18 April 2017

Sketching a Car Showroom | Don Low

It so happened James and I were attending a art exhibition located right above the car showroom, and the cars looked so enticing to draw.

17 April 2017


Finally find time to scan those long sketches in my Seawhite Concertina Sketchbook only available in UK. This sketch was done 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.

15 April 2017

Sketching Hong Kong 24 - 30 March 2017

My first sketching trip in Hong Kong. I worked there from 1989 to 1991 but to busy working and have no time for sketching. This is a fruitful and productive trip, met old friends and made new friends.

Somewhere in Western Hong Kong Island

Belcher's Street , Kennedy Town

Traditional Chinese Herbal Tea Shop

Former Marine Police Headquarters

Tai Po Road , Sham Shui Po

Wan Chai

Shek Kip Mei , Sham Shui Po

The Pawn

Wan Chai Old Post Office

Wan Chai Gap Road

Pak Tai Temple , Wan Chai

Waiting for ferry to Macau

Street Food , Macau

Old Building New Shop

Street Vandor , Macau

Full of Main Land Tourists

The Best Traditional Handmade Chinese Almond Biscuit in Macau

View from the hotel 

TST East

Hardware Shops in Central Hong Kong


Street vendor at Ap Lei Chau


Hong Shing Street , Ap Lei Chau

Hong Kong Central

Kennedy Town, Western Hong Kong

Breakfast at Stanley Street Central

My Travelling Companion 

Sketching at a food court

It was only a couple of years ago, the idea of a food court changed when big companies decided to brand the idea of selling street food in a shopping mall, where patrons would be able to enjoy relatively cheap and their favourite street food in the comfort of air-conditioning. Well the prices went up quite a bit but many of us seemed to welcome the idea of eating in comfort.
Don Low - Sketching at a food court
Procreate | Ipad | Photoshop
For some, the price hike is not worth it so they stay with the open air food courts, some with ceiling fans, and wouldn't mind basking in the aroma of steam and oil. You could save quite a fair sum if you are eating out everyday.
Procreate | Ipad | Photoshop
So now if I say I am sketching in a food court, most people would understand that I am sketching in the comfort of cool air, and comfy chairs. A food center whilst is alfresco, open air concept, and warm if the ceiling fans are broken, or the climate got too hot and humid. A kopitiam is a smaller version of a food center, usually privately owned, open air and is most of the time found in HDB estates. Every venues have different demographics but equally noisy.

Now here's the class divide. Most, but not all, Singaporeans belong to the middle and upper class, so they wouldn't mind paying more for the same type of food you can get almost halved the price in a food center. Blame it on the weather too. We welcomed the idea of having everything housed under one roof. We want to shop after we eat, why not eat in the mall, thereby we would not be exposed to the elements, protected and kept safe every steps of the way. Food courts are now for the elite.

06 April 2017

Sketching Shophouses

Shophouses are my favourite sketching and painting subjects. The key reason, they are part of Singapore's historical heritage. Preservation of shophouses has been carried out since the 80s but a large portion of these shophouses were demolished due to safety factor and urban development. It is our "duty" as a sketcher to preserve our heritage and our history by visually documenting things that face the possibility of disappearance one day.  Besides it is a joy to sketch these buildings as each location offers a different sentiment, sensibility and architectural flavour that links our present to the past. 
Little India
Emerald Hill Road
Kampong Glam
These are some sketches and drawings done on location from different locations. Before I sketch or paint, I would identify the medium and technique that best suits the flavour of the place or even the story that I want to tell. Most were done quickly and the spontaneity of the response provides a result that is less constructed and planned. I seldom repeat what has been used before but would explore different approaches in each visit. I could draw the same building from the same angle with different results. Thats the fun and joy I derived from urban-sketching.

31 March 2017

Result of March Sketchwalk

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.

23 March 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!