Paris and Rome

My boy Jack and I had a fantastic time in Paris and Rome. We saw every inch of both towns and took a night train in between. Eight days of croissants, pasta, art, sunshine, laughter, and lots of drawings:

I didn’t really think before I left and just took my book and a fountain pen. Fortunately, Jack remembered to pack my old Windsor Newton watercolor set. I haven’t used these paints in ages and seeing them on the page made me feel like I had stepped back a decade. My colors look faded and dull after a couple of years under the care of Dr. Martin and his wee bottles of transparent technicolor magic. I pushed them and the Niji waterbrushes as hard as I could but they don’t have that gem-like pizzazz I yearn for.

Anyway, it  was still loads of fun and Jack was an awesome travel companion and even more fervent a devotee of the travel sketchbook than his old man. You can read all of my ramblings on the pages below — just click the thumbnails and they’ll spring into big images.

I’ll post some scans of Jack’s pages soon.

Welcome to Paris 
Notre Dame in the rain
Touristas Eiffel
Parisian critters
Blind Contours
Louvre courtyard
Sleeping boy
Last day in Paris
Mes Pieds
Train to Rome
Piazza Navona
Domes of Rome


  1. Thomas Marino

    Sounds like a great trip. I would love to see the drawings. Danny what do you think of the copic pens for drawing?

  2. Bonnie Leukert

    Amazing…thanks for sharing. You have captured the essence of both cities.

  3. Lisa Cheney-Jorgensen

    My wish is to have a similar voyage with my daughter some day…she is just beginning to understand the love affair art will have in her life. How old was Jack when he started sketching on your trips? Or has he always sketched along side you?

  4. violet

    I especially adore the sleeping boy drawing. how much love contained in a pair of a loving father’s eyes..

  5. Lydia Velarde

    beautiful drawings danny!

  6. Irene Hamil

    Very enjoyable read! Thanks for sharing this Danny!

  7. Kathleen Dale

    very generous of you two to share these wonderful journal pages with us, thank you.

  8. ChrisF

    Well for someone who had to “push” the watercolors, you sure got some vibrant results!
    You’ll treasure the travel journal, but someday you’ll be fondest of “sleeping boy”.

  9. creativitytothemax

    The sleeping son drawing is my favorite too. Love your drawings and journal. Spectacular

  10. Barbara Winter

    Bella! I just acquired Eric Maisel’s A Writer’s Paris with your wonderful illustrations. Thank you so much for sharing these.

    • Tina

      Please, tell me- what is: Eric Maisel’s A Writer’s Paris with Dannys wonderful illustrations- did I miss something??

  11. Ardis

    Have you ever thought of compiling your favourite sketches and journals into a book and publishing it? I think it would be fascinating!

    • Ardis

      Never mind! I just discovered your bookstore!

  12. Roz Stendahl

    Danny, while I love what you do with the dyes, I’m glad you had the watercolors to use. I thoroughly enjoyed these pages. Looking at them I feel as if I’ve had a short trip, without the inconvenience of no a.c.! I always enjoy your page composition (as on the feet page with the horizontals of vastly different items on the right) and of course your sense of humor (domes of Rome). I hope you and Jack have many more sketching tours.

  13. Carol Darr

    I wasn’t ready for your drawings to end. When will you show Jack’s drawings?

    Thank you for showing us some of your art in Paris. Love it!

  14. betty wilkins

    Your pages always delight, and I love the watercolors as well. I think it’s so cool that Jack took care to bring them! I am looking forward to his sketches also!

  15. Randy Bosch

    Thank you for sharing these precious entries – they are very encouraging for me as a struggling journaler and artist (after a lifetime as an architect – go figure! – too much precision!). I feel re-envigorated by seeing them toward boldly moving ahead during my upcoming adventures!
    All the best!

  16. Ted James Mendoza

    Hahaha I love Domes of Rome #6. Wish I can take this kind of trip with my wife soon. Thanks for the inspiration

  17. tobytrygg

    Awesome, Danny.

    Just a reminder to all of us to never forget the precious memories we make as people, and families. Just wish we could all record them as vivaciously as you and Jack.



  18. Shelly

    I loved seeing Paris and Rome through another artist’s eyes! Thank you!
    Did you happen to draw any fountains?

  19. Joyce Cole

    Lovely! Yes, I agree, you’ll treasure “sleeping boy.” And goodness, Jack is a young man already!

  20. Tina

    What a great trip you seem to have had!! And how very generous of you to share those fine, fine moments with us!!!

    I´m so happy for you and me :) who got to see the same joy that I now feel, thanks to your book and thanks to the fact that I now too, feel “I HAVE TO DRAW” – DAILY!!!

    So grateful,


  21. AnAis

    What a fantastic drawings and lovely experiencie with your son, Danny :)
    Love them all!
    Looking forward to seeing Jack’s pages
    Best wishes!

  22. Helenlp

    Fabulous as always!

  23. Melva Bates

    What great memories you both must have of your wonderful trip. Your pages are perfect to jog your thoughts about your time in Paris & Rome. Can’t wait to see Jack’s pages……
    Melva Bates

  24. Winna Jill Mordasky

    The Domes of Rome cracked me up !!!! What a great time seeing your exciting work and knowing what you mean about the difference in the colors used feeling to the one usuing them…I’m in Italy right now sketching anything that grabs me and then it’s on to Paris to see The Louvre with perfumed hanky at the ready—-I have to add these trips I’m on, are in an Imaginery Trip Class—-you get to skip the fol der rah at the airports ! Thanks for your sketched memories……..Winna

  25. Carolyn~

    Fabulous sketches! I love that you drew your feet with the bread, the bridge, the picnickers. Brings back memories of the 2 days I walked all over Paris…and my feet at the end of those days.

    Wonderful snapshots, too.

  26. Sandy

    Love seeing Paris and Rome through your eye and hand, Always enjoy your pages, thank you for sharing and I hope we geat a peek at Jack’s talented work as well.

  27. Robyn

    Italy in August! Pardon my mirth. It hasn’t improved since you left. Wonderful drawings and musings, thank you.

  28. Richard Sheppard

    Great pages danny! The watercolors looks great in the scan. I’ve never tried Dr. Martin’s ink because I was always worried about permanency but maybe I should give them a go. I bet the colors really do have a zing!

  29. Emilie Comaduran

    That was great!! I love lookinga t your work, everytime i see you have posted something I get so excited. Looking forward to seeing Jack’s work when you get around to posting that, too.

  30. Lyn

    Thanks for the great trip! Blind contour drawings brilliant……..did you peek? :-)
    Continued success in all that you do!

  31. Andrea Joseph

    wonderful. brilliant. as always.

  32. Libbi Byrd Corson

    What a handsome son!! Good to see such joy in both of your faces :)! LOVED all the journal entries…any chance we can see Jack’s????

  33. Julie (O-kami)

    Great sketches, handsome son, wonderful venue!! you’ve got it all.

  34. Rosemary

    Your journals always blow me away! You are such an inspiration!!!

  35. Beverley

    I too wasn’t ready for the drawings to end and was disappointed to realise there were no more. I visited Paris recently and thorough enjoyed myself, I have yet to visit Italy. Paris will be on my list again as soon as is possible with my 16 year old daughter who loves to draw. Sleeping boy was one of my favourite sketches, such strength and tenderness in one drawing. I love your humour too, domes! Paris is only 2.5 hours from London by the tunnel train, so very accessible for us and no dodgy air conditioning, most important.

  36. I like the perspective on the last photograph…and the smile.

  37. Addy

    You two look like you’re having a great time! All of this is beautiful, and that includes you two. ^^

  38. Veronique

    Dear Danny,
    Thank you for showing your drawings and your son’s. Funny for me to see what you drew of my city, Paris. I love to see point of view of foreigners about my city. I hope you had a good time there.

  39. Julia

    What a wonderful trip, and I love the sketches. When I was 24 I took a 1 month trip with my dad through Ireland, then to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. And, we both kept sketchbooks. I revisit those drawing often. Those memories will last a lifetime. Thanks so much for sharing!

  40. parisbreakfasts

    Wonderful inspiring sketches!
    Just the nudge I needed before I set off on my trip.
    Gorgeous boy too :)

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