of the Pont des Arts - this time from the bank of the Seine.

The barges on the Seine have a wide range of gardens on their decks from simple arrangements of pots to perfect lawns.
It wasn't actually raining but the reflections on the quayside add a little extra life to the picture.
In Summer in Montmartre, your thirst is heightened by the way in which the street cleaners wash the gutters. There you are, with a thirst that you could photograph and these lovely cool streams of water are gurgling down every gutter.

However, what you have to do is to remember is that the Paris Authorities encourage their dogowners to use the gutters rather than the pavement so that they can flush them like some giant dog loo - and then when you remember this you stop at the first Tabac for a very large bottle of Vittel.
Still outside Samaritaine
The Roof of Samaritaine
The illustrated balustrade can clearly be seen here.
Place de la Concorde, Paris
Trafalgar Square, London
Pont des Arts, Paris
Location:Over the River Seine, Paris
Pont des Arts, Paris
Location: Paris
Summer in Montmartre
Pastel on Canson Paper
Strand on the Green
Pastel on Canson paper
Location:On the Thames in Chiswick
Outside Samaritaine, Paris
Location: Paris, France
This is the same picture but I have added faces to the figures in the foreground.
Sometimes you can get away without adding faces and it doesn't look odd.

In this case, I found the lack of faces disturbing and so I have put them in but they are only suggested.
An important part of watercolour impressionism is to suggest the details as much as possible so that the viewer's mind fills them in - a little like gazing into a fire. A good example of this is the omission of feet in landscapes and street scenes. It's really odd but you don't notice that artists leave out the feet until someone points this out to you. While I was adding the faces, I also added some modelling to the car in the background and this seems to have added some depth and solidity to the scene.
This is part of the view that you get from the roof of Samaritaine showing the illustrated balustrade giving the key to the buildings of interest.
 Fountains, pigeons, people, red buses - plenty to catch the eye in this popular tourist attraction.

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone is banning people from feeding the pigeons in a bid to make them go elsewhere. Hmmm.....doesn't seem to be working - get the French to come and eat them.
Pont des Arts,Paris. This footbridge crosses the Seine and leads pedestrians straight to the Louvre. (A little like the Millenium Bridge in London but, unlike the Millenium Bridge, it doesn't wobble.)
Strand on the Green, Chiswick, West London.
This is a subject which I have revisited many times and each time my eye is caught by a different aspect of the scene.

In this one, the richness of the tones in the water and the mossy textures in the wall on the right both caught my eye
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