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.

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

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!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sketching in the Plane


On my way back from Nagoya to Singapore. It's a 380, very spacious cabin but I was stuck at window seat sitting next to two Japanese ladies for 6 hours. Did a sketch to kill boredom.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Dakota Crescent

Dakota Crescent is older than Singapore. It was built by Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) in 1958 and handed over to Housing and Development Board (HDB) in 1960. The name Dakota was taken from the American transport aircraft Dakota DC-3, which commonly landed at Kallang Airport before it was closed. The name Dakota could also commemorate the aviation disaster of June 29, 1946, when one of the Royal Air Force's Dakota aircraft crashed at Kallang Airport in a thunderstorm, killing all passengers on board. Anyway, its days are numbered too. It is to be demolished and make way for new development. You can read all about it here

The playground seen in the sketch which I cropped on the left is also iconic. It was called the Dove Playground designed by a very senior HDB architect in 1979. The same architect also designed the other iconic playgrounds in Singapore - the Dragon playground in Toa Payoh. I sketched it here. The Dove Playground will be demolished too but the Dragon Playground will remain.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

February Sketchwalk

The lights have already gone out on this 59-year-old enclave of Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) flats built before our island nation became independent.

This is a final chance to capture the modernist architecture of the estate, albeit vacant and in a state of abandon, silent except for gawking visitors.

We will rendezvous at the playground, from where you can spread out and explore the neighbourhood.

9:30 AM

12:30 PM

Dakota Crescent Playground
Block 10 Dakota Crescent
Singapore 390010
*we will both start and end here

Dress for the weather. See you there!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

It's a Wrap for Term 4

I taught two classes of Early Childhood Studies and these students were very responsive. Teaching tip: one of my rules set up on day one with the classes is "if you find my lessons boring, please pretend to be enthusiastic, I need you to motivate me too!".

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

January Sketchwalk

It's the first sketchwalk of 2017, and also the first day to usher in the Year of the Rooster!

We're going to Chinatown, and will be starting from the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, and ending at Chinatown Point. Along the way, while the streets and business might be quiet, there's still plenty to draw, especially the conserved shophouses with decorations put up for the Lunar New Year.


Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum
9:30 am

Chinatown Point
12:30 pm

This session is kindly led by Pocholo. See you there!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Punggol Sketchwalk

HDB has been a long time partner with Urban Sketchers Singapore with several collaborative projects. This latest one we participated in the official opening of Punggol Square the Discovery Cube overlooking the gorgeous Punggol Waterway waterfront. Minister Teo Chee Hean graced the occasion and we hosted him at our USKSG exhibition booth.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

first sketch of the new year 2017


I keep the tradition of sketching on the first day of the new year and here is a sketch of Rochor Centre which will be demolished this year to make way for new roads. There are only around 5 households left and they are old residents who are given extension of time to move out by mid Jan. I personally feel very sad to see Rochor Centre go because it is one of the earliest mixed commercial and public housing projects by the government. Singapore's Rochor Center to me has the potential to be rejuvenated like London's Barbican Estate but I guess nothing stays long enough in Singapore to become memories, heritage etc etc.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

December Sketchwalk

On the very last day of 2016, we'll be sketching along and around Hill Street, with the stunning Hill Street Police Station as the centrepiece.

We will start off at the Old Hill Street Police Station, then pop over to the iconic red-and-white fire station, before spreading out to beautifully conserved buildings such as the Armenian Church, The Freemasons Hall, The Philatelic Museum, and Peranakan Museum.

We'll end outside the old Capitol Theatre, to share the sketches done and cool off/take shelter in the newly conserved complex.

See you before 2017 rolls in!

9:30 am
Old Hill Street Police Station
140 Hill Street
Singapore 179369

12:30 pm
Capitol Theatre
11 Stamford Rd, Capitol Piazza
Singapore 178884

Join lucky draw for Dec 2016's sketchwalk at Hill Street!

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Asia Link Sketchwalk in Bangkok

LEFT : On the left was the empty Seawhite Concertina Sketchbook I brought for my recent sketching trip. I attended the Asia Link Sketchwalk from 24 to 27 Nov 2016 in Bangkok and extended my Bangkok trip from 28 Nov to 1 Dec, 2016 after the event. I completed two Seawhite Concertina Sketchbooks that I bought in London with the help from Anne Marie Percival, a fellow sketcher from Manchester when I visited London, Manchester and Liverpool for the 7th Urban Sketchers Symposium in July this year. I want to buy more but the shipping cost is just too high so I have to go back to my usual Moleskine Japanese Album.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

November Sketchwalk at Beauty World

While most of the sketchers will be up in Bangkok for the long weekend of artistic madness, we're going to an old section of Singapore which is seeing a lot of changes.

There's Beauty World Centre, Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, and the hustle and bustle along Jalan Jurong Kechil. You can explore the area via Google Street View to familiarise yourself ahead.

9:30 am
12:30 pm

We will both start and end at the street level of Beauty World MRT Station Exit C, which is really near the Bukit Timah 7th Mile Market, where you can grab breakfast before the sketchwalk, and lunch after we do our sketch showdown.

See you there!

Giveaway Contest for November 2016 Sketchwalk at Beauty World. More details at