Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sean's Contribution #1

Sean fell asleep while waiting to collect a prize for good exams results..

Medieval Joke

King Arthur has many Knights; the roundest of which was Sir Cumference who became that way because he had too much pi.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Trace of the Hand

"Don't you use the computer to draw?"

I was asked while trying to finish a drawing on my coffee table; 2B pencil on butter paper - folded into a sketch pad. "Yes, sometimes..." was the short answer.

This is slightly longer answer - I use the pencil or pen on paper because the lines drawn have the ability to reflect my personality and at times, my mood. Hand drawn have character that is absent in the computer generated drawings with their annonymous lines. Of course, there is a place for the CAD drawing and we have benefited from them. But ultimately, in our line of work - the thinking almost always starts with the hand-drawn line; the hand obediently tracing the mind's vision.
I place value on the trace of hand, as I draw over CAD drawings prepared for me. I feel that I do this not only to leave my 'mark' on those sterile pages, but also to reinforce an idea, to check and maybe correct a wayward line. 
Arlene drawing on-site on concrete

It is the most effective means of communication; to argue a point, to explain a design idea or to clarify a detail - a pencil works equally well on paper as on concrete.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Time travels

I feel that people who complain excessively about delays at the airport are unable to enjoy their own company. A good book or a sketch pad usually takes care of the situation for me. We are all prisoners and rich sketching fodder for me. 
this guy is probably texting his wife to inform her about the flight delay
People tend to fall asleep once the plane takes off so it is easier to observe them without distraction. The one hour or so of flying can be spent catching up with my reading or sketching my travel companions while they sleep.
Shanghai Airport
Lost in my 'space' capsule that spans from left arm rest to right - time travels quickly and a few sketches later - we have landed. If I am fortunate enough to not fly budget, the only interuption is a coffee and sandwiches. Life is good...
Sara with panda hat
Sometimes, I have travel companions of my own choosing such as Sara here in a panda hat from Shanghai. When she saw that I had over-accentuated her luscious lips in this sketch; she gave me a look and twitched her nose. Her unspoken sign of disapproval. I have not done her justice.
The real Sara

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Art of Disappearing

by Naomi Shihab Nye

I came across this poem while browsing in a book store; not having enough to buy the book - I copied the poem instead. I like this poem because it reminds us of the fleeting nature of our lives. And cautions us about wasting our time on seemingly trivial matters.
But I am especially fond of its slightly anti-social tone.  

Monday, January 3, 2011

Charting your Morning

I feel that there is no need to venture far to indulge in a bit of observing and recording; be it in photography or sketching. Paris or London would be good sketching destinations to aspire to but with time and money on a tight leash; your own 'backyard' often springs a few nice surprises.
I put this to the test recently when in KL. After a morning run with my 'unit' at KLCC Park, I bought a thin sketch pad and decided to chart the morning in sketches. Simply recording whatever catches my eye with the simple objective of filling the entire sketch pad. I took the LRT to Masjid Jamek; got out with a vague idea of heading towards Petaling Street. I like  buildings which are a little aged and falling down - the trace of time adds character to their neighbourhood. This was to be a spartan exercise in sketching; cheap pad, 2B pencil and a sharpener - a departure from the usual pen sketches - I realized immediately that the pencil gave me more freedom, speed and varying line weights.
coffee at O'Briens

At noon, I happened upon this new steel roof structure next to the Pasar Seni (Art Market) - it is obviously based on the frame of the 'wau' or moon kite (from the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia). They should stop making such literal translations from local traditional forms - this design would not pass a second year crit.
Finally at 2 p.m., the morning of sketching ended when I completed this last sketch as I took the MRT home to PJ.