Saturday, August 1, 2015

Superb Symposium - Singapore

Nearly 400 sketchers from 36 countries filled the streets of Singapore for three days.  Countries including Bhutan, Israel and Luxembourg.

NZ Expeditionary Force - Dave, Murray, Eric & Scott
(Photo compliments of Eric)

Leaving New Plymouth at a 3C clear dawn

Retro coffee cart at Auckland domestic

'On loan from Middle Earth' - guardian at Auckland International - compliments of Weta

Kiwis souvenirs

We all have a plane pic.  Somewhere over The Red Centre

Temple view out my hotel window.  Icecream sidecar in Temple St

Trishaw before registration

Spotted my first group of sketchers - joined them outside Raffles.  They look very professional with their easels.  They are from Surabaya.

First sketch walk, the 400 are split up and taken in gaggles to different sketchable spots.  We were in Purvis St next to Raffles

Liz Steel's perspective workshop at the Singapore Art Museum - bagging the 'eyeline'

At lunch time we sketch each other

Suhita's capturing chaos - drawing a crowd - down at the flower market in Waterloo St.  I learnt' some new approaches.

Atmospheric water colour demo

Veronica's sketching cookbook - looking at calligraphy, coloured line, marks, shapes and patterns

KK's drawing with a twig.  We sharpened our own sticks, dipped them in a film canister of ink with a pad of gauze within.  Then scribbled the skyline on multiple pages.  The view at the top of the National library from the fly's eye windows was spectacular.  It was here a 'New Paper' online media separated a couple of us out to give a quick interview:New Paper

Asnee, an architect from Thailand took us on an architectural street walk.  In 2009 I bought Asnee's "Architects Sketchbook' book.  This the National Library - he wanted us to draw as we feel it.  I drew the ice-cream cart because it was stinking hot, and I felt like an ice-cream.  Sure enough we were all 'shouted' an ice-cream for our efforts.

These guys guarding the Raffles Hotel entrance had to be sketched.  Sir Stamford Raffles was the founding father of Singapore.  Asnee explained the hotel was once on the waterfront, but it was now a long way away from the sea due to the steady reclamation projects.

Raffles from the South.  Competing concierges from another hotel.

Final sketch crawl

Clarke Quay water taxis, then I got mixed up in the middle of a Special Operations strike by a dozen police pouring out of two ominous - large vans.

Our visit to the Beavers Pub, allowed us to draw anywhere we liked.  Ultimately we had to stand on tables - in this case drawing under a shelf - as customer graffiti was prolific.  Not many pub clients bring their own pens

A tail wind meant only 8 1/2 hrs to Auckland, but it took me a further 24 hrs to get home owing to breakdown, dodgy weather, delays of incoming, hotel fire alarms in the night... But it was all well worth it.  Every sketcher should get to at least one Symposium in their lives.  As it says in early kids stories, we arrived home, 'tired but happy'.


  1. Great travelogue here Scott. Reliving familiar sights, sounds and falvours - and the heat and humidity.
    An awesome time was had by all!

  2. I am interested in looking astarting group in Taupo.
    Is it possible to have contact details from someone in New Zealand to discuss this.
    Many thanks Wendy O'Callaghan

    1. Hi Wendy, drop me a message at

  3. Wow, you were a busy boy over there. Somehow I didn't get to see you and the Tombows in action - will have to be more observant next time!

  4. awesome collection of sketches
    I should have been there too :( next time...

  5. We too wish you were there Mario :-) It was well worth the travel. and finally meeting up. Yes Murray the Tombows retain their mystic. I did dabble slightly with the water colours.