Friday, April 03, 2015

Have you signed up?

Have you signed up for the 6th International Urban Sketchers Symposium?


Workshops and activities (including demos and lectures) are listed below, along with the instructors’ names. Instructor bios and descriptions of the workshops and activities will be linked below, so check back for more information.

The Schedule, which will be published April 10, will have more information about several Sketchwalks being offered as part of the programming.


Workshop A: Playing with Light and Shadow – Behzad Bagheri, Iran
Workshop B: Extending and Expanding: Combining Multiple Sheets of Paper to Capture Large Scenes – Ch’ng Kiah Kiean, Malaysia
Workshop C: Architectural Sketching: Composition and Perspective – Frank Ching, USA
Workshop D: Exploration in Expressive Watercolor through Shape and Value – Gail Wong, USA
Workshop E: Thin Line, Bold Sketch – Inma Serrano and Miguel Herranz, Spain
Workshop F: Capturing Singapore’s Lively Urban Spaces – James Richards, USA
Workshop G: All You Can See: 180° Sketching – Lapin, Spain
Workshop H: Pointless Perspective and Coloured Shapes: A Practical Approach to Creating Three Dimensional Architectural Form – Liz Steel, Australia
Workshop I: Sketching the Sketchers – Marc Holmes, Canada
Workshop J: The Structure of Light in Watercolor – Matthew Brehm, USA
Workshop K: Face the City! Portraits of the City through its Inhabitants – Marina Grechanik and Ea Ejersbo, Israel and Denmark
Workshop L: Found In Translation: The Influence of Calligraphy in the Figure and Environment – Melanie Reim, USA
Workshop M: Light in the Spaces Between: A Watercolor Workshop – Nina Johansson, Sweden
Workshop N: From Thumbnail to Big Picture: Using Little Strokes to Compose your Sketches – Norberto Dorantes, Argentina
Workshop O: Sketchpedition – Sanjeev Joshi, India
Workshop P: Big Brush Colour: Capturing that First Impression – Shari Blaukopf, Canada
Workshop Q: A Collective Reportage: Religions and Popular Devotion in Multicultural Singapore – Simo Capecchi, Italy
Workshop R: Capturing Chaos: Drawing a Crowd – Suhita Shirodkar, USA
Workshop S: The Urban Sketchers Cookbook – Veronica Lawlor, USA
Workshop T: Light and Dark with a Punch of Color – Virginia Hein, USA

Activities, Demos, and Lectures:

Activity 1: Street Food Sketching – Anita Ryanto, Singapore
Activity 2: Less is More: Black, Brown and White! – Delphine Priollaud, France
Activity 3: Visit to Bynd Artisan and Book Binding – Patrick Ng, Singapore
Activity 4: Wet and Wild with Textures – Paul Wang, Singapore
Activity 5: The Singapore Diaries: Your Story of the Symposium – Richard Alomar, USA
Activity 6: Diving into Digital Sketching – Rob Sketcherman, Hong Kong
Activity 7: Putting the ‘Urban’ in Urban Sketching – Suma CM, USA
Activity 8: Sketching the Colourful Cultural Activities – Tia Boon Sim, Singapore
Activity 9: The Big Crit – Various Instructors
Demo 1: Guan Gong Dao: How to Make and Sketch with a Folded Pen – Ignatius Yeo, Singapore
Demo 2: Inky Fingers: Pen, Brush, Inks, Line and Lettering – Jane Blundell, Australia
Demo 3: Understanding Color – Jane Blundell, Australia
Demo 4: Seasoning the Shadows with Primary Colors – Kumi Matsukawa, Japan
Demo 5: Atmospheric Expressions in Watercolor – Khoo Cheang Jin, Malaysia
Demo 6: Capturing Mood in Watercolor Sketches – Zhu Hong, Singapore
Lecture 1: Drawing for Publication: The Triumphs and Tribulations of a Newspaper Sketch-Columnist – Gabi Campanario, USA
Lecture 2: Sketching as a Tool for Field Study – Luisa Hung WanLu, Malaysia
Lecture 3: How to Run a Successful Local Urban Sketchers Group – Mark Leibowitz, USA
Lecture 4: Animating my Life – Nino Puriando, Indonesia
Lecture 5: The Sketchbook: From Explorer to Guide – Richard Alomar, USA
Lecture 6: Good Bones: An Interactive Lecture – Stephanie Bower, USA

Monday, March 30, 2015

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Good Bye Mr Lee Kuan Yew


Last week was the saddest week for Singapore. Mr Lee Kuan Yew, our founding Prime Minister passed on at the age of 91 on Monday 23 March and we, the sketchers had our March sketchwalk at Esplanade Waterfront on Saturday to celebrate the achievement of Singapore which is synonymous with the wonderful life of our remarkable leader. Last week, there was an amazing outpouring of emotions by Singaporeans at large that people queued up for ten hours to the Laying-in-State to pay their last respects at the Parliament House.

While we were sketching in the shade at the Waterfront, people in the long long queue behind us were standing under the scotching sun in a orderly manner, no one complaint or grumbled. There were volunteers who supplied water, buns and umbrellas. I even saw a lady carrying an ice box with icy towels given out to people in the queue!

The next day on Sunday, despite heavy downpour, thousands lined the streets of Singapore when the cortege traveled from Parliament House to University Cultural Centre for the State Funeral where foreign dignitaries from more than twenty countries were there waiting in the hall. People dropped everything and the entire nation observed a minute of silence at 4pm. Good Bye Sir, may you rest in peace!

I like to share with you one of the famous quotes from Mr Lee Kuan Yew:

"I have no regrets. I have spent my life,
so much of it, building up this country.
There's nothing more that I need to do.
At the end of the day, what have I got?
A successful Singapore.
What have I given up?
My life."

Look at the sketch, within a generation; in a short span of 50 years, we transform the country from a mud land to a first world country. Thank you Sir!

Friday, March 27, 2015

March Sketchwalk

Sketch by Tia

For this month's sketchwalk, we want to celebrate Mr Lee Kuan Yew's life and what he's done for Singapore. So we will be sketching around the Padang and Esplanade on Saturday. From this area, you will be able to get a good view of the Singapore skyline and Marina Bay. There will be much to explore, draw and reflect on around the area. The nearest train station is City Hall Mrt Station - a short walk over. (10mins)

Meet: 9AM  at the waterfront outside the Esplanade (See map below). After a short briefing, we will spread out and explore/sketch the area. Start at the Padang, and plan your route so that you eventually arrive back at the Esplanade's waterfront at 12PM

Endpoint: 12PM at the waterfront outside the Esplanade. We will do our show and tell there.

Might get hot. So bring a hat. If not, there will be trees for shade.

See you there!
Taken from Google Maps.

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Former Geylang Fire Station

150228_photobyBerniceI did two sketches this morning. Here is the first one at the corner of Paya Lebar and Sims Avenue. The iconic building with the red doors is the former Geylang Fire Station (1929-2002). It was the second oldest fire station in Singapore after the Central Fire Station at Hill Street.

Bernice Lau, a new sketcher took this photo of me sketching. My set up was very simple, I just put my moleskine on the floor and used a smaller moleskine as paperweight. I had a small sketching stool and I used Hero fountain pen, a waterbrush and watercolours. No tripod, no easel, no sophisticated brushes, no elaborate palette and no water container. I am going back to basic and traveling really light!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

February Sketchwalk

Our sketchwalk this saturday will start from the new Paya Lebar Square mall. At 9AM, please meet outside Ya Kun Kaya Toast on the outside of the mall. It's just beside Paya Lebar MRT Station). After a short briefing, you are free to explore the area in any direction.

Look at the map and you will be able to find two old malls and also the new OneKM mall. The old malls have this very old atmosphere inside. It's like stepping into the past. You can also relax at a cafe and draw if you are at one of the 2 new malls. The industrial buildings are on the other end. Please watch out for big vehicles when sketching there. Closer to Aljunied MRT station are two big temples which some of you might find interesting. One is very ornate. The Geylang East Library is a quiet pleasant library just beside the MRT tracks. And not far from there is the famous Geylang area where if you like drawing shop houses, it's all there. 

At 12PM, we will gather outside Aljunied MRT station below the tracks (facing the library). There, we shall do the show and tell.

For lunch, I recommend a Penang restaurant located at one of the shophouses just outside Aljunied MRT station. Try the Penang Char Kway Teow ($5) or Assam Laksa. Their other dishes are good too. The indian food next door is also decent.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Art Challenge

Towards the end of 2014, there was a game on Facebook that we have to post 3 artwork per day for consecutive 5 days and I took part in it too. Here is the montage of the work I posted on Facebook for that Art Challenge.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sketching Garden By the Bay

We had a family staycation at Marina Bay Sands to celebrate hubby's birthday over last weekend. There was a time I was alone so I took the opportunity to sketch the view from our 12th storey hotel room. It was meant to be black and white sketches only for this sketchbook but I added colours to kill boredom since I was left alone for more than two hours. On the right, Laneway Festival sent very loud music especially the beats by the base to the hotel room across the highway from morning till very late at night.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Diamond Kitchen at Laguna Park

Diamond Kitchen was so popular that we had to book a table one week in advance, the dishes were a little too salty for me, otherwise, they were yummy!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Breakfast at Changi Airport

Crowded Kopitiam at Changi Airport T3. We were there to send Pramote off early morning and before taking the sky train from T1 to T3, we met Tony Chua. What a strange day at the Airport.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Heritage Conservation Centre

On the second day of our training workshop with the National Heritage Board, we visited the Heritage Conservation Centre at Jurong Port Road. It was my second visit to the place and it was still so refreshing to go through the spaces. I did a quick sketch at the painting restoration department when our guide was explaining on the pieces they were working on. One of the smaller paintings on the easel was my late private art teacher, Liu Kang's old painting done in the 50s, it was quite emotional for me at that moment. All these paintings are to be displayed when the new National Art Gallery opens in later part of the year in conjunction with SG50 celebrations.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

another completed sketchbook

This Moleskine Large Japanese Album started from last Nov at the National Museum to the recent sketch at Marina Bay Sands hotel room. It literally spent across from 2014 to 2015. Feeling great!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Jan Sketchwalk

For the first official sketchwalk of the year, we are going to do something special! We're going to do an Island-wide sketchwalk! The reason is because we want all of you to capture sketches for the upcoming Urbansketchers Singapore Vol.2 book. And all sketches need to be compiled by February! Very soon!

Let me tell you a bit more about the vol.2 book. It is a team-up with the National Library's Singapore Memory Project. So the focus of the book this round are sketches of places that have special meaning to you and your personal stories behind the places. In the book, your sketch and story will be displayed something like this: 

Got it?

Sketch can be landscape or portrait. We will adjust the layout.


We all have places in Singapore that are meaningful to us. It may be your old school, the neighbourhood playground where you used to play with your friends,  the place you got married, the shopping centre your parents used to take you to, where you used to hang out in your teenage years, or where something very happy or sad or important happened to you. We all have different locations in mind. So we can't all go to the same place. Therefore, this month, we splitting into mini groups.

You may form your own mini-group, do a solo, or join one of the mini groups that have been set up already (if your meaningful location is very close to theirs). To join a mini group listed below, simply show up at 4pm at the location stated. Call the mini group leader only if you are lost. No sign up or fees necessary. They are all friendly so make friends with them:) 
Name: Ignatius
Place/s you want to go: Tiong Bahru
Phone number: 97450038
Meeting point: Tiong Bahru Food Centre. Ground level next to the escalator. 4pm.
Time: 4-7pm 

Name: Tony Chua
Place/s you want to go: In vinicity area of Telok Kurau till Still Road.
Phone number: 97898637 
Meeting Point: Penny University, Artisanal Coffeeshop, 402, East Coast. Just outside the main entrance. 4pm.
Time: 4- 7pm 

Name:  David Liew
Place/s you want to go: Holland Village / Chip Bee Estate 
Phone number: 96896312   
Meeting point:  Holland V MRT (in front of Old Chang Kee) 4pm.
Time: 4-7pm

Name:  Don Low
Place/s you want to go: Race Course Road
Phone number: 84183032
Meeting point:  Farrer MRT Station Control at 4pm
Time: 4-7pm

Name: Jenny Sim
Phone number: 94891416
Place/s you want to go: About Street 11, Pasir Ris
Meeting point:  Pasir Ris MRT station counter at 4pm
Time: 4-7pm

Name: Francis Theo
Phone number: 90021001
Place/s you want to go: Tras St and Peck Seah St area
Meeting point: Tanjong Pager MRT station counter at 4pm
Time: 4-7pm

Name: Ban Pang
Phone number: 93858391
Place/s you want to go: Kampong on mainland Singapore, Kampong Buangkok
Meeting point: Meet at Shell Station next to Gerald Dr. at 4pm
Time: 4-7pm

Name: Lim Ham Seng and Dawn Lo
Phone number: 97414633
Place/s you want to go: Sunset Way Park Connector
Meeting point: Blk 308 Coffee Shop Clementi Ave 4 at 4pm
Time: 4-7pm

Phone number: 96968080
Place/s you want to go: Prinsep St and Waterloo St Vacinity
Meeting point: Outside Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church at 4pm
Time: 4-7pm

Name: Andrew Tan Tsun Wen
Phone number: 91070735
Place/s you want to go: Serene Centre along bukit timah road. And then take a bus to Bukit Timah Plaza.
Meeting point: MacDonalds at Serene Centre at 4pm
Time: 4-7pm

Name: Alice Lim
Phone number: 96369780
Place/s you want to go: Dakota crescent 
Meeting point: Dakota MRT at 4pmTime: 4-7pm 

To form your own mini-group, you can do it informally with your own friends. Or Facebook PM me, Andrew Tan Tsun Wen, so I can list it here.

By the way, even if you not intending to contribute to the book, you are can still tag along and draw for fun.

It will be an online Facebook "show and tell" this time. Between 7-8pm, you are encouraged to post your drawings you have done that day! You could also informally meet with other mini-groups for dinner!

No hurry on this. Go sketch your meaningful sketch location. Let the location jog your memory. Then go home and type it up. Keep the story short. 1 or 2 paragraphs will do. Do not write pages and pages as we will not have enough room in the book.
Don't worry if you feel you aren't a good story writer. We just want you to write from the heart as if you are writing in your own diary. Simple and heartfelt. And we will help you edit any spelling mistakes or grammer errors. To help you write a simple short story, follow this rough guideline (you don't have to answer every question):
1. What is this place you drew?
2. What do/did you see, hear, smell here? 
3. What happened to you here that makes this place special to you?
4. How has it changed?
5. How did it make you feel then? And now?
We are still sorting out the best way you can submit your sketch & story. For the time being, find a scanner and scan your work at 600dpi, RGB, and saved as in the .jpg format. Make sure the sketch is clear. 
Ideally, we will want to include everyone who submits. But the editorial team will have the right to select and reject submissions based on quality and suitability.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Art Apart Fair 2015

Together with nine other artists, I took part in the Art Apart Fair 2015 held at a local Hotel ParkRoyal on Pickering. Each gallery is given a hotel room on the 14th storey to display. Very unique concept. The longer pieces here are moved to Presidential Suite by the organiser. I will only be there on Sunday but my friends will be there.

You can still buy online here at Please support artist, be a collector today!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

dinner sketch

We love the steamed Salmon head at Megumi, the Japanese restaurant just outside our house. It came steaming hot and I had to sketch fast as I never like cold dishes.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Dakota Crscent

150103_DakotaDakota Crescent will be cleared by 2016, please save these old charming SIT flats.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

lunch sketch

My first day of work on 2 Jan I went to The Old Malaya Cafe at Tampines Mall for lunch. My usual dishes - wanton noodle, a popiah (spring roll) and Kopi O gau (thick black coffee). A family of three generations at the next table after shopping at Isetan. The mother and grandmother was taking care of the toddler on baby chair and the very big size young girl about 13 or 14 years old was finishing up all the food left on the table. Slurp!

Friday, January 02, 2015

first sketch into 2015

150101_SeahSt_photoFirst sketch before dark. I was sleeping a lot on first day of 2015 under the effect of cough medication. But an urge to do a location sketch today was too strong that I drove to town before dark. Feeling good after completing the sketch. Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Result of December Sketchwalk

I attended the last sketchwalk of the year with a tired body but high in spirit as I was not going to miss the sketchwalk again.

I did not sleep at all the night before after arriving in Singapore from Hong Kong at around 11pm on Friday. By the time I reached home, it was 12am and I was tossing on the bed since. However, I made up my mind I had to attend the last sketchwalk of this year even if I were to turn up late!

I did one quick line sketch on the Moleskine before the loose watercolour piece. Look at the photo, where were the people and traffic? Orchard Road was too quiet during this festive seasons. May be it was still early but I thought everyone was out of town and there were visibly more tourists on the streets. It was the same in Hong Kong on Boxing Day when our taxi driver told us his business dropped during this time of the year.

Orchard Road has also changed so much beyond recognition. There are so many mega malls sprouting up here and there except old granny like Mandarin Hotel with the pointed fins at the top is still there standing high and tall. So I decided to sketch it as it is the Orchard Road that I remember.

250 x 250mm, 300gsm Daler-Rowney Aquarelle paper. Hero9018 fountain pen with Noodler's ink and watercolours, about two hours for both.