Traveling Artist Captures the Charm of Ancient Towns in Watercolor and Ink

Watercolor Paintings by Qian Shi

Rather than snap photos with his camera, traveler and urban sketching artist Qian Shi captures his surroundings as watercolor paintings. Rendered in his distinct loose style, Shi works quickly to capture fleeting moments, forever immortalizing each scene in gestural line work and painterly brushstrokes.

Shi is a great believer of “practice makes perfect.” Even though he’s always on the go, he takes the time to sit down and create a sketch of his surroundings every day. From the narrow alleyways of ancient Shanghai to old European cities such as Prague, Shi brings his sketchbook and paint set everywhere he goes. Each picturesque scene is rendered by first laying down the composition in pen ink. The talented artist then adds delicate washes of paint to capture the colors and light of the scene.

From architecture studies to entire street scenes, Shi always includes little details that bring his scenes to life. Old shop fronts feature welcome signs, striped awnings, and jumbled displays of goods, while neighborhood buildings are painted to include air conditioning units and tangled power lines.

Scroll down to see some of Shi’s urban scenes, and check out more of his work on Instagram.

Urban sketching artist Qian Shi captures his surroundings as beautiful watercolor paintings.

Watercolor Paintings by Qian ShiWatercolor Paintings by Qian Shi

He works quickly to capture fleeting moments, forever immortalizing each scene in gestural line work and painterly brushstrokes.

Watercolor Paintings by Qian ShiWatercolor Paintings by Qian ShiWatercolor Paintings by Qian ShiWatercolor Paintings by Qian Shi

From shop signs to tangled power lines, Shi always includes little details that bring his scenes to life.

Watercolor Paintings by Qian ShiWatercolor Paintings by Qian ShiWatercolor Paintings by Qian ShiWatercolor Paintings by Qian ShiWatercolor Paintings by Qian ShiWatercolor Paintings by Qian ShiWatercolor Paintings by Qian ShiWatercolor Paintings by Qian ShiWatercolor Paintings by Qian ShiWatercolor Paintings by Qian ShiWatercolor Paintings by Qian ShiQian Shi: Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Qian Shi.

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Artist Shares Beautiful Watercolor Studies of Landscapes From Her Sketchbooks

Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.

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