Traveling Watercolor Artist Captures the Charm of Old Asian Towns

Watercolor Sketch Paintings by Zhifang Shi

Shanghai-based artist and avid traveler Zhifang Shi captures the world around him in a series of vibrant watercolor sketch paintings. From the narrow alleys of Shanghai’s old town to the ancient storefronts of South Korea, each piece captures the authentic charm of the places he visits.

Urban watercolor sketching is a popular art form among many traveling creatives, and Shi has perfected the skill. Rendered in a distinctively loose style and working quickly to capture fleeting moments, Shi uses black pen to sketch out outlines and details before adding washes of delicate color. Each scene features perfect light and shadow, bringing the talented artist’s street corner sketches and architectural studies to life.

Urban scenes glow with rows of lanterns, while shop fronts and houses are depicted with potted plants, old shutters, and clothes lines. Shi immortalizes each historical neighborhood in flourishes of ink, many of which may not be around for much longer—in fact, one particular piece is titled The house that is going to disappear.

Shanghai-based artist and avid traveler Zhifang Shi captures the world around him in a series of vibrant watercolor sketch paintings.

Watercolor Sketch Paintings by Zhifang ShiWatercolor Sketch Paintings by Zhifang Shi

Rendered in a distinctively loose style, Shi immortalizes the historical neighborhoods he visits in delicate flourishes of ink.

Watercolor Sketch Paintings by Zhifang ShiWatercolor Sketch Paintings by Zhifang ShiWatercolor Sketch Paintings by Zhifang ShiWatercolor Sketch Paintings by Zhifang ShiWatercolor Sketch Paintings by Zhifang ShiWatercolor Sketch Paintings by Zhifang ShiWatercolor Sketch Paintings by Zhifang ShiWatercolor Sketch Paintings by Zhifang ShiWatercolor Sketch Paintings by Zhifang ShiWatercolor Sketch Paintings by Zhifang ShiWatercolor Sketch Paintings by Zhifang ShiWatercolor Sketch Paintings by Zhifang ShiWatercolor Sketch Paintings by Zhifang ShiWatercolor Sketch Paintings by Zhifang ShiZhifang Shi: Website | Instagram

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

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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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