9 December 2017

Blog post

You must be wondering what on earth was I thinking picking a subject like this.

Well, I want to do something, using colour pencils, subjects that are not ‘normal’. If you have been following my style of artworks, you will notice that I tend to gravitate towards old worn out metal stuffs. It is both a challenge of testing my skills and the ability of this medium.

I got the idea when I was browsing through Pinterest, searching for some inspirational subjects. I came across a painting of some mysterious looking abandoned industrial machines painted in oil. And I was immediately drawn to it.

Now, where do I start searching for similar subject? Took me several days of drilling my memories to finally get the ‘Aha!’ moment. My husband’s mechanic shop. That’s it!!

I told my dear hubby of my intention and asked whether his mechanic will allow me to snap photos of engine parts.


Heh, you should have seen the look on his face. ‘Wife’s going crazy’ kind of look…..

Knowing how persistent and stubborn I am, he immediately got on the phone with the mechanic and got a green light. Needless to say, I was oh, so thrilled as though I hit the jackpot.



I really went down on my behind, sitting and almost lying down on the oily smudgy floor and took about 50 shots, all during the night under the harsh florescent lightings. I didn’t mind that at all as it gave a certain kind of spookiness and mystery about the subject.

And the journey begins, what I thought will take me around 4 weeks, turned into slightly more than 8 weeks to complete.


The process really tested my patience. There were many hair pulling moments . Not so much on the details but the mixing of clashing colours.

In wet mediums, such as water colour, oil, acrylics, artists are able to premix the colours to the desired tones before applying on the surface. But with colour pencils, I couldn’t. I have to apply layers upon layers of so many colours to get the closest tones.


Colours that are so opposite, clashing, i.e. warm and cool, have to be mix directly onto the paper to get that iridescent results. I believe with the practice I had with this piece, I can easily paint a mermaid’s tail.

Almost towards the end of this painting, I was so exhausted mentally. It’s like running a marathon where the last few metres seems to take forever to reach.

With the complexity of techniques involved, it was really an excellent learning curves. I felt that after working on this, metal parts, new or old, won’t scare me easily.

As for the subject matter, ‘re-conditioned’ can be interpreted in many ways. It can be a metaphor of second chances in life. Like this engine block, is ready to fitted into a car that needed a new ‘heart’. OR, it can be just….. an engine block.



P.S. Oh, by the way, can you guess what model this engine block belongs to?








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