I am an urban sketcher. My husband is not. And while he is very patient, I think it would not be fair on him if I spent our whole holiday sketching. Over the years, I've tried various approaches, but often found that I ended up sketching very little, unless we were on a one-location holiday (like a week in Kerry!). Maybe my sketchbook was too big to cart around every day? Or using watercolours required sitting down (I'm too clumsy to balance a sketchbook, palette and water container on one arm while sketching with the other!). The resulting sketches were often disappointing.
This year, I tried a new approach. I left my usual supplies at home. Brought two small sketchbooks, about A5 in size. And a pencil case full of fountain pens and Marabu and Posca markers. One waterbrush. And cutout Daniel Smith watercolour dot cards (cut out because they are A4 in size and I didn't want something so big, so I brought a small sheet of yellow, a small sheet of red, of blue and of brown, and I still had too much). One of the sketchbooks (Diário Gráfico by Firmo) was good with all the tools. The other, really only good for pen and ink. But that was OK.
I didn't necessarily sketch all the beauty spots and tourist attractions. But I took every opportunity I had. Waiting for rain to stop. Or a typhoon to pass. Most of the time standing on a street corner. Sometimes sitting on a bench. Or just at the hotel room window. Or in an airport, waiting for a plane
One of the days, I met up with fellow urban sketcher Samantha Takamura, from Ōsaka, who travelled to Kyoto to spend the day sketching with me. We had never met before. I had just posted on Urban Sketchers Japan's Facebook page, and she contacted me. By the end of the day, it was like we had known each other forever. It was so wonderful to meet up with a local urban sketcher while travelling. And to have made a new friend. It was a dream come true for me.
Here are some of the sketches I did. I have already posted most of these on Instagram (@MHBD1) while travelling, but without the narrative.
370,000 of them! Half from the Philippines, and half from Indonesia. As a result, every single bench or shady spot in public spaces was taken up. Since they have to live with their employer and don't have a place of their own, they have nowhere to go on their day off, but the parks and public spaces of Hong Kong. Surely a social issue that will erupt at some point. Kowloon Park is near the mosque and the park seemed to be the focal point for a lot of Muslim foreign domestic workers. I did manage to get a seat on a bench (in the sun) to capture this scene. Pen and watercolours.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul. Pen and watercolours.
YMCA Hong Kong (The Salisbury). Fineliner.
green walkway near Seoul station - every city should have one. An urban sketcher's ideal location! I sat on a bench overlooking the train tracks and just drew what was in front of me. It was a glorious morning and I really enjoyed sketching the view! Calligraphy marker, fineliner and watercolour.