Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tis the season for toffee nut lattes!

Christmas sketching is in full swing!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fondant frenzy

My latest (edible) works of art. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A girl and her cat

I don't have a story for this. Just some sketches to convey emotion. I've been using the pencil more and more these days. I like the softer feel. Also, it's pretty difficult to use a dip pen when there's a rather needy cat that insists on rubbing herself against my face.  The dogs do come into my room occasionally but they just potter around, click-clacking their claws on my hardwood floor. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Wesley Methodist church food and fun fair 2013

We had an awesome day at the food fair last week! My mom's quilted goodies were snapped up in a jiffy and we raised $1,106 for charity!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The one that didn't make the cut

So I'm in the middle of my Christmas card designs. This is one of my favorites but after a small poll, it looks like everyone else prefers the dog and cat paintings...:(

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Had this idea to make tiny fondant bunnies. Too lazy to whip up a cream cheese frosting to dye green tho, so I ended up using packaged chocolate frosting. For all the effort spent on shaping the fondant, it's actually not very tasty but I think it's cute! And of course, I used my mayo cupcake recipe which has gotten pretty good reviews!

Friday, August 16, 2013


I'm sure that I'm not the only one who messes up. Usually I'll post up the nicer pictures. This is an example of a Great Dane gone wrong (ass the size of a horse) and the correction below. 

I was reading that in order to be a good illustrator, one should be able to draw the same character from various angles and in different poses, without losing the essence of the character. Gosh. It's hard enough to replicate something, even with tracing paper. The subsequent versions sometimes look better, but not always...For now, I'm just going to enjoy painting whatever I like and not worry too much about becoming an illustrator. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Rainy afternoon

Two public holidays in a row means time to squander. Did a teaching session this morning to clock in some extra hours. After spending a 4 figure sum at the vet last week, excess money doesn't hurt :) 
Practicing skin tones and also did a fun submission under the Illustration Friday blog for "hybrid".

Onde-onde, rainbow kueh and a curry puff for my Muslim fans.
Illustrating an idea that someone sent me.

And I'm on the Mrt now to meet my hub :)

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Inspired  by the beautiful art of Caitlin Mcgauley. I'm always wishing that I could paint like this person, or that person, but then if I could, what would be the point? 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Macau and HK

Some pictures of the less touristy-sort taken from my 5 day trip to Macau and Hong Kong. 

Slices of toast. 

Swarovski encrusted Kenwood mixer!!

Penguin dim sum

And sketches of some unsuspecting locals...

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Caturday is such a perfect word. And here's a shot of Ellie being still enough for me to use as a temporary easel. While I do love cats, I try to stay away from the crazy-cat-lady label by owning only one cat, not wearing t shirts with cat motifs and I don't carry cans of cat food around with me to feed passing strays. However I do have a small cat tattoo on my ankle, and admittedly, I do love drawing cats. 

Happy caturday!

Thursday, July 4, 2013


It may only be July but I'm starting to sketch out ideas for the Christmas season. I'd really like to do a print again. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pick of the week!

This blog was setup so I could chatter a bit more and include some "behind the scenes" footage of what I do. It's no secret that I LOVE children's books and alot of my inspiration and style comes from these books. In fact, I can't remember the last time I finished reading a grown-up book. So once a week, when I remember, I shall feature an illustrator that I like. This week, it will be the works of
Janet and Allan Ahlberg. You can tell that I really like an illustrator when I buy several of their books.  

From "The Worm Book", a complete guide to your favourite pet. It's hilarious!

From 'Starting School". Love the wavy lines and watercolors.     

Some of their more popular books include The Jolly Pocket Postman Series where the reader is able to open envelopes on every page to take out tiny notes and letters.      

I just got back my out-of-print  Barbapapa and Timbuctoo books, so 'til next week!   

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Light, glass, water. Probably every artist struggles with these at some point. I know I am! 
I definitely prefer the penciled version of The Lost Star. 

Monday, June 10, 2013


I work hard and I play hard and I'm pooped! Finished this in a caffeinated state of mind. I've always wanted to do a cat on a bookshelf although drawing staightish lines  tends to drive me nuts as I can never get them aligned. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Faith hope and love

Wouldn't it be nice if such infusions really existed?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Asian Festival of Children's Content: AFCC 2013 First Look, an Illustration Critique

Can't remember the last time I felt so anxious! Would I get a good review? Or would the professional illustrators and editors think that it was so sucky that I would not want to paint for a week?  My dinosaur illustrations was the first set to be critiqued. Lights went off, slides went up, I heard a few sounds but nothing that sounded like "ugh".

So here was my critique:
The bad: characters need more emotion and expression, perhaps using ink so that it would be more clearly defined. There should be some close-up angles to draw the reader closer in.  And I need to study dinosaur anatomy and watch my perspective.

The good: There was a flow between pictures (which was unintentional on my part) and clearly a good relationship depicted between the dinosaur and the girl. They also found the characters warm and endearing.

So overall, I was quite pleased with the feedback, although I don't totally agree with animals needing to be sorta structurally accurate. I like my dinosaur the way he is. Good learning experience at the conference overall!

Saturday, May 25, 2013


I remember when we last had chickens in the backyard. It was a LONG time ago and my sister had brought back the grown-up chicks from school after the lessons on the life-cycle were over. They would flap over to the neighbor's house and perch on top of the swing (who says chickens can't fly?). Then came that horrible day when I was playing by myself in the backyard. One of the chickens chased me and I was screaming for someone to open the door which had slammed shut and was unopenable from the outside. It came at me and pecked my foot. Hard. On hindsight, it probably wasn't that bad, but it did draw blood and when you're in kindergarten, you always think it's the end of the world when there's blood. I've never quite liked chickens since, except fried.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Paintinks by melt has landed in NYC!

I found out about the ABFFE children's art auction only two weeks before the submission deadline. I wrote in to see if they would accept a piece from a total noob and got the warmest welcome from Kristen Vlahos, as well as an invitation to attend the auction in NYC.  So alongside some of the most well-known illustrators such as Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and Lane Smith (Flying Jake), sit my two little bunnies. You can see more of the artwork up for auction on  ABFFE flickr site. And the  details of actual auction are on the ABFFE online auction page.

It doesn't matter if whether or not someone bids on my artwork, I'm pleased to be part of this!

Monday, May 13, 2013


I've got a recent obsession with drawing paper. Photo-realism totally astounds me and paper seems a good place to begin. Check out Tutodraw's videos on YouTube. He's amazing!

Monday, May 6, 2013


Origami fox and origami rabbit. The origami pig was too horrendous to post up. I've yet to sell a pencil sketch but with more practice, hopefully that will materialize!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Buildings and a Big Bang!

It's no secret that I like drawing little buildings especially brownstones and townhouses. They're so beautifully quaint! I submitted this under for this week's theme of "Farewell" at Illustration Friday. Much to my delight, this painting was purchased almost as soon as I'd put it up on my facebook page.

People often ask, where do you get your ideas from? So here's a step by step process of how this one came about:
1. buy long frame at ikea
2. think of something long to draw. Aha! Dragon sleeping!
3. Something silly needs to happen. Rabbit come by and wakes dragon up.
4. A trumpet...maybe..a rock...too harsh... a balloon and a hedgehog... that will work.
5. add a little bystander and voila!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tools of the trade

I've been asked several times, what materials do I use?

Pencils: I like 3B and 4Bs. Soft and dark, but not too dark. I use Faber-castells to sketch the outlines and Cretacolor Monolith woodless pencils to soften the lines after painting in the picture.

Brushes: For minute details, Daler-Rowney Expression series (the dark green brushes), the smallest I have is a 15/0.
              For regular painting, I love the Daler-Rowney Cryla series (the silver brushes). I have brushes from 2/0 to 5. They're actually meant for acrylic paints but I find that they work nicely for me. Unfortunately they don't last very long. Either that or I'm not using them correctly.

Paint: I've got a range of watercolor paints from student-grade to professional grade:  pebeo (cheap buy from vietnam, and the colours are kind of nice!), van gogh, winsor and newton, daler rowney, Master (cheapo-china brand which goes flaky but has some nice hues and is only $0.70 when on sale), Cotman and Ecoline.

Ink: dip pen and waterproof ink, and Copic 0.03 pen for those beady eyes.

Paper: 300gsm Fabriano and Daler Rowney watercolor paper (as you can tell, Daler-Rowney makes alot of money off me!).

Oh yeah, that's a picture of my messy palette and paint test paper. All paintings that have gone wrong end up as test paper.

It's been a lot of trial and error, and Art Friend has definitely made a substantial profit off me. I have drawerfuls of art materials that I rarely use because they don't work the way I thought they would. Hey, everything looks nice in the brochure!

Monday, April 29, 2013

YELLOW by melt

So here's the challenge. Some dude has bought over several .sg domains and has offered the free use of them up to July to do whatever they like with the domains. Being the typical Singaporean that I am, I love a freebie so I chose and as a personal challenge, will only upload yellow-themed PaintInks. So take a look here

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Monday blues

It's only Sunday and I've already got a case of the Monday blues!

(Ok, actually I don't but I was itching to draw this!)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

AFCC submission part deux

This came out much better than I expected. I played on the word "leaves" too! This will be submitted for the Asian Festival of Children's Content sketch competition in May. All the entries so far are either in paint or digital format and I thought that this would be something different.
 It's been a  good week with several paintings sold, commissions completed, and more in the queue. And a mantra to myself that I paint neither for fame nor fortune, but because there is joy in it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

First ever self-portrait. Ta dah! I didn't have to worry about the client saying that it didn't look like them this time since I WAS my own client.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


I know. It's corny. The theme was Urban.

Friday, April 5, 2013

One Big Story

This is my submission for afccsketch.Some of the items may be familiar to many, and some less so.The tiny elephant is inspired from Frederic Clement's beautifully written and illustrated book, The Merchant of Marvels, Peddlar of dreams.
                               "I also have a troop of elephants
                                all as small as specks of sand
                                who come trumpeting from time to time
                                 into my teacup."

The potion with the "drink me" label, is from Alice in Wonderland  and is reported to taste of cherry tarts, custard, pineapple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast.

The broken sign which reads "Trespasses Will" is Piglet's late grandfather's name, "Trespasses William".

Purple Crayon is Harold's, the Kiss belongs to Peter Pan and the Doorway leads to Aslan's kingdom, Narnia.

Sadly, I wasn't able to draw the hour-lilies from Michael Ende's wonderful book, Momo, which were said to have colours and scents that no words were able to describe.

have a great weekend ahead!

Friday, March 29, 2013


I was throwing a couple of ideas around. This wasnt one of them actually, but I thought it was a bit more original than bunny-eared cats.

I'm trying to blog a little more regularly but I'm really not into writing (which is a bit strange cos I used to want to be a writer. Of course, I also wanted to be a magician, a spy, a pastry chef and a zookeeper...)

Happy Easter Holiday everyone!