Thursday, 24 March 2016

Emerald Hill Shophouse

This is one of the more outstanding terrace shophouses along Emerald Hill Rd, Singapore. (Shop downstairs, living quarters upstairs). It was sketched during the Architectural Art Walk for Singapore Design Week. This sketch was very addictive. Finished mostly on location, I had a hard time stopping myself from adding more and more details on it after I got home.

Emerald Hill was originally owned by William Cuppage who later became Postmaster General of Singapore in the 1840’s. It was here that he had a nutmeg plantation which unfortunately failed. It later became an orchard owned by one of Cuppage’s sons-in-law. This too failed. The property changed hands several times, got subdivided and after the turn of the century became a neighbourhood for members of the city’s wealthy Peranakan (Straits Chinese) community. I am of Peranakan descent on my father's side but unfortunately don't have any family connections to Emerald Hill.

Now a conservation area, I love this street for it’s interesting style of Shophouse architecture. 

I forgot to take a photo of the shophouse but here are a couple of photos taken by someone else on the day.

The red shophouse on the right is the one I sketched... 

and here's the group at the end of the session.

Pen and ink, watercolour,  on #Strathmore400 series Watercolour Journal 7.75”x9.75”

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Rochor Centre Sketchmeet

Last weekend was the February Sketchmeet of Urban Sketchers Singapore. The group met to sketch at Rochor Centre. 

Built in 1977 this commercial and residential estate has 4 colourful blocks which have become iconic structures of public housing. Rochor Centre will be demolished in 2016 to make way for an expressway. The price we pay for progress. 

I arrived late and took awhile to settle on a place to sketch from so I only had one and a half hours to do my sketch and add colour. Accurate renditions of complex buildings is just not my cup of tea so I chose to do a gestural set-up with watercolour pencil (ala Liz Steel) followed by watercolour and lastly pen. Even then those colourful apartment blocks were a challenge to draw.

When I went to pick up my sketchbook from the floor after Show and Tell (I was almost the last to do so) I saw a lady walking away with my sketchbook and starting to look through it. When I rushed over, tapped her on the shoulder and said "it's mine" she looked really surprised! I can’t believe how lucky I was to have been in time to get it back! 

Moral of the story - do not be slow picking up your sketchbook!!! 

Here is the group photo at Show and Tell at the end of the 3 hour session. (Photo by Patrick Ng). 

Thanks again to Teoh Yi Chie (aka Parka Blogs) who made a video of the day:

#LamyPens, #DeArtramentisBrownInk, watercolour pencils, #HandbookJournal (watercolour) 5.25”x8.25”. #USkSg #UrbanSketchers #RochorCentre