Sunday, December 30, 2012

Artist Feature: Li Yixian

Yixian is a friend of mine who likes to sketch. Her cartoon drawings of memories of her travels never fail to amuse me as she captures interesting moments and experiences with a humble pencil and some colour pencils on normal A4 paper. No expensive art materials are needed - not even flashy artistry - just a keen eye, a sense of humour and lots of heart. It gives me great pleasure to introduce Yixian.

SD: Hi Yixian. I love your cartoons about your travels. Lots of artists sketch the sights they see on location, but you seem to prefer to record your experiences. Can you share with us what got you started sketching your travels?

YX: Thanks! I started sketching my travels 'coz I think it's an interesting way to record my travel experiences.

SD: Do you have any art training? Where did you learn to draw?

YX: I attended a 8-session portrait pencil sketching course in NAFA about four years ago. That's all the art training that I've got. 

SD: Tell us a little bit about your process.

YX: The process is very simple. I draw with pencils and colour with colour pencils. But I don't colour everything, usually only the clothes and hair. 

SD: What kind of materials do you use? Is there any particular reason for using them?

YX: I use 2B pencils and Faber-castell colour pencils. I use them because that's all I have at home. :-P 

SD: Why do you draw about your travels? Is there a reason you use the cartoon artform?

YX: There's no particular reason why I use the cartoon artform except that I do not know how to use other artforms! But I do like cartoons a lot. There's one Japanese cartoonist that I like every much--Takagi Naoko (高木直子). She draws about her daily life as well as travels. I guess I might have been influenced by her. 

SD: Do you have your sketches online if some of our readers want to see more of them?

YX: For now, I only upload them to my facebook page to share my experiences with my friends. 

SD: Is there anything you would like to say to our readers, especially those who think they may like to sketch about their travels but don't think they're good enough to do so? 

YX: I think anybody can draw! You just have to get started and you'll get better and better at it. Although I don't draw very well yet, I think I have improved a little since when I first started drawing.

Thanks for taking time time for this short interview!

Below are some pictures of Yixian's works. Enjoy!

© Copyright Li Yixian 2012

© Copyright Li Yixian 2012
I just love the simple facial expressions on her cartoons that convey so much emotion.

© Copyright Li Yixian 2012

© Copyright Li Yixian 2012

© Copyright Li Yixian 2012
© Copyright Li Yixian 2012
Photo reference for Yixian's drawing

© Copyright Li Yixian 2012
Photo reference for Yixian's drawing

© Copyright Li Yixian 2012
Photo reference for Yixian's drawing
Zhu Xiaodao, Yixian's husband on a scooter

Monday, December 3, 2012

Urban Sketchers sketching in Liège, Luik Belgium

A group Urban sketchers join in Liège, Luik Belgium for a sketchcrawl English subtitled!

Sketchpacking Western Australia 2012: Fremantle

After hours of driving from Busselton, we finally arrived back at Fremantle and checked in at the apartment we booked. It was such a welcome sight! It was a lovely place, and the view of the Swan River was simply fantastic. The sun was just beginning to set and we managed to get some beautiful shots. I decided to try painting one of those shots in my sketchbook.

Riverview Apartment
Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012

Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012

View from the balcony. I just had to try painting this one!
Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012

Day 8: Fremantle - Markets, Fish and Chips, Museums
After 3 nights sharing a bed in a tiny room, sleeping in a single bed in a room of my own was a welcome treat. And it was a very comfortable one too! If you visit Freo, I highly recommend Riverview Apartment. It might be a bit of a distance from town (30 min walk), but it is cosy, fully equipped and a generally lovely place.

The sketches of the Fremantle leg were done only after returning to Singapore. As you can see they became more illustrative and representative than the earlier ones which were done on-location. There is also a greater variation of style. My cartooning side is more evident, but there are also scenes drawn from photographs I took.

The famed Fremantle Markets
Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012

Didgeridoo Breath
Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012

Punk rock bagpiper
Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012

World famous fish and chips by Cicerello's
Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012

Cicerello's fish and chips
Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012

After lunch, the guys decided to go cycling. We found out that a nearby brewery has free bike rentals, so we went in search of it. It's called Little Creatures, and it's a microbrewery along the harbour are near Cicerello's. The guys got their bikes and I went to see the museums.

Free bikes!
Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012

Little Creatures brewery
Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012
WA Maritime Museum Shipwreck Galleries.
I didn't draw this in my sketchbook.
Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012

Shipwreck Galleries Batavia wreck exhibit
Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012

The Round House, a gaol, as seen on my way to the WA Maritime Museum
Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012
WA Maritime Museum (different from shipwreck galleries)
as seen from the ferry en route to Rottnest Island a few days earlier
Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012

All photographs are Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012

Day 9: Fremantle and Last Day in WA

We decided to drive down to town today instead of walking half an hour there (and another half hour back!). Since we hadn't visited the Arts Centre (Yes!! Australia uses British spelling!), we decided to pop by there. We also needed to get my didgeridoo from Didgeridoo Breath and buy my boomerang.

Lunch was fish and chips again, but this time at Kaili's, another world-famous fish and chips place. I preferred it to Cicerello's, actually.

The last place we visited before returning to our apartment to pack and check out was the famous Fremantle Prison, but that was a very short visit because there wasn't any time left. We didn't take the prison tours. We just walked around the visitor centre very quickly.

Sam making breakfast! He doesn't cook, but this turned out quite successful

Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012

No photography inside. The sketch of Sam watching the exhibit was drawn from memory.
Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012
Our rental car. Photo taken during our drive down to Margaret River
Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012

Didgeridoo Breath
Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012

After checking out, we drove to Cottlesloe Beach for a bit before heading back to Fremantle for dinner at Hungry Jacks (Burger King). Our pick-up point for transport to the airport was at Esplanade Hotel, so we headed there, unloaded our stuff and waited at the outdoor dining area while Sam went to return the car. We sat right under the noses of a couple dining in the restaurant inside. I can imagine that didn't do much to add to the romance over dinner...

Esplanade Hotel, our pick-up point
Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012

Hungry Jacks
Copyright © Favian Ee Sept 2012

Waiting for the bus

Dead beat after a good but tiring holiday

SketchCycling Back in Time

If you're here in Singapore and would like to get away from the skyscrapers and crowds of the city to spend an afternoon in a quiet old corner to soak in some remnants of our colonial past, you might want to visit Colbar.

Colbar (short for "Colonial Bar") is located in Wessex Estate along Whitchurch Road - a colonial residential area - and was originally built in 1953 and served as a canteen and mess for British Soldiers. Today it is a quaint eatery complete with old wooden paneled walls painted blue, and some furniture you don't see much these days. Dining is pretty much al fresco, but there's much greenery about. If you're planning to sketch here, there are many white low-rise residential flats from Singapore's colonial past. My workplace is nearby and I've been meaning to cycle in to sketch the neighbourhood (it would take a bit too long to walk), and finally had the opportunity when I arranged for a sketchcycle outing with a friend who lives nearby.

Here are some photos!

What I packed. The Google Nexus 7 was for navigation.
I brought a raincoat cos weather has been wet lately and a brolly would be useless on bike.

My bag and my ride

Patrick and his kids. Pat is one of the Singapore Urban Sketchers.

Al fresco dining at Colbar

Colbar sells a lot of unusual ciders and beers you can't find elsewhere in Singapore

At $10 for sausages, eggs, chips and mushrooms, food is on the expensive side

Many expatriates frequent this area. There's an international school across the road

Old weighing machine. Still works! Just insert a 10c coin!

Some buildings in the neighbourhood along Woking Road

We didn't get to sketch the neighbourhood of Wessex Estate because of the rain (we were stuck for 5 hours at Colbar!). That means we need to go back!

Somebody's blog:

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