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

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor Painting by Yee Leng - Doodlewash

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

Recommended8 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists
  1. ann christina 5 years ago

    OMG, I´m so hungry right now… Great food illustrations, love the vibrant colors!

    • Yee Leng 5 years ago

      Thank you, Ann! I love bright colors and hope it didn’t make you too hungry!

  2. Sandra Strait 5 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your sketchbook with us! The tour was fascinating. Your flipbook video was awesome.

    • Yee Leng 5 years ago

      Glad you enjoyed the tour, Sandra! I personally enjoyed making the flip book very much 🙂 Definitely a good alternative to pictures!

  3. Tonia Mc Caskill 5 years ago

    This is awesome! Great write up and the artwork is fantastic!

    • Yee Leng 5 years ago

      Thanks, Tonia! 😀

  4. Pamela Smith 5 years ago

    Beautiful little paintings,such a neat little sketchbook,much more fun than photographs..
    Thank you for the tour..

    • Yee Leng 5 years ago

      Thanks, Pamela! I agree, photography is great and I still do it, but this a fun alternative to journal moments!

  5. Rod Fletcher 5 years ago

    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.

    • Yee Leng 5 years ago

      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!

  6. Lovely illustrations, Yee! I feel like “a food predator” when looking at them 🙂

    • Yee Leng 5 years ago

      Thanks, Violeta! 🙂 Hope they stirred some cravings… 😉

  7. louiseaprimeau 5 years ago

    Fabulous art! Mouth watering in fact! Love the accordion book with the travel art. Everything is perfection!

    • Yee Leng 5 years ago

      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!

  8. Mary Roff 5 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful work. LOVE the little travelogue!!!

    • Yee Leng 5 years ago

      Thanks, Mary! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  9. Jennifer McLean 5 years ago

    I’m following you on Instagram, your food paintings are just wonderful. I totally get your love of painting food, I’m in a fruits and veggies phase now and don’t know if I’ll ever leave, lol.

    • Yee Leng 5 years ago

      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!

  10. Jean Marmo 5 years ago

    Your work is delightful! So yummy!!

    • Yee Leng 5 years ago

      Thanks, Jean! 🙂

  11. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 5 years ago

    Yee Leng, it’s been so much fun to travel with you and view your art and sketchbooks, especially the accordion style flipthrough – so inspiring!

    • Yee Leng 5 years ago

      Thanks, Sharon! Glad you found it inspiring. 🙂

  12. Sharon Nolfi 5 years ago

    Wonderful, detailed work!

    • Yee Leng 5 years ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 🙂

  13. Miriam Figueras 5 years ago

    So great! I am quite partial to food as a main subject myself, so it’s great to discover other fellow artists who share this passion!

    • Yee Leng 5 years ago

      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!

  14. Thomas Blanchard 5 years ago

    Lovely and tasty work Yee!

    • Yee Leng 5 years ago

      Thanks, Thomas! 🙂

  15. Beverly Dyer 5 years ago

    Loved the flip through!

    • Yee Leng 5 years ago

      Thanks Beverly! Glad you enjoyed it 😀

  16. Bekki Mundy Page 5 years ago

    Really enjoyed this peek into a hobby artists kit and work!

    • Yee Leng 5 years ago

      Thanks Bekki! 😀

  17. Delores Azary 5 years ago

    Your feathers and field kit are so colorful! Loved your post!

  18. Sandra Gilbert 5 years ago

    You have a fun colorful style. Never compare yourself to others. Just paint what appeals to you and keep creating.

  19. Janneke Booister 5 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your artwork!
    My food always gets eaten before I can paint it so I can only admire your self control!

  20. M. Caulder 5 years ago

    One thing’s for sure: any restaurant using your illustrations is going to have a major boost in sales! Very nice, yummy work! Thank you for sharing.

  21. Jennifer McLean 5 years ago

    my gosh I love all your vegetables, I’m addicted to paint fruits and veggies.

  22. SeemaMisra 5 years ago

    Lovely sketches and journal pages … i really liked the first painting, of the fresh vegetables. I totally agree with your words, watching all professional and skilled artwork is intimidating. But, at the end, its the love of the art that stays. Thanks for sharing your work.

    Happy sketching!

  23. Babychaser 5 years ago

    Haha. Maybe my youngest is going to be an artist. He’s 2 and I can’t keep him from drawing on everything!

    Beautiful veggies! And everything else!


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