Tag: las vegas

Visual Journal Page 48: The Real Caesar’s Palace


There is nothing in this world like Vegas hotels.

I had no idea that part of the fun of Sin City is spending daytime hours touring the hotels. Each hotel has its own theme, outrageous decor, over the top architecture, and interesting design. In four short days I think we saw it all, I felt like my legs were going to fall off simply from walking through hotel lobby after hotel lobby.

There was NY, NY, the Venetian, the Bellagio, Paris Las Vegas. I was continuously amazed by the amount of detail that went into designing each hotel. Our first hotel stay was spent at Mandalay Bay, which gave us an amazing view of the strip and great show options, but I couldn’t wait to go to our second stop, Caesar’s Palace.

After all Caesar’s Palace is legendary, referenced in Vegas movie after Vegas movie, and perhaps most famously in The Hangover. Zach Galifianakis’ perfect line “You probably get this a lot… This isn’t the real Caesar’s Palace is it?” is the first thing I thought of as I entered through the sliding glass doors and into the ornate white statue lined lobby.

There is nothing that better reflects my view of Vegas than cheesy, over the top, and the blend of modern and white greek statues truly fit into my mental image. As we approached the front desk I was in complete awe of the magnitude of the lobby, and I began to wander as my Aunt checked us in. As we waited for our plastic room keys I began imaging our room, what on earth could it look like if this is just the lobby?

As Aunt Lydia returned ready to take us to her room she looked very pleased. It turned out we were upgraded from our two standard rooms to two suites. I knew it a “suite” sounded better, but I had no idea what I was in for.

We entered our room and I was confused when I was greeted by a dining room table rather than a bed. I quickly realized we would have to turn a corner to see the rest, but hotel room isn’t in the shape of a rectangular box? We made way around the corner and found ourselves in the living room. A hotel with a living room? We went into the next room and found our massive king size bed, lush chairs, enormous walk in closet, and a bathroom 10 people could use at once without rubbing elbows. I was actually staying in a hotel room with two separate rooms, two bathrooms, and there were only two of us sharing it! To top it off shortly after arriving we discovered a TV built into the bathroom mirror, just in case the giant flat screen TV in the living room and bedroom weren’t enough. It was an easy choice to make this my second highlight of our Las Vegas Mom-Aunt-Daughter-Sister trip.

If Caesar were alive today I think he would approve of the lavish setting that is Caesar’s Palace.


  • Visual journal
  • Pencil
  • Prisma colored pencils
  • Extra fine sharpie


When it came time to create this page I knew I had to find a way to recapture the size of the suite my sister and I shared. After brainstorming different options, from doing a blueprint style plan to collaging different views of the room together, I opted to keep it simple and redraw the view from the bed.

To start it off I used a pencil to rough out the layout. Once I had a good idea about what would go where I began cleaning up my lines and drawing the objects in more clearly. Next I began filling in the color with Prisma colored pencils.

I you have been following my blog by now you must know my Prisma spiel about how expensive they are but how worth it it is. Just as a reminder they are very expensive, about $1.00 a pencil, but they really are worth it! They are more expensive because there is a higher concentration of pigment in them. This means that you can build up layers of colors and as the pigment builds up the layers start to blend which creates a very smooth creamy finish.

Whenever I add color I never use just one shade of a color. If available I always mix different shades of greens, browns, or whatever color I am working with. By mixing colors you will create a more interesting look with a greater sense of depth. For example, in the dresser I used four different shades of brown, light colors for the highlights blended together, and darker colors for the shadows blended together.

After I added my details and colored everything in I wrote my words using pencils first, then went back over with an extra fine sharpie.


Visit your local arts and crafts stores and either pick up a pack of Prismas or the highest quality colored pencil you can afford. Take them how and try out the layering technique. A great source for how to videos is youtube! Simply search: how to draw with prisma colored pencils.

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Visual Journal Page 47: The Las Vegas Skyline


Las Vegas. A simple name that has grown into an icon, instant imagery, thoughts of gambling, over the top shows, and other adult activities. Smack dab in the middle of the desert this iconic light, metal, poker chip and slot filled city seems out of place. As you fly over endless sand, the Grand Canyon, and beautiful mountain ranges, the last thing you expect to see is a cluster of skyscrapers.

My first trip to Las Vegas was incredible. It was so much fun, like nothing I have ever done before, and I got to experience it with the most important women in my family, my mom, sister, and aunt. Together we boarded our Delta flight, flew from one coast to another, until we found ourselves in sin city.

The first thing that struck me as we prepared to land was the Las Vegas skyline. It was as if the city suddenly sprouted out of nowhere. The desert that had been stretching for hundreds of miles, took a break for just a few miles, before continuing onto California.

Once we arrived, we checked into our first hotel of the stay, Mandalay Bay, and hopped into the elevator that went up more stories than I could count. We entered the room and immediately I saw the full window wall and another view of the desert city. I couldn’t wait for the sun to set that night. From the moment we planned the trip I couldn’t wait to see the neons ablaze, the millions of flashing lights that would make it seem as though nighttime doesn’t exist inside the Las Vegas city lines.

As I eagerly sat on our giant hotel bed I watched the sun slowly set and the lights come on. It was everything I thought it would be but bigger, brighter, and more colorful. Every day that passed as we sat at dinner and list the highlights. At the end of the trip we each shared our top three favorite moments, and this was one of mine. The skyline, the visual impact of the city itself is something I will never forget.


  • Visual journal
  • Book pages
  • Rubber cement
  • Paint brushes
  • Watercolor
  • India ink
  • Gesso


For this visual journal page I decided to focus on the silhouette of the city, with a light color pop in the background, and a bright white color pop to emphasize the light coming from the Luxor and the Bellagio fountains. I opted to use water color and india ink, which easily bleeds through thin paper like book pages. I planned ahead, glued together book pages outside of my book to paint on, and once dry, glued it into my book.

Once I had my book pages set up and glued together I loosely sketched out the skyline as a guide when I started painting. I reference a skyline picture on the internet, while making sure I focused on the buildings I liked the best. Once my outline was complete I began painting the sky, always work from the back forward. I used yellow and gray watercolor to create the eerie nighttime glow. To get the two colors to blend together in the center I moved the brush in circles using yellow, overlapping into the gray at the top, and while the yellow was still wet, added gray and swirled it in, overlapping into the yellow at the bottom.

As I painted in the sky I made sure I didn’t paint in the area where the Luxor light would be shooting up. I wanted this to be bright white, and it’s hard to achieve that if there is a base color. Next, I went in with India ink and filled in my Las Vegas skyline. India ink is a very thin, very dark black ink. It works well if you want a rich black color, but because it’s thin it can look streaky. I tried to plan for this and carefully painted vertical strips, which helped it look cohesive. Some areas still look a little messy, a second coat would have helped a lot.

Last but not least I filled in the fountain and spotlight with gesso to create a strong contrast to the skyline and focal point. Once everything dried I glued my mini painting into my book using rubber cement.

Create a visual journal page that focuses on contrast. Incorporate a dark black and bright white to create a graphic, bold image with a strong focal point. Good luck!

Thanks for checking out my blog! I hope you found tips and ideas that help inspire your next project or visual journal page. Help me spread the word about my blog by sharing with others. Thanks for stopping by!