~ Drawing Log ~

Collation of my decent works from drawing class! ūüėÄ


Still life from the first drawing lesson with Calvin! (Charcoal)
Thumbnails for first piece of homework! (Graphite pencil)
First assignment! (Charcoal, conte and white chalk)
From live drawing session with Eddie! (Conte)

From live drawing session with Eddie! (Charcoal) [Long time no see.. myself?? + Sam drawing on an easel]
From live drawing session with Eddie! (charcoal) [A consultation with… himself + Jiaqi drawing)
From live drawing session with Eddie! (charcoal) [Mate why are you holding that pole?]

Thumbnails for second piece of homework! (graphite pencil)
Second piece of homework! (conte + charcoal) [My dad’s bike in the carpark]

That one time I drew Steven [01]
Steven [02]
Steven [03]

Steven [04]

Hand training before drawing a bunch of stools! (graphite pencil) [Cross-hatching…but looks like some kind of abstract art]
Planar and Proportion drawing with stools and a bunch of other things! (graphite pencil) [So difficult 8’D]
NTI Foodcourt Adventure! (graphite pencil) [01] [on-site drawing @ NTI canteen]
NTI Foodcourt Adventure! (graphite pencil) [02] [on-site drawing @ NTI canteen]
NTI Foodcourt Adventure! (graphite pencil) [03] [on-site drawing @ NTI canteen]
NTI Foodcourt Adventure! (graphite pencil) [04] [on-site drawing @ NTI canteen]
NTI Foodcourt Adventure! (graphite pencil) [05] [on-site drawing @ NTI canteen]
NTI Foodcourt Adventure! (graphite pencil) [06] [on-site drawing @ NTI canteen]
NTI Foodcourt Adventure! (graphite pencil) [07] [on-site drawing @ NTI canteen]

(At least) one-hour drawing! (graphite pencil)
Hand posture correction study! (graphite pencil)
Another hand correction study! (graphite pencil)


Jack solo
Jack and Nina compositional live drawing
The drawing I did after our intense stool drawing session where I actually put 4 stools in my room and drew them
Narrative drawing assignment: CHILD’S PLAY pg. 1
Drawing of Kim
Tonal Study
Compositional drawing of Nina and Marla with tonal study
Final A1 Diptych drawing 1: Construction site Ever-changing
Final A1 Diptych drawing 2: Horse statue in Grandma’s house Frozen in time.





Entry #02: Making an imPRINT on this planet.

|| F O R R E S T G U M P ||

Shortly after making marks, I’m making prints!!

For Project 2: “Forrest Gump”, I have to pick movie quotes, translate them into abstract visual language like¬†symbols, pictograms, dingbats, icons and engravings and apply techniques such as¬†hyperbole, metaphor, caricature, parody, anthropomorphism etc. to express the narrative quality of the quote. I also have to make use of design principles from the various class presentations to create my final design. (dots, lines, shapes, planes, value, texture, balance, gradation, symmetry, repetition, pattern, rhythm, unity, harmony, size, proportion, dimension, contrast etc.)


Personally, I realise that I have not watched a lot of mainstream Hollywood movies, but my taste and preference for movies lies a lot more in Disney/Pixar animated films, as well as Japanese movies and animated films, which have pretty memorable and unique quotes as well.


Below are some of my favourite quotes that I have gathered:

 Movie  Quote
*Paprika ¬†“Don’t you think dreams and the Internet are similar? They are both areas where the repressed conscious mind vents. “
¬†Mulan ¬†“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.”
¬†Grave of the Fireflies ¬†“Why do fireflies die so young?”
¬†1 Litre of Tears ¬†“When I look up as I fall down, I see how limitless the azure sky above is as it smiles down upon me.”
* End of Evangelion ¬†“If you wish for others to exist, the walls of their hearts will separate them again.”
¬†*Sherlock (bam, the only mainstream series I watch) “Anderson, don’t talk out loud. You lower the IQ of the whole street.”
*Peter Pan “To live would be an awfully big adventure.”


(* starred quotes are the four that I have chosen.)

Taking a pick out of this list was quite the feat, but I figured that was a wise decision not to pick quotes that were either too literal or too figurative because it leaves little room for imagination and abstraction.

===Quote 1:Paprika===




“Don’t you think dreams and the Internet are similar? They are both areas where the repressed conscious mind vents. “


Context in movie:

Paprika is a relatively contemporary, sci-fi Japanese animated movie that is in a futuristic, alternative universe and is about dreams and reality. To put it simply, an organisation creates a device that allows people to jump from reality into the dream world and that is used as a prototype for treatment at a hospital (later revealed to be malfunctional but I’m just going to stop here because this movie is a masterpiece and I don’t want to spoil it). Paprika is the name of the avatar of the main female protagonist. The quote is said by Paprika herself as she draws a comparison between the characteristics of dreams and the Internet.


Keywords: Dreams, Internet, similar, repressed conscious mind, vents


Imagery ideas:

  • Dreams

– a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep.

-Surreal alternate space that we transiently experience when we sleep. Normally has a lot of crazy, bizarre things going on that will almost never happen in real life.

-Has a sense of lightness since we have a lot more freedom to imagine what we want to in our dreams.

-A sense of movement can also be created as well since the scenes that we imagine are often overwhelming and hard to comprehend, leaving us in confusion (which, with reference to observations from the previous project, can be expressed with spirally lines radiating outwards)

Possible imagery: hot air balloon, water, anything to do with space or distorted reality

  • Internet

-a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols.

– cloud, data, wifi signal, hotspot, can be sea as well

  • similar

    – show the contrast between dreams and the internet, yet feature the main similarity between them

  • repressed

    – (form of restriction) treasure/Pandora’s box, lock, chain, handcuff, torn wing, cage

  • conscious mind

    – burning flame, open eye (window to the soul)

  • vents

    – (outpour) waterfall, volcano, soil erosion, avalanche, tsunami, some sort of a crack and spill situation


Composition idea #1a:

I’m going to use hot air balloons to represent ‘dreams’ since they are a means of transport to a place that is “high up”, as if almost going into another realm; just like how we are transported into dreams when we are asleep. A random variety of hot air balloon designs can help to depict how unpredictable dreams are. When put together, they create a very bizarre and surreal effect.

I made a black and white collage of small hot air balloons.


As for the ‘Internet’, I chose to use a relatively larger-scaled cloud icon. To me, the Internet is a vast space with many users, just like how the water droplets aggregate in the air to from one massive cloud.


I turned this cloud from coloured to black and white (some people may recognise this)

To represent the ‘conscious mind’, I’m using an open eye since it implies being awake and aware of your surroundings. After looking through icons and symbols, I decided that using a more realistic-looking eye was better since it gives a stronger sense of consciousness (“the eyes are the windows to your soul”). Using simple icons felt very dead.

I converted an image of someone’s actual eye and turned it black and white.

1st Draft:

My initial composition idea (Paprika)

I separated the singular massive cloud and the layer of hot air balloons into distinctive layers. I wanted to place eyeballs on all of the hot air balloons and the cloud, then have something come out of them (expressing ‘vent’) but I felt like it did not do a good job of conveying the quote since it did not make much sense for dreams and the Internet to have conscious minds of their own. Plus, I was also intending to put a broken chain on the eyes to represent ‘repressed’ (but no longer). However, after attempting to put chains on each of the eyeballs on the hot air balloons, it proved to be an editing disaster.


2nd Draft:

My new composition idea (Paprika).


Now, instead of slapping eyeballs everywhere, I decided to put a picture of an eyeball that was relatively larger than the other elements to show that it was the dominant subject of the piece. However, it is still concealed behind the cloud to create a sense of depth (hiding behind the clouds, more subtle way of representing ‘repressed’), and the black background also enhances the feeling of a void which reminds me of the dark we see when sleeping; it is a strong contrast with the white parts of the eyeball which is supposed to symbolise consciousness and being awake.


To express the element of ‘venting’, I wanted to use rhythm to show an erupting action, sort of like lava from a volcano, or bubbles coming out from a underwater vent. The use of a variety of shapes was abstract enough to show the idea of “anything”, parallel to how we like to post anything on the Internet, and how we can literally dream up anything when we are asleep. Initially, I used a regular rhythm of shapes everywhere but it proved to be much too rigid. After some tweaking, I managed to come up with the design below:

Distorted shapes


In this version, I used progressive rhythm, where the shapes got bigger from the eyeball to the cloud and hot air balloons. The warp effect that I added also enhances the illusion of depth as we can sense that these shapes are in motion and travelling a distance from the eye to the cloud and hot air balloons. This is paralleled with how our thoughts are transferred from our minds to the Internet and our dreams.


3rd Draft:

For my final-ish concept, I further enlarged the scale of the eyeball so that it was hidden under both the hot air balloons and the cloud to express how the conscious mind is being repressed. I added more shapes near the centre of the iris as well to show that the shapes are originating from the eyeball and moving outwards and as a result, their distribution becomes more sparse as they go outwards towards the clouds and the hot air balloons.


4th Draft:

For my 4th draft, I cleaned up the design a bit by replacing the single eye (representing the conscious mind) with two eyes for better clarity. I removed the shapes as well as it was too messy. Instead, I used a spiralling op-art background that indicates movement outwards, showing the action of ‘venting’. I replaced the “Chinese cloud” from the previous design with a clearer icon of a cloud, and the multiple hot air balloons with just one, respecting the internet and dreams respectively.

-With the cleaning up of my design, I realized that had unintentionally created some sort of a symmetry which was really effective since symmetry grabs people’s attention by instinct. It also makes my entire composition look like a face. (TvT)

This accompanied with the meaning of eyes as ‘windows to a soul’, plus the op-art background, this projects a hallucinatory effect on the viewer’s mind, which is a literal invasion of the consciousness, or inside of the mind, as I have interpreted for this quote.


Final Draft:

For my final design, I decided to keep the background since it creates a hypnotic effect and feels like your own mind is being intruded into. The splat effect in the middle depicts a violent eruption/the act of venting. The cloud icon and hot air balloon take up the same amount of space since neither of them hold dominance over each other.

==Quote 2: End of Evangelion==




“If you wish for others to exist, the walls of their hearts will separate them again.”


Context in movie:

Evangelion is one of the most well-known and oldest Japanese animated films that is ever so enigmatic and philosophical. There is so much hidden symbolism in this movie that might just reveal themselves to you… if you rewatch the movie like 1093420384032 times and consciously try to catch them. At first, the Evangelion series just seems to be a normal Gundam (they call them Evas) action show, but it gets so exponentially complex towards the end that it is almost impossible to fully comprehend what is going on.¬† The main philosophy that the End of Evangelion is trying to express is that humanity essentially belongs to a common pool of ‘primordial soup’ where all our souls linger even after death. There, we can be reborn again, but when we turn back into human form, there will undoubtedly be conflict and unhappiness, as compared to staying in primordial form where everyone lives in unity and there will be guaranteed peace (it’s almost like the philosophy for Buddhism). The main protagonist, Shinji has to make a choice between this two options, and this quote comes from Rei (another Eva pilot), who instigates Shinji to make a choice at the end of the movie. (One of my absolute favourite series ever)


Keywords: Others, exist, walls of their hearts, separate

Composition idea #2:

Imagery ideas:

Others– masses of people, masses of monsters/aliens, simple dots, faces (kaleidoscope effect)

(kaleidoscope tutorial –¬†http://www.creativebloq.com/photoshop/kaleidoscopic-collage-effect-5132671/2)

walls – barricade, fence, brick wall, thorny bramble bush (inspired by Sleeping Beauty), clam shut tight

hearts– heart, differences (different colour), life, tree


It was difficult trying to think of what could symbolise the heart, but I decided to make a collage in the shape of an heart instead so that it could be more comprehensible!


To represent segregation of humans from each other, I planned to put them into different segments and have them sparsely positioned away from each other. The idea of an ant farm came to mind when I found that human beings are sort of like ants, busy out and about doing their daily tasks, and living as a community.
It was terribly hard trying to find a high quality image for a clear picture of the interior design of an ant farm, so I substituted the idea for a construction site that adapted a similar idea instead (and it looked clearer)!
I warped the pattern of the construction site into the shape of the heart.
A senior actually gave me the inspiration to use toilet signs to represent human beings 8’D
And here I inverted the colours and painted black over some areas because there were too many visible details in the background and it was hard to see the human figures. I then turned the human figures from black to white.
I decided to use a wavy pattern to convey motion and a sense of liquidity, as I would like to represent the souls of humans as ‘primordial soup’.

1st draft:

For initial composition, I had placed the heart smack in the middle and an enlarged background of the swirls in the background (which made for quite a boring composition). After receiving feedback from consultation, I decided to shift the heart shape to the bottom right side of the page and increase the number of swirls. The people are in different segments of the heart to depict the separation of human souls from the pool of primordial soup.

Final Draft:

For my final composition, I increased the intensity of the swirls and brought out the shape of the heart out a bit more for clarity. With a repeated pattern of swirls, and increase in repetition, it increases the uniformity of the background, and the flowing rhythm created essentially becomes a quicker motion. The difference in texture between the background and the heart also really contrasts and draws the heart out of the background despite the amount of swirling going on back there. The contrast in the interior of the heart and human symbols also draw out the human beings a lot more. The bottom right placement of the heart might also suggest an inflow downwards through the valves into the heart, rather than if the heart was placed smack in the middle or in the upper half of the design. Gestalt’s rule of similarity between repeated patterns in this composition also helps to give it a sense of unity.


===Quote 3: Sherlock===




“Anderson, don’t talk out loud. You lower the IQ of the whole street.”



Context in movie: 

I barely watch any mainstream film series but my friend insisted that I watched Sherlock and boyyy did I marathon this ENTIRE series (with no regrets). Sherlock is “not a psychopath, but a high-functioning sociopath” as he always reminds everyone and extremely intelligent. While on a case, Sherlock shows obvious disdain for the lowly intellectual likes of Inspector Lestrade who works for the official police team when he keeps trying to interrupt Sherlock’s inspection of the crime scene. Having the sharp tongue he does, Sherlock subtlely throws this insult (the quote) at Lestrade, essentially telling him to shut the hell up.


Keywords: don’t talk, loud, lower the IQ, whole street


Imagery ideas:

don’t talk – silence sign, mask covering up mouth, tape at mouth, zip at mouth

loud – megaphone, forte symbol

lower the IQ (kind of literal version) – lowering bucket into a well, pulley system (can use principles of design to express downward motion)

lower the IQ (essentially stupidity) – broken glasses, scarlet geranium, bag over head, skull (empty head)

whole street – streetlights, zebra crossing, junctions, crossroads, traffic lights, electricity poles, directions


Composition idea #3a:

Subject ideas:

I chose to use an open mouth to represent the act of speaking.
To represent the action of ‘lowering’, I thought of using a person using a pulley system in a well to lower something. I ended up replacing this person’s head with a mouth.


This person was going to represent the subject matter being lowered (which in this case is the IQ of the street)…
which I thought of representing as a brain because the source of intelligence is the brain!


1st Draft:

For my first draft, I decided to personify the characteristic of being talkative, and the IQ of the street. To represent someone who spouts a lot of nonsense, I put a gigantic open mouth onto a human’s body, and an alternating zigzag pattern at the back to show that what they’re saying might have a logic of its own but ultimately there’s no one point to what they’re saying. To represent the IQ of the street, I put a brain with a picture of a street onto the body of another human being which is being lowered from a well into water, which is depicted by polka dots. This represents the act of lowering and eventually drowning.



Final Draft:

For my final draft, I decreased the area of the alternating pattern and increased the area of the polka dots to create the effect of the Rule of Thirds so that it would look better in terms of composition. I also cropped off the leg of the human representing the IQ of the street to imply that he/she/it is sinking into water. There is also a slight play on perspective here since the top third is rather frontal while the bottom looks a lot more top-down. The increase of the size of the polka dots down the page also pull visual weight downwards and thus enhances the ‘lowering’ effect.

=====Quote 4: Peter Pan=====




“To live would be an awfully big adventure.”


Context from movie:

Peter Pan has to be my favourite Disney movie (totally not because I was obsessed with Huggy Pan for a while (Billy Murray playing Peter Pan in Disneyland) (yes I will link you to a video because his sass needs to be shared). I love Peter Pan because of how relatable it is, with me being a teenager (YES I’M STILL 19) and the whole never-wanting-to-grow-up theme. This quote basically resounds this theme, with ‘to live’ being a metaphor for growing and maturing (in contrast to staying a child in Neverland), and ‘an awfully big adventure’ implying that growing up will be both a very foreign experience and a daunting feat for Peter Pan. (and you are RIGHT, Peter! Please take me to Neverland.)


Watch this from 0:21 8’DDD

P.S.: I <3 HUGGY PAN (he’s not working as Peter Pan anymore ;v;)


Keywords: Live, awfully big, adventure


Imagery ideas:

live (essentially growing up and maturing, not stuck in time) – clock, watch, hourglass

awfully big – blue whale, elephant, cosmos, magnifying lens (zoom in), infinite

adventure – (travel) bag pack, ship, aeroplane, map, mountain, compass, parachuting, biking, car

Composition #4a:

Subject ideas:

For my first and final composition, I tried to work with diagonals a lot more to create dynamism in the composition. The splat of paint creates an explosive effect, similar to when rockets take off. The radiating lines at the back also create an outward and energetic movement. The crack in the hourglass (which I had to edit in) shows that the rocket is breaking out of a contained space and ready to launch on an adventure! The high contrast between subject matter and background also draws out the foreground a lot more. The use of diagonals in this composition also helps to give a sense of movement and unity.



In the darkroom!!
A blinding blast of light descends upon our framed transparencies and transfers their shade onto the emulsion on the silkscreen to be used as a stencil for printing ūüėÄ
Exposing the silkscreen!
Exposed silkscreen!

(didn’t document the printing part because I was busy working like a factory. Yes I sold shirts to my friends so I had to handprint around 10. If you want profits, think again! 8’D)

Here’s a white-on-black shirt that I printed using expensive ink ($5 for one small bottle) I used 3/4 of the bottle on ONE shirt. So if you’re mass producing for black shirts, think again! Eventually, I managed to get cheaper ink, $5 for sizeable jar of white, but the colour didn’t turn out as vibrant and defined. SO YOU CHOOSE THE LESSER EVIL–



One difficulty that I faced with this project was when I was trying to edit the pictures (more on the technical side). When I added a colour invert filter to a layer, the ENTIRE composition inverted itself, and it was SUPERRR frustrating to work with, BUT!! I found out I could isolate the layer so that the filter only affects one layer :DDDD PS still does some wonky stuff once in a while but I have it under control now ;D

I think I’ve fulfilled the objectives of this project, which is to use symbolic images/subject matter to express a concept. I’ve learned how to expand my visual vocabulary; for example using hot-air balloon to represent dreams in my Paprika quote design.

The way the representative subject matter is orientated in relation to the other subject matter should also be carefully considered! Their relationship is very important in conveying certain ideas that cannot just be condensed into one object itself, especially for movement; for example having the rocket oriented diagonally away from the hourglass and the radiating lines really helped to give a sense of movement in my Peter Pan design!

AND I really enjoyed doing this project because

  1. I didn’t have to gather so many materials because everything was digital kekekek
  3. Got to print T-SHIRTS too! (if anyone sees this you can venture into a mini shirt-printing business!! If you’re doing another colour other than black, you have to choose between price and quality ;v;) Might consider starting Youthful Printing & Co. in Malaysia or somewhere else where the startup and rental cost isn’t so high HAHAHHA (one can dream)
  4. I FINALLY found out how to use the pen tool on Photoshop!! For years, I had been wondering how the heck do you control it.
  5. I learned about the standards of a good quality print!
  6. I learned about how to use colour half-tone and threshold!
  7. I learned how to group my layers into a folder so my PS document won’t look like a complete mess!
  8. Editing is fun!!
  9. No colours to worry about… YET. (suspenseful foreshadowing of Project 3)



–Project 3 post incominggg den den dennnnn—





Entry #01: The Disappearance of Moonling

Composition techniques:

  1. Rule of thirds
  2. Leading lines
  3. Strong diagonals
  4. Point of view
  5. Framing
  6. Simplify
  7. Depth of field
  8. Strong foreground
  9. Fill frame
  10. Active space


My attempt for class activity:


Umbrella in the Field

|| Strong diagonals, active space ||


Project 1 research:


If I suddenly disappeared while doing my everyday chores, what would the world look like without me in that instant?

What a peculiar (and slightly depressing) question to ponder about.


In this project, there were two main things to be taken care of:

  1. Content
  2. Composition

I decided that it was a wiser choice to start thinking about content first.

Content: What objects tell others about myself?


Recalling what we learned about semiotics in the first lesson, I decided to first scope some life themes and then do some research on symbolism and allegory for them.

The life themes that I found included:

Family, friends, community, knowledge, nature, growth, time. solitude, and recreation.




Below are some symbolism/allegories that I have found for these themes:


Family- Tree (life, origin, family, nature)

Workload, responsibilities- bag pack

Knowledge – books, glasses

Time – clock, calendar, road (passage of time)

Growth/Youth- Tree, playground


I decided to mix these symbolic subjects up with subject matter that was both important and personal to me and below is the list of ideas that I came up with:


Music – piano, earpieces

My past (specifically band)

Every day things – lrt gantry

Knowledge – book at lib/ glasses

Love for nature – botanical gardens, community garden

Time – clock/calendar/road

My love for solitude/privacy/self-reflection – diary, room (yes, with the cluttered floor and everything), mirror

Creation – my 3D hw/tablet/sketchbook/bunch of drawings/art tools

Growth – Tree (family, origins),

Community, youth – playground


Losing my identity as I go through life (WTF SO DEEP b0SS)

No longer there physically


Clouds – transience






Theme of Art: Leaving art materials behind, indicative of my hobby of creating artworks. Attempted a fill-frame of the things in my box of art materials.
Theme of Friendship: Disappearing in the midst of having a meal with my friends. Attempted using strong diagonals.
Theme of Community: This garden is a community garden, where many residents contribute to the healthy plantation here as they similarly do to the vibrancy of the community.
Theme of Identity: In the moment of disappearance, I drop my IC on the floor of the train station right at the gantry. The gantry is meant to represent a crossing into another place (presumably some other dimension after I disappear) and the IC is my identity.
Theme of Knowledge: Books and glasses are symbols of knowledge. Since school has been a large part of my life, knowledge that I have gained throughout the years would be something that I would leave behind. I attempted using Depth of Field here.
Theme of Music: Playing the piano has been one of my childhood hobbies (admittedly quite abandoned now) but in the moment of disappearance, the piano keys are still being pressed down. I attempted to use Depth of Field here.
Theme of Youth: For me, the playground has been a very nostalgic place where I used to frequent when I was a child. I attempted to use a strong foreground here.
Theme of Music: In my free time, I enjoy making covers of Japanese songs (or any songs that I liked at that time) in private.
Theme of Growth: The path represents a journey, as I disappear on the journey, I leave my bagpack behind which represents the responsibilities that I carry with me. The trees around are a symbol of growth and nature. I attempted using leading lines but my subject matter was too small ;v;
Theme of Growth



Those were cool and all, but they didn’t tell a story.

Why my pictures didn’t make the cut:

  1. There was too much background such that the background of the photos became my subject.
  2. There was too little subject matter. I only had a single subject for most of the photos.

It wasn’t until I consulted XM for help and after receiving my 2D Project 2 that I had an epiphany of what I could add into my photograph.

The advice I received about telling a story and juxtaposition. Focusing on the photo of me disappearing while making a cover, I could tell a more elaborate narrative about myself.

New narrative (this is really personal??):

(has to link back to the whole disappearing thing and what I left behind)

Ever since I was in primary school, I discovered anime (Japanese animated series) which really helped me to tide over a difficult period in my life (and has largely guided me on the path that I am on today). With each new series I watched, I enjoyed printing out the lyrics of the openings and endings of the new series and singing along to them. This hobby of mine developed even further when I discovered the vocaloid subculture in secondary school (yes, it’s all pretty complicated) whereby tons of creators from all around the globe could use these voice programmes to make their own songs, so you could imagine how massively huge my song collection got. I had begun learning how to make covers on my own of these songs using SUPER basic software and hardware such as Audacity and a simple Logitech microphone. I really enjoyed this hobby of mine but I never really had the audacity (oh no, unintended pun) to step out of my comfort zone and actually do singing (although I had band background). I’d watch my classmates go on school talent competitions in awe and admiration (even now).


SoOOOoO that was a pretty long but very personal story for me (even my parents don’t know 8’D). So I wanted to take a photo which conveyed a scene of me silently wanting to pursue this hobby further but always simply continuing to karaoke to myself, with myself in my bedroom, and never stepping outside of my comfort zone. When I disappear in the middle of my (almost daily) karaoke sessions, I leave behind all of these emotions behind as well.

Subject matter:

My aim is to juxtapose the razzle-dazzle of singing on stage and the contentment of singing in my bedroom.

Instead of using the condenser mic in the previous photo I took, I decided to use a dynamic mic (that my family happens to have for some reason) because it is more commonly used by singers on stage, compared to condenser mics which are used in studios for recording, which implies a sense of isolation from everyone when singing. Also, it was a more easily identifiable symbol of the act of singing.

This is paired with red bed-sheets (to simulate the red curtains of a stage) and colourful lights so it could value-add to the whole flashy theatricality of singing on stage. I am also including a black jacket (which I presumably threw “on-stage” before I disappeared) because my favourite rock singer always wears a jacket/hoodie.

Pertaining to the contentment of singing with contentment in the comfort of my own bedroom, I am including my bed (of course), stuff toys as an imaginary audience, anime posters stuck on the wall to indicate my preferred music genre.

With these subject matter, I will be attempting to take shots using the various techniques of composition that I have learned.



I decided to use this photo as my final because I managed to capture most of my subject matter into the photo. I attempted to use a strong diagonal of my bed as well instead of a flat, horizontal stage which looks a bit boring. The blue lighting (projected from my little brother’s toy car and white lighting creates the mood of a concert (and a KTV room maybe). Big Bird also looks like he’s having the time of his life.
--End of Post--

Entry #01: Leaving a MARK on this planet.


The Essence of Mark-Making

Mark-making is the process by which lines, dots, marks, textures, smears, scribbles, drips, scratches and patterns put down using different tools (almost anything in this universe can be used) onto a surface of any texture or material to abstractly express emotive qualities, capture moments of life or simply to create an aesthetic form to be engaged with or appreciated.




Mark-Makers of the World

Some notable artists who utilise mark-making in their works are:

  1. Jackson Pollock (a.k.a. “Jack the Dripper”)


Paul Jackson Pollock was a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement (Post WWII, 1940s, New York) who had a volatile personality and was a “raging alcoholic” (as quoted by my Art History lecturer) and specialized in drip painting. He carried out his action paintings using hardened brushes, sticks and resin-based paints while rigorously and passionately working his way around the canvas, splashing paint in whatever manner catered to his mood that day.



Some of his most famous works include:

  • Autumn Rhythm
Artist: Jackson Pollock (American, Cody, Wyoming 1912‚Äď1956 East Hampton, New York)

Date: 1950

Medium: Enamel on canvas

Dimensions: 105 x 207 in. (266.7 x 525.8 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: George A. Hearn Fund, 1957

Accession Number: 57.92

Rights and Reproduction: © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Greyed Rainbow
Jackson Pollock
 American, 1912‚Äď1956

Greyed Rainbow, 1953

Oil on linen
 182.9 x 244.2 cm (72 x 96 1/8 in.), unframed
 Signed and dated: recto: "Jackson Pollock 53" (bottom right in black paint); verso: "Jackson Pollock / 53" (upper left in black paint)

Gift of Society for Contemporary American Art, 1955.494

© 2017 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


 2. Yayoi Kusama (a.k.a. Polka Dot Queen)


Yayoi Kusama was born in Nagano Prefecture, Japan where she would do many paintings on her own, but her love of art was rejected by her family, compelling her to further develop her works in the United States. She is heavily influenced by the abstract expressionist movement as well and her 2D works often utilize a wide variety of media such as gouache, watercolours, pastels and oils to print repetitive patterns such as polka dots and nets for the entire area of a canvas (even the sides of the canvas would be painted), which creates an overall psychedelic effect, especially under certain lighting.


Actually, a few months ago I had the opportunity to visit the Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow exhibition.

Photo by Tan Yue Ling (me).
Photo by Tan Yue Ling (me).

Asides from her astounding 3D works, her 2D works are equally intriguing. The colours she uses are very opaque, mostly vibrant which make a very strong statement. The variation in lines and shapes is also thus made very obvious. The fact that Kusama is able to persist with such repetitive patterns across an entire canvas never fails to impress me. Some of her paintings are littered with simple shapes like cirlces and stripes, but for some of them, you have to squint closer to really see it. For example, take a look at the 4th painting from the left in the top row (the brown and black one). Try squinting and having a guess at the title of the painting!


***drumroll intensifies***




Photo by Tan Yue Ling.

***Answer: Lives of Women, 2015***



3. Gerhard Richter (no legitimate nickname for him but I call him Squeegee Man)

German artist Gerhard Richter attends the unveiling of his new work ‘4900 Colours:Version II’ at the Serpentine Gallery in London on September 22, 2008. ‘4900 Colours’ comprises of 196 square panels of 25 coloured squares that can be reconfigured in a number of variations. The exhibition comprises of 49 paintings of 100 squares and runs from the September 23 until November 16, 2008. AFP PHOTO/Shaun Curry (Photo credit should read SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images)

Gerhard Richter is a German visual artist who produces both abstract and photorealistic works (many others as well). He was one of the artists that pioneered new, objective ways to create abstract art, which in his case, he popularised the use of the squeegee.



If you watch the video below, you can see how he uses this massive squeegee-like block to slide across the entire canvas, where there is already paint layered out and a single scratch can reveal the myriad of colours beneath:


 Most of his paintings have very distinctive lines that are quintessential to all his squeegee works.

Abstraktes Bild
Abstract Painting

1999 50 cm x 72 cm Catalogue Raisonné: 858-3

Oil on Alu Dibond


~Expressive Qualities of Lines~


  • Thin lines¬†represent fragility, elegance, delicacy and give off an ephemeral air. They can be used to show vulnerability, or emotions that come in short, staccato waves.

  • Thick lines on the other hand appear to be robust, stable. They can be used to convey, boldness and courage or emotions with strong intensity.

  • Horizontal lines are parallel to the horizon and they seem to¬†lying down, at rest, asleep, indicating calmness, tranquility, peace and comfort.

  • Vertical lines are perpendicular to the horizon. They seem to be strong and rigid (lack of movement, no direction). They¬†make strong statements, especially when the width of the line is increased. As such, they also seem to suggest stability but in a more¬†forceful manner compared to horizontal lines.¬†Variation in the spaces between vertical lines can create a sense of dynamic rhythm to create more movement (sort of like a barcode). Their tallness and formality may give the impression of dignity.




  • Diagonal lines are unbalanced and give a sense of potential dynamic¬†movement and direction. They can be used to guide the viewer’s attention to¬†certain subject matter and are more dramatic than horizontal and vertical lines.


The Japan Army’s flag has radiating diagonal lines that is effective in showing how sunlight is going outwards.


  • Curved lines have a much gentler sensation since they sweep and turn. They are more unpredictable and organic than straight lines and change direction, expressing fluid movement. The tighter and more frequent the curls, the more intense the feeling (passionate, zest). However, if the curves are looser, they can give off a more pleasant and sensual feeling. Overlapping curls can give off a sense of confusion as well.




The Meaning of Lines: Developing A Visual Grammar


Tools experimented with:


After over-purchasing and hoarding a bunch of random items I could get my hands on, I decided to test them all out to see what kind of tools would make interesting patterns that would be useful. (I might have went a little overboard with the shopping list but it was interesting seeing some of the patterns they produced!)

  • Ink; our main ingredient (The stench of this ink is undescribable 8’D)
Ink – Photo by me.


  • Tool: Teabags ( I used both the teabag itself and the tea leaves inside)
Closed teabags – Photo by me. (BOH tea leaves)
Opened teabag – Photo by me. Yes, it made quite the mess.


Tea effect – Photo by me. (left) Dipped a teabag in ink before dabbing it on to the paper, gave a splotchy effect. (right) Wiped the teabag vertically, gave a much smoother effect.
Tea effect 2 – Photo by me.
Sprinkled tea leaves onto the paper before using teabag to smooth paint over. The tea bag got clogged up with tea leaves, giving rise to a scratchy, kind of angsty effect.

 Tea effect 3 РPhoto by me. Poured the tea leaves directly into the ink before using the spoon to spread it out onto the paper. Gave rise to a grainy texture with a somewhat splotchy background.

  • Bath Sponge
Bath sponge – Photo by me.


Bath sponge effect – Photo by me. (from left to right) Dabbed the sponge directly onto the paper, following with circular motions and ending with a sliding motion on the right. It was surprising how different the effects turned out, from splotchy, tumultuous, to angry.


  • Plastic rule¬†Plastic rule – Photo by me.
    This one was inspired by Pollock’s squeegee paintings, I wanted to see if I could recreate the squeegee effect.Aftermath:

 Ruler effect РPhoto by me.
I had to use a spoon to put some ink at the “starting line” first, before using the ruler to spread the paint over the paper. I think it turned out pretty neat! (though I would really use a smaller ruler instead)

  • Metal filter + Tea strainer (this idea had worked out a lot better in my head)
Metal filter + Tea strainer – Photo by me. I intended to use the tea strainer to soak up some ink, before pressing it into the metal filter and onto the paper to essentially use the metal filter as a stencil for a dotty effect. This one was… quite a flop.


Filters effect – Photo by me. Nothing decided to come out no matter how hard I pressed the cloth in.
Filters effect – Photo by me. Not even a tissue soaked with ink helped. ūüôĀ


  • Wooden cork
Wooden Corks – Photo by me.
Cork effect – Photo by me. I pressed the cork down on the paper lightly to create a stamp effect, it gave rise to circular prints with an interesting scratchy pattern. Also, I tried rolling the cork on its long side and it created a smoother effect.
  • Scrubbing Brush
Scrubbing brush – Photo by me.


 Scrubber effect РPhoto by me. Again, I had to use a spoon to deposit some ink first before I could use the brush to scrape it outwards. It gave rise to sort of a wispy effect since the lines produced were so fine. I also purposely let the paint drip down and now it looks like a thunderstorm.

  • Bubble wrap
Bubble wrap – Photo by me.



Bubblewrap effect – Photo by me.
I used the bubble wrap to print ink onto the paper. The pattern it produced was somewhat similar to the corks but the circles produced were much less scratchy and more splotchy.


/\/\/||– \\~~Emotional Lines~~//–||/\/\/

  • Love – affection, lust, longing

Love is wholesome and warm feeling, one where you feel like you are being in a tight embrace and protected. This can be illustrated by curved lines that depict convexity and roundedness, and lines should be favourably thin and light to show the tenderness of love. Curves can also either be relatively sparse to suggest the sensuality of romance or more closely positioned to generate more passion and zeal.


Pleasure (draft) – long ruler Inspired by Gerhard Richters squeegee technique


Pleasure – created with a long rule by dragging it across the paper quickly.
Longing – Black and white paint, cotton bud. Inspired by Judith Ann Braun’s finger markmaking works.



Longing – String, aluminium, black paper, glue. Inspired by collagraphy.
  • Joy – cheerfulness, zest, contentment, pride, optimism, enthrallment, relief

Joy has a very vibrant, enthusiastic, ecstatic tone that can be showcased through more well-rounded curved lines as well, or zig-zagged lines radiating outwards to show pent-up energy being released. Joy can also be being pleased with status quo, such as enjoying a cup of tea in solitude in the early morning, and that can be expressed with more loose, wavy curves. For a prideful joy, tall vertical lines or steep diagonal lines can be used to indicate the celebration of superiority. For a sense of relief, there can be curves in the shape of a wave (The Great Wave of Kanagawa) to show something being held back before being calmly released, just like a sigh of relief.


Passion – created using Shinhan Twin Touch watercolour markers.
  • Surprise – pleasant surprise, shock

Surprise has a positive connotation and is a rather transient feeling that is triggered by a sudden event, thus short lines, or small circles can be incuded. The spacing between these elements can also be considered, for example, having a cluster before gradually becoming sparse shows a sense of dispersement of shock. Curved lines with a point (also like multiple waves) and the use of diagonals to form peaks that grow out of a horizontal line also indicated something suddenly appearing out of the calmness.


Surprise (draft) – toilet roll stamping
Shock – created by flicking the bristles of a brush


Surprise – stamped with moulded clay, Chinese ink on newsprint


  • Anger – irritation, exasperation, rage, disgust, envy, jealousy,¬†fury

Anger is a very intense feeling which can last from small waves of irritation to a long-held grudge. Rage or fury can be shown using looser curves thickness with varying that reach outward (rather than tight curls), to aliken the feeling to hot flames of rage. For irritation, short, bold, jagged lines can be used to illustrate the constant but rather brief spans of feelings of annoyance. Disgust can be conveyed using wide, convex curves that disperse outwards to express revulsion (sort of like the feelings you get in your stomach before puking). Bold but connected splotches can be used to show envy or jealousy; a lasting, deep-rooted grudge that someone is reminded of every now and then when they are in contact with the person they just are unable to come to terms to with.


Jealousy – created by dripping paint from a hard brush

Jealousy – Chinese ink, dripping using hard brush. Inspired by Jackson Pollock’s drip painting.

Insulted – created using cardboard painted black, and toothpicks cut and painted white.


  • Sadness – suffering, sadness, disappointment, shame, regret, sympathy, anguish

Sadness is a pretty personal feeling that not a lot of people express openly, so it would be appropriate to have a cluster of elements together rather than spread out widely or evenly throughout the entire paper/medium. Drip lines or really thin, wispy lines can be used to convey the silent wallowing in grief, and give sof a sombre, gloomy feeling. For a louder kind of sadness, like anguish, deep sorrow or regret, wider curves can be used, rather than straight lines or zigzag lines because straight lines are not as organic as curves and our ability to feel sad can be owed to our roots as human beings, therefore using curves would give it a very natural feeling (it’s only human to feel sad).


Depression (draft) – created by laying Chinese ink onto the paper using a spoon then letting the ink drip down before proceeding to use the scrub to scrub downwards and across the paper.
Depression – Chinese ink, newsprint, bath scrub


  • Fear – horror, nervousness

Fear is also a very intense emotion, it is created by mostly external experiences and guided by our very primal instincts of survival. It is also much more prolonged than shock and has a negative connotation, unlike surprise. There is suspense, anticipation, a sense of unknown or any threats that serve to trigger a griping fear from within us. Thus, there can be wide curves sprouting outwards, or exaggerated zigzag lines (like the ones on cardiograms) to indicated a racing heartbeat, or even short little jagged lines to show a less intense variation, nervousness.


Horror (draft) – created using palette knife
DIsgust – created using tea leaves and Chinese ink
Horror – Chinese ink, Palette knife, newsprint
Disgust – Black acrylic ink, cling wrap
Anxiety – Chinese ink, scrunched up tissue paper


Final Draft:



Board A draft (top to bottom): 1) Insulted 2) Fear 3) Depression
Board B draft (top to bottom): 4) Longing 5) Pleasure 6) Surprise


Final Submission (6 emotions):

Positive emotions
Negative emotions



6 emotions (top to bottom):

  1. Longing – String, aluminium, black paper, glue. Inspired by collagraphy.

  1. Definition:
  2. A yearning desire. Wishfulness.


  1. My interpretation:The lingering craving for something better, usually arises when someone is down in the dumps, desperate to get out of their current situation, which they find bothersome/tiresome.Tools and exploration:Aluminium foil, glued on string using white glue, scrunched up aluminium foil.tried using cotton buds to create a wiping texture but the white colour looked too washed out towards the bottom. (inspired by Judith Ann Braun who did fingerpainting). I decided to try out string on aluminium after coming across a video about collagraphy on cards.Rationale:‚ÄúThe grass is always greener on the other side.‚ÄĚ I felt that it was necessary to create that contrast between feeling very lost in the dark of the black paper, and the brightness of the scrunched up aluminium foil (more reflective surfaces=extra bright). Almost like the saying ‚Äúthe light at the end of the tunnel‚ÄĚ. Using the string to create curved lines creates a sort of motion which pushes all the way from the darkness to the light. The coiling of the string mimics the motion of grasping as well, as such it is similar to wanting to wanting to be in possession of something better.
  2. Pleasure – Chinese ink, long ruler, inspired by Gerhard Richter’s squeegee technique.

Definition:A feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment.


An uncontrollable feeling of bliss in a moment that seems like it would last forever.

Tools and exploration:

Previously tried using watercolour markers to create long flowing curves with gradient but looked too dull and static. Inspired by German artist, Gerhard Richter, who popularised the use of a squeegee for his abstract art works in a wiping/stamping motion, I decided to recreate a mini squeegee piece using my long ruler and some Chinese ink.


Pleasure is a rather uncontrollable emotion that comes in the heat of the moment. Can be fundamental (eating, exercising, social belonging) or higher order (experiencing altruism, viewing art). The feeling always comes in a sudden rush/wave and thus by using the ruler to quickly swipe across the strip gives it a sense of a quick motion, ink spills out of dimension as well to show that it is overwhelming.

3. Surprise – stamped with moulded clay, Chinese ink on newsprint

  1. Definition:
  2. To feel mild astonishment or shockInterpretation:Surprise is an emotion triggered by the occurrence of a sudden, unexpected event and is a transient emotion as well that gradually fades off and does not linger for too long.Tools and Exploration:At first, I used a cardboard toilet roll and stamped it on newsprint using Chinese ink for experimentation. I then switched to clay instead and moulded it such that it could produce circles as well but smaller ones.Rationale:

    Surprise has a positive connotation and is a rather transient feeling that is triggered by a sudden event, thus short lines, or small circles can be included. The spacing between these elements can also be considered, For example, having a cluster before gradually becoming sparse shows a sense of dispersing of shock.

    At first, concentration but gradually becomes more scattered. The rhythm slows down as the space between the circles increase towards the right.

4. Insulted – toothpicks, white paint on black paper


  1. Definition:
  2. To speak or treat people with disrespect or scornful abuse


  1. Interpretation:
  2. To hurt someone verbally in order to hurt their ego/pride/dignity/sense of self-worth/self-esteem. Bring them down. Usually coming from someone who has a larger than needed ego him/herself who assumes a superior position and looks down on others.


  1. Tools and exploration:
  2. Simply using short strokes was not enough since it did not really create a sense of direction. I wanted the strokes to aim towards the hole (which is visibly torn, the torn paper can be paralleled with the destruction of ego. Toothpicks and glue. Tried normal paper vs cardboard (more sturdy).


  1. Rationale:Cardboard painted black, sense of isolation. Using toothpicks that have both a blunt and sharp end and aiming the sharp end towards the hole and following perspective lines, the sense of having small insults being thrown towards an individual (who is inferior, as shown with the small size of the hole). It can also easily be assumed that the aggregation of the small insults being thrown about eventually will cause a large amount of damage to an individual. Stark contrast between light and dark.

5. Horror – Chinese ink, Palette knife, newsprint

  1. Definition:
  2. An intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust.


  1. Interpretation:

    Primal, instinctive feeling of fear that comes from the gut when confronted with a threat/dangerous situation

    Tools and exploration:

    Chinese ink, palette knife. Previously tried other subdivisions such as anxiety, anger using tools like tissue paper, jealousy using drip painting with a hard brush


    Feeling like something rises internally and feels intrusive, climbing manner upwards. Wavy patterns that radiate outwards from a dark source. Sort of like how any paranoia originates from insecurities, suspense that prolongs it. Tangled string-y feeling that is hard to get rid of.

6. Depression – Chinese ink, newsprint, bath scrub

  1. Definition:Feeling of severe unhappinessInterpretation:Something heavy that weighs you down, stains you, clouds your perspective of the world around youTools and exploration:At first I tried directly scraping some ink onto the paper but the hard brush did not pick up much ink, used plastic spoon to lay down ink before spreading it out. As I was holding it up, the ink dripped down but the downward direction implied was perfect for the overall effect.


    Sadness is a pretty personal feeling that not a lot of people express openly, so it would be appropriate to have a cluster of elements together rather than spread out widely or evenly throughout the entire paper/medium. Drip lines or really thin, wispy lines can be used to convey the silent wallowing in grief, and gives off a sombre, gloomy feeling.


Through this project, I have learned that the effects of designs on posters, websites, advertisements etc. may largely go unnoticed, they are extremely deliberate and directed in such a way that leaves a huge impact on our subconscious mind. Designers certainly do not add polka dots into a design just because they like polka dots. There are very specific reasons why they used a certain design in order to evoke a certain mood upon the viewer.