17 March 2018

Urbansketchers | Sketching & Drawing People at Cafes & on public transport

I have not posted here for so long. Anyway it's good to be back and henceforth, here are some recent sketches I made at different locations, mostly cafes, and food places. Due to a busy schedule for the first quarter of the year, it was hard for me to sketch on a regular basis. I am aiming to do more come the school holiday in about a month's time. When I have not sketch for a while, I usually feel lost, or something missing in my life. Sketching has become a lifestyle, not just to sharpen any technical skill, but it has been a way to find meaning and direction in life. I don't know how to explain it, but doing something I enjoy provides a means of finding security with myself and other things.

sketching people at McDonalds in Great World City
The above sketch of uncle reading newspaper was done at Great World City, when missus went shopping at Marks & Spencer, while I stayed in McDonalds which is just a stone's throw away from the store. Uncle was having his wonderful time of solitude and me time at the cafe. He may have a cup of coffee from McCafe, but everything else was his personal stuff, down to the hot water flask. When he got tired of reading he would take a quick shuteye and then continued with his reading again. Good thing Great World City wasn't very crowded even on a weekend. There is always plenty of standing and sitting spaces in the mall and in cafe like McDonalds.

Dining at Holland Village food center

I seldom come to Holland Village unless I am visiting friends. This round I was with some friends for an art show titled "Interlace" that brought 20 artists from all over the world who supported and painted on "The Perfect Sketchbook". After the private launch party, we came to the food center for dinner. On our walk there, I noticed that Holland Village has changed quite a bit. Some roads were closed off for human traffic only and this move has added some vibrancy to the place. Restaurants have placed additional chairs and tables on the added open spaces, while the area was teeming with people from all walks of life. One sad thing was, the iconic wind mill structure was taken down and now it just looks like anything other estate in Singapore.

starbucks at vivocity

Before the lunch crowds, Starbucks at Vivocity was haven to anyone who wanted a quiet ambience to sip their coffee and reading from their laptops or smart devices, a very common sight in a/c cafes these days. I only have my sketchbook and pens. Some students were with me and our mission for that day was to sketch people standing or sitting or engaging in their activities or conversation. After about 2 hours, I finished about 4 pages on my sketchbook with a single brush pen. I don't usually add tones or colours to my drawings on location because I have been keeping my tools simple and my bag as light weight as possible. I enjoyed putting lines on paper with a fountain pen or brush pen, which are my favourite tools for sketching. I used to have my watercolor palette in the past but now, I am getting lazy.

starbucks at vivocity
Sketching people at Starbucks cafe.

Sketching people at Starbucks cafe

sketching commuters on the bus

Sketching commuters on the bus is not as difficult as you think. The bumping around makes good lines sometimes. Losing control over the lines you draw can be a good thing. On the bus, you tend to draw simply, lose some details, and draw looser lines. The final drawing looks more gestural and the moving lines add a sense of movement to the sketch.

sketching commuters on the train
I have more control when I sketch on the train. The train cabin is more stable and it provides a good opportunity to draw someone sitting opposite me, like a life drawing or portrait drawing session, provided the train was not crowded. In case of a crowded train, drawing standing up is easier.

29 January 2018

Chinatown Sketchwalk (Jan 2018)

Here's the video from last week's sketchwalk at Chinatown.

26 January 2018

Join out Jan 2018 sketchwalk at Chinatown

For the first sketchwalk of 2018, we will be celebrating Chinese New Year in advance at Chinatown!

We will start at People's Park Centre and end at Hong Lim Complex.

Lots of decorations along Eu Tong Sen Street with the Chinese New Year celebrations. Or head up to the bridge above Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road for a bird's eye view. And there's always the option of going into the heart of Chinatown across the road. History buffs may be interested in the site of the Sook Ching Inspection Centre at Hong Lim Complex, a reminder of the grim Japanese Occupation.

Between People's Park Complex and OG, just outside the Chinatown MRT exit, next to 7-Eleven
Here's the map.

Hong Lim Complex
Sook Ching Inspection Centre Plaque

Good locations to sketch:
- CNY decorations along Eu Tong Sen Street
- Bridge over Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road
- Rooftop carpark at People's Park Complex
- People's Park Food Court
- Chinatown - Smith Street, Mosque Street, Temple Street, Pagoda Street, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, etc.
- Club Street, Ann Siang Hill
- Hong Lim Complex, China Square Central

Places to eat:
- People's Park Complex Food Centre
- Hong Lim Food Centre
- Chinatown Food Street
- Chinatown Complex Food Centre
- Lots lots more in the area

Sketchwalk Leaders: Favian Ee, Flavian Ee, Benedict, Alice Lim, Patrick Ng

Credits: Banner sketch by (Parka) Teoh Yi Chie

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15 January 2018

We Sketch Amaravati Together

Happy New Year 2018!

I did a video on my recent sketches on India. I was with my sketcher friends from 08 - 15 Dec 2017 to Vijayawada and Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh on a project called "We Sketch Amaravati Together".

Andhra Pradesh is one of the 29 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of the country. The state is the seventh-largest state in India covering an area of 162970 sq km. As per 2011 Census of India, the state is tenth-largest by population with 49,386,799 inhabitants. Amaravati has 29 villages and it will be the brand new capital city for Andhra Pradesh under the vision of N Chandrababu Naidu, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, also the President of Telugu Desam Party and Member of Legislative Assembly, Kuppam.

Amaravati, is envisioned to be a city of world-class standards with a vision of increasing Andhra Pradesh’s prominence in the world. For a start, Construction of the seed capital development area — covering 16.7 sq km and comprising the AP Legislative Assembly, Legislative Council, High Court, Secretariat, Raj Bhavan, quarters for the ministers and officials, and the township for government officials had already started.

Our sketching trip is fully sponsored by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore and our mission is to sketch the existing 29 villages in Amaravati to help capture the current heritage and culture before the new city is built.

28 December 2017

Last Sketchwalk of the Year at Orchard Road

For the last sketchwalk of 2017, we will be sketching the Christmas lighting at Orchard Road! This will be an EVENING sketchwalk.

Once lined with fruit orchard and spice plantations, Orchard Road was developed into Singapore's premier shopping district (http://www.orchardroad.org/information/). Every Christmas, the stretch is decorated with Christmas lights and decor with malls trying to outdo each other in creating the festive spirit.

Our location this year will be the junction of Grange Road and Orchard Road, which is surrounded by many sketchable areas and vantage points. Quaint old Emerald Hill is just round the corner and a couple of old houses sit opposite Heeren along Cairnhill Road. Or sketch from the bridge spanning Orchard Gateway. Mandarin Gallery, 313, Centrepoint, Paragon are all within walking distance. Or head to the rooftop of Orchard Central for a birds-eye view of the shopping district. Remember to bring your own light if you plan to sketch in the dark!

Orchard Fountain Corner
(Between Orchard Shopping Centre and H&M)

(Exact location to be confirmed. Probably at the back along Grange Road)

27 November 2017

Result of Nov Sketchwalk


Result of November Sketchwalk. There are three parts of Petain Road in this long sketch namely the shophouse, the park and the playground.

Petain Road was named by municipal government of Singapore in 1928 after Field Marshall Henri Philippe Petain, one of France’s greatest military heroes from the First World War. However, the name drew controversy when the French military force grew from bad to worst as Petain became the Prime Minister of France in 1940. There were suggestions to change the name of the road when it became a notorious red light district in Little India in the old days. Today, this row of beautiful shophouses are the homes of rich and famous with elaborate majolica floral ceramic tiles covering the walls and flowers, cranes and phoenix adorning the pillars and walls. Directly across Petain Road is a big park with lush green and a colourful playground.

Size : 700mmx300mm
Paper : Saunders Waterford

23 November 2017

November Sketchwalk at Little India

We're going to Little India this weekend, at the Kitchener Road vicinity. Kitchener Road stretches from Jalan Besar and cuts through the heart of Little India.

9:30 am
City Square Mall
— main entrance where the Christmas decor is going up

Closest MRT station:
Farrer Park on the North East Line
Exit H or I

Somme Road Playground
— stone's throw from City Square Mall

We'll meet at 12:15pm to share our works from the session.

31 October 2017

Fountain Pens Sketching

AirBnB experience - Demonstration piece 1

AirBnB Experience - Demonstration piece 2

Waiting 1

Waiting 2

Waiting 3

Waiting 4

26 October 2017

October Sketchwalk at Haw Par Villa

We're going to visit the ten courts of hell! With over 1,000 statues and 150 giant dioramas, you'll have a field day capturing scenes from Chinese mythology, folklore, legends, history, and depictions of Confucianism.

It is also the relaunch of Haw Par Villa after a switch of managing entity, so there will be lots of activities throughout the day, and plenty of media coverage.

9:30 am
Jade Room – Outside
(go straight up the slope after entering park gate)
– Quick briefing (good for newcomers)

12:15 pm
Jade Room – Inside
– Gather for "sketchgawk" where everyone displays works done for the day; for staring at, drooling over and snapshots.

12:30 pm
Group photo for posterity