Saturday, August 22, 2015

Back from South East Asia Trip with a lot of Sketches

We have been back just over two weeks from our South East Asia trip to Singapore, Cambodia and Bangkok. What a wonderful experience and each place so different.  We battled stifling humidity and heat to sketch outdoors, met people from all over the world and made new friends.  The experience was one I wouldn't miss (even having to deal with the weather) and moments that will be treasured for the rest of my life.

Because there was so much to see and sketch, in many cases I learned something about traveling much time it takes,  how the mediums work in different weather conditions and how you have to adapt to those conditions. 

When you sketch and travel you have to choose between touring and seeing all the sights...or seeing fewer sights and taking time to sketch.  Or you adjust the way you work to get in as many sketches as you can.  I prefer to sketch and watercolor on site from start to finish however that takes a lot of time and you are seated in one location for a period of time.  I had to compromise to get all the sketches in that I wanted.  I found in many cases I only had time to sketch the line portion of my drawing and take a picture to finish the painting off site.

I will be posting groups of sketches at a time and sharing some thoughts and experiences.  So here goes.... The one place I wanted to sketch on this whole trip was the Marina Bay, and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, in Singapore.  I had seen sketches done by the local Singapore Urban Sketchers and it had always caught my eye. That was on my bucket list of places to sketch.  We were in Singapore for 8 days so I thought I would have time to sketch there no problem. I only had a couple of days before the symposium and had to spend most of the time prepping at my sketch site.  I did get in an afternoon where we went to the Gardens by the Bay and were able to get a views of Marina Bay from inside the Cloud Dome.
The two sketches from inside the Cloud Dome took a great deal of time.  This is where you decide whether to paint on site or paint off site.  After sketching on site from the bridge I decided the bridge was not the best place to paint for fear of dropping brushes and being in the way. The first sketch was drawn directly in ink on site.  The second sketch being so complex was drawn in pencil on site which took probably an hour. Inking over the pencil sketch and painting was done off site.

View of the Marina Bay Sands and Super Trees from inside the Cloud Dome

 I didn't spend much time in the Flower Dome but did a quick capture of the Baobab trees on location in pencil.  Inking and watercolor was done off site.  I decided to try out the pentel brush pen for the trees for its calligraphic quality.
Baobab Trees in the Flower Dome
At night we sat amongst the Super Tree Grove and watched the light show.  I had planned on painting there so I drew the preliminary bases of the trees in pencil in the sketchbook.  I found the light show to change so quickly that I couldn't get the colors and changes in.  So I took pictures and decided to paint later over my pencil sketch.
Super Tree Grove Light Show at Night
 This is the view I had intended on sketching all along.  But this didn't happen until Saturday morning the last full date in Singapore.  I am glad I got this in.  The Panorama was sketched on site and painted off site.  The close up painting was done on site.

Marina Bay Sands by Architect Moshe Safdie

 Close up of the Lotus Flower which is actually a Art Science Museum adjacent to the Marina Bay Sands


  1. Such wonderful work, Gail. I have been looking forward to these sketches ever since the symposium. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks Michele, More to come later. I have been trying to catch up and also a lot of the sketches ended up just drawn and not painted because of time. So I am slowly painting over the line work based on photos.

  2. Excellent images! Look forward to seeing more of your work from your other stops on the trip. Thanks for posting these. Hope to see you sometime soon. Frank B

    1. Thanks Frank,
      It was such an inspiring trip and so fun to sketch. Will have more later.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Jane, I feel like I need to catch up most people have already posted their work.