Friday, June 29, 2012

sketchbook seoul and bangkok

seoul searching is digging through layers.  layers of clothes.  layers of food.  layers of alleys and buildings and neighborhoods.  layers of people.  my favorite thing about seoul was the art that we got to see.  just the do ho suh show made it worth the trip.  but all the other things we saw.  a new aesthetic that is approachable, even cute.  and the premodern palaces and temples scattered between postmodern sky scrapers.  the streets are crowded with people.  the underground is even its own moleish version of a city.  the same shopping you find up top is also underneath the city.  again with the layers.  i loved seoul.

bangkok on the other hand was a bit more frightening.  our super posh hotel had a burned out and half wrecked housing structure (i use structure loosely) right next to it.  and the whole city was like this.  super posh and next door, a blownup shithole where tuk tuk drivers and cabbies stop to piss in the rubble.  but that was what bangkok was.  that, and covered in a thick constant haze of diesel.  the grand palace looked like it could have been awesome even with tony the tiger, our tour guide.  there were just too many people there.  the black river-boat cruise was one of my favorite moments.  it was cool in the breeze no one was talking to you because the motor was so loud.  mindy and i could just sit and look at what we drove passed.  we got to see how some of these people live.  we passed many temples.  and many shacks.   but nothing beats thai food in thailand.  there must be something in that black water because the food is damn delicious.  tom yam shabu shabu is delicious with an ice-cold-and-almost-immediately-lukewarm beer.

seoul tower sketch
our first day in seoul we took a cable car to the top of this mountain where there was this lookout tower,
a couple of guys in traditional dress performing whatever duty this still serves, and a tower to
take you even higher up.

seoul sketch
street shopping in seoul.  tons and tons of people and tons and tons of merchandise.  very colorful advertising
covers every surface.

seoul sketch
kitchen utensil seller.  this guy came over to see what i was drawing.  it's you, dude with a pony tail and a fan.
 this shop was jam packed with every utensil you could imagine for the kitchen.

seoul sketch
the umbrellas were part of the market that really began to stand out for me.  the repeating pattern was
something soothing in the pushing, shoving, shopping, advertising conglomeration i was suddenly a part of.

seoul sketch
a quiet staircase that climbs a huge hill in insa-dong.

seoul sketch
ancient and contemporary.  this drawing is a metaphor for seoul in general.  you can feel the history of the city
down to the mud huts of millennia ago.  and you can feel it pushing into contemporary, everyone with their
heads in their samsung phones, dressed in something outlandish, stuffed in the ancient alleys between high
rising post-modern buildings.

seoul palace sketch
one of the buildings at the palace.  i drew this one from outside the wall.
it's one of my favorite sketches from the trip.

seoul sketch
my favorite little canal.  it had lanterns strung across it the whole distance.  it was a quiet place in the midst
of the bustling city above.  here i stood above it on the bridge.  i have another drawing where i sat at the
edge of the water.

urban drawing
the city center in seoul.  our hotel was not far from here so i stopped here and drew a couple of different
angles of this space.  then i walked up the street about 2km and stopped along the way and sketched
as many things as i could.

urban drawing
a view from our window at the Vie hotel in Bangkok.  giant skyscrapers and hotels and condominium buildings and sheet metal shacks beneath all of it.

grand palace bangkok
one of my favorite places that we visited in bangkok.  the grand palace and the temple of the emerald buddha.  we had a private tour guide and a driver.  our tour guide was a bit nuts.  the driver seemed calm and only gave wry chuckles to stories and the occasional response to our guide.  they were cartoons right out of a movie driving us around the streets of bangkok.

jade buddha
the temple of the emerald buddha.  this is about a 10 minute sketch.  i couldn't finish it out because we
couldn't take photographs.  and this does not do it justice.  the walls are covered with a mural every bit
as detailed and as moving as i'm certain the sistine chapel is.  the emerald buddha sits in the center,
surrounded by standing buddhas.  there are piles of jasmine and incense and cash boxes where
you can make a donation.  


Patricia G said...

What a wonderful set of drawings. I love what you do with perspective, you are clearly in your element in the city.
I'd like to have a go with this technique myself, is the shiny ipad surface difficult?

Zach Medler said...

hi patricia...thank you, i do love drawing urban architecture...this technique is a great merge of different 2d media styles. i first do a quick gesture sketch on site in my sketchbook (pen and paper), then i fill in details from a photograph later (i clean up lines and fill in shading mostly). then i scan the drawings into my computer and color them with the brushes on photoshop. i don't use the iPad. it still doesn't work the way actual drawing works. i still like my pen and paper. the scan and photoshop, however are a great way to digitize my drawings, without having to fear messing up the color :)

Patricia G said...

Aha! now I see. thanks I'll try that. Keep up the good work.

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