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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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)
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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.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The stone bridge

Pigment ink sketch. 150mm x 210mm. 0.05, 0.1, 0.3, 0.8. Uni. This drawing had started life as a throwaway piece and also of an oriental bridge. As it progressed, I decided it had potential and I re-worked it into one of the themes that I had been working on for some years now, being a more European bridge and wilderness. This drawing was left unfinished for a few months and I did a few finishing touches and finished it last night.

Could this do with some refinement? Certainly but I wanted to avoid the cardinal sin of overdrawing, thus I ended it at that point.

The forgotten stone bridges

Pigment ink sketch. 150mm x 210mm. 0.05, 0.1, 0.3, 0.8. Uni. A study in lighting and shadows amidst the deep forest.

I would be re-visiting this theme in future but in a different form, perhaps, a even more dramatic form of lighting and shadows.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Pigment ink sketch. 150mm x 210mm. The original intention was to explore a landscape of stark shadows without much texture. However, upon finishing the line work, I had decided against it as a lot of the details would have been lost. The original intent can wait and that will be another piece.

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