Urban Sketches, Plein Air, Digital Sketching and the 47th Singapore Watercolour Society ShowR

First of all, I have to congratulate myself for plucking up the courage to submit 2 paintings for the Singapore Watercolour Society's 47th Annual Exhibition. This time held at Ngee Ann Cultural Center located along Tank Road. The exhibition would end soon on 21 Sep (Wed). The paintings I submitted were 2 pieces I did in 2015 on arches papers, both measuring 22" X 15" (half sheets watercolour paper). They were not entirely plein air but derivations or repainted from on-location paintings I did. I went for the opening of the show but did not stay long because I have to go for another party but I managed to catch some friends and took pics with them.

Kwan (below) who is also a very prolific artist himself came for the show and he was at least 2 hours early. He is drawing and painting in both traditional and digital mediums. It has been very inspiring to see his works on his website and Facebook posts. I enjoyed looking at how he painted portraits digitally, especially when he was able to capture the likeness very well. I wish I could have half his skills.

This year, SWS showcased many good works, most of them in the watercolour medium. The standard of the paintings is pretty high and many artists have been experimenting with different approaches, techniques and compositions. It was really a treat to be able to see so many great pieces from so many talented artists. I am truly proud to be part of this exhibition and local group too.

Recently I have been drawing on my iPhone 5+ with my index finger on my favourite app, Procreate, which offers good sensitivity and response between the user and the interface. On the iPhone, Procreate is also known as Procreate Pocket, a version with fewer bells and whistles, but enough functions to draw and paint, and is easy to pick up. At first I wasn't sure how to export the images into JPEGs but after a few trials and errors, I finally got the process. Other than that I wish my iPhone 5+ has Pressure Sensitivity like my iPad Pro. Here are 2 most recent drawings I did on Procreate Pocket.


I am pretty please with the result for this one. The drawing was easy but I spent a bit more time managing the tonal values, and the tonal patterns and contrast between the figures.

The one on the left was done while I was waiting for my wife to knock off work. I did the drawing in the comfort of the car and I was looking at 2 men talking beside a parked car in front of mine.

I like the way they stand, resting their weight on one leg in a very relaxed manner, but with arms either folded or akimbo. It seems to me the men though were seen laughing and enjoying the conversation with each other, are trying to show down each other in the way they stand. Body language is always a good way to understand human relationships. I have never failed to find men seeing each other as competitors. We compete in anything, from jobs to salary; the size of their cars to the size of their houses. If the competitions go awry, disastrous consequences may happen.

Of course I have not abandoned my iPad Pro entirely, though nowadays I left it in the car most of the time just to lighten up the weight of my shoulder bag. I tried out more brush tools in Procreate and combined them to see the results, eventually isolating a few more favourite brush tools that I keep in the fav folder for quick retrieval.


Below are some of the urban sketches I did on and off throughout the week and last week. Not a lot these days because I have been spending more time preparing classes or just watching people.

Starting from the most recent:
Plein air at Md Sultan Road
Acrylics markers on mounted canvas
National Library at Bras Basah
Chinatown Food Market at Smith Street
Having coffee with friends at Star Vista PAC
My sketching tools
Sketching with a brush pen with brown ink (Hock Choo kopitiam)
That's all folks.

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