Artists and their Tools (mode) of Sketching and Painting

When a sketch or painting is done during an urban-sketchers kind of sketching trip, we would finally take a photograph of the drawing placed against the scene for posterity and of course to enable the artist to make a post on his social media network, e.g.. Facebook, an indication that he or she has adhered to the Urban-Sketchers manifesto of completing a drawing on location. 

To do something different from the usual practice, a few of us (not sure who, but I think I might have started this) thought it might be quite (not more, there is no comparison) interesting to take photographs of the sketches with the tools we brought with us to sketch. In this manner, we have a photographic record of the sketch, the tools, that will remind ourselves of the methods and approaches we used while sketching, as well as becoming an educational opportunity for anyone who visits our website or posts on the social media. Killing a few birds in one stone.

And so I have been taking photographs of my drawings (you would have noticed already by now) against the tools I used or brought with me. I would encourage others to do so (only if they want to) because such photographs allow us to know the artist and the process behind the sketch. It gets people excited about the drawing process and to want to be part of it. Of course some artists would prefer to keep their process and methods a secret, but being an Urban-Sketcher is all about sharing, isn't it. 


The green little satchel was acquired last year from Tokyu Hands, JEM (a new boutique stationery and paraphernalia giant store). It has 3-4 compartments that come in handy to organise all my pens and pencils, but it is not bulky which is important to me. Though I have the watercolour palette box in this case, I did not use it for this sketch but for another. I place them together in the pix anyway.


Here's the same setup again (above)... oh yes, I was at the same location, the same table and I did a couple of sketches in one sitting, a very cosy kopitiam with a good view of Lorong 31, Geylang. The building I drew reflects a late Art-Deco architectural design; angular outlines, parapets on the roof, curved corners, eyebrows above windows, sometimes columns (Tiong Bahru) and bandings on the wall facade, and decorative keystone ornaments. The awning is most likely a later additions.


Now this pix (above) shows different tools; a larger palette and more brushes, because I was painting in the studio. I also come to realise that mixing colour on a palette with larger wells is pretty important. Its actually easier to see colour transitions on a bigger palette.


ABOVE: This was painted and drawn on location, completed in about an hour, taking my own sweet time to enjoy the ambience. The lines were done with a fountain pen (Sailor fude nip) while I used a collapsible No 8 Kolinsky sable watercolour brush to fill in the colours. This was the only brush I brought along for smaller scale painting and sketching trips. 


The most recent sketch I did on 4 June 2016. Watercolour and coloured pencils. The fountain pen is a Hero 9018 that I got from a China website, costing only SG9. The coloured pencils are from Blicks, the softest coloured pencils I have used so far. I have Derwent, and Faber Castell (which is very expensive) but none is comparable to Blicks. I fill my Hero fountain pen with Atramentis inks from Germany, cheaper and better than Noodlers ink (hint*).

And finally I also sketch with the pocket sized Pentel Brush pen (below) which is not in the picture. It gives good black and flows well with the right paper.



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