Saturday, April 28, 2007

Bamboo Grove

This is a painting of an unusual structure at the local park. The blue hut is actually a stable. the bamboo was planted in the centre of the stable whose roof apex has been cut to allow the bamboo to grow through. Now, when this bamboo is fully grown, it provides shade for horses tied there. Whoever's idea it was, it definitely is something ingenious. I hope I have done it equal justice with this painting.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Balinese Roofs II

This is my second painting. I think this is not as good as the earlier piece. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Balinese Roofs I - Artists Colony at Conlay Craft Complex

This is a scene painted in-situ (on site). It was painted sometime between 11am to 2pm and the weather was quite hot. The scene was at the Artists Colony at the Crafts Complex in Kuala Lumpur and the compound was quite empty.

The tiny huts you see are where artisans and artists create their work. It is the only surviving craft centre where tourists to Malaysia (and Kuala Lumpur) could watch artists at work. There is no other place you can view such a group of them, ranging from watercolourists to acrylic and oil painters. Located within the compound is also a showroom featuring Malaysian craft. I like this place because you can really enjoy the quiet surrounding and paint to your heart's content in busy Kuala Lumpur where you won't be disturbed by curious eyes.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Morning's Glory - Golden Arch

This was painted from a photo as an exercise to better understand light and shade. I was also experimenting with a new paint, the Schminke. As you can see, the colours are very bright. Comments welcome.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Leisure Painter - April Issue

This month's Leisure Painter is something you should not miss if you are looking for tips in painting realistic water using watercolour.

I was very impressed by the Ask The Tutor piece by Tony Cowlinshaw (see below) where the writer focussed on waves. Ask any watercolour painter, drawing water is tough enough. But waves? How do you capture the nuances created by the wind or wakes caused by passing boats realistically?

Well, there are some useful tips here and I would be letting the fun out of the bag if I elaborate too much. Suffice to say, the author also touches on use of masking fluids to capture the intricate part of the waves as well as using 's-strokes' using a loaded brush.

Meanwhile, in the Landscape section, Robert Newcombe touches on the importance of tonal contrast in landscape painting (and this applies to others in case you are wondering).

Newcombe introduces the Tonal Plan method where he stress the importance of having a tonal plan of colours before you even start. I think this is important and believe you me, it is not that easy. You could arm yourself with a tonal chart but that would take out the fun of the spontaneity of painting. Read more in April's edition.

I won't touch on the other sections of this issue because I am more interested in the watercolour tips. As usual, Leisure Painter is full of surprises again.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Fishing Village - Latest Work

This piece was painted several days ago, in between coding the new site. I was somewhat surprised by the outcome. The colours used were exceptionally thin, and layered carefully. This one was done using W&N watercolours and I am pleased by the subdued result.

The picture is typical of a fishing village. The tiny structure between the two bigger houses is the chicken coop. The houses are built on stilts just in case the tide runs over. Comments welcome.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Philosophy Behind This Site

I abandoned my love for watercolour painting and art in general when I was asked to choose between my love for art and the practicality of pursuing art as a career more than two and a half decade ago.

At that time, professional artists were unheard of and the few who survived thrived on various jobs to keep their passion sufficiently ignited for them to pursue the uncertain career as an artist.

It was a tough life then, and as a youth fresh out of school, I had to decide between passion and practicality. I chose the latter and landed a job in the mainstream career. The day I decided to part ways with art, I folded my entire watercolour set and floated them downriver. I remembered having said that should our paths cross again, I will take it up once more.

Three years ago, the destined happened when I met Tang Tuck Kan who taught art at the Petronas Art Gallery during one of its class-art sessions. Here I got to know watercolour again, this time from a professional artist who had a wealth of experience as a teacher of artists and a prominent artist himself. He was my first art master.

Thereon, as my pursuit of this wonderful medium progressed, I met quite a number of prominent watercolourists as well. As I got to know some of them, I also realised that their life had not been as different as those who came before them. I would have been one of them had I chose the harder career path as they did.

It then dawned on me that having chosen the current profession, I am now in a better position to assist them. What little computer knowledge that I have, I have decided to put to good use to help also promote the aqua medium.

This site started as a blog many years ago. Today, it has assumed its position as a website. I decided to use a blogging software as a web content management system for its archiving and posting engine would come handy for a site like this. And with these, I hope to lend a helping hand where I can to Malaysian watercolourists.

I hope you will enjoy reaidng through this site. It will be an online magazine of sorts - if I may be ambitious enough to call it such.

Primarily, it is set up to document my progress as a watercolourist, promote works of other watercolourists, and maybe, serve to document the progress of Malaysian watercolour works.

If you like the things that have been written here, let me know. If not, also let me know so that this site can be improved.

If you are a watercolour artist, welcome, too. Let me know if I can write about you.

If you are a watercolour lover, let me know, too. We can certainly exchange notes on this wonderful medium.

If you are a gallery owner, let me know as well if I can be of any assistance so that you can in return assist our local watercolourists.

If you are just a blogger, and watercolour is one of your interests, share it with us.

Thank you.

New Look For Malaysian Watercolours

We are expanding!

How do you like this new look? To cater to increasing content and higher traffic, I have decided to change the look based on a new template.

If time and financial means permits, I will be hosting this on a new server - hopefully when I get enough ca$h to do it.

In the weeks to come, you will se many improvements made to this site. I won't let the fun out of the bag yet but I promise that the days to come will revolutionise Malaysian watercolours.

All these craziness would not have been possible without your support and to those who have sent words of encouragement, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
You are the candles that light up my life and this crazy pursuit as an amateur artist.

Check back again, these few days. You will like what I am going to have here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

First Paint, 'Destroy' It, Then Perfect it

This is an experiment. the painting above was created earlier. I felt it was quite empty. Then I decided to 'destroy' it by adding in various surrounding elements - first the trees, then the rocks, and other ground textures. (See below for the outcome.)I hope I have done justice to it ... or have I completely destroyed the earlier creation?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Glad to be back!

This is my first painting after such a long lay-off due to work commitment and personal struggles. Since October last year, I have not been able to finish a painting. If I was not interrupted by work, it would be something else. Finally, after visiting my mentor and friend Maamor Jantan last week, I was able to summon enough spirit to start and finish this piece. It was a street scene. If it looks familiar, it is. I won't tell you where but you will know if you come across it.

This work started out to test a new paper in the market, a 300-gm paper produced by a Malaysian company. The texture looked good so I decided if it will hold the colours well. From my amateur experience, I think it is quite good. I really hope Malaysian paper manufacturers (we are one of the best in the world, I am told) would come up with proper acid-free papers for artists.

Yes, we have good art product distributors. Yes, we can import good papers like Waterford and Langton and Saunders. But for the struggling artist, this is sometimes quite out of reach. Local papers, I am sure we have the technology to make them, will ease the financial burden for the artists. And killing two birds with one stone, for lack of better analogy, we will be promoting ourselves as good art paper manufacturers. One brushmaker has already made headway into Europe with synthetic sable. So?