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.
Taiwan sketchbook flipthrough! 🎨 After exactly a month of procrastination, this is finally done! I've always wanted to create an illustrated travelogue. This is my first complete attempt. There's something nostalgic about flipping through an analog album 😌 Ahh those pre-instagram days when photobook used to be cool! (yes I'm nerdy like that) Now if only I have the patience to do this for every place I've visited. Sketched on @kamiartanddesign @chapterandstar a'cor x dion sketchbook. Accordian layout means I can stretch it out to create 10 times the drama! 😂 Woo!!
My field kit
The usual suspects:
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).
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! 🙂