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How I sketched GwangJang Market (tutorial)

Before I went to the GyeongJu Sketch Festa 2023, I spent a few days in Seoul, South Korea, and made a few sketches.

This was sketched at GwangJang Market, one of the oldest traditional market in South Korea with more than 5,000 shops. The place sells clothes, textiles and lots of food.

I drew this sketch with Concepts app on an iPad Pro 11. The sketch took me more than 1 hr 40 minutes to complete. And thankfully it was only after I completed the sketch that the stall behind me started opening up for business.

This sketch was challenging to draw for several reasons. I had to stand and sketch for the whole duration. It was hot, noisy and crowded. And there's so many things to draw, and many people are moving around.

For those who feel like challenging themselves, definitely try sketching at a market. There will always be something interesting to draw. Just make sure you don't block the traffic or stand in front of shops or stalls to affect their business.

By the way, it is not possible for me to write a detailed step-by-step tutorial so if you really want to learn my sketching process with Concepts app, I recommend you check out my online courses instead.

The first step is to create the line art. Subconsciously, I've placed the vanishing point for the benches at the back of the market. Most of what's drawn really comes down to observation skills. I started the sketch from the left and expanded out from there.

I recommend not using undo as much as you can when sketching digitally because first undo means you have to redraw again and that will make your drawing process longer, and secondly you will be more careful with drawing when you don't rely on undo.

I remembered having to move the drawn lines quite often and since I'm using Concepts, the lines can be selected and moved around easily. I often have to extend lines by stretching them. Manipulating lines like this is not something you can do easily with raster drawing apps without losing quality.

The line art was drawn with the default Soft Pencil brush, and the colours added with the Chalk (paid) and textures with Splatter (paid). The many little flags hanging above were drawn with the Fill tool.

The drawing and colouring style is quite simple. Details in the background are suggested.

Most people and tourists come here for the food and that's what I wanted to highlight in this sketch. That's why I have food stall in the foreground with all the food display up front.

Many customers sat, ate and left while I was sketching. I would always sketch the new customer who sits down because I know that person will be there for a while.

I'm quite satisfied with this sketch mostly because I was able to slow down and draw more carefully. That allowed me to draw more carefully and hence didn't have to erase or undo much.

If you want to learn how to sketch with this style, check out my online sketching courses.