#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor Painting by Yee Leng - Doodlewash

GUEST ARTIST: “My Insatiable Appetite for Watercolor” by Yee Leng

Hi there! I’m Yee Leng from Malaysia. I’m a hobbyist with a soft spot for watercolor. Since the day I learned to hold a pencil, I’ve had a knack for being every mother’s nightmare – “coloring” on any surface I could find. After I grew out of doodling on tables and walls, I moved on to children’s coloring books, and finally, to the more sensible sketchbooks as an adult. Suffice to say, drawing has always been second nature to me.

I work full-time currently and my job isn’t art-related. So watercolor is a great outlet for me to indulge my creative side. Everybody has their own version of a “happy place” and this is mine. I find it relaxing and fun to be in this zone at the end of a long day, or whenever I have some free time. I’ve only been working with watercolor more actively over the past 2 years or so. I keep a sketchbook journal and make it a point to create something, no matter how small, at least once a week. So far, it’s been incredibly satisfying to see the gradual progress of my creative hobby.

My source of inspiration

As the title suggests, I have an insatiable appetite! So, it’s no surprise that the main source of my inspiration is – yes, I’m sure you’ve guessed it by now – food! I love trying out new food, visiting new restaurants, cafes, or bars, both locally or when I travel. Much like urban sketching, I pick up cues from my surroundings – the streets, the shopfront, its interior and decoration, food placement, and of course, the food itself.

I get the most satisfaction from creating colourful and “appetizing” illustrations. (I try not to flip through my sketchbook when I’m hungry!

Travelling to a new place is also a great opportunity for urban sketching. A new surrounding means ample sights and sounds to be captured. It’s like illustrating my very own analog picture album.


My field kit

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor Painting by Yee Leng - Doodlewash

The usual suspects:

1)     A sketchbook – I use mixed media papers, 200gsm and above. Some of my favorite brands are Midori travel journal, Moleskine, and a local brand known as Monologue.

2)     A watercolor palette – My first palette was the Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Metal Box 24-Half Pans set. Since then, I’ve added Holbein, Daler-Rowney, and Aquarelle to my collection.

3)     Water brushes: Because I sketch mostly on smaller surfaces, I tend to use waterbrushes more than traditional brushes. Pentel Aquash is my staple.

4)     Pens: I use 0.05 to 0.2mm waterproof pens for outlines (Micron, Uniball, and Artline). Occasionally, I throw in brush pens for lettering or calligraphy (Pilot, Sakura Micron, Fude-Makase, and Zig Mangaka).

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor Painting by Yee Leng - Doodlewash

To wrap this up, I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick tour of my sketchbook. There are many professionals in this space so thank you for sharing it with me. As a hobbyist, I constantly get intimidated by all the beautiful work I see out there, but I try not to get too hung up on tools and techniques, as they will come over time. I believe that the love and spirit to create is key! 🙂

Yee Leng

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39 thoughts on “GUEST ARTIST: “My Insatiable Appetite for Watercolor” by Yee Leng

  1. What a wonderful, wonderful journal. I love food (and we are just back from our favourite French restaurant), and how much better than photos of food taken in the restaurant. The problem of food is that it disappears, and before too long the feelings associated with that meal fade too, and yet we nearly always celebrate our life events with a meal out. I think I’ll start one in the New Year, and jots those feelings down for the time when the memory fades even more.

    1. Thanks, Rod! I couldn’t agree more! Plus I’m old fashioned and I love the feeling of putting pen (or brush) on paper. Gives a whole different dimension compared to photos. You should definitely start a food journal in the New Year! 😀 That sense of satisfaction you’ll get by the end of the year just flipping through it, would be worth it!

    1. Thank you! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it. Yes it was my first time trying out an accordian sketchbook and it was perfect for capturing all the details in travel journaling!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! Oh, fruits and vegetable are fun! I’ve had a similar phase myself. All those colors you could play with 😀 they sure make grocery shopping a little more fun!

    1. Thanks Miriam! Yes, it is indeed a rare subject. Good to know you’re a fan too! 😀 well the good thing is you’ll never run out of muse!

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