Engyo-Ji Temple

This sketch comes with a story.  The night before embarking on a 3-month study abroad tour through Asia, I happened be watching The Last Samurai and the movie stopped playing on a scene where Tom Cruise and Ken Watanable were walking along a balcony together (the one on the right).  I sat in awe at the beauty of the ancient temple's roof structure and ornate sculpted figures placed along the corners.  Fast forward to a couple of weeks into the trip.  I managed to hike through the forest and find the exact spot where the camera had recorded the scene.  

With just twenty minutes to sketch the scene and hike back to catch the last cable train ride back to the bus, I managed to sketch the scene next to an ant hill and with the sound of buzzing hornets nearby.  

I had to fight for this sketch, scribing the most important details as quickly as I could while taking in the enormous amounts of detail in the scene.  As a result, it has become one of my favorites.