SG Trip Prep 1: Palette Considerations and a few books

June 12, 2015 | 3 Comments


It is now less than 5 weeks till I head to Singapore for the Urban Sketchers Symposium… so it must be time for me to start my traditional “Trip Prep” series. Last year I wrote a summary of my sketching approach to packing and planning which you can read here.

I had to smile because last year preparing my palette was the thing that made me focus on my upcoming trip and it is the same this year. So yesterday I started thinking about preparing my palette, and that means thinking about my colours and whether I should make any adjustments to suit my destination or… just because!

And guess what? I have decided to make a change because I realised that there is a colour I am hardly using these days ! Last night I was playing with a few mixing options to see if I could live without it.

I have decided that Pthalo Blue (red shade) is now out! The main reason is that my green has now been locked in as DS Sap Green – I don’t think I have ‘made an announcement’ about this change! A few months ago I made some adjustments to my home palette to suit my food diary, and Sap Green was added because of the need for quick bright veggie green. And, it has stayed there. My palette hasn’t changed much in the last two years (certainly not conceptually), but I have tweaked it a little, and every tweak can potentially have a knock-on effect to another colour. If you want to know what my base palette used to be (and it will help decipher the codes in my sketch)  refer to my Current Sketching Tools page.

Another change I have recently done is to reduce my full pan of Transparent Pyrrol Orange into a half pan so I could fit Schmincke Translucent Orange in. I have loved that colour for years so it makes me really happy to have it back!

So the big news is that I have a spare spot… and am trialing a new ‘fad colour’ for the next few weeks to see whether I will take it to SG or not. And… I am not going to tell you yet what it is!

The big challenge for you is to see whether, in the coming weeks, you can work out what this colour is!

To get me in the mood I have been looking at a few books of Singapore sketches. This is also a good way to help me formulate a few personal challenges for the trip.

Working from the bottom to the top:
1. Singapore Sketchbook 2. Singapore, Sketches of the Lion City. The bottom two books are great for subject matter but I find the watercolour sketches rather flat and dull.
3. I had the very great privilege of meeting SG’s watercolour master Mr Loy in a previous visit, seeing his many of his painting including his very first watercolour sketch and early ink work. I was with some friends who bought one of his paintings and I was given a copy of his book. It is full of amazing paintings – many showing Singapore as it used to be.
4. What can I say – USK SG is an amazing group and to this collection of sketches from various neighbourhoods is full of inspiration. Such variety of styles in this book.
5. Crossroads by Zhu Hong: Zhu gave me a copy of his book on my first trip to SG…and I love it! His work is incredible – crazy crazy, so full of energy! Zhu is one of the instructors at the symposium.
6. We love Toa Payoh 7. We love Bedok. Two in a series of neighbourhood guides that the USK SG group are putting together. I love the way that they are documenting their city and making beautiful sketches of  ‘ugly and boring’ modern Singapore scenes.

BTW if you are still thinking about attending the symposium- there is still time… but only a few days so register here now! June 15 is the last day to register for Workshop passes while they last, and for Sketching passes, via online registration. We will have on site registration starting July 22 in Singapore!


  • I guess I'm caught by "shiny" things…LoL I never approach my art with as much cerebrum as you do, Liz. Funny because I approach most everything else that way. I love hearing and reading your thoughts on your art and how you work.

  • Liz Steel says:

    thanky Sherry – for coming to read my ravings every day AND leaving a comment! means so much to me that you have a little comment for me every day!!! thanks!

  • Unknown says:

    May I guess your fad colour? DS Azo Yellow?

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