Whether it’s your favourite city, you’ve been inspired by the Olympic coverage or you’re off there on your holiday, Paris, the city of lights, love and artistic inspiration, has long been a muse for painters. From the charming cobblestone streets of Montmartre to the majestic Seine River winding through the heart of the city, Paris offers a plethora of picturesque scenes waiting to be immortalized.

Above: Cafe Culture Montmartre by Brian Smith

Finding Inspiration – where to go?

Explore Montmartre: Begin your artistic journey in Montmartre, the historic neighbourhood known for its bohemian atmosphere and artistic legacy. Wander through its winding streets, past quaint cafes, bustling markets, and the iconic Sacré-Cœur basilica. The charming ambiance and eclectic architecture provide endless inspiration for your paintings.

Above: Montmartre Paris by Patricia Sabin

Stroll Along the Seine: Take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Seine River, where you'll encounter iconic landmarks such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum, and the Eiffel Tower. Capture the play of light on the water, the reflections of the bridges, and the bustling activity of river life.

Above: The Eiffel Tower from across the Seine by Rob Wigham

Visit Museums and Galleries: Immerse yourself in the rich artistic heritage of Paris by visiting world-renowned museums like the Musée d'Orsay, home to an extensive collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces. Explore contemporary art at the Centre Pompidou or discover hidden gems in smaller galleries scattered throughout the city.

Above: Crowd at Louuvre Paris by James A Deal

Choosing your painting spot

Iconic Landmarks: Set up your easel near iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, or the Luxembourg Gardens. These landmarks not only provide stunning subjects for your paintings but also attract a steady stream of tourists, adding life and energy to your artwork.

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Street Scenes: Capture the vibrant street life of Paris by painting bustling boulevards, cozy alleyways, and charming sidewalk cafes. Focus on capturing the unique architecture, the play of light and shadow, and the diverse mix of people that give each neighbourhood its distinct character.

Quiet Corners: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by seeking out quiet corners and hidden squares tucked away from the main tourist attractions. These serene settings offer a more intimate glimpse into everyday life in Paris and provide ample opportunities for contemplative and atmospheric paintings.

Above: Notre Dame by Ana Smarz

Tips for Painting in Paris

Embrace the Light: Paris is renowned for its beautiful light, which has inspired countless artists throughout history. Pay close attention to the changing light conditions throughout the day, from the soft glow of dawn to the warm hues of sunset. Experiment with capturing the interplay of light and shadow to create depth and atmosphere in your paintings.

Engage with Locals: Don't hesitate to strike up conversations with locals and fellow artists you encounter during your painting excursions. Locals can offer valuable insights into hidden gems and lesser-known spots off the beaten path, while fellow artists can provide encouragement, feedback, and camaraderie.

Capture the Atmosphere: Beyond just capturing the physical likeness of a scene, strive to convey the unique atmosphere and mood of Paris in your paintings. Whether it's the romance of a candlelit dinner along the Seine or the bustling energy of a lively street market, aim to evoke the emotions and sensations that make Paris such a captivating city.

Above: Lost in Paris by Ana Smarz

Bonne peinture! (Happy painting!)


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