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It was a sunny afternoon at a quaint alley in Maxwell, where we held our Urban Sketching Workshop in collaboration with David Liew and Alvin Mark Tan from Urban Sketchers Singapore.

Seated at the outdoor area of The Social Space (Kreta Ayer), eighteen friends who signed up for the workshop were greeted by a row of shop houses just across the street, which would soon become their primary reference for the start of their sketches! 

David and Alvin started off with some very personable introductions of themselves, as professional instructors teaching various art mediums and techniques in Singapore. Soon, we discovered that aside from both of them coming to teach about the basics of urban sketching, that there was more to learn about the process of creating art in general. 

David and Alvin introducing themselves and their experiences teaching art in Singapore, while the class listened intently.


Breaking off into smaller groups to observe both instructors as they rendered their example sketch, while explaining their basic approach to sketching.


After the initial introduction, the group was divided into two to observe David and Alvin respectively, as they engaged in a casual teaching session on the basics of sketching. Despite conducting the same activity, David and Alvin have quite different approaches to the way they sketch! 

Alvin explaining the technical method of observing shapes and lines before starting the sketch. He suggests using a pencil first before going in with Pointliner for beginners who might be unsure.

His tip for sketching: Hold up your pencil against what you're trying to sketch and use it as a tool to gauge the approximate angle for lines, before bringing it onto your paper.

David, on the other hand, quipped gleefully that you should dive into your sketch with Pointliner straightaway, and just draw whatever you see. He starts his example sketch with the main structure that catches his eye first. 

His tip for sketching: Don't be too concerned about getting the little details right, it is a sketch afterall!

Despite the different approaches to sketching, both instructors whipped up amazing sketches of the view within minutes that wowed the class! The lesson learnt here is that there is no definite method of creating art, as long as you're willing to try it ❤️

After a while, it started to drizzle lightly, which hampered the plan of going on a short walk to locate other possible views for sketching. However, the class didn't seem to mind, as they were comfortably seated in the shade and shelter, too engrossed in trying their hand on sketching. 

As soon as we got our seats warmed, the light drizzle of rain stopped, and some of us even decided to take a walk down the road to a nearby temple for a more advanced sketching!


Finally, the workshop ended with a 'Show and Tell' session — a customary practice that those who have joined Urban Sketchers Singapore on their sketch walks would know about — where all artworks were placed together for everyone to admire, share insights and take pictures! 

We were absolutely blown away by everyone's sketches by the end of the day. It was difficult to believe that for most of them, it was their first time doing urban sketching! Everyone did so well, and most importantly, we all had a good time. 

With that, we'll let the pictures do the talking!~

We would like to thank all who've joined us in making this workshop a successful one, and also The Social Space who provided a comfortable abode alongside food and drinks for us in the three-hour session!

If you'd like to pick up urban sketching yourself, check out the Urban Sketchers Singapore community as they do monthly sketch walks that you can join. Last but not least, if you need some beginner tools for sketching, here are some of Pentel's recommedations: Mechanical PencilsPointlinerErasers