Monday, January 13, 2020

January Sketchwalk at Chinatown

Credits: Sketch by Phyllis Chong

Happy New Year, everyone! For the first sketchwalk of 2020, we will be celebrating Chinese New Year a week early. Please note that this sketchwalk is NOT on the last Saturday of Jan. It is ONE WEEK EARLIER on 18 Jan because the following Saturday is Chinese New Year!

We will start our sketchwalk at one end of Maxwell Road (in Chinatown near the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple) and end at the other end, where Urban Sketchers Singapore is invited to a screening of a film Memories of Chinatown by Eric Lim and Filmat36 at 2:30pm at Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre.

There is lots to sketch along Maxwell Road. Around our starting point, you can have breakfast and sketch food at Chinatown Complex Food Centre, Maxwell Food Centre or Amoy Street Food Centre. Fairfield Methodist Church (once a cinema long long ago) and the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple are nearby, as is the old rickshaw station Jinrikisha Station. Murray Terrace and Maxwell House are just across the road. If you prefer sketching in air-conditioned comfort, there's the URA City Gallery and Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop in URA building. You can get an elevated view of the old St Andrew's Mission Hospital behind Maxwell Food Centre (5 Kadayanallur Street) from URA building, or take your pick of charming shophouses along Erskine Road and Ann Siang Road. Further Southeast is what used to be the Red Dot Traffic Museum, now Maxwell Chambers Suites which, after its acquisition by the Ministry of Law, houses a variety of law-related services. Maxwell Chambers, which sits opposite Telok Ayer Park, is just across the road from Maxwell Chambers Suites. It used to be the old Customs House. Further down you will come by Capital Tower and its fountain with colourful spheres, and before you reach our show-and-tell destination at Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, you will pass by the towering AXA Tower and Treasury Building, and Singapore Conference Hall, the home of our Singapore Chinese Orchestra.

Because our sketchwalk covers quite a stretch, please give yourselves time to walk from your location to reach our end point by 1215pm. There are no buses along Maxwell Road so wear some good shoes and take a leisurely stroll.

Do hang around after your lunch for the screening of Memories of Chinatown at Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre at 2:30pm. In 2019, we had our sketchwalk at Asian Civilisations Museum where Filmat36 screened Memories of Singapore River, featuring various local artists and their works. Memories of Chinatown is their second film that brings our history through the art of our local artists. Let it inspire you!

Time: 9:30 AM
Location: Kreta Ayer Square, staircase to L1 Chinatown Complex Food Centre

Time: 12:15 PM
Location: Same as Starting Point

Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar (EWL), Chinatown (DTL)

Locations to sketch:
- Maxwell Road Food Centre
- Old St Andrew's Mission Hospital (
- Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
- Jinrikisha Station (
- Fairfield Methodist Church (old Metropole Cinema -
- Ann Siang Hill
- URA Building, City Gallery, Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop (
- Murray Terrace
- Maxwell Chambers Suites (
- Maxwell Chambers (
- Capital Tower Fountain
- Telok Ayer Park
- Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre rooftop
- etc.

Places to eat and shop:
- Maxwell Food Centre
- Chinatown Food Street
- Telok Ayer Food Centre
- Various cafes, restaurants and coffeeshops

- Hat, sunscreen, good walking shoes, stool

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

First completed sketch in 2020

My first completed sketch on first day of 2020 but I did the 30-min black and white version while waiting for husband to pick me up after an office retreat at the National Gallery on 10 Dec 2019. Then I went back to complete the colouring and added the Marina Bay Sands on the left on the first day of new year 2020. Just make it for this first post on first day of 2020 after scanning. Happy New Year 2020 everyone!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Ginger Garden

This is at the Ginger Garden at Singapore Botanic Garden. This sketch is in ink and watercolour. Size: 65x21cm in Moleskine Japanese Album Large sketchbook. The sticker on the bottom right is specially designed for ‘10’ anniversary of USKSG. We also held a postcard sketch exchange activity at the end of the sketchwalk and I did a small sketch shown on the right. The sketch went to George Huang. In return, I got a sketch from Patrick Ng. What a memorable way to wrap up our last sketchwalk of the year.

The Ginger Garden, officially opened in 2003, showcases a rich living collection of several hundred species of gingers and plants from related families. There is this beautiful lotus lake with a “Little Girl on a Swing” bronze sculpture on the right of the sketch. So beautiful.

This is probably the last sketch I did for 2019 but not the only new sketch for the 2019 album. I have not been scanning my long sketches done in the past few months due my busy schedule but will get to it one day hopefully.

Happy new year 2020!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

December Sketchwalk at Singapore Botanic Garden

Credits: sketch by M. Friket Ercan

For the final sketchwalk of 2019, we are going to visit our only UNESCO Heritage Site, the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Since the last time we visited, there have been new developments, such as the Learning Forest. The area includes new trails, a treetop walk, and wetlands ( It’s in the middle of the gardens, behind the National Orchid Garden, closer to Holland Road. There is a car park nearby along Tyersall Avenue if you are driving, or it can be reached via a leisurely stroll from Holland Road or the MRT at Bukit Timah Road.

Go up the treetop walk and sit with the trees, or sketch the wetlands from the comfort of the shaded pavilion, or chill at the Halia restaurant as you enjoy this newer part of the gardens.

Time: 9:30 AM
Location: Pavilion at Keppel Discovery Wetlands

Time: 12:15 PM
Location: Same as starting point

Nearest MRT: Botanic Gardens (Circle Line), Orchard Road (NSL)

Locations to sketch:
- Learning Forest
- Walk of Giants (
- Keppel Discovery Wetlands
- National Orchid Garden
- Ginger Garden
- Waterfall
- See map:

Places to eat and shop:

- Hat, sunscreen, mosquito repellent

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

A Sketch from the Beauty World

Last month we had the official Sketchwalk at Beauty World and again, it was a great turn-out!

A few of us sketched from the 4th storey open-air food centre and while the mall is old, the food centre is clean and well-maintained except for the common problem - birds and their droppings. This is probably the only food centre with a panoramic view from the public housing flats at Jurong Kechil on the left of my sketch to the two tall radio towers at Bukit Timah Hill on the right which I did not include in the sketch.

The story of Beauty World can be found here. When I was a young architect with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Singapore, Beauty World Centre was still on the drafting table of William Ong, my senior at the School of Architecture and now founder of Axis Architect Planners and Axis ID. Like other buildings built by URA during that time, Beauty World Centre was built to resettle those businesses that were affected by either road widening or other redevelopment projects. Today, Beauty World Centre; an old but charming mall; was in the process of jumping in and out of the en-bloc wagon.

Read more at this link to find out more about Beauty World Centre.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

November Sketchwalk at Beauty World

Credits: Sketch by Aliver Escano

Hambaobao may be gone, but Beauty World Centre is still around - for now. Being one of the old-school strata malls, Beauty World houses an eclectic mix of shops. Many of us may remember the stationery shop and TCM hall from our childhood some 3 decades ago. But probably the most iconic part of Beauty World Plaza is its open air food centre on the 4th floor which boasts panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Opposite the mall is a row of shophouses and a neighbourhood of shops and cafes. There‘s also a temple and an old-school bakery. The 10-mile junction market and food centre are also nearby on the opposite side of the MRT. Next to Beauty World is another old school mall (Bukit Timah Shopping Centre -not Bukit Timah Plaza, which is further away). There’s no lack of things to sketch in the area!

Time: 9:30 AM
Location: Outside Beauty World Centre

Time: 12:15 PM
Location: Outside Beauty World Centre

Nearest MRT: Beauty World (DTL)

Locations to sketch:

- Beauty World Centre
- Chun Tin Road
- Eateries along Cheong Chin Nam Rd
- Phuo Tai Kok Temple
- Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre

Places to eat and shop:
- Beauty World Food Centre on 4th floor
- Bukit Timah Shopping Centre
- Eateries along Cheong Chin Nam Rd and Chun Tin Rd
- Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre

- Hat, sunscreen if you're going to sketch outdoors.

Sketchwalk leaders: Benedict Tay and Lim Peiyi

Join the Nov 2019 Sketchwalk giveaway contest at

After the Sketchwalk, James Lim is organising a cafe sketch session in town. Details are here:

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Monday, November 04, 2019

Monday, October 21, 2019

October Sketchwalk at Our Tampines Hub

Credit: sketch by Tony Chua

Where can you find a stadium, indoor running track, sports complex, swimming pool, 5-storey library, hawker centre, shopping centre, recreation centre, playgrounds, etc. all in one place, and next to a couple of iconic mosaic playgrounds? Tampines Hub, that’s where! It’s literally a city within a city and Singapore's largest integrated community hub (

While the hub is just 2 years old after its opening in 2017, the park just next to it has some vignettes of yesteryear. Two mosaic playgrounds and an iconic sculpture call it home.

So journey to the East with us this month as we explore the new and old at Tampines!

Trivia: Did you know in the past, Tampines was spelled "Tampenis" (also "tempinis" in Malay)? The spelling was standardized as "Tampines" in 1939 (perhaps for obvious reasons), but the pronunciation remained unchanged (no, it's not pronounced as "Tam-pines"). (

DATE: Saturday, 26 Oct 2019

Time: 9:30 AM
Location: Tampines Hub (Tampines St 82 side)

Time: 12:15 PM
Location: Tampines Hub (Tampines St 82 side)

Nearest MRT: Tampines (EWL, DTL)

Note: NOT "Tampines West" or "Tampines East" on the Downtown Line. Just "Tampines"

Locations to sketch:

- Tampines Regional Library ( Great place to sketch in air-conditioned comfort.

- Tampines Hub (

- Tampines Central Park (with watermelon and mangosteen playgrounds and a very special sculpture!) (

Places to eat and shop:
- Many options in the hub itself and around Tampines Central

- Hat, sunscreen if you're going to sketch the playground or outdoors. The hub itself is sheltered.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Sharing of Hanoi trip

We had a sharing of sketches done for the Asia-Link Sketchwalk in Hanoi over a poolside barbecue at my place. There were many impressive sketches of different formats and media. We had a great time sharing, chatting, eating and drinking.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

On the Cruise

So peaceful and quiet. On the cruise - the best thing to do is to sketch. At every turn, the view changed with different sizes and shapes of the islands so as the sky and the waters.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Ha Long Bay

My husband and I spent an extra day after the event ended at Ha Long Bay, a peaceful and quiet beach.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Pedestrianised Dinh Tien Hoang

This is a sketch of Dinh Tien Hoang looking towards the Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square. The entire road was closed for the weekend for a big carnival. In the afternoon it was quiet but it came alive at night with music and dancing! On the left is thê Húc Bridge, painted vermillion red over the famous Hoàn Kiếm Lake.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

My work on auction for charity

Dear friends,

I don't do personal exhibition or sell my work after 2 successful sell-out exhibitions at White Canvas Gallery at Tiong Bahru in early 2010s. Now, a piece of my watercolour on Tiong Bahru is on auction for NUS. If you're interested in bidding for it, please register your interest here: and email Genevieve at for any queries.

Thank you for your support all these years.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

St Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi

I completed one Molesking concertina sketchbook and this is the first sketch on the second sketchbook on St Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi. It is a very touristy, busy and lively place. The church was built like Notre Dame in Paris as a late 19th-century Gothic Revival church that served as the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hanoi to nearly 4 million Catholics in the country.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi

Dong Xuan Market where the locals go and it is also a tourist landmark. Originally built by the French administration in 1889, Đồng Xuân Market has been renovated several times with the latest in 1994 after a fire which almost destroyed the market.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square

So I sketched from the top of the building over two or three Vietnamese coffee at the Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square in Hanoi. There were not traffic lights at all at this busy junction. Can you imagine how traffic and pedestrians move? Incredible!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Urban Sketchers Hanoi, the organiser of Asia-Link Sketchwalk 2019 did such a fantastic job of getting the street food vendors to cook traditional Vietnamese food for the participants. Before we eat, we sketched at the opening ceremony. It was held at the Hanoi University of Pharmacy.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Ancient House

Ancient House at 87 Ma May Street on the right. There were only two such original old buildings left along this street when I sat at Lantern Lounge. Again, they were painted in yellow. This Ancient House is one of the few intact remains of an old-style home open to the public with an entrance fee. Initially the house was built for one family, but from 1954 to 1999 five families lived in the house. Today, except for 81 and 87 Ma May Street, the entire row of similar old shophouses had since been demolished and rebuilt.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

First sketch in Hanoi

My husband and I arrived in Hanoi a day earlier to attend the Aisa-Link Sketchwalk 2019 in Hanoi. First impression of Hanoi was the busy streets, motorcycles everywhere, women street vendors selling all kind of fresh produces, electrical posts and overhead cables dangling here and there. The sights and sounds of the Old Quarter were so exciting and overwhelming. I sat at coffee shop at the road junction and sipping my local iced coffee for about 15 minutes before pulling out my sketchbook from the bag. Yellow is the colour of the old buildings in Hanoi and that was the focus for my first sketch. Two ladies in traditional colourful Ao Dai just walked past the junction of Hang Bac and Dinh Liet, how not to capture them in the most graceful gesture?

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Asia-Link Sketchwalk 2019

I am back from Hanoi for the Asia-Link Sketchwalk 2019. The event was from 3 to 6 Oct but I was in Hanoi from 1 to 8 Oct. I also went for a 2-day 1-night cruise trip to the beautiful Ha Long Bay after the event. I will be flying to Hong Kong tomorrow to spend the weekend with my son's family in Hong Kong to celebrate Steffi's 6th birthday. I will scan and post my Hanoi sketches when I come back for the new semester starting week 14 Oct.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

September Sketchwalk at MOE Heritage Centre

Credits: Banner photo by Favian Ee

For this month’s sketchwalk, we are going to a special location full of history and nostalgia. The Ministry of Education Heritage Centre is currently located in an old school building that still retains some of its old fittings that are characteristic of schools from the 70’s and 80’s. Come see how canteens and classrooms looked like back in the day, and sketch them before the centre moves out to their new location! There is also a museum of Singapore’s education history with many sketchable artifacts! The staff will be conducting 2 tours through the museum during the sketchwalks for groups of 15 pax each (sign up on the spot, first come first serve!). We are free to sketch inside the museum (after the tours, due to space constraints) and around the centre. Photos of the centre here

Time: 9:30 AM
Location: MOE Heritage Centre assembly area
402 Commonwealth Dr, Singapore 149599
6838 1614

Time: 12:15 PM
Location: MOE Heritage Centre
402 Commonwealth Dr, Singapore 149599
6838 1614

Nearest MRT: Commonwealth (EWL)

Parking is available at the centre, but HDB parking charges apply. It is $1.20 per hour, charged on a per minute basis.

Locations to sketch:
- Around the heritage centre and in the museum area

Places to eat and shop:
- Food court and eateries opposite the centre, around Commonwealth Drive and Tanglin Halt

- insect repellant
- stools
- sunscreen

Monday, September 16, 2019

What a fest at Shi Yang Shan Fang

Lin Bin-hui, a former architect transformed his vision of life in a culinary mountainside retreat at xizhi city. A devout Buddhist, Lin in fact runs Shi Yang Shan Fang,食養山房, more like a spiritual retreat than a restaurant. We had a great time roaming, sketching, drinking tea and eating soul food.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

First Sketch in Taipei

My first sketch in Taiwan for this trip was a visit to the famous Tamsui fisherman's wharf, 淡水漁人碼頭. Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf is a popular shooting location for Taiwanese serial dramas. I was told the restaurants around the wharf frequently host live bands to provide entertainment for guests but the day I was there, it was very quiet. Shops were closed and not many tourists so I could sit on the steps in front of the shops and sketched peacefully. The wharf is also home to the Tamsui Lovers' Bridge, 淡水情人橋.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Pearl's Hill Terrace

I was busy but still managed to spend a morning visiting the Former Combined Operations Room Exhibition at 195, Pearl's Hill Terrace. I did a sketch at the courtyard while others explored the interior spaces. The exhibition can only take 15 people at a time and we had a good understanding of how people there worked and protected us. More information of the FCOR exhibition at this link.

Did you know the red telephone ☎️ is direct line to LKY office in the early days?

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Communicable Disease Centre

We had the opportunity to sketch the former Communicable Disease Centre (CDC) under the "Discovering SIngapore's Best Kept Secret" series led by Jerome Lim. This is the administration block 804. Formerly known as Infectious Diseases Hospital and Middleton Hospital, you can find out more from Jerome's blog.

This is the detail from the left of the long sketch. I love this part for its horizontality, verticality, diagonal lines, small and big shapes, tones and layering. Its the block 872 at CDC.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

July Sketchwalk at Chinatown

Image Credit: Favian Ee

Hot on the heels of the USk10x10SG workshop series is our monthly sketchwalk, this time at Chinatown!

Get ready to put to practice what you've learned — especially food sketching — as The 50 Cents Fest 2019 will be happening as well! If you're tired of drawing buildings, grab some yummies and fill your tummies. Oops... We meant sketchbooks!

9:30 AM
Chinatown Complex Food Centre Blk 335
steps outside at the corner of Sago Street and Trengganu Street

12:15 PM
Same as meeting point above

Nearest MRT stations: Chinatown (NEL), Outram Park (EWL), Telok Ayer (DTL)

Unsure of where to begin? Pop by the Chinatown Visitor Centre and grab a brochure, or visit the Chinatown Heritage Centre, then hunt for The Tintin Shop (SINGAPORE) — no sketching inside the shop, though.

Explore the area and sketch the gentlemen playing chess outside the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, or the mosque and Hindu and Buddhist temples along South Bridge Road.

There's something for everyone at Chinatown.

Locations to sketch:
- Chinatown Food Street aka Smith Street
- Mosque Street
- Pagoda Street
- Temple Street
- Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum 佛牙寺
- Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore
- Masjid Jamae (chulia)
- The 50 Cents Fest 2019 from 11 AM

Places to eat and shop:
- more food options at the eateries and at Chinatown Hawker Centre
- almost anywhere and everywhere you look

Sunday, July 07, 2019


Sunday, June 23, 2019

June Sketchwalk at Jurong Lake

Credits: Banner sketch by Favian Ee

Jurong Lake Gardens is Singapore’s new national gardens in the heartlands. Covering a whopping 90 hectares, it features a glut of picturesque landscaped areas and biodiversity. Come 2021, the Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden (now closed) will join in and become part of this sprawling park. If you're wondering what's there to sketch, here are a couple of links:


We will be covering the north half of the gardens, down to the Forest Ramble playground next to the Chinese Garden entrance, but feel free to linger and explore the south end, or even go bowling after a hearty lunch at that unusual standalone KFC along Yung Ho Road.

DATE: Saturday, 29 June 2019

Time: 9:30 AM
Location: Outside Fusion Spoon

Time: 12:15 PM
Location: Gateway to Chinese Garden

Nearest MRT: Lakeside (EWL)

Locations to sketch:
- Boardwalk
- Fusion Spoon
- Clusia Cove wet playground
- Forest Ramble playground
- White Rainbow Bridge to Chinese Garden
- Garden House
- Rasau Walk wetlands boardwalk
- People kayaking on the lake
- Much, much more!

Places to eat and shop:
- Taman Jurong Market and Food Centre
- Taman Jurong Shopping Centre
- Lakeside MRT
- Jurong Superbowl (many food options)

Monday, June 03, 2019

Sign Up Now!

Urban Sketchers Singapore presents the 2019 edition of the 10x10 workshop series running globally.

The selection of workshops and list of instructors is now on USK10x10SG portal or click the photo above.

Registration opens on 6 June, so save the date in your calendar!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

New Brush Pens

I was trying out the new SAI Japanese brush pens brown and dark brown from On this stretch of the road, YMCA is on the left and Orchard Road Presbyterian Church in the middle and Fort Canning Hills on the right accessible by a huge outdoor spiral stairs after the church.

It was interesting to know that The East India Company had contributed S$250 towards the construction of the church when a sizeable number of Scots began worshiping there. The small chapel was nicknamed the “Scots Church” or "Greja Kechil".

"The church building was erected in 1878 at a cost of $20,000, and worship at this new location began with only 42 members. It was dubbed Greja Kechil (meaning small church in Malay) for its small size."

The church was the crime scene for a "Curry Murder" case in 1984. You can read about it here:

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

May Sketchwalk at SOTA

Credit : Banner sketch by Benedict Tay

May sketchwalk will be in the heart of the city around Dhoby Ghaut MRT. We will meet outside the School of the Arts (SOTA). Round the corner is Selegie Road, POMO and the iconic pie-shaped Selegie Arts Centre, and across the road is the Cathay, remodelled from one of Singapore's oldest iconic cineplexes. Plaza Singapura is a short walk, which used to house Yaohan and possibly Singapore's earliest food court Doremi (now defunct), and along the way is MacDonald House, the site of one of Singapore's early terrorist attacks. Other sketchable areas nearby include Istana Park, Hotel Rendezvous, SMU, Orchard Road Presbyterian Church, Singapore National Museum, and Dhoby Ghaut Green.

May Sketchwalk on 25 May, 2019

Time: 9:30 AM
Location: Steps at SOTA entrance

Time: 12:15 PM
Location: Same as Starting Location.

Nearest MRT: Dhoby Ghaut (Circle Line, North-South Line, NEL)

Locations to sketch:
- Selegie Arts Centre
- The Cathay
- National Museum
- MacDonald House
- Dhoby Ghaut Green
- Orchard Road Presbyterian Church
- Plaza Singapura

Places to eat and shop:
- Too many to mention