Sketching in Paris With Melanie Reim

JC Melanie Reim

It was 9:30 pm and i’ve just heard the little tinkling of an new incoming mail in my smartphone.

“Bonjour, Jean-Christophe,
I know that this is very late notice, I am going to be in Paris, arriving tomorrow afternoon. I wonder if you might be free to meet for a coffee late afternoon?
Melanie Reim”

At that time, all I knew about Melanie was that she will be teaching at Sketchbook Skool next month in the same Storytelling Klass than me, that both of us figured in Danny Gregory‘s book ‘An Illustrated Journey‘ and that I loved her drawings full of energy.
Oh yes, she also seemed to be sharing that simple philosophy that, as we say in french, ‘Les amis de mes amis sont mes amis’. (The friends of my friends are my friends).

This is how I came to meet with Melanie Reim on a bright sunny saturday afternoon in the Latin Quarter, one of the most (thousands) adorable areas in Paris. We just chatted, exchanged ideas, sipping altogether this delightful september afternoon up to the point where Melanie couldn’t resist to the charm of the lovely Place de l’Odeon.
She took her sketchbook out of her bag, quietly unscrewed the cap of her wonderful vintage Pelikan fountain pen and started to draw the surrounding atmosphere. I felt obliged to do the same but could hardly draw as I was fascinated by the magic of her vigorous lines taking shape on the paper. She has a wonderful style with rather angular lines: the facade of the Odeon theatre unveiled gradually as ever I had seen it previously, and people popped on her sheet of paper at speed light.

Unfortunately, storm clouds started to gather over the zinc roofs offering a wonderful shade of grey (not 50 but not far). A large first drop spotted on her sketchbook and we were forced to pack in emergency. Too bad she couldn’t finish what seemed to be a very promising sketch.

We quitted as if we’ve know each other for years.
Melanie is truly a wonderful artist and I can’t wait to see what her course will be.

Back from Norway

SK Norway 000-001Last August, I toured in Norway with my wife and 2 of my kids. Gorgeous country, impressive landscapes, wonderful people, great food…and a lot to draw. I tried a brand new sketchbook from Seawhite of Brighton which I liked a lot. 128 pages of a rather robust and polyvalent 130gsm paper. Not necessarily the most appropriate for big washes of watercolor, but suitable for almost every technique. SK Norway 000 ToolsAnd a nice A5 format which i can easily take in my satchel. SK Norway 000 Portrait



Time for a beer at The White Lion in Covent Garden

London 003

The difficult choice when you’re drawing a pub is to decide between having a drink first and draw  after or on the contrary go for a beer once the drawing is completed. I must say the rainy weather helped me answer this tricky question. I took a quick snapshot and ordered a pint of bitter in the warmth of the Pub. I decided i would postpone the drawing once back at home.

Le choix le plus difficile lorsque vous dessinez un pub est de décider si l’on boit avant de dessiner ou au contraire de n’aller prendre une bière que lorsque le dessin est terminé. Je dois dire que le mauvais temps pluvieux m’a aidé à répondre à cette question délicate. J’ai pris une photo rapide pour aller commander au chaud une pinte de “bitter”. J’ai finalement reporté le dessin au soir à la maison.