Sunday 31 March 2013

Q & A #1

  It's Sunday in Singapore. I thought a good way to encourage you, yes you, to ask me questions would be to have a question and answer segment on my blog. I'm hoping to do them every fortnight on Sundays.

Question 1: Talent needed, or practice?
I was wondering if you just have to practice a lot or have to have talent to be able to draw/paint nicely because i'm not really talented but I'd love to draw better. Also, what are good ways to practice drawing and painting?

My Answer:
Having natural inclination to something (not talent, no one is born knowing how to do something) is good. However, if you do not work hard, that "talent" goes to waste. Someone who has talent but is lazy will easily be overtaken by someone who has not much talent but is full of passion and works hard.

Question 2: Any other artists like Thomas Cole?
His paintings are absolutely astounding, and I am just wondering if there artists like him, or any that come to mind?

My Answer:
There are SO MANY. :) Aside, you have excellent taste in Art. They are mid-nineteenth century American painters of the Hudson River School. Of which, I remember Frederic Church the best.

Click here for Hudson River School Painters Image Search

And here for Frederick Church Image Search

[His reply was: "This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!"]

Question 3: How to develop drawing style?
I started drawing in the 6th grade. I draw wolves and other animals. I'm 15 now, and I've been trying to mimic all these other art styles that I see because I can't seem to find my own, and if I don't do it perfectly, I get so angry and flip out. I've tried drawing in my own style but I can't seem to make it work.

What am I to do?

My Answer:
Style develops over time, without you noticing. Mimicking is good. Learn from the best. You can't just wake up one day and have "style". Style is built over what skills you have. Frustration, to an extent, is good. It means you want to be good at drawing very bad. But don't get discouraged. Keep at it. You'll get there eventually.

  And with that, I'll end this episode of Q & A. Coincidentally, this is my 100th post. Woohoo! I hope that was some help to you even if they were not your question. If you'd like to ask me a question, you can reach me at < >. Or in the comments section below. Anonymous commenting is enabled. So, ask away.

Saturday 30 March 2013

Recommended Artist: Mark Demsteader

   He didn't have his biography on his website, so I had to search wikipedia and quote from there.

  "Born in Manchester in 1963, his formative years were spent in Manchester’s meat market where he would accompany his father (Fraser Stone) and his mother (Matteo Russo) to the family butchery and meat-packing business. Completely absorbed in the noise, smells, and sheer physicality of this environment, the young Mark learnt more about the structure of sinew, bone, and flesh—albeit livestock—than in any subsequent life drawing class."

  I find that highly interesting. He learned to observe anatomy from livestock and had a natural fascination with form from a very young age.  The article goes on to say that as a teenager he was inclined in Arts but the Art market was not kind to him. That did not stop him from pursuing Arts and he continued to take life classes throughout the 1990s even when his family business took a hit during the recession. He tried to bank in on his talents while still having time to build a portfolio. Thus, he took  a job as an art technician at an Oldham grammar school for another ten years.

  After which, he took a short course at the Slade School of Fine Art. It led him to an opportunity to tour the London galleries with his portfolio, but with Brit Art in the ascendency he found drawing out of favour. Eventually, a gallery in Greenwich offered him space in a mixed show where he sold six works.

  He is now represented in Daikanyama, Japan by Art Obsession. And according to The Daily Telegraph, he is "one of Britain's best-selling figurative painters".

  I like his drawings over his paintings, and maybe it's due to the fact that his drawings show more details of the subject's faces. I like the last painting because the girl is shrouded in darkness and her features are not clear- you don't quite know who she is. She blends into the background. She's there but not quite there. Life is like that for me sometimes. I'm still trying to figure out who I am, and it feels like I'm lost in a vast empty space of darkness with it slowly swallowing me up. I have to find my light again, find my path, find myself. And the painting is an analogy of me as I'm beginning to come out from the background, I'm coming out of the darkness as I start to understand who I am.

 Mark Demsteader's website can be found, here:

Friday 29 March 2013

Recommended Artist: Jeremy Lipking

Michael Zakian says of Lipking's Art, "Realism has been misunderstood through most of the twentieth century as an art of imitation. In truth, when practiced by a painter like Jeremy Lipking, realist painting is a powerful creative force. Many viewers are drawn to his art thinking that it looks just like a photograph. Actually Lipking's vision is the opposite of what a camera does. A photograph tends to flatten an image, reducing all relationships of color and shade to a stiff mechanical pattern. Lipking's skill lies in his ability to probe in and around his subject. With a highly sensitive eye, he sees nuances of value and hue that the camera and most people can never see. More incredibly, he is able to translate his highly nuanced vision into a painted image. Lipking's true subject is his pictorial fluency. Seeing one of his paintings involves entering into the pictorial world he has created. Like all great realists, he has the ability to generate powerful fictions."

  I think that's a brilliant way to put it. Jeremy Lipking's Art is more than a picture, it's more than slavish copying of a photograph. His Art shows subtleties that a camera could never capture. His Art shows emotion, character, a mood, a second in time.

  I really like his confident brushstrokes and excellent understanding of composition and anatomy. In particular, the last painting here is really interesting composition wise, with a very high horizon and a lot of negative space. It's a landscape, but doesn't fit into what you're used to seeing in landscapes. It reads as water very well even though there's very little detail, and shows a magical moment when the sun is just about to rise from the horizon. Magical.

  Visit his website at:

Thursday 28 March 2013

Recommended Artist: Alyssa Monks

  Born 1977 in Ridgewood, New Jersey, Alyssa Monks began oil painting as a child. She studied at The New School in New York and Montclair State University and earned her B.A. from Boston College in 1999. During this time she studied painting at Lorenzo de’Medici in Florence. She went on to earn her M.F.A from the New York Academy of Art, Graduate School of Figurative Art in 2001.

  She writes, "When I began painting the human body, I was obsessed with it and needed to create as much realism as possible. I chased realism until it began to unravel and deconstruct itself. I am exploring the possibility and potential where representational painting and abstraction meet - if both can coexist in the same moment."

  I find that notion very interesting. Realistic, yet abstract art. What you see is real, yet not quite. You are amazed, then taking two steps closer, begin to notice that the painting is merely strokes and dabs of colours which make an illusion of reality through your eyes.

I strongly suggest you seeing her full body of work via this link:

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Painting of the Day: "What Dreams Are Made Of"

"What Dreams Are Made Of" by Arthur Shawcross.
  Arthur Shawcross, the creator of the above painting, was an American murderer known as The Genesee River Killer in Rochester, New York. He was born in Kittery, Maine, but his family moved to Watertown in New York State when he was young. In fifth grade, his IQ was tested to be "low-normal" (between 86 and 92). However, when tested in the army, Shawcross scored above average in intelligence tests. In May 1972, he murdered his first victim. In 1990, he was convicted of 11 murders and died in prison due to cardiac arrest on November 10, 2008 at the Albany Medical Center.

  A monk once said that if Hitler had not been rejected by the Vienna Academy of Art, he wouldn't have become destructive because he would have had an outlet for all his creative energy. I think the above Art piece is charming, and very much beautiful. It has good composition, and a very balanced use of colours. Though, I cannot help but wonder whether there is symbolism in the painting, and what it means to the artist. For example, the yellow and orange flames at the top right hand corner, does that represent hell? I thought it'd be interesting to show some Art done by not quite conventional artist, and I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

DAISO in Singapore

  In another post (Art Stores In Singapore) I wrote saying that one could get some steals– as in cheap items or bargain, not actually taking illegally– from DAISO. I misspelled the shop's name, an oversight on my part, and my error was pointed out by a kind Anon. I rectified the error but found that people had followed the mis-spelled "DIASO" label on that post. To make up for that error, here's a post on all the DAISO shops in Singapore.

  DAISO's inventory differs with each store so what you can get at one store, you might not be able to find at another. The inventory also changes very quickly, to the extent that what you bought last month, you might not be able to find ever again at any of the DAISO stores due to discontinuation.

  Here's what I've seen/bought from DAISO.

  Resin. Apparently they sell resin in little 5g tubes. Still expensive, but good for people who just need small quantities for their own projects.

  Notebooks, and they still stock notebooks with white pages. Those are hard to come buy in other stores because they're difficult to clear. Most stores stock the ruled ones (those with lines) because that's what most people use. I like to use the un-ruled notebooks as diaries because I sometimes draw in them and my handwriting changes with my mood.
But don't make the mistake of buying too many too soon. I use one notebook in 2-3 months that's why I buy 3-4 notebooks at one go.
And they stock lots of other kinds of notebooks. Glittery ones. Plain ones. Cashier notebooks. Receipt notebooks. Ones with pretty covers. Small ones, big ones, thin ones, mini ones. They literally have 2 aisles in each store dedicated to just notebooks.

  They sell Japanese pen-brushes. It's like a pen, but with a bendy, slightly broader nib. The packaging says "Waterproof Ink" or sometimes "Indian Ink" but I think they use permanent marker ink. Try smelling one of them if you find one and you'll get why I think so. I have one of them... but I misplaced it... *fumbles around the house to find it* I have no clue where I last saw it. So, moving on.

  Oil pastels and normal pastels, acrylics, inks, oils, paintbrushes, Chinese brushes, coloured papers, sketchbooks. Yes, they sell art materials. Do keep in mind though, that you're paying just $2. They will not last long, nor have the same quality as artist grade (or even student grade) materials.

  The pastels I've tried- both oil and the normal type. They usually come in sets of 12, with an A set, and a B set of different colours. I like them. They're good for experimentation pieces.
A used set of oil pastels. They've got a good consistency. Well worth the $2.

  I really like the sketchbooks that DAISO stocks. They're sort of like cold-pressed watercolour paper with a medium tooth. They're wired-bound and come in different sizes. Try to get a plastic wrapped one if you're intending on buying because people like to touch and see what they're buying and fingers transfer oil to the paper through touch. You might get a nasty surprise later on when you use the sketchbook if you buy an opened one.

  Canvases. They're small, but good enough to use. Some come with a pre-printed composition of flowers or a landscape. I tried doing a watercolour piece using that but the watercolour didn't really stay. "Watercolours aren't meant for canvases," I hear you say. Yes, but in my defence I would like to say that the packaging said I could, so I tried... to not much success, unfortunately. Acrylics, or oils should fare better with these canvases.

  Crafty stuffs, like scissors, erasers, pencils, pens, markers, and craft punchers. There are lots of different kinds to choose from. Do keep in mind what's worth the $2 and what's not. For example, I wouldn't buy erasers from DAISO. I can get a high quality art eraser from Art Friend at under $2, so that's just not worth my dough. I bought this awesome mechanical pencil that stores thick leads which are great for me to bring out to sketch en plein air, and it was an excellent bargain because pencils with thick leads usually cost $15 and up in Art stores.
The pencil come with 4 leads and a box to keep them in. The back end of the pencil
 (essentially, the cap) doubles as a sharpener for the lead. Genius, isn't it?

  I mostly go to the IMM branch. To get to the pens and notebooks you turn right after entering the store. The craft section of that store, where all the acrylics, papers, sketchbooks  are located near the cashier side. It gets crowded there during the weekends though. The Orchard branch is a little squeezy, but I found lots of interesting things there. And the other ones I've been to was the Bukit Panjang and Rivervale Mall one. They're both small, and not very well stocked in their craft department.

And of course, the list of all the DAISO branches around our island:

2 Jurong East Street 21
#03-50 IMM S609601

1 Harbourfront Walk
#03-06 Vivocity S098585

City Square Mall
180 Kitchener Road, #04-05/06/07/08/09/10
Singapore 208539

Plaza Singapura
68 Orchard Road
#05-01/02/03 Plaza Singapura S238839

ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn
#B4-47 ION Orchard S238801

Rivervale Mall
11 Rivervale Crescent
#02-01 Rivervale Mall S545082

Parkway Parade
80 Marine Parade Road, #03-26B Parkway Parade, Singapore 449269

Sembawang Shopping Centre
604 Sembawang Road
#01-18 Sembawang Shopping Centre S758459

Kallang Wave
1 Stadium Place, #02-11 Kallang Wave, Singapore 397628

City Square Mall
180 Kitchener Road
#04-05/10 City Square Mall S208539

Tampines 1
10 Tampines Central 1
#03-17/18 Tampines 1 S529536

Chinatown Point
133 New Bridge Road
#B2-02 Chinatown Point S059413

Bukit Panjang Plaza
1 Jelebu Road
#04-03/04 Bukit Panjang Plaza S677743

Daiso Industries Co.
27 Penjuru Lane
#01-02 S609195

  I would love to hear from you. Leave me a comment telling me about what you've bought at DAISO that you thought was super worth it. :)

  The information on this page is correct, to the best of my knowledge, as of 11th Sept. 2014.

Sunday 24 March 2013

Naming Your Painting

  Is it just me, or is there something going on in the Art scene whereby the artist can't be bothered to name his/her Art piece? It doesn't make sense to me... You've spent hours on the project, from visualising it, planning the composition, the colours, the medium in which you're going to be executing it, starting the project, and actually finishing it, at times even going through the trouble of framing it. Then you don't give it a name. How does that even.....

   *le sigh*

  We're humans. We like to put labels on things, to give names to things. We give names to streets, to buildings, to children, to objects, to animals, to books, to music, to out pets. It makes it easier to identify things that way. Then why can't an artist take some time out to name his/her Art?

  Imagine two people, Julian and Tim, talking to each other at Starbucks.

 "I went to last Saturday," says Julian.

 "How was it?"

 "It was pretty good. The artist works in oils. I really like the way he mixed the colours."

  Tim takes a sip of his mocha. "Which piece did you like best?"

 "Oh, it was the one with mostly red hues. It was a portrait. Of a lady... She was sitting next to a table..."

  There's a moment of silence. Julian shifts in his seat, scratches his head then adds, "There was a vase of roses on the table, if that helps."

  Wouldn't it have been much easier if the artist had given the piece a title? Then Julian could have just said, "Kate, Roses in Red".

  I don't even mind if you give the Art piece a generic name like, "Still Life #5", or "Floral Study #2", or name your portraits after the person's name, or your landscapes after the place you're drawing. Just give it a name to help viewers identify it.

  What will be better though, is if you title your piece to add a deeper meaning to the art work. For example, a coloured pencil artist drew a still life of marbles and titled it, "I Thought I'd Lost Them". It made it really memorable because there was humour in the title. Another example was a digital artist who made a drawing for a book cover. The client wanted the main character to be looking at a horizon of a ruined city. The artist titled the piece "Envisioning the Future". That made me think of a story of the piece. It made me spend more time with the painting.

  A title helps others identify your Art. It can also help add meaning to it. A title can be something that makes the painting stand out from all others. A title is important– almost as important as the art piece itself. So after finishing your next piece, sit down for a few minutes and think of a good title for it. An original title, a creative one, one that adds meaning to the art itself. One that is worthy of the wonderful creation you've just made.

Saturday 23 March 2013

Recommended Artist: Leonid Afremov

Leonid Afremov was born in Viteberk, Belarus on 12th July 1955. He is a modern impressionistic artist who works mainly with a palette knife and oils. Before the advancements in the internet, and the introduction of internet sales, Leonid struggled to make ends meet as galleries didn't want to represent him.

  In 2004, Leonid Afremov's son introduced him to eBay. There, he tried to sell a couple of paintings by auction and immediately received positive approval. The paintings sold for hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars and for the first time Afremov was given the opportunity to paint what he really wanted. He began painting what he really wanted from his personal inspirations and was finally able to fully explore his artistic vision and abilities. The exposure on eBay gave him opportunities for commission orders and access to different galleries. However, because of negative experiences with galleries, Leonid preferred to sell directly to the collector which he continues to do today.

  I think his Art is easy to accept by a wide range of people as they are politically neutral and are made using bright colours in high chroma. He does floral still life and figure paintings too, but I don't like those. His strength lies in landscape because his understanding of anatomy and perspective aren't very strong. But each to his own, I say.

You can view his Art and purchase them via this link:

Friday 22 March 2013

Recommended Artist: Francoise Nielly

  Francoise Nielly. A slightly odd spelling variant of both names, but still. Her art is really expressive with her employing bold colors and using what she calls a "palette knife" technique. She paints portraits, and paints them in high chroma.

  She was born in Marseille, brought up near Cannes and Saint-Tropez and is now living in Paris. She was taught by what she says to be a strict father who didn't allow any mistakes. This taught her the discipline and technical skill that she has today.

  Her website is beautifully designed. I am in love. See it via this link:

Thursday 21 March 2013

Prismacolors in Singapore: Art Mark

  Update: I currently DO NOT stand by the quality of customer service that Art Mark provides as I've received e-mails from people whom have visited the shop and have had a bad experience with them. Read my post alternative places to purchase Prismacolors here.

  So, you're looking for places in Singapore that sell Prismacolor colored pencils. The short answer is, Art Mark...

  They stock all sorts of Prismacolor sets; Verithin, Premier sets of 12, 24, 48, 72, 132, and even the latest set of 150. I even saw a set of 23 colors  Isn't that an odd number? They also stock NuPastels, colorless blenders, and open stocked Premiers, Verithin, Col-erase pencils, mixed media sets, and even Prismacolor markers. What I'm saying is that Art Mart is pretty much the go-to store for Prismacolor products.

  What really excites me, though, is that they do have a small number of US made Premier pencils in open stock. I bought a "Ginger Root" for SGD $2.80. Slightly pricey- I thought they went at a dollar plus. But worth it for the quality assurance. Not all colors are made in the US of A though. I tried to get an "Orange" from the US batch but alas, they were out. You have to look out for the USA or MEXICO stamp on each pencils. An easy way to tell which is which is by the color of the printed words on the pencils. Gold lettering are US made pencils, the silver letterings are from the Mexico batch. I also think that they have a different pricing system for the different batches.

  One of the things I do not like about their store is that prices are not stated. They have a pricing book from which they scan the prices from. So if you want to know the price of something, you'll just have to ask.


Open stock Premiers

Verithin, Col-Erase

Look out for the "USA" embossed on the end of each pencil.

Side by side comparison of "Ginger Root".
Top, Mexico made- silver lettering. Bottom, USA made- gold lettering.

  They're located at #04-35, Bras Basah Complex, Blk 231, Bain Street, Singapore 180231. Give them a ring at (65) - 6338 0820. Or visit their website;

  Please note; I am not affiliated with Art Mark in any ways, and I do not receive any commission from any sales, nor are they paying me to write about them on this blog. I just want to get this information out to the public.

  If you'd like to see a list of stores to get your art materials in Singapore, click here.

  If you have any questions, write to me at < > and I'll try my best to help you.

  I hope you found this post helpful and would love to hear from you in the comment section below. :)

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Pencil-Pen Wrap (SOLD)

  As promised, I now have a pencil (or pen, if you like) wrap on sale now. My mum made it with love and I hope it'll find a good owner soon. It is 31cm by 24cm (12.2" by 9.5") when opened, and 31cm by 15cm (12.2" by 5.9") when the flap is closed. Fallow coloured exterior with white interior.  You can comfortably fit 20 pens or pencils in the wrap- perfect to take art materials out to draw en plein air.

SGD $12.90 
(does not include postage fees)

If you're interested in purchasing a pencil wrap like the one above, I can be contacted via

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Lightfastness: Is It Really That Important?

  I wrote a couple of days ago about the Derwent Studio coloured pencils, (as seen here) and the whole incident lead me to find out more about lightfastness. From what I gathered, a company called "ASTM" is in charge of setting standards to do tests on products, that includes artist's materials.

  The lightfastness system is calculated by doing colour swatches on acid free paper, then exposing that paper to direct sunlight for about three months. That's over hundreds of hours of direct UV light. The lightfast ratings are then determined by which colour is still left standing after all those hours in sunlight.  There are different ways to rank them, one is the blue wool scale method. The lightfast scale usually goes from 1 through to 8. 8, being "here's a gold star for you, you're one hulk of a colour". 1, being "kill it! kill it with fire! don't let it near your paper or it'll ruin your art work!"  .... Or something along those lines.

  Now, try to let that sink in for a moment. Hundreds of hours in direct sunlight. I sat there wondering; which artist who has spent countless hours on a painting would just leave their art work in direct sunlight. Well, what about an art collector? If you give someone an art work, I'll like to think that they would take care of it. If the product is paid for, then there's no question that the buyer would take good care of it.

  So is the hundreds of hours in direct sunlight justified? Are we just being paranoid? Is it a way for companies to make some extra bucks from artists? "My naples yellow has a better lightfast rating than any other in the market." Sounds like a good promotional slogan to me.

  And, if a colour can stand up to hundreds upon hundreds of hours in direct sunlight, I started to wonder... what is in the paints/pigments to make it such a hulk colour? Is it dangerous to us humans? When humans stand a couple of hours in the sun, we het sunburnt. Indeed we are quite weak when pit against Mother Nature. Shouldn't colours, to a certain degree, be like that too?

  Pigments are made from natural materials, with more synthetic and stable colours being added to the market and replacing fugitive colours each year. I'm all for more stability, replacement of fugitive colours, and the addition of new colours. But do we really know what goes into the tubes, sticks, and leads that we buy?

  Is lightfastness really that important? If we are not going to put our paintings into direct sunlight for countless of hours, is it alright for an artist to use student grade materials to create Art? I think that's a personal question. One artist said, if it's to just experiment, that's fine. But if you wanted to sell it, you'd have to use artist grade materials.  Another said that he has been using student grade materials from the very start of his career. He liked the consistency he could get with the student grade acrylics, and never had any complains from clients. He said he used what worked best for him, and that was that. Maybe it's what they add to the colours to make them lightfast that made the artist grade colours more sticky...

  Has "artist grade" become sort of a stamp of worthiness that represent one has become a "real artist"? You're only as good as the tools you use, goes the age-old saying. But, if an artist really is that great, the materials he uses shouldn't be a problem. I've seen my father use a $2 box of 12 oil pastels for a self portrait. It was really expressive, and he had no problem using something so cheap as a medium. I guess it all boils down to personal choice. What works, what doesn't, what materials you would or would not use. And like all other things, the importance of lightfastness is up to an artist to decide.

  What do you think? Is lightfastness really that important? Would you use a colour that has a lightfast rating of 3 or 4– or do you only use materials with a rating of 5 and up? Leave me your answers in the comment section below.

Monday 18 March 2013

Copyright Laws

  With the introduction of the world wide web expanded what people could view. You can now search whatever you want in an instant. Pictures, videos, comments, essays, how-tos– all brought to you in less than a second. With that, however, came the headache of copyright laws.

  Don't get me wrong, copyright laws existed long before the internet did, but with the internet, it became much more difficult to have control over your ideas, creative products, and art works. I search the internet a lot. I do something called "site-hopping". I search for one thing on google, click on the first few links, then from those pages I go to other sites. That's how I get to know more artists. Somedays, I come across lots of brilliant art works, other days I'm not really inspired.

  Just yesterday, as I was site-hopping, I found out two artists saying that they've had people steal their art.  The first was a pencil artist. Someone had stolen her identity and was selling unlicensed prints of her work. The other was a photographer and complained that artists were using her photographs as reference for the drawings. They were both very upset.

  But it's the internet. You don't have 100% control over who does what with your work. If you put it up online, it's fair game, right? WRONG.

  Copyright laws cover lots of things, that includes photographs. You can't just be like, "You know what? I'm going to draw a horse today." and go online, find a picture of a horse and draw it. You could draw it for practice, sure. But you should not sell it. You might get sued if the photographer finds out that you drew using their photo.

  But sometimes, we just want an easy way out. Why set up your own still life to draw from when you have this beautiful still life photo found on Google right in front of you? Well, artists take time to finish their works of Art. Photographers are artists too. How would you feel if someone drew an identical painting of one of your art pieces. I'll be flattered, sure. But it's my art piece. I took time to compose it, to pick a colour palette for it, to decide how I was going to execute it.

   Can I make a painting from a photograph? Short answer, no. Not 100% of it. If you used less than 10%, then you'll be alright. (Say, for example, you used the hand of a picture of a model.) The photographer still owns the rights of his photograph.

  For an excellent overview of how copyright works for artists, follow this link:

  It's not really worth it if you pour your heart and soul into a drawing/painting then having the owner of the photograph you drew from sue you for copyright infringement. There are many resources of free images that artists can use legally. For a list of them, click this link:

Sunday 17 March 2013

Small Updates to everythingis-art

  I've made small updates to the site, but first, some exciting news.

  I was contacted by the Singapore Memory Project to add my blog to their site. They left a comment on my blog saying;

Dear Sir/Madam, 
On behalf of the National Library Board (NLB), we would like to invite you to pledge your blog to the Singapore Memory Project as part of efforts to collect memories that are already manifested in existing online channels. 
The Singapore Memory Project (SMP) is a national initiative to collect, preserve and provide access to Singapore’s knowledge materials. Spearheaded by NLB, the SMP aims to build a national collection of content in diverse formats (including print, audio and video), to preserve them in digital form, and make them available for discovery and research. 
By pledging your blog to SMP, you are affirming that every memory matters. Whether your posts are an account of your daily life, or an expression of your thoughts, the SMP hopes to find a home for your memories so that it can help build towards an understanding of Singapore. You will also receive a badge that you can display on your blog in recognition of your contributions.
Contributors to this blog pledging initiative will be listed on Singapore Memory portal’s blog pledging webpage. All blogs pledged to SMP will archived using NLB’s web harvesting software, in addition to images of each blog’s landing page.  
If you are keen to pledge your blog to SMP, simply fill up our response form at this following URL: 
You may find out more about this initiative at
We are looking forward to your contribution. 
Simulation Software & Technology (S2T) Pte Ltd 583 Orchard Road #14-02 Forum The Shopping Mall S(238884), Singapore |w: 
  I'm honoured to be chosen by them and of course accepted the offer.

Now, for the updates...

  I've changed the tabs above. (The red bar up there. ^^^)

  "My Pages" hasn't changed much. I'm hoping to do reviews on more art books, art magazines, sketchbooks, pens, pencils, coloured pencils, and other art materials in the future, so that's where you'll find an overview of all those.

  In the past, if you clicked the "Recommended Artist" and "Painting of the Day" you'd be brought to a list. Now, they're linked to their respective labels so you can just scroll through everything to find something you like. That's the major change. I'm hoping it'll be easier for you, Dear Reader, to find something that inspires you that way.

  If you'd like to see the lists of all the artists that I've featured, click on "The List" tab.

  The "Contact Me" tab contains my e-mail, but I've also added my Tumblr urls, and my website address.

  I've also gone through all the posts on this blog. I've gone through where all the links go to. Fixed all the dead links. Updated the labels on every posts. Re-uploaded photos that would not load previously. Increased the sizes of all pictures for easier viewing. Added more information to the links that give me the most traffic. And pretty much made everything easier for you, Dear Reader to view this blog.

  I've many plans for the site. My father is currently working on a large painting and I'm planning to do a blow-by-blow blog post of his process from start to finish. I've managed to convince my mother to bank in on her sewing talents and sew some bags, pouches, and pencil wraps for artists to be sold on this blog. Really excited for that. And I'm hoping to do more review on books and art materials. I'm also going to be building my portfolio so you'll be seeing more of my works on here. Some tutorials, perhaps?

  It's going to be a busy, busy year. :) I'm really hyped up, especially after representatives for the Singapore Memory Project contacted me. I hope you come back to visit often. And as always, leave me a comment in the comment section below. I'd love to hear what you think about this blog.

  P.S. I did purposely make all my sites have an accent of red.

Saturday 16 March 2013

101 Websites for Artists: The Master List

  This is not a 100% inclusive list. I will be updating this list frequently as I find more and more websites that I can include. My hopes are that this list will become the ultimate reference list for artists while still being easy to navigate. *fingers crossed* I hope I do a good job. Do check back once in a while, and don't forget to bookmark this page for future reference.

  In an attempt to keep the list streamline, I will list what all the links link to with a header, but will not include description of each link. I trust that you, dear reader, are intelligent enough to figure out how to navigate each site. I aim to keep the list valuable to all types of artists, so do click on every link to see where it leads to.

[Related: Prices of Art Materials in Singapore]

  If you know of a better way to list everything, or if you have a link you think worthy of adding to the list, I wouldn't mind hearing about it via or in the comments section below. Anonymous commenting is enabled.

Free Image References:

Online Image Editor:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Different Mediums:
Colored Pencils
Drawing and Sketching
Pen and Ink

Palette Picker:

Fun Online Sketching Softwares:

Tumblr Sphere:

I hope you've found this page valuable, and would love to hear from you if you have a link (or links) to add to this page. Again, you can reach me at: < >

Last updated: 19th Oct. 2017

Friday 15 March 2013

Recommended Artist: Jean Tuttle

   Check out "Daily Cat Doodles". Why should you? Because cats, that's why.

  Jean received her BFA in Illustration from Parsons School of Design, and after, based her studio in Manhattan for the next dozen years. By the mid-1980s she'd developed a high-impact, graphic scratchboard style, and had begun working with clients such as Newsweek, Business Week, The Boston Globe, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times. She also began a long and fruitful relationship with Reactor Art & Design, who served as her agent for the next 15 years. 

I think the artist has a splendid grasp of how cats behave and move. The colours used are harmonious and work well with the particular cat that she is drawing. If you'd like to see her main website, visit this link:

Thursday 14 March 2013

Stephanie's Sketches

Yes, I just referred to myself in third person. I've been trying to at least keep the pen (coloured pencils, pencils, brush, whatever) in motion every day. So I've started to keep a sketchbook. It's a $12 plus one, bought at Art Friend. A5 size. But I'm not doing a review of the sketchbook. Although I might, one day sometime soon. I'm going to show you some of the sketches in the sketchbook that I've done.

"Sphere In Red, Orange and Yellow"

"State of Mind"

"Nature In Orange"

"The Winds, The Land, The Sea"
I thought "Paradox" looked liked wind, "Diva Dance" looked like land, and the lower half of the zentangle pattern looked like water, thus the name.

"Zentangle: STEPH"

"Apple Still Life"
Done by layering an assortment of 16 colours in various ways onto the paper.

And here is the set of pens that I used for the above sketches. 16 colours. All of the same brand- uni-ball Signo DX 0.38. They are really good to use and lay down extremely well onto paper. I tried the 0.28 variant but felt that those scratched the paper a lot.

After a long hiatus, I'm trying to get back into the swing of posting on this blog more often. As always, if you'd like to be featured, or if you know an artist that has not been featured yet, Contact Me.

Leave me a comment in the comment section below telling me if you liked the sketches or not, and whether you'd like to see more of my works.