HCMC & Taichung Sketchbook Tour (Mar 2017 to Oct 2018)

These are all the sketches in the sketchbook that I've brought with me to the AsiaLink Sketchwalk Taichung 2018 and a holiday trip in Ho Chi Minh City. It was so tedious to scan all of them at a go but I'm glad I've finally done so. One main reason why I do this is so that I can share these sketches with my friends easily just by sending a link to them, or show them on the screen when I need to.

The sketchbook used is the Stillman & Birn Delta series softcover sketchbook with 270gsm paper. While the paper is not 100% cotton, it was able to handle watercolour quite well. It's great for quick pen, ink and watercolour sketches.

The first few pages are sketches draw from reference photos I've taken during my trip in Ho Chi Minh City. I've featured them before in May last year. That seemed like such a long time ago. HCMC is a wonderful place to go for a sketching trip. Vietnam has many wonderful places to sketch.

I did not draw the sketches on location because it was a holiday trip with my wife. The weather was hot so I did not want my wife to wait for me.

This sketch was drawn from a reference photo I took at the Saigon Skydeck (map). The view from the top was terrific. They have glass panels for walls so you can see the city from all directions.

This is a tank parked at the Independence Palace.

By the way, there are tutorial videos for all these HCMC sketches and they are available for sale on my Gumroad page.

Ben Thanh Market is definitely worth visiting. They sell dry provision, vegetables, meat and seafood. It's a huge market with lots to see. The seafood is so fresh they are still alive. The road by the side of the market would sometimes close at night and become makeshift foodstalls. Not sure if that happens on weekdays or weekends though.

I would love to go back to HCMC to again to sketch if I can afford the time.

This is the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon (map). It was built by the French colonial government in 1880. It's definitely a must-visit place. The Saigon Central Post Office (map) is just beside.

The Saigon Central Post Office was built by the French colonial government between 1886-1891. It's beautiful architecture is Gothic, Renaissance and French influenced. It's still a functioning post office and you can send mail inside. As you can see from my sketch, it's a very crowded place that's packed with tourists.

This it the city hall of HCMC. The full name is actually People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City (map). I can't remember why I drew this with pencil. Maybe because I want the watercolour to be the focus. While the general shape looks alright, the smaller shapes aren't that accurate, especially the shapes of the windows.

This was the second try drawn with pen and ink. The beautiful granulation of the blues are from French Ultramarine and Cerulean Blue Chromium.

The Saigon Opera House (map), aka Municipal Theatre of Ho Chi Minh City, is such a beautiful building. It was built in 1897 by the French colonial government. For this sketch, I used Sodalite Genuine.

It's a common site to see Vietnamese people sitting, chatting or eating by the side of the roads, in front of shops that sell food. The most memorable part of this sketch is the lady at the left who was carrying a kid with an abnormally large head, possible caused by Agent Orange that was used in the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. That kid with the deformed head was not the only one I saw during my trip in Vietnam. It was haunting to see the effects of war affect people like that.

Here's a crab from the Ben Thanh Street Food market. It's like a hawker centre that we see in Singapore. My wife and I had our meals there several times because it was so near our hotel. And the seafood was reasonably priced and delicious.

I actually have a lot more to say about these sketches. Check out the sketchbook tour video I've made.

The second half of this sketchbook is filled with sketches of Taipei and the various cities. I was there for another holiday trip, this time with my wife and her relatives.

The sketch above is of Ciyou Temple in Taipei. This was drawn from a reference photo.

Taipei night scene is very lively. There's so many people on the streets!

Jiufen is a shopping street very close to Taipei city that's definitely worth visiting. It's a very beautiful place. And it happens to be the set for Hou Hsiao-hsien's movie A City of Sadness

My packing list for AsiaLink Sketchwalk Taichung 2018..

Robertson Quay. The only sketch in this sketchbook that's from Singapore.

Old Taichung Train Station is the main venue for the AsiaLink Sketchwalk in Taichung. This train station is no longer in service and has been replaced by the newer and much larger Taichung Train Station just behind.

Museum of Sun Cake.

Sketchers sketching the museum.

A very challenging temple to draw, just like many Asian temples.

Taichung Park

Taichung Prefecture Hall

Taichung 2nd Market

Junction in front of the train station.

Taichung Flora Expo

Houli Race Farm.



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