Tired after a long day of eating, meeting and being on my best behaviour, I sketched this to stay awake at the airport in Hanoi, waiting for my homeward flight at 1:20 am. Given how late it was I think I can be forgiven for my spelling (it should say tail end)?
Taking a moment in my hotel room in Hanoi after work and before I go out to eat, I thought I’d test out a new brush/felt tip pen which I won at life drawing. I thought it was permanent but this shows it runs a bit – though I don’t think it hurts the sketch?
What can you do to stay awake while waiting for a flight in Ho Chi Minh at 1am – why sketch of course! I had meant to add more to this one, maybe making the colours more intense, but I ran out of time as my flight was finally called. Plus all my “models” got up to leave. Behind the seats are mounds and mounds of knick-knack souvenirs – I always find this commercial avariciousness odd in a communist country.
After hanging around at the hotel I headed to the airport in Da Nang thinking it would take me up to an hour to get there. In the end it took 10 minutes! So inevitably I had a good long while to wait before flying to Ho Chi Minh. Each strut of this huge window came out differently as I drew them – they are actually all the same shape.
After attending a workshop in Da Nang I had to check out (despite asking the hotel if they’d kindly let me stay a few more hours) and wait in the lobby (on a rock hard wooden seat) before going to the airport. This is what I did to make use of my time and help ignore my numb bum. I painted mostly with yellow ochre, mixed with black to make that lovely sludgy colour. Apart from the plants the only thing that catches the eye in a sea of blandness is the little altar with joss sticks and flashing lights.
I didn’t have time to sketch in Hanoi because I arrived at 2am and then left after lunch. I didn’t even have time to sketch at the airport because the queues were so long I had to run to make sure I didn’t miss the flight. After checking in to my hotel in Da Nang I wandered around a bit and found a little place called “pizza family”. When I was sketching (waiting for my dinner), I noticed that in the pot of the plant on the desk are two tiny weeny little houses! It’s corny but sketching helps me see more!
There are very few flights from Hanoi direct to Manila – the one I took left Hanoi at 1:25 am on Thursday….so I sketched to stay awake. Despite the late/early hour, the airport was heaving with people standing around looking through windows into the ‘airside’. While I drew this I chatted to a family who were there to say goodbye to a young friend going to do a PhD in Japan and then after that I was surrounded by an enormous extended family taking photos of each other (I am sure I must have appeared in the corner of a few of their family snaps).
Here is my last sketch from last Sunday – done very quickly at Hoan Kiem Lake.
Here is another sketch I did last Sunday in Hanoi, near Hoan Kiem Lake. The steps up to the statue of Ly Thai To have elaborate dragon balustrades on each side – which were overlooking the crowds of kids skateboarding and zooming around on rollerblades.
On Sunday I was out sketching again – this time around Hoan Kiem Lake. To one side there was a square crowded with people enjoying the public open space, with this statue in it. Ly Thai To reigned in Vietnam from 1009 to 1028.