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Tokyo’s old storefronts come alive in these gorgeous illustrations

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What happens when an illustrator moves to Tokyo and becomes obsessed with its old shops

watercolor illustrations of Tokyo storefronts
Left: Nakashimaya Japanese sake shop in the Mejiro district; Right: Kitchen Kuku restaurant in the Kichijyouji district 
Mateusz Urbanowicz

Feast your eyes on this, Tokyo lovers: The mesmerizing illustrations of Mateusz Urbanowicz capture something of the unique spirit of the city’s old shops, from slightly seedy storefronts shielded by awnings and signs to elegant restaurants retaining an elegant, traditional building style.

Urbanowicz moved to Tokyo more than three years ago and became fascinated by the old buildings and stores he passed on walks around the city. An illustrator and comic book artist by trade, Urbanowicz works at the animation studio CoMix Wave, creating backgrounds for animations. But on his own time, he watercolors detailed renderings of his favorite buildings. The illustrations coalesced into his “Tokyo Storefront” series.

Lines for the seventh shop in my #illustration series done!

A post shared by Mateusz マット Urbanowicz (@mateusz_urbanowicz) on

Next #illustration from the "Tokyo Storefront" series is done! I will scan it properly tomorrow :)

A post shared by Mateusz マット Urbanowicz (@mateusz_urbanowicz) on

For each artwork, Urbanowicz begins with a pencil sketch, taking artistic license to fill in detail. He then inks the outlines of the drawing and expertly layers on watercolor pigments. The entire process is recorded on video. It’s remarkable:

Via: Spoon & Tomago, ArchDaily