Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Three Cows On A Hill

Did this doodle a week ago. Didn't have time to upload it then, so here it is. A very simple piece done imaginatively. And fast.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Journey

This piece of painting was completed last night. Not a very big one, just 10in by 7in. It is done on 140lb Langton watercolour paper made by Daler Rowney.

The scenery shows a snowing mountain with storm approaching (or abating, depends on how you look at it) and four climbers making their way up (or down?) the cold terrain. The slant in the atmospheric skies mark strong winds familiar to climbers and the muted sunlight from right casts shadows on the white landscape. A cottage can be seen at left.

This painting is intended for a friend and former whom I am going to see this afternoon. I had intended to paint her a painting when she quit but never got to it because the idea was not there, then. Last night, it suddenly dawned upon me that it has been such a long while since we parted company in life's journey and while browsing through a book, I stumbled a similar scenery and hence this 'imaginative' piece.

We all go through life's journey somewhat similar to that of mountain climbers. Just when you think you have conquered one mountain, there is another to challenge you. Every day is a changing landscape and every step forward may not guarantee us the golden chalice we are looking for. But we have to plod on, step after step, painful or not, towards our goals in life, and hopefuly, we learn something about our journey in that station of life before another one begins.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Looking for Outdoor Sketchers? Painters?

Wouldn't this be fun?

My last posting triggered various responses - mostly via emails to me. Thank you, the only commenter to use the post comment Amin Saim who, in his own right, is an accomplished sketcher. If you wish, you may visit his site here: MySketch and enjoy his unique pieces.

Among the responses I received via email are those enquiring about my location and where do I normally paint or sketch outdoors. Well, I am city-bound for geographical rhyme and reason. There are plenty of places which are my favourite ranging from busy street scenes to placid lakes and verdant gardens. Sketching and painting outings are limited by time and distance, with the coastal areas being my favourite. So, I hope this answers the questions two ladies from Johor baru have forwarded three days in between each other.

To writer Raj from Cheras, yes, I do go around my painting outings in the city. Normally these are what I do alone because no one would be crazy enough to go armed with a sketch pad and box of colours, sit under shade and start painting. I have not met any one crazy enough to join me, too, which is why the soliquy.

In any case, I am hoping to form a small group of amateur artists of similar interests in watercolour. If you are reading this and are interested, let me know. You may write to me or post your comments.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Outdoor Sketches

I was told that if you want to improve your art, you have to learn to sketch and draw and do these outdoor. This advice came many years ago when I was learning under Master Tang Tuck Kan. I have still not forgotten it and have, as much as I can, try to sketch.

I am not saying that this is the right way, but if you want to improve your understanding of your subject, the atmosphere it is in, and especially mastering the values that will make your art more alive, you need to do outdoor sketches. Lots of it.

Of course, some beginning artists may disagree and I am not saying that this is the only way. For me, it is the best way. This is because sometimes you may not have the time to do a full painting and sketching do help a lot in keeping you in touch with your drawing and painting skills. Sketching allow you to exercise and hone your drawing skills. With good drawing skills, you paint better too.

What do you use to sketch?

Well, you can use pens or graphite pencils, or even watercolours. I prefer graphite pencils because they are easier to handle. I use watersoluble ones such as Derwent's which work well even without using water. If I need a wash, I just brush on with clear water. It's that simple. This brand also does not smudge easily.