Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June Sketchwalk at Changi Village

Kick off the long weekend of Hari Raya Aidilfitri with us at the urban kampung of Changi Village. This idyllic enclave, with the pier full of bumboats and old watercraft, red brick midrise buildings and plenty of sea breezes will undoubtedly charm you to capture something in your sketches.

Start & End
9:30 am & 12:30 pm
Changi Village Hawker Centre
*near the POSB ATMs

See you there!

Monday, June 12, 2017

tuk tuk in the mall


I was curious why the large, white lamp post was placed in the middle of the cafe which is open at all sides at Tampines One Mall. Even when there was no ceiling as the cafe was located right in the atrium open to plenty of natural lighting. I was more attracted to the fake 'tuk-tuk' or 'sam-lor'- a three-wheeled motorbike at the shop 'tuk tuk cha' selling Thai milk teas. A tuk-tuk is basically a rickshaw with a small engine capacity roaming the streets of Thailand.

The sketchbook is not suitable for watercolours so I added digital colours later.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

End of Term

The first term of first semester had just ended last week. This semester, I was observing a class of non-Chinese students taking a subject called "Introduction to Language and Culture (Mandarin)". It was so inspiring and fun to watch them speaking Mandarin. My colleague also did a wonderful job in engaging them in class.

I was taking part in "20 Sketches 20 Days" on Facebook with sketcher-friends and we needed to sketch at least 20 sketches in a month for this entire year. I recently found an old sketchbook which I bought in Portland when I first attended the Urban Sketchers Symposium in 2010. It was not ideal for sketching when there was a lot of 'show through' as the fountain pen ink 'bled' through the pages which also warped when light washes were applied. Brush pen was better and I would apply digital colours if I had time.

Here are three sketches depicting the classes at different sessions, one with digital colours and two just in black and white.

Tools: Piccadilly Sketchbook size 90x140mm, brush pen and digital colours.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May Sketchwalk at Esplanade Park

The revamped park now has a playground, interactive musical sculptures and more open connections to the Singapore River and The Padang, with lovely stepped seating by the river bank and benches facing National Gallery Singapore. You can also visit restored memorials and markers such as the Tan Kim Seng Fountain, The Cenotaph, Singapore, Indian National Army Marker and the Lim Bo Seng Memorial, amongst others.


9:30 AM
Lim Bo Seng Memorial
If you'd like to meet with the sketch leaders, they'll be here to give you a quick overview of what usually happens. If you're late, just look for random sketchers or start drawing on your own.

Tan Kim Seng Fountain
We will conclude the session by placing our works around the fountain to be enjoyed by everyone, and then snap a group photo.

See you all there!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Aequilibrium - An Glass Art Exhibition

If you not already known, I am still working as Artist-in-Residence at Temasek Polytechnic and one of my jobs is to source for quality exhibition for our small Art Gallery @ Glocal Connect Village. With the capable Arts and Culture Team working so hard, here our team presents to you another exhibition opening this evening for a glass art display called "Aequilibrium" by Tan Sock Fong and our students. It is also the first exhibition under the new Management and a new Team under "Programmes and Services". Please come and support. The last day of exhibition will be Thursday 22 June, 2017. ALL ARE WELCOME.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Last Page

170501_Hong Kong

So this is the last page in the Moleskine that I brought to Hong Kong. It was taken with iPhone camera as my iMac had died on me that I could not scan the sketches.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

A few 'Firsts'


Every year I will miss April sketchwalk as I attend my granddaughter's birthday celebrations in Hong Kong on 1 May. I normally don't intend to sketch in order to spend all the quality time we have with the family in Hong Kong. This year, I did three smaller sketches at the airport and one slightly bigger piece at the apartment when the girls are playing. This sketch has a few 'firsts' - My first Kuretake Zig Letter CocoIro brush pen on first generation of perfect sketchbook.

At 香港國際機場, Hong Kong International Airport

Tuesday, May 02, 2017


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April Sketchwalk at Holland Village

We'll be sketching at the vibrant Holland Village this weekend. This bustling area is home to cafes before the hipster-cafe craze took over the country. Lots to see, eat and drink here which all make for great subjects in your sketches.

9:30 AM
Holland Village MRT station
Exit B – Lorong Liput
The sketch leads will be just in front of OCBC Bank, if you need an introduction to what a sketchwalk is about. Otherwise, go explore and sketch!
Singapore 278980

12:30 PM
Lawn area in front of Park HV
This is where we will do a gallery walk by displaying everyone's pieces together for all attendees to enjoy.
Singapore 278621

See you there!

Monday, April 17, 2017

My Art Tools


Easter Sunday checking on my old watercolour set and brushes which I neglected for a long time.

"Mi Kwang Magic Palette" made in Korea but bought in Taipei,
"Escoda Reserva Kolinsky-Tajmyr Sable Pocket Round #12" travel brush bought in Barcelona,
"Straits Art Sable" travel brush made by Ah Seng bought in Singapore Straits Art,
"Colorpro Taklon Squuirrel" rigger brush made in Japan.

I don't use these anymore, I use mainly fountain pens and synthetic water brushes for colour washes.

Sunday, April 16, 2017



Finally scan my long Concertina Sketchbook. I remember the weather was so cold that I could not feel my fingers after this sketch and the ink didn't flow well, probably frozen too. Added some colours when I felt warmer. At Shirakawa-go, world heritage site.

世界遺產合掌村 白川鄉

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Oyama Shrine in Kanazawa


170318_Oyama ShrineI was the only soul at around 7:30am when I entered the shrine compound, I could hear everything so clearly in this cold weather while sketching. I will be able to see Cherry Blossom if I stay for another week, here the red dots are Plum Blossom.


Friday, April 14, 2017

My Flickr Pro


I still have a Flickr Pro account but it is neglected for a very long time. I just scanned and uploaded my recent sketches and this is the screen shot of those sketches in collage.
Visit my flickr Pro to see more at https://www.flickr.com/photos/tia_studio.

Looking at the sketch collage, there are wide variety of topics from landscape, building, cafe, train, exterior, interior to figurative subjects. There are ballpoint pen, fountain pen, black ink, blue ink, brown ink, watercolours, washes and brushes. There are dots, lines, shapes, colours, textures, tones etc etc. However, there is one common thing these sketches share is the fact that they are all done in ONE old stock of Moleskine A6 sketchbook, double spread.
Another common point is that they are done fairly quick from 10 to 45 minutes. Like this simple line sketch at the Bar at National University of Singapore Society (NUSS), it took probably only 20 minutes to complete, no colours and no tonal values, the lines and blacks bring out the layers and spatial quality of the sketch.

Friday, April 07, 2017

my 6th post on Instagram is a sketch

My first Instagram post was in 2011 and I only had 5 posts thus far but over 850 followers since. I am curious as I am obviously not an active user at all. However, Instagram is great for image manipulation so I took a rare moment to spice up my recent sketch and post it. You can really make a dull sketch look great on Instagram.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Shiinoki Cultural Complex at Kanazawa

I was given one-hour notice to go to Japan at 6pm on a Wednesday, next, I found myself on a 7am flight the following Thursday morning. I was told it was a one-way ticket while office was still sourcing for my returned flight. I had very little time in Japan, so every morning, I would take my breakfast at 6:30am and walked around the hotel before my official duties at 10am. I was pleasantly surprised that the hotel was located near to a beautiful park いしかわ四高記念公園, Kanazawa Castle Park and Kenrokuen

This is the Shiinoki Cultural Complex facing Hirosaka Street in Kanazawa of Ishikawa Prefecture. The big dome-shaped grand chinquapin (shiinoki) trees at the main entrance were propped up by wooden poles. They are really good in preserving the old heritage trees.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sungei Road Thief Market

Sungei Road Thief Market will soon be gone by July 2017. You can read about it here.

Whether you call it thief market or flea market, it is undeniably important part of Singapore's history. My uncles would come all the way from Johor, Malaysia to source for the parts that he wanted and brought back to repair his fridges or fans or even cars.

On this sketch, I thought it was important to sketch the context too, so, I chose a view to include Sim Lim Tower and Rochor Centre which will be demolished soon. You can see my sketch of Rochor Centre here.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Wheeler's Yard

I was with the students for the visit to Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall in the morning since 10am followed by Balestier Heritage Trail in the afternoon. So I was really tired when it ended at around 5pm. I refused to go home to rest as I was so near to Wheeler's Yard; a hippest cafe housed in a massive warehouse at Lorong Ampas just a stone throw away from Zhongsan Mall when I parked my car. I decided to check it out and I found myself sketching over a cup of strong long black and a small plate of black pepper lime squids at Wheeler's Yard. I knew the staff were standing behind watching me sketch since the cafe was quite empty at that time of the day. As I prepared to leave, they requested to have a closer look at my sketchbook and took a picture of the cafe sketch. I should have taken a group photo with them holding the sketch but I forgot.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March Sketchwalk at Sungei Road

We will be swarming down to this crossroads of curious finds on Saturday to sketch it before the many peddlers are forced to move away from this local bastion of pre-loved goods.

While the focus will be the criss-cross of the makeshift stalls, the vicinity has much to capture, including the old Muslim Cemetery at Jalan Kubor, the revamped Rochor River, and the vibrant streets of Little India and Kampong Glam.

3:00 pm
Pitt St x Sungei Road junction

06:00 pm
Blk 30 Kelantan Lane
We'll meet at the back of this block in the shade it will provide.

Remember to have sun protection and water with you to stay hydrated. See you there!