Whiskey and color inspires artwork in old town Lijiang, China

I became fascinated with the colors and textures of an old restaurant with the word “whiskey” emblazoned over its windows in old town Lijiang. Read how I captured a painting of it.

Whiskey and color in Lijiang artwork created on an iPad.

Old town Lijiang in the Yunnan Province of China earns its listing as a UNESCO World Heritage site easily, with its cobbled streets, colorfully adorned and wooden buildings, and orderly system of waterways and bridges (earning it the nickname of a Chinese Venice). Adding to the magic, the town’s backdrop is the majestic Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, visible clearly on cloudless days.

The subject: While old town Lijiang is incredibly beautiful, be forewarned – in peak season and many other times of the year, it will attract throngs of tourists – mostly Chinese. It is not unlike visiting Fisherman’s Wharf or Pier 39 in San Francisco – there is plenty of history, and beauty and an almost unimaginable concentration of shops and vendors. The maze of streets and canals invite you to get happily lost, and lost you will get as I did amid literally hundreds of shops, restaurants, and guesthouses. There are textures of color and sound (like the constant beating of drums and sound of running water) everywhere you walk.

The inspiration: It was while wandering old town Lijiang with iPad in hand that I became fascinated with the colors and textures of an old restaurant with the word “whiskey” emblazoned over its windows. I am not really sure what street I was on as I had been wandering for several hours in this tangled world of artistic inspiration.

Artist’s tools: I quickly used my colored pencils in the Procreate app to create the outlines of my artwork in old town Lijiang. Using a combination of various oil pastel pencils and watercolor brushes, as well as special texture brushes available in Procreate, I worked with my Apple pencil to capture the color and contrasts in front of me.

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.

You might also be interested in reading:

Don't Let The Sun Set On You!

Enjoy premium stories, photographs and become part of a fun travel community by joining our Subscriber Club. It's FREE! By subscribing to our regular HI Travel Tales Subscriber Club newsletter you'll also be invited to get access to select e-books and recipes plus special discount offers - no spam, ever, promise.


As an affiliate for Get Your Guide, Amazon.com, iVisa, Global Rescue, Think Tank, 5.11, Kuhl, Adorama, and others, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you should you choose to purchase through the links in our posts. It is essential to mention that we only endorse products we believe in and personally use. Your support for HI Travel Tales through these purchases allows us to maintain a sustainable platform for creating valuable and relevant content for you. 

Global Rescue Ad - travel insurance for when it matters most