Hidden Market in Chengdu

Yesterday the school (PS One Portfolio School) had me scheduled to do a lecture in the afternoon, so I had the morning to myself in Chengdu yesterday. A perfect opportunity to get into the city and do some drawing. At one point, I found these three women who has food carts on the street, I loved the scene of them talking together.  I sat down to draw the scene, but within 1 minute of my drawing, they all dispersed and pushed their carts in different directions. I followed one of the women, hoping that she would settle on another street so I could draw her.  She pushed her cart down what looked like a dead end, but I didn’t see her come out, so I figured I would go and see where that led.

I turned the corner and there was this incredible local market, bustling with activity.  There was produce, tofu, hanging slabs of raw meat, spices, chicken feet, steam buns, and more. I was surprised to find it, given that the area I had been wandering around in was lots of big city buildings and giant sidewalks and roads. I was so thrilled to discover the market so I spent the entire morning drawing there.

I found this man who sat and tore string beans by hand and drew him with my brush pens. He was great to draw because other than leaning back and stretching his arms out every 10 minutes or so, he basically stayed in the same position the whole time.

I’ve noticed that in China all of the street cleaners sweep the street by hand with brooms. Every street cleaner I’ve seen has their own cart or scooter, loaded up with their own supplies.  Each one is unique, and has its own personality, so I’ve really enjoyed looking at all of the various contraptions they have on their carts.

I was sure this street cleaner was about to get up and drive away, but they stopped to talk to this woman, which gave me just enough time to bust out this gesture drawing with my black brush pen.


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