Saturday, May 28, 2011

Kah Choon at Work

I bought a 4"x6" Derwent sketchbook at Nanyang Arts Shop in Jalan Petaling months back. It was perfect for small drawings and its paper can take watercolor very well. So yesterday, I brought it to the office where I did a quick and rough sketch of my friend and colleague who was busy working - while I wasn't. Hehe. When I got home, I decided to define the lines a bit more with a cheap Faber-Castell waterproof gel pen. And then added the watercolor washes for color hints.

I enjoyed the whole process with this small Derwent sketchbook and I'm probably going to make this a constant companion for awhile.

The Derwent and The Sketchkit
The Derwent and The Sketchkit

Kah Choon at Work
Kah Choon at Work

KC Sketch Close Up
KC Sketch Close Up

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Neighborhood Kopitiam

I didn't plan on visiting the neighborhood kopitiam just around the next block from where we live. Normally, it's only during weekends that I get to do this. But today was different. I took a leave from work. My daughter developed a high fever yesterday night and the poliklinik doctor saw her slightly inflamed tonsils. Poor little girl. Today, with her taking medications, the fever somewhat subsided but I knew I had to stay home just in case anything flares up.

She woke up hungry and asked for breakfast. A hot roti canai immediately came into mind. It's her favorite. I only hoped that the order list at the kopitiam wasn't that long. Last time I remembered, I waited for almost an hour for a measly 3-piece roti canai takeaway.

There were a number of cars already when I got there so I knew the wait time will be enough for me to at least pencil in a sketch. Midway through, I thought that it'd be good to put some color in later. I haven't done so on a Moleskine but I read it was tough to get the watercolors in. As a backup medium, I brought out my Caran D'Arche water soluble pencils.

Prepping Up!

Kopitiam in Pencils

The Sketch and The Kit
Indeed, it wasn't that easy to apply watercolors on a Moleskine Sketchbook. That is why Modo & Modo came out with the "for watercolors" version. I switched back and forth between a brush and the pencils but in some instances, one would be good over the other and vice versa. Well, I ended up using both!

What I noticed is, the Moleskine's paper have a shine and some sort of thin waxy surface. When I use the water soluble pencils first and wet the colors with water, somehow, the waxy surface wears off. Now when I apply watercolors with a brush, the paper now takes them a bit better. Still not ideal. Just a bit better.

The Neighborhood KopitiamThe Neighborhood Kopitiam. My Roti Canai and Kopi-O(traditional black coffee) in the foreground.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dinner at Old Town

I called in sick from work yesterday as my back spasms hadn't entirely gone away. I think I hunched too much while on the laptop over the weekend and my back muscles cramped. Mental note to get one of those ergonomic chairs next time.

So much of the day was spent resting and soon enough it was dinner time already and my wife and I wanted to drink coffee afterwards. My daughter, Andi, on the other hand has a different idea going into coffee shops. That meant "drawing" time for her. So she brought all her drawing implements with her and just rightly so to keep her busy.

I had Ipoh Lum Mee and my wife had Minced Chicken Rice which we both tried for the first time. Andi cannot be bothered so we gave her spoonfuls from each of our orders.

Right after we ate dinner, the three of us were engrossed doing each own thing. My 4-year old daughter, Andi, had drawn Plankton(from Sponge Bob fame) down pat from memory! My wife, Jolana, was browsing the latest fashion magazines. And I was sketching, well... in between Facebook and Google. Hehe!

Dinner at Old Town Coffee Shop
Dinner at Old Town Coffee Shop

Andi In Focus: Dinner at Old Town
Andi In Focus: Dinner at Old Town

Jolana In Focus: Dinner at Old Town
Jolana In Focus: Dinner at Old Town

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Starting Again...

As my first Moleskine sketchbook has witnessed, I've never been able to finish one with completely filled pages. And when did I buy it? Some six years ago! For starters, the nice smooth pages were intimidating enough for me not to dare draw a "bad" sketch on them. At times when I do put in some doodles, I would have to be in a perfect mood. That's when I feel they're worthy to be inside this special notebook.

But I digress.

A Moleskine should be treated just like any other sketchbook or paper to draw on for that matter. Otherwise, I'd always feel not worthy putting something on it. Of course I did a couple of sketches on my other sketchbooks(the Derwent, the Miquelrius, et al) but I guess it's time to fill this up once and for all.

Earlier today when we went out, I purposely didn't bring my dslr. Back spasms haunted me since last night and the last thing I needed was a heavy load on my neck. Thus the Moleskine just fit perfectly in my hands and with my trusty Staedler pencil, I was good to go.

As soon as my 4-year old daughter got tired from all the walking, we settled in a coffee shop which was just what I needed to "stalk" my victims. Hehe. Anyways, I found my subjects as soon as I sat down. And then it was just like old times - sketching, I mean.

sketch01_may22_2011
Borders-Starbucks
The Gardens Mall, MidValley City
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

sketch01b_may22_2011
These two ladies were seated just a table beside ours. So it was kinda awkward for me to keep glancing at them. Good thing I was able to put in some gestures first that guided me to "complete" the sketch without them noticing me.

sketch02_may22_2011
Now this guy noticed me glancing at him. And so he kept shifting in his seat. But the pencil is faster than the man. Haha! Okay, I made that up.

I can't wait to fill up all of my 1st 'skines pages. I already got a new one standing by ready to be unwrapped. By then, I should be continuously sketching and not being on hiatus for every two to five years. Promise.