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Michael Hodgson

Traveler at HI Travel Tales
Born to British parents in Canada, Michael Hodgson had been schlepped back and forth across the pond since he was a toddler. In college, he took the big leap and spent a few months in Kenya – and never looked back. His biology major somehow led him into a writing career, focusing on the outdoors, hiking and gear testing. Building on his lifetime of travel with travel writing was a natural, although he still loves to seek out the wilder side of a mountain – or a city -- for a good story. Michael also is a partner in a consulting business (www.NewNormalConsulting.com) built on a passion to help specialty businesses and brands succeed both domestically and internationally.
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Michael Hodgson's artwork of the Hong Kong skyline at night.The subject: Hong Kong is a bustling, international city that never sleeps. And that is never more evident than when exploring the Kowloon and Yau Tsim Mong neighborhoods. Both are situated on Victoria Harbor across from Hong Kong Island.

In the heart of Kowloon, markets, restaurants, and streets remain packed with humanity well into the early hours of the morning. To find a little more elbowroom on many evenings, one simply has to head to the historic Clock Tower area along the waterfront and begin walking toward the Hung Hom area that is technically part of Kowloon. Still a popular area, but a little more peace and space to breathe.

It won’t take long to realize why the Hong Kong skyline across the harbor is one of the most photographed and recognized skylines in the world. This area is one of the key vantage points for the “A Symphony of Light” light show that takes place every night at about 8 p.m. (unless there is a typhoon or other emergency of course!). If you miss the actually “symphony,” as we did on our last visit due to flight delays, no worries! Nearly everyone we speak to, including tourists still lingering on the promenade an hour after the 13-minute free light show, rave about how spectacular it is, but also breath-taking is the view from the promenade and its “regular” lights. To learn more about the promenade and the light show, click here.

The inspiration: While my wife and I were wandering along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade during a 17-hour layover in Hong Kong (we were on our way home to San Francisco following an adventure in mainland China), I became entranced. I, like most others out that night, could not tear my gaze from the colorful and dramatic skyline of Hong Kong Island across the busy waters of Victoria Harbor.

Artist’s tools: I used the program Procreate on my iPad Pro combined with an Apple Pen for this Hong Kong Skyline artwork. My first task was to quickly outline the buildings using a ink pen tool. I then opened another layer, and painted in the misty sky (picking up the light wash of lights in the overcast sky above the city was a fun challenge). I then added the water using another layer where I turned to an oil pastel pencil to capture the colorful lights reflected in Victoria Bay. Finally, I merged the layers, and returned to outlining and filling in the buildings with various bright colors, using again, a pastel pencil and a watercolor brush (in the digital world, you can combine these mediums with wonderful effect).

A print of this digital painting on your wall is the next best thing to being there yourself…as well as a great gift for anyone in your life who loves the Hong Kong skyline. Click here to see this artwork in my online gallery.

A print of this digital painting on your wall is the next best thing to being there yourself…as well as a great gift for anyone in your life who appreciates artwork inspired by travel. Click on any image below to go directly to my online store to purchase prints, gift cards, coffee cups and more.

Map of China

In the map below, pins mark the location of all the sites mentioned in our articles on China. Zoom in or out on the map using the controls. Switch easily from map to satellite view. Click on each pin to pull up a tooltip with the name and any additional information.