I had had an amazing 2 weeks in Singapore last year – there is so much to sketch and I find it such an easy place to visit (English signs, so easy to get around, lots of great food and cafes!) If you missed it, you can check out my sketchbook from from my trip here .
There is such a big and active Urban Sketchers group in Singapore so it is always very inspiring to hang out with them (well some of them – I couldn’t see them all in a week). I knew that I was about to go into a very art-social phase of my trip (a little like a mini Symposium but with more chances for coffee and cakes!)
I arrived midday and was out to get a sketch under my belt before meeting up with some of the gang. This year I was staying in the lovely Kampong Glam area and sketching the Sultan Mosque was something I did a few times. As you all know I love sketching big buildings and my favourite are ones that are made up numerous volumes with coloured or richly carved decorations.
At 3pm I meet up with great USK friend Paul Wang and also Whee Teck (the man responsible for bringing Daniel Smith to SG- see here at Arters). Whee Teck was away last year when I was in town so this was the first time I had met him. Crazy paint talk started straight away… but then we settled down at a local cafe to sketch….and soon Vincent turned up. It was hard to settle down to sketch since all kinds of art tools were brought out …”try this”… but I did manage a sketch or two. First one was using a pencil that was labelled “half the pressure, twice the speed” – I think that that is not the pencil for me- I am trying to slow down!
Do I need to tell you how inspiring it is to sketch alongside these amazing artists…
Time for another sketch and then dinner. A wonderful meal at a great Chinese restaurant (it was Monday night so this was about our 3rd attempt at finding something) Vincent headed off but Whee Teck’s wife and daughter joined us. It was a bit insane to try to sketch the food and try to eat with chop sticks (not so great using them and need to use a lot of left side of my brain!) I also love writing down all the random quotable quotes, and suggestions for good coffee etc etc.
After we had eaten we started talking paints…
And continued to do so over dessert at Quarter to Three. (name of the cafe not the time… I think it was only 9.30ish??) So lovely to meet the owners and show them our sketches of the yummy dessert. And after we had sketched the cakes, the paint talk and comparisons started again.
It is really very special to have friends like these – to be able to have discussions comparing one pigment with the other and how we find them behave on the page ( such as Raw Umber vs Van Dyke Brown). Here is my back page spread where as you can see I cribble all kind of notes to myself, tested new pens, sketched a few people on the bus, planned my outfits AND then filled the page with paint testing this night. This is a ‘messy page’ for me but you can see my control freak tendencies in drawing grids and trying to contain stuff within my 3 column grid.(someone else put that sepia sample on my page outside the grid area!?!)
What an amazing first afternoon in Singapore… my mind was already buzzing with new ideas after some of the talk in the first few hours of my week here.