GUEST ARTIST: “Sketching is Fun” by Firman Lubis

My name is Firman Lubis, and I’m from Bandung, Indonesia (Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook!) Bandung is the capital of West Java province. The city sits on the bottom of an ancient lake thousands of years old. Bandung is surrounded by mountains, which makes for nice weather, and of course, beautiful landscapes. That, and the people of Bandung are very interesting to sketch and to explore.

Doodlewash by Firman Lubis  I’m a husband and a father of two as well as a graphic designer, sketcher, and doodler. I like to explore things, such as drawing techniques, mixing materials, etc. Why did I start sketching? Well maybe, it runs in my blood since I was born (can I consider it as a gift?). I started sketching seriously about 3 years ago, along with my friends and fellow sketchers. Most of them are architects, which led me into despair (I can’t draw perspective!).

Doodlewash by Firman Lubis  From that point, I tried to “shift” my point of view, from trying to see things with an architect’s eyes (which I used to call “zoom-out”) and to see things more “zoom-in” – to see things more closely. So I started to sketch a part of a building instead of a whole building, a food stall, a person, or anything that didn’t require accurate perspective. But I always tried to maintain its story, whether in part or the whole story.

The materials that I use are quite various. But mainly, I use fountain pens (right now I use Lamy Safary with F nib, Hero Summer F nib, an old Parker pen, grayscale Koi brushpens, Pentel FP10 brushpen, pencil (sometimes), waterproof ink (Platinum Carbon – Black, Noodler’s Ink, and Hero ink), and watercolor (mix of Rembrandt, Winsor & Newton Cotman and Professional series, Holbein, and of course, my homemade watercolor).

These materials are my most recent arsenal, but I love to explore, so I rarely stick to one tool for a long time. Exploration comes in handy for me. Through exploration, I can decide and choose which tool to use if I’m about to draw, for example, buildings with accurate lines and color. Besides tool exploration, I also explore media, such as paper.

My creative process starts when I see something interesting. Mostly seeing people doing things (I remember a sentence in Urban Sketchers’ manifesto, “…draw verbs not nouns”). Because human activities are so varied, it makes sketching people a really nice and fun thing to do.

Just remember, SKETCHING IS FUN

Firman Lubis
Bandung, Indonesia

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14 thoughts on “GUEST ARTIST: “Sketching is Fun” by Firman Lubis

  1. Great sketches, Firman. I love hearing your story and it encourages me to keep moving forward. Charlie, thanks again for running these guest posts–they really get me going. I just started following Firman on Instragram.

    1. Hi Sharon,
      Thanks. This donut was sketched seconds after I chat with a friend of mine who (at that time) was eating donuts. So I start to imagine the donut and sketch it…
      That’s it and just like that…😁

  2. These are beautiful pieces! I’m really curious to hear more about zooming in rather than zooming out. Interesting. And did I read correctly that you have homemade watercolors? Will be following on IG..

    1. Hi Kari,
      Yes, me and my friends made our own watercolor. How did we do it? Thanks to Google and Youtube, who provided all the instructions. All we need is to gather the color pigments and other ingredients, and follow the instructions provided by Google and Youtube, and voila, our homemade watercolor is done…
      And what I mean about zoom-in is to draw the closer object. Imagine if other see things with wide lens, while I see things with standard lens (I hope you can understand)…

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