Another city in Japan

 In Process, Travel

This is what Nagoya’s like….


Tools of the trade, including proportional dividers.


During my recent stay in Tokyo, my plan was to get the Shinkansen train to Nagoya, then, being familiar with high-speed travel, repeat the journey the following week, but extend it further, to the bigger city of Osaka (nearly double the size of London). Unfortunately, a chest infection which developed within 48 hours of landing, pretty much wiped me out for the first week, so that idea went out the proverbial window. It’s almost as if being cooped up in a metal tube with 100 plus other people, with higher than normal stress levels, all sharing the same air, for 12 hours plus, can be injurious to health… well, mine anyway. This keeps happening. Maybe I’ll drive next time…

Consequently, when recovered, I opted to just pop over to Nagoya, as it was closer, and save an Osaka visit for another time. So, having got my tickets, it was time for the Shinkansen experience. Essentially, once the Shinkansen train driver (Shinkdrive) is out of the confines of the city, he can put his foot down. You know when you’re on a plane, you’re on the runway, and it starts the actual take off? That bit just before it actually goes up? That’s what it’s like, for the majority of the journey. Subsequently, there I was in Nagoya, less than 2 hours 45 minutes after buying my ‘Latte cohhee, hotto’ in Shinagawa station, Tokyo. A distance of just over 160 miles. That’s like travelling from Englefield Green to Leeds, say, even though it went quite slow for the first 30 mins, and also made 2 stops along the way – something else.

With one eye on the threatening clouds, I soon found a perch to, er, perch on, not far from the station and made a basic ‘typical’ cityscape of the structures on A3, all the time snapping away with my iphone at the Nagoya residents as they passed by. Although it’’s obviously hard to get any real impression of a place from such a brief visit, I could immediately tell this place was a bit more ‘serious’ than Tokyo. More serious and smaller. Only 2.8 million residents. Businesslike, but with more   s  p  a  c  e  … Soon, the rain came, so I legged it off to the ubiquitous Starbucks, where I sat for the next hour or so. I referred to my photos, and also the folk around me, and completed my initial Nagoya Cityscape. Then it was time to head back to Tokyo, and, now, back in England, it’s time to draw the ‘proper’ one.

This is on A2 Cartridge paper, using Copic Wide and Original Markers, OHTO Fineliners and the ‘Copic Spray system’ (which uses a gas to blow ‘over’ the tip of an original chisel point marker). After drawing basic structures (utilising proportional dividers to ensure the proportions are, er, divided well), and more detailing, I mask off areas again, using acetate sheets, and chose a deep red for my colour, as the signage and banners and suchlike were a striking red. The ‘swoop’ of the scene meant I could really ‘swoop’ my C1 and C2 Markers around, so I hope this really gives the scene that feeling of movement. These aspects are difficult to quantify and even more difficult to rationalise, so I won’t try. I just know when it feels and looks right. I know when my figures will work well ‘on top’, and I can’t wait to go through my images from that day and so – on they go. It’s done. I can now say, to paraphrase Dexys Midnight Runners;

This is what Nagoya’s like….


Basic structures and outlines.


Utilising Copic Spray system.


Masking results in red sections.


First figure drawn.


More figures join in.


The finished image, size A2.


The initial image I created whilst in Nagoya.

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