Vendor Day 2017 adventure at Daniel Smith

Well, that came out of nowhere! When I first arrived at Seattle and started going to all the art events at Daniel Smith, I keep hearing the word “Vendor Day” that is supposedly a VERY special day I should not miss out on.

So once a year Daniel Smith organizes this huge event inside their mothership store down in SODO and invites 20 or so vendors of well-known art supply brands: Strathmore, Winsor and Newton, Faber Castell, Davinchi, you name it all. We were warned about the place becoming very packed as the day goes on, so Swagatika and I grabbed an Uber and arrived at 10:00am prompt!

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At the door, you are handed a “passport” sheet of paper that allows you to collect the initials of the artist/seller at each vendor booth. With 12 signatures, you are eligible to enter the random lottery of amazing art supply prizes!

It’s not entirely untrue to say we’re acting like kids at a candy store, but we’re giddy with excitement and giggling all the way (we’re 27 and 30, respectively.) At each vendor booth, there is an artist or the representative from the brand showing us a demonstration of the tools. They even let us play with their brushes and colors on all types of paper!  Continue reading

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USK SEATTLE – Ballard Locks

Look at all of us enthusiastic urban sketchers, please disregard the gray clouds.

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Finally, I was able to make it to Urban Sketchers Seattle’s monthly outing, and this time it’s held at the iconic Ballard Locks. The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks is a set of locks located at the west end of Salmon Bay (I love all these confusing sounding names). I’ve only been here once and I remember it being equally windy and gray.

Swagatika and I arrive a bit late, but we can already see the large group gathering from afar before everyone disperses. I anticipated that there won’t be many places to sit, so I opted for a more portable urban sketching setup (watch the video of my USK set up here.)

The lightweight foam board and the postcard-sized paper allows me to stand easily at any location without much stress on my arms. Continue reading

How to use a Traveler’s Notebook Passport as a wallet

I do lots of my creative journaling in my Hobonichi, but I also love all other things stationery. That includes the Midori branded Traveler’s Notebooks (TN for short). My first traveler’s notebook was a full size to utilize inserts when I travel. I would fill it with sketches and journaling while on a trip such as this Tokyo flip through. However, I was inspired by many friends at meet ups to use the passport size traveler’s notebook as a portable journal/wallet!

In May I visited Tokyo just in time to catch Traveler’s notebooks’ current release: the Camel traveler’s notebooks! It’s a color like caramel and a brown beige. I think it’s just the right color to carry for the summer.

So, i’m temporarily retiring my black traveler’s notebook until winter rolls around again. Here’s the unboxing of the set up I’ve prepared to turn my new Camel TN into a personal wallet!

  1. Passport Size Midori Traveler’s Notebook in Camel
  2. 004 Passport size plastic Zipper Case
  3. 010 Passport size Craft File

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To have the traveler’s notebook function as wallets, the most important part is to have compartments. My old black traveler’s notebook only uses the plastic zipper case, but I decide to customize this new one with a Craft file as well.

Unboxing the Camel Traveler’s Notebook.

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I’m so happy they included the green string to go with the Camel color (just like the Red string that pops on a black TN). They included extra rubber strings for the purpose of securing multiple inserts and accessories. I’ll only be using one in this case. Each new Traveler’s notebook set also comes with a blank insert (not shown in picture). I’ll be using that as my portable sketchbook when I finish with my latest insert.  Continue reading

NYC Urban Sketchers Portrait Party

I’m in New York City again! A spontaneous decision brought me to this bustling city for the long weekend (and away from freezing Boston and its -16F temperature…). Since I’ll be missing my weekly meet with fellow urban sketcher (USK) friends in Boston, I immediately check to see if there are any drawing sessions with the NYC group.

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Boy, am I in luck! This weekend the USK meet up in New York City is holding a portrait party. To sum it up, everyone take turns being the live model for 10 minutes, and at the end of the session, we will each have created tons of portrait drawings of all the participants.

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I’ve always been daunted by drawing portraits and people because I’m not very skilled with proportions. My biggest problem is to even get the ‘creatures’ to look ‘human-like’ LOL. However, this portrait party is just too big of an opportunity to miss, so I signed up for it anyway. Continue reading

Winter Doodles for December

It’s that time of the year again! Christmas wreaths are up on doorways and lamp posts, and Christmas decorations are everywhere. I feel that it is time to amp up my Hobonichi creativity and start decorating some December pages in advance!

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(Image source: Hobonichi Web store 2015)

Inspired by Hobonichi’s cover on cover from 2015, I decided to doodle some of the Christmas tree illustrations on my own. Here’s a video of my doodling. They comprised of simple lines and shapes that anyone can recreate. Draw some strings of lights hanging from the top of the page. You can also draw a snow man with candy canes growing out of snowy banks. Enjoy!

I’ll be sharing more of my Christmas doodles and sketches soon!

49th Sketch Crawl in Boston

On October 24th was the national Sketch Crawl event! Urban sketchers from all over the world are united in this special event where they try to capture the beauty of their city through sketching, water-colour, or other artistic mediums~ It was especially inspiring to know that on that day, there are hundreds out there sharing the same passion of drawing and appreciating the city with our observant eyes!

Of course, I would never miss it for the world. Together with the Urban Sketcher group here in Boston, we set out to sketch and paint downtown Boston and later to Harvard Square!

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It was a chilly morning, and my first stop was at Copley square. After a brief visit to the Boston Book Fair that was organised at the location, I quickly retreat to the warmth of Finagle Bagel. Sitting by the window, I had an excellent view of the Trinity Church, and I captured it in my sketch book~

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This quick sketch is made with the Platinum Carbon Desk Fountain Pen! The fine nib is perfect for sketching and the ink is waterproof, which makes painting it with water-colour easy and convenient.  Continue reading

Drawing Tips – Painting with Waterbrush

Friday was a national holiday in Taiwan because the government was compensating a day off for Qingming Holiday where everyone goes home to pay respect to the ancestors. My friends and I took advantage of this day off to go on a Picnic to Qingtiangang, a beautiful expanse of plain on top of Yangming Mountain.

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Of course I brought along my paints and sketchbook in hope to capture the beautiful scenery. I wasn’t disappointed, because the weather was super nice and I’d say it’s even feeling like summer has arrived!

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I recall when I was here last time (about two weeks ago), the weather was dreary and there was heavy mist up on the trail. We couldn’t see a thing within 10 feet, so we gave up and went home disappointed. (However, we did get to see some cherry blossoms on the way down the mountain).

Continue reading