Friday, December 3, 2010


Pigment ink and watercolours. 310mm x 230mm. Schmincke, Daler-Rowney, Van Gogh watercolours, Uni pigment ink pens, 0.4, pencils, Bockingford 300 gsm paper.

The old forest path

Pigment ink and watercolours. 260mm x 180mm. Schmincke, Daler-Rowney, Van Gogh watercolours, Uni pigment ink pens, 0.4, pencils, Bockingford 300 gsm paper.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010


A3-sized watercolour sketch. Pencils, pigment ink and watercolours. Chunghwa pencils, Uni 0.4 pigment pen and Van Gogh watercolours. The drawing was composed in various stages and completed in 2.0 hours.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Junction of Ann Siang Hill and Club Street

150mm x 210mm. Pigment ink, watercolours. Shyam had chosen this spot. Splendid composition, a difficult juxtaposition though. The difficulties were evident. I completed the pencil sketch on-site in the drizzle. The pencil sketch took an hour and after which, I had to amend the building on the left. The watercolours were done a day after in the comfort of my room.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Thian Hock Keng

150mm x 210mm. Pigment ink, watercolours. This was sketched in pencils and ink on-site. The intricate details were close to overwhelming and the decision for framing the piece was no easy matter.

There were numerous tour buses that came and went for long periods and obstructed large sections of the temple compound. I had chosen a head-on composition as I had wanted to capture the entire stretch.

In hindsight, a long piece of paper and a larger piece would have a certain effect that this current one hadn't. Watercolours, unless one were to apply more pigment, was limited in the sense of the darkness of colours. Of course, the darkness would, in a sense, defeat the purpose of the medium, application of more pigment ink? Entirely possible. I would be exploring other avenues in time to come.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pagoda Street

Pagoda Street nightscene. 150mm x 210mm. Pigment ink, watercolours. (The darkness was adjusted digitally). For this one, I had to stand in an empty shop lot where the stallholders had packed up earlier to draw the pencils. The ink lines were added when I was on the train much later. Finally, the watercolours was applied when I was at my table. Wet cartridge paper with moderately dry brush and paint.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Velocity at Novena Square

Velocity at Novena Square. 150mm x 210mm. pigment ink, Copic, markers, watercolours.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rangoon Lane

Pigment ink, watercolours. Night scene. This was sketched from a bus stop. The third in a more free-flowing expressive form. 150mm x 210mm.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 16, 2010

Circular Road

150mm x 210mm. Pencils, Uni pigment ink, 0.05, 0.1, 0.3, 0.8, Van Gogh watercolours. I did a fast pencil sketch at Circular Road on Friday night and then the inks and watercolours on Sunday evening.

Posted by Picasa

Upper Circular Road

Uni pigment ink pens, 0.05, 0.3, 0.8, Pelikan and Parker permanent ink, Van Gogh watercolours. 150mm x 210mm. I did a fast pencil capture, standing on the roadside on Friday night. There were many ah bengs and ah lians arriving and departing from the KTV lounges along the street. There were also elderly Indians loading their goods on bicycles where I was standing. On a nice lazy Sunday evening, I put in the ink washes and the watercolours.

Dining at Jones the Grocer

Pigment ink, watercolours. I had a late meal at Jones the Grocer at the Mandarin Gallery on Saturday night after figure sketching at Kampong Kapor. I did a quick pencil capture of these folks, they did look expensive and the food was not inexpensive. The day after, I spent a happy Sunday evening adding ink and watercolours. 0.05, 0.3, 0.8 pigment ink, Uni pen and Van Gogh watercolours. 150mm x 210mm.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Haunted Observatory

Stargazing at the haunted observatory. Pigment ink sketch. Ink wash, watercolours. 150mm x 210mm. While simple, this piece had taken hours to conceptualise. Firstly, the pencil sketch, then, the ink outlines, and the watercolours and ink washes in the final step.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Ancient Tree

Pigment ink sketch. I had created a smaller-sized watercolours sketch, a much simpler conceptual piece earlier. I felt that the theme could be developed further and thus, this was the resultant effort. 210mm x 297mm.

Solitude III

Pigment ink sketch with permanent ink wash and painting. 150mm x 210mm.

Ruins in the Forest

Pigment ink sketch. 210mm x 297mm. I started with a fast pencil sketch. The finish in ink was almost unchanged from the pencil draft. Ruins in the forest.

In the fields

Pigment ink sketch. 150mm x 210mm. Another piece conjured from my mind, this is an exploration of the undulating lines of the earth, the contours and the fields that span into the forests beyond.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The House on the Hill

Pigment ink sketch. I did a fast pencils preliminary draft with outlines, after which, I drew the detailing using a Uni pigment ink pen, size 0.05. I made changes along the way and fill in areas where I had not decided on. This was a fast piece. This also marks a return for me to larger sizes. 210mm x 297mm.

On the theme, I have been examining one of a desolate house on a promontory. This house was influenced by American Shingle style architecture but it looks nothing like it and but I have not managed a proper one at this point. The bridge is more European in feel. I will be revisiting this theme again.

Three Drawings at the Singapore Art '97

'Verdant Transcendence'. Pigment ink drawing. This piece took over forty hours to complete. The lines were careful and deliberate.

A closeup of 'Verdant Transcendence'

A somewhat more abstract and dramatic piece. Pigment ink sketch.

This last piece which was exhibited had featured a fairytale castle in the distance.
Posted by Picasa

Singapore Art '97

In 1997, I submitted three pieces which were selected for exhibition. The three pieces were subsequently exhibited at  Suntec City amongst many other fine works.

One of the pieces, Verdant Transcendence was featured in the volume published for the occasion.

Posted by Picasa

Solitude at the Singapore Art '95

In 1995, my first piece, titled 'Solitude', was exhibited at the Singapore Art '95 national exhibition held at Suntec City. It was thanks to little Jasminn Chan who had submitted my drawing and I am and I was grateful.

The exhibited pieces were listed in a book published for that exhibition. 

My piece, titled, 'Solitude'. 34cm x 24cm. Pigment ink. Eddings pigment ink pens. 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 0.8. The overall piece took over forty hours spread over the space of months to complete.

Detailed look at the tree which is the focus and centrepiece of this drawing.

"It seems to me that today if the artist wishes to be serious...he must once more sink himself in solitude. There is much too much talk and gossip." 
Quote from Edgar Degas (1934-1917)
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 8, 2010

On the types and use of pigment ink pens

I have used numerous pens over the decades, starting with the titanium-tipped technical pen in the mid-eighties and moving on to disposable pigment ink pens.

For many years, when I was sketching in England, I was reliant on the Eddings pigment ink pens. That lasted me for three or four years. I had only found Eddings here once and I found that it had dried up!

For the next decade, I had used Pilot pigment ink pens. These and the Edding ones were used in a lot of my major pieces, larger scale ones which I no longer do.

Now, I use a mixture. Copic, Uni, Faber-Castell, Sakura and ZIG-Millennium. I am retiring the Copic and Faber-Castell pens soon, and will rely mainly on Uni.

I will retain my Sakura and ZIG Millennium ones.

My views:
  • Eddings - Average. (if I recall).
  • Rotring - Initial heavy ink flow, even with the smaller tipped ones, resulting in thick lines. Leaky nib.
  • Copic - Weak tip, poor nib, easily spoilt. Small ink well.
  • Uni - Consistent ink flow. Medium ink well. Good nib.
  • Pilot - Small ink well. Dries easily. Uneven flow later allows them to be used for textures.
  • Faber-Castell Ecco - Small ink well. Average nib. Better than Pilot.
  • Sakura Micron - Good flow, good nib.
  • ZIG-Millennium - Good nib. Average flow.
  • Artline - Good.

My top preferences:
  1. Uni
  2. Micron Sakura / Artline (Equal ranking)
  3. ZIG-Millennium

Not recommended:
  1. Copic
  2. Rotring
  3. Pilot

Of course, my use of them is consistent with my drawings and my style. Others may have different usages like drafting and also different styles of drawing.

I also cultivate my pens. In what sense? Older pens are used to do textures while newer ones with their smoother flow are used for certain line work and hatching.