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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Plein Air ~ Fishing Boats, Sarawak River

I'm now back in my hometown Kuching, Sarawak for a one-week break, and I brought along my plein air gear with me as usual. 

It was a cloudy morning today and I decided to try my luck and hope that the sky will clear up later on. I went to the Kuching Waterfront and immediately, I spotted this beautiful scene with two fishing boats anchored at the jetty with the majestic Mount Serapi at the backdrop partially covered with morning mist. I thought it would make an interesting painting subject. So, I wasted no time to unpack my stuff and got down to work.

It took me about three hours to complete the painting and at the same time, not forgetting to chit-chat with some passer-by including a couple of French tourists who asked for direction to the nearest photo lab - well, at least now I know that film isn't dead, yet.

This is me putting in the last touches.

Here's the final painting (Half-sheet of Fabriano Artistico Rough 14" x 21", painted with W&N, Rembrandt, Schmincke, Holbein).

Posing with the final painting...

Critiques and comments are welcome as usual.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Old Singapore River Scene

I received an inquiry recently to do a commissioned painting of old Singapore scene as a corporate gift for their clients. Although it's been three weeks and they have not come back with a definite answer, I did the unthinkable and proceed to paint a scene of Singapore River during the early 1980s. Well, I thought I have nothing to lose anyway. I've been wanting to paint such subject for some time but keep delaying it... so if the deal is on, I'll sell them the painting, if it's not, it will be part of my growing collection, perhaps for an exhibition in the future. :)

Here's the painting.
Painted on Fabriano Artistico Rough (quarter sheet 10" x 15"), with Rembrandt, Winsor & Newton and Schmincke Artist paints.

Hope you like it. Comments and critiques are welcome as usual.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Singapore Riverbank

Here's another painting of Singapore River, done about a week ago. Very similar to the plein air I did last year, but I decided to have a wider panaromic view of the riverbank.

As this is done at home where I had more time to plan and paint it, the "spaceship" lookalike building (the new Supreme Court to be exact) turned out much nicer and not as dominant as my earlier effort.

Here's the painting.

Half sheet of Fabriano Artistico Rough (approx 14" x 21"), painted using Artist grade watercolour paints, ie. W&N, Rembrandt, Holbein and Schmincke.

Thanks for looking. Comments and critiques are welcome and much appreciated.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Old Gems

I was looking through a stack of my old paintings to pick out a few better ones to show a
potential customer last week when I spotted two quarter sheets that I have painted a couple of years ago. I thought they were just ordinary, nothing outstanding when I finished painting them, so I just kept them with my other paintings then. But when I saw them again last week after two long years, they seemed to offer a different aesthetic values than I remembered last time.

Now, I can appreciate the foggy effect on the background of Misty River and the lost and found edges on the boats and distant houses; I also liked the economy of strokes in Sarawak Longhouse and the bold spontaneous brushstrokes that suggested the trees and foliages.

Misty River (10" x 14")

Sarawak Longhouse (10" x 14")

I guess it is same with life sometimes. We do not seem to put much importance on what we already have; we hardly have time to ponder and cherish what we have in front of us. When we looked back, we tend to remember the good old days when we were still kids, or when we were still in school, or when we were still enjoying life as care-free college students or young adults. Perhaps things aren't the same anymore, but do cherish what we have at this very moment as things do not stand still.... time waits no one so be grateful and enjoy the good times and learn from the bad ones.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sunset Cruise - Chao Phraya River, Bangkok

Here's something a little different from me, a sunset!
This is a scene along Chao Phraya River, which flows through the heart of Bangkok City, the capital of beautiful Thailand.

I was there in November 2005 and again in March last year for work related seminars. I spent whatever free time I had taking photos of the lovely place, but considering the tight schedule, I only have a handful of good ones. However, I did take a short cruise along the Chao Phraya River during sunset and the view was simply breathtaking. So, here it is, my impression of the stunning sunset I experienced that day.

Here's the painting...

Sunset Cruise - Chao Phraya River, Bangkok (11" x 15")

and here's the close-up shots...

Hope you like it. Comments and Critiques are welcome as usual.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Boat Quay, Singapore River

Boat Quay, Singapore River (11" x 15")

This is Boat Quay, along Singapore River which I have painted on many occassions, both from studio and plein air. Scenes like this along Singapore River have always been the favourite painting subjects of Singapore's pioneer watercolourists such as Lim Cheng Hoe, Gog Sing Hooi and T.Y. Choy just to name a few.

Although I didn't have the chance to meet these late artists, I am fortunate enough to hear many great stories about their masterful skills and energy in promoting the art of watercolour to the younger generation. Together with a group of artists, they would gather around Singapore River every Sunday morning without fail. Every view, every angle along Singapore River had been covered by these amazing group of painters.

Today, the traditions of painting plein air on Sunday morning is kept alive by us, members of Singapore Watercolour Society, where we paint all over Singapore. Although I may not be able to do this week in week out now, I will try my best to go out and paint as often as I can as nothing beats the direct observation of the painting subjects, where the results are often fresh and spontaneous... and it's more fun painting together with friends than doing it alone in the studio.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Clarke Quay, Singapore

I haven't been painting much for the past two months as I has been terribly busy at work, involving in some projects that required working over the weekends. So, it was with great pleasure that I was able to get back to painting last Sunday when a few artist friends of mine gathered on the highest level of Liang Court Hotel car park, near Clarke Quay to provide us a beautiful bird's eye view of the scene.

It was difficult to decide on one composition. Most people would naturally compose a landscape/horizontal view given that the main building (Riverside Point) stretches along the river as shown by the picture above. But I tried to be different and by making use of the sharp pointy roof and the tall modern buildings as the backdrop, I decided to use a portrait/vertical composition.

I've also recently bought Schmincke's Translucent Orange and decided to put this glowing colour into good use. You can definitely see its effect on the roof and a more diluted wash on the walls of the building. This gave the main subject a warm treatment, contrasting against the cool blue on the sky and the water.

Here's the painting...

Clarke Quay, Singapore (15" x 11")

and here are some close-up shots...

Surprisingly, I've shrinked from full sheet in my home studio, to half sheet during my past plein air sessions... and now I'm painting only small 1/4 sheet... mainly because it's easier to carry around and I find myself having more time to think what would I do next. I still spend the same 2-3 hours for this 1/4 sheet but I don't need to rush myself to finish off the painting, like I do half-sheets, although I love the freedom and brush-movement that I get in painting bigger size.

I always use Fabriano Artistico Rough watercolour paper, painted with W&N, Rembrandt, Schmincke, M.Graham Artist Watercolour Paints.

Comments and Critiques are welcome as usual.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

At last, I got to paint something....

I've been pretty busy at work for the whole of October especially the last two weeks as I was involved in a project where I had to worked everyday including Saturday and Sunday. I'm glad it's finished now, over...completed! yippee!

Now, what will a mad watercolourist do when he reached home, tired from working his socks off? Well, of course he played with his 4-month old son, rocked him to sleep and then took out his watercolour gears and painted away....

This is done at home - a riverside scene at Boat Quay in Singapore. I've painted this area many times but never at this angle, so I thought I'll give it a try.

It's half-sheet of Fabriano Artistico Rough, using mainly W&N and Rembrandt Artist Paints.

Here's the final painting.

... and here are a few close-up shots.

Comments and critiques welcome as usual.

Well, to thank you for reading up till's Javier looking rather happy...
I think he's trying to say "Daddy, give me that brush!" :D

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