Badaguan, Qingdao 2019
Of course whenever one arrives in a new place, exploring is a must. At the beginning of day 3, our professor took us to a seaside location in Qingdao called "Badaguan". Badaguan is a popular tourist destination near the coastline that was originally a residential area built by the Germans in 1897. The architecture close to Badaguan as well as in many places in Qingdao have a more European or German quality. The coastline in Qingdao was definitely my favorite place to paint while we were there.
A class photo of us first year grad students exploring the coastline of Badaguan.
A nice picture my classmate took of me while I was climbing around on the rocks located near the beach.
A giant dead jelly fish my classmate Gao Xiaomin found on the beach at Badaguan.
While we were exploring a classmate told me a fascinating story about this particular picture above. This part of the sea was sectioned off during the reign of Mao Zedong so that he could swim freely without fear and to protect him harmful sea creatures (like sharks?). Not sure if the story was true or not, but none the less very fascinating!
Swimmers of all ages can still be found at the beach of Badaguan. While we were sketching here, we saw many people swimming in the area, even though the water was freezing. Imagine swimming in Lake Michigan in October, cold!
Late afternoon, my classmate Yu Chaozhuo and I found a great place to sketch and paint one of the most famous buildings at Badaguan known as the Huashi Building.
While my classmate Yu Chaozhuo and I were painting, a huge group of high school students came to join us and paint. Many of them were very interested in chatting with me because I was the only foreigner in the area painting. All of them either had a sketchbook out or an easel with watercolors. It was a fun experience painting with so many people in one spot! We chatted in Chinese and they told me it is a must for Chinese students in high school to go outside once a year for a field trip to paint. They were very interested in knowing more about me as well and asked what I was doing painting in Qingdao. When I told them I was here on a school field excursion they were thrilled to find out I was studying at The China Academy of Art. For Chinese students, it is one of the hardest art academies to get into in China. All in all, it was a fun experience getting to paint with some many other art students!
At the end of the day, my roommate and I hung up our paintings and continued to do this for the rest of our time in Qingdao. It was a great way to see our progress during our time in Qingdao and a great way to critique each others works. Above is the painting I did while at the Huashi Building at Badaguan with all the other Chinese high school students.
This is a photo of my classmates watercolor paintings she hung up during the first few days in Qingdao.
These are some sketches I did at Badaguan while we were exploring outside.
The beginning of Day 4 started off very early in the morning. My roommate and I woke up at 4:30 in the morning in order to walk down to the sea and paint the sunrise. We were out when the only other people awake were those already down by the docks fishing. It was a fun experience to wake up each day and walk down to the waterfront to paint.
This is a picture of my roommate Gao Xiaomin, who walked down to the lakefront to paint the sunrise with me. We painted like this every morning while we were in this area of Qingdao. This is actually one of my favorite photos from our trip, because I feel like it shows how we painted everyday very accurately. We would normally take a small pad of watercolor paper, a few different paint brushes, our watercolor palate, and a collapsible cup to wash our paint brushes in. Sometimes we would bring a collapsible chair as well to make painting outdoors more comfortable. Some artists would bring an easel to paint outdoors, but since we had to walk to most of our destinations, somethings just had to be left behind. Otherwise our bags would have been to heavy, especially later on when we were climbing in the mountains to paint.
Sunrise paintings added to the other paintings hung up in our hotel room later on.
Which one is your favorite out of these paintings?
Morning of day 5, I was able to get more of my classmates out of bed to paint the sunrise in Qingdao. This is a picture of us as we walked back to our hotel to eat breakfast after finishing up with painting. You can see my painting in the picture because it was still drying.
The sunrise was even more beautiful this morning. The colors were constantly changing in a matter of seconds. Each painting needed to be done fast before moving on to the next in order to capture the escaping colors.
At the end of each morning session, I had this giddy feeling inside of me and felt so happy with this set of quick watercolor paintings. The sunrises were magnificent and it was so much fun to be able to capture it on paper. Recently I have been wanting to start another series of sunrise paintings. What do you think?
I hope you enjoyed reading this post as I reminisce about my time in Qingdao.
Until next time,