20 Sketches 20 Days

31 December also marked the 1st year anniversary of the 20 Sketches 20 Days challenge which I set up the year before. The idea is to practise – we all know the more we practise, the faster we improve. But even if we love to do it daily, sometimes life gets in the way. So we aim for 20 each month, and there are 10 days to do other things. If you are curious, log into Facebook and find us.

When someone has uploaded 20 for a month, he/she gets a star :). A few people received 12 stars in 2017, which meant they had completed and uploaded at least 240 sketches in the year – a great achievement. Of course, it was not possible for some if they did not join us at the beginning of the year.

20 Sketches 20 Days

So at the end of the year, I asked members if they wanted to keep going and a number of people said “yes” as they found it helpful, and enjoyable. So we keep the challenge for 2018. And I am more than happy to upload at least 20 or more sketches to keep up the practise.

You are most welcomed to join us – just find us on Facebook 🙂

Sponsor An Artwork in Malaysia – an Australian Red Cross Fundraising Project (Part 2)

This is Part 2 on a project to raise funds for Australian Red Cross, carried out in Malaysia in July/Aug this year. Last post (Part 1) provides some background and also shows 15 pieces of art that were completed as part of the project.



16) Another piece from the Penang heritage area showing shoplots plus the roof details of a temple.



17) The Central Firestation in the Penang Heritage area dates back to the 1900s. I was drawing this and having teh tarik (tea) with my new friend, Choon. She passed me on the street (while working for another sketch) and we got talking. She was keen to sketch so we both sketch the same building over tea.



18) It was the month of Ramadhan, so there were Ramadhan lights/decoration on the streets in Penang.



19) This caught my attention while walking around the heritage area in Penang. A red grand house – I couldn’t find any info on it unfortunately. The text on the building says “Poh Choo Seam”.



20) The sign board says “lodging house” – would you stay here? I saw this run down building and had to stop to capture it. A passerby told me that it was a hotel some time ago, but not anymore. This building is situated in the heritage area in Penang.



21) One of the minarets of Masjid Kapitan Keling in Penang peeking out of the trees in front. This mosques dates back to the 19th century.



22) Sketching in the heritage area in Penang was such a treat. There are many heritage listed structures and Yap temple is one of them.



23) It was the month of Ramadhan and the streets were decorated with coloured lights. That big green checked decoration is a replica of ketupat. Ketupat is like rice cake. Very easy to make (for some) – first a palm sized pouch is made, then filled with rice. It’s then boiled and the resulting rice cake is usually eaten with curry.



24) Gorgeous old multi coloured mini. Couldn’t resist drawing it. Hope you like this too.



25) Gorgeous heliconia in gouache. I woke up one morning to find my mom chopping off half the heliconia plants. I managed to save about 15 flowers! Now in a vase and looking really beautiful.



26) I have not seen this beautiful palm tree in Australia so thought it might be interesting to capture it. It’s a variety of fan palm. The smaller plants around the palm is Heliconia, with beautiful orange yellow blooms (see number 25 above)



27) I used to take a trishaw to get to /fro school. Now, there are still a number of them Penang and Melaka. Wonder when they will be fitted with electric motors.



28) Yummy baked biscuits – very common snacks in Malaysia. It has a crunchy crust with caramel filling – quite moorish.



28) Chew Jetty in Penang – a village on stilts.

Most of these works have gone to the sponsors of the project in Malaysia, Australia, Singapore and England. If you have not read the last post, we have raised $1699.60.

Sponsor An Artwork in Malaysia – an Australian Red Cross Fundraising Project (Part 1)

In July to August this year, I organised a project to raise funds for Australian Red Cross. The project was titled “Sponsor an Artwork in Malaysia” and was only open to a small group of my Facebook friends, and I thank those of you (from Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and England) who supported me and generously donated to Australian Red Cross. I have just made a final tally and we have raised $1699.60.

I made an artwork for anyone who pledged a donation. I captured the life and scenes in Malaysia during my 6-week trip to share my stories. All the pieces were completed on location. I travelled to Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and Kuantan.

Here are 15 pieces; the rest are in Part 2.



1) Daytime arts and craft market at the The Curve, a shopping centre in Malaysia. It was during the month of Ramadhan, so there were many Mustlim styled gowns being sold.



2) A mosque in a suburb near Kuala Lumpur, set against a blue sky. The little structure in front of the mosque is for a security guard. The residents in this suburb have decided to make their suburb safer, by pooling their resources and employing a guard. The guard has probably gone on his rounds (usually on a motorbike). The boom gate was open, probably because it was 1 pm, when kids leave school and the mosque is just across from a primary school.



3) A crooked house in the heritage area in Penang, Malaysia. See the rectangular bluish box on the bottom right? That is the letter “I”. Georgetown festival was starting soon, and the letters and numbers that make up “Georgetown Festival 2014” were scattered around the area for visitors to find and take photos…. BTW, I had a piece of work that my friends in Penang were organizing to exhibit in the festival



4) Komtar, the tallest building in Penang. This building is visible in many parts of the island.



5) Nagore Durgha Sheriff mosque in the Penang heritage area. I sat across this building sipping iced cold tea (Teh Tarik Ais) and left when the Muslim crowd came into the restaurant to break fast in the month of Ramadhan.



6) Temple entrance, or exit in this case since I was drawing from inside the temple grounds. This temple is lcoated in the heritage area in Penang.



7) Old houses in Penang – loads of character.



8)  Same house as above in Penang – trying multiple versions.



9) A mosque on Jalan MacAlister, Penang.



10) Have you seen a papaya tree? This one is very furtile – look at those fruits! Many homes have papaya trees in their gardens, since they don’t take up much space.



11) A shop lot in the heritage area of Penang – I get lost in the details because I keep seeing those that are familar, and I want to capture them all. When I was growing up, we had folding gates like the one below, louver windows, and bamboo blinds too.



12) Another version of Komtar – this is the tallest building in Penang.



13) Nasi lemak – a dish many people know of, but this is the original. It’s coconut rice wrapped in banana leaf, with a slice of hard boiled egg, a slice or two of cucumber, sambal (hot chilli jam), crispy ikan bilis (small anchovies) and some friend peanuts. This is a very simple dish usually eaten at breakfast.



14) I think I miss kuih the most when I am in Melbourne. They are snacks – normally consisting coconut milk, flour, sugar – which are usually steamed.
I went out to buy some kuih with my sister today – of course no one can eat them until I have drawn them . Here are some watercolour kuihs. There are always new versions of kuih, so I can’t really tell you their names. But I can describe….lets start from the top. The round one is a little bit like sponge cake, slightly sweet. On the left, the green one has a firm coconut pandan custard on top of glutinous rice. The next two are tapioca cakes, then chocolate sponge cake (I am sure there is a local name for it) and finally the brown and white one with green speckles is like a firm jelly….



15) Another temple located in the Heritage area in Penang. Not all temples have the same roof design – this one has got 2 fishes on it’s roof.

More in the next post.