Png:Sg Trip 09: Day with the Penang Urban Sketchers

January 21, 2014 | Leave your thoughts

What a treat to be able to spend the morning with the Urban Sketchers Penang group and to go to an interesting local morning market at Air Itam a little town out of the Georgetown area.

There is a historic temple up on the hill (and an oversized modern extension) and in the markets a store that serves noodles made the traditional way. We had a great spot to sit overlooking the busy-ness of the market.

I was very happy to be able to sit so I could look over  the shoulder of Ch’ng Kiah Kiean (KK) while he worked – watching his linework is mesmerising. There were a number of serious watercolourists painting away – including Khoo Cheang Jin who I have known online and whose work I love

It was also wonderful to see the younger generation hard at work and the cool way that everyone seemed to be wearing USK Penang t-shirts – their own size and style.

Along with the usual sharing work at the end…


 ….they actually swapped work – it was  the annual Xmas giveaway. We all donated a sketch and were then given one at random (after standing in line in a colour coded manner…)

I was somewhat happy (understatement!) to be given Cheang Jin’s beautiful piece from the morning – Wow! KK was also handing out his calendar for 2014… nice takeaway inspiration- hey?

As for my sketching for the day… well I got seriously distracted by watching KK and to make a shocking confession had to abandon my first sketch and try again. I wasn’t focused and going too slow. So this more restrained sketch was my second attempt and done quite quickly.


Next page – looking the other direction –  a quick stick sketch of some houses. Then I wanted to move and sketch something really adventurous. I was standing in the sun (not a good idea!) on the main road- cars, people, stalls everywhere. And trying to use my water soluble brush pen… not totally successful but it was a great thing to attempt – and has given me ideas for things to try next time….

After a nice lunch, a second visit to the art store – This time I was with Buz Walker (a sketcher I had met in SG last year)  – such lovely and helpful staff…we all got talking! I didn’t buy anything but left with a gift of watercolour paper to try!

Then it was time to head back to my hotel and then get a taxi to my next hotel in the beach area. I needed to find somewhere that was the most convenient to my friends – so this was just a old budget hotel  (nothing flash!) but I was pleased that my room had a great view. I was just about to go into phase 2 of my time in Penang. With my church friends… a few days to hang out and then a church conference. So sketching was put on a back burner but just before I headed out for the evening I did a quick first sketch of my view… this will become a theme for the next few days.

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