The last day of 2013 for me was a really big sketching day!!! I was with various members Singapore Urban Sketchers gang from 10am to 7pm. Very kindly they organised an adhoc sketchwalk in the morning and then a number of us spent the afternoon cafe hopping.
But to start with – I arrived early to Chinatown in order to get that first sketch done before meeting up with the others. One of the things that I have been trying to develop lately is an arsenal of simple techniques that I can use either for warmups or for more exploratory sketches (explore a subject in a random way at a leisurely pace before deciding on the focus) This morning I thought I would try watersoluble coloured ink for my warm up but I just didn’t like the result and the added a few more layers…and liked it even less- oh well! Then I started another version in a more usual style only to be disrupted by a truck and then a store owner telling me I had to move. Hence the title “total frustration!” Anyway… it was still worth attempting both of these as it did get my hand moving and the internal dialogue started!
Meet up with a good group of the UKS SG group…. The plan was to sketch the two temples along South Bridge Road – a Hindu temple and a mosque – and then end up at a cafe for lunch (there is always food just around the corner in SG!) I don’t really like drawing icons or idols and yet the multicultural nature of Singapore is part of the place. So I decided for a very loose approach for the Sri Mariamman Temple to get the essence and not the details – using my lovely Dark Indigo Faber Castell Watercolour pencil for the lines.
Once finished… I wandered the streets tracking down the other sketchers and really loving seeing what they were doing.
Then we moved up to the cafe to sketch the Jamae Mosque. We set ourselves up very comfortably at a table and the cafe staff didn’t seem to bother about us at all. (perhaps they knew we were going to buy food once our sketches were finished) Drew an overall view and then felt the urge to work larger and looser. BTW the year of the horse decorations were out.
My second sketch of the Jamae Mosque, my great Indian lunch and then another building across the road… was getting in the mood now
… but oh! a coffee and some air conditioning would be good (I am still not used to the humidity!) A few others thought that was a plan too…so we headed off. It took a few attempts before we could find a cafe that had room and a functioning coffee machine. The Plain had lovely red cups but sadly no cakes!
We all sat around a big communal table and didn’t talk much! (very unlike my Sydney sketching friends…. we never stop talking but these guys just start sketching!)
We had a group of 6 at The Plain… but this reduced to 3 for the next stop… another cafe. Looks like I was being treated to a SG cafe hopping afternoon. It was really lovely to have Lijynn from Penang with the gang this day- she was just passing through SG for a day and we didn’t meet when I was in Penang. She does the most amazing work on found objects.
Cafe #2 was Aptly named Club St Social… we sat at a small table and chatted a lot more… it was lovely and relaxing….I think my sketch has a chilled feeling to it, more subdued than normal.
I was really slowing my pace … but then all of a sudden I started getting a little restless. ‘I think that I need to do one more street sketch before the year ends’…. was intending to wander off but the others came with me which was very nice.
We headed up the road to Club St…and I had to pull out sketchbook number 3 for this one. Nothing like starting a brand new sketchbook with a big spread….
We made some new friends from Indonesia, the light started to fade and then Club St started to come alive for ‘Countdown’ (as they call it in SG). None of us really cared about NYE celebrations (NYE sketching during the day was much more fun!) … so we headed back to the metro …and of all the small worlds – ran into fellow USK friend, Chris in the train station!!!
Back in my hotel room for a quiet night – added colour to a linework sketch I sneaked in when others were finishing off their sketches at Club St and then sketching my lemsip and ginseng tea and Vitamin C tablets… fighting off a flu… and so ended the amazing year of 2013!