Sunday, February 9, 2020

Sketching on the Move instructional map

I have a new product out! It's an instructional guide to sketching while commuting.

The art I do requires a lot of travel. Most of my journeys take about half an hour, some may last over a day if I am travelling overseas. And because I spend so many hours in a week travelling, I have included sketching while on the go as part of my travelling repertoire. Whether I am on a local bus, or train, taxi or plane, I always keep a sketchbook close at hand, to keep practicing wherever I am.

For those who are interested in picking up sketching while commuting, here’s an instructional map that I have put together. Inside the map is a heap of information regarding sketching on the move. The guide covers the how, why and where of sketching while on the go. There is also a whole section on sketching the human figure, since sketching scenes on your daily commute will definitely have people in them. Like always, I have embedded QR codes within the map for you to scan with a smart device to help you go in-depth when discussing a certain topic.  Lastly, there will be a section where I will show you common places to sketch at, and tips and tricks on how you would make yourself comfortable while at it. 

(front and back covers of the unopened map)

I decided to design this instructional in a map format because the one thing I think about when the words travel and information come together is a directional map.  Also, this format helps keep the cost of shipping to a minimal. 

Click the link below to get yourself and maybe a friend a copy: 

Each copy retails at SGD$11.00 (approx. USD8.00, €7.30 or £6.20)
(Use currency converter on the top right of this blog.)

Notes on shipping:
• For orders shipped within Singapore, it’s SGD$1 extra.

• For orders to be shipped out to the rest of the world, it’s SGD$3.50 extra.

• Shipping takes place every Tuesday of the week. Currently on a project out of town. Shipping resumes on 3rd March 2020. If you need one sent urgently, let me know. 

Thank you for supporting my work! This keeps me going as an independent artist.

Kim Hoerster's drawing workshop in San Miguel de Allende Mexico
incorporating the Sketching On The Move maps. Images courtesy of Kim.

Kim's review:
"They enjoyed the maps very much. We walked through every step of the gesture together and they practiced using the drawings inside your map finding eight lines."

Kim Hoerster is an artist and instructor from Texas, USA, and manages Arts Lessons & Studio. 
Check out her website for upcoming workshops. -->
Also, look her up on Facebook at: Arts Lessons & Studio

Friday, October 11, 2019

Art in the Open 2019 Wexford, Ireland

I arrived late into the programme this year, right after my first Urban Sketching Symposium in Amsterdam. It's my 4th Art in the Open. So many of the artists from here are not just my friends, but have also become my family. :)  They have guided me over the years when it comes to art and some fo them really want me to succeed... I am filled with gratefulness.

I've also become the resident vlogger in this annual event here in Wexford, so be sure to click on the various links listed below.

Art in the Open Part 1
So day 2 became my first day at Wells House. A whole load of farm animals to paint here including cows while at it in their mating rituals. Day 3 at Graiguenamanagh was hard to pronounce but my hosts patiently taught me how to say it. (Greg-nah-meh-nah.) Also, first time painting at Tintern Abbey in Day 4. 

Art in the Open Part 2
Day 5 at Ballymore House. Day 6 at the QuickDraw. Be sure to check out who won :) The video ends with the exhibition at Green Acres and Gala Dinner at the Riverbank Hotel. 

How to Make Strawberry Jam

Featured Artist: Paul Maloney

Castlebridge Annual Show

Flying Tiger Shop (Wexford)

Product Review: Fiat Hymer Swing 494 Trailer

Product Test: Michael Harding Oil Paints

Featured Artist: Sheila MacNally

Friday, June 7, 2019

ARTIVIVE APP downloading Instructions

(Download instructions for more from Alvin Mark)

Hi! Thank you for purchasing my product. 
Let's take another step to create some magic together.
Before the magic happens, you need to
download the ARTIVIVE APP on your smartphone
or other device that allows you to read QR codes. 

For Apple OS users, click: 

For Android users, click: 

Once you have downloaded the app, 
scan the image on the product you have, 
and voila! 

Social Media Links

Welcome to my blog!  This page is dedicated to the ever growing links of my social media world. This is where most of my online links are. It's me trying to reach out to the planet as far as I can.

F O L L O W   A L V I N

👨🏾‍🎨 W E B S I T E
Everything is found here. My portfolio, my travel and workshop schedules, links and more.


🎥 V L O G S
I make art demo videos under 3 broad categories: Sketching Singapore, Travel Sketch and Product Reviews. 

📱 F I R E W O R K   A P P
30 second time lapse demos

D A I L Y    A R T

🖌 I N S T A G R A M (oil paintings)
New paintings every other day

✒️ I N S T A G R A M (inks and watercolours)
New sketches daily

🎨 F A C E B O O K   A R T
If you'd like see a mix of my oil paintings and ink sketches

📍 P I N T R E S T
My old works

🐦 T W I T T E R
If you only like to see words, my art is here too


💻 B L O G
You are here :) Demos, information, reviews and recap 

🎒 M Y  G E A R
If you are interested in what I carry with me when I sketch, paint and blog, it's here.

S U P P O R T    A L V I N

💰 P A T R E O N
Here is where you can throw in some coins monthly (or a one off) to unlock more demos or tutorials not found anywhere else. A little each month gets me going places.

🍎 G U M R O A D
Buy my tutorials and digital books

✂️ S O C I E T Y   S I X
More merch with various products here

☕️  B U Y   M E   C O F F E E
A cuppa reminds me to rest every once in awhile

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ END ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Monday, November 19, 2018

Banda Sketchwalk 2018

I received a message from the Indonesian Sketchers some time in July. And they wanted to explore the idea of running a workshop in Banda. Hmmmm... Banda Aceh was the first place that popped into my head.  Then in the following subsequently emails, I realised that the Banda we were talking about is Banda Neira island that is nestled in in the Banda Arc region, far east of Indonesia. Any farther, and we would be in Papua. It would have been the furthest part of Indonesia that I have gone. In fact, even for the Indonesian sketching team from Jakarta, Banda Neira was the furthest anyone had gone to.

Like all other trips, I have put together a series of videos documenting that very short week in the Banda islands, considering that the journey to get there for me (from Singapore) took early 2 days - the fast boat from Ambon to Banda Neira was about 7 hour long.  Enjoy this back to nature trip!

What do you do when you have so many hours to kill?

Sketching Sketchers during a session with the local kids

Boat at Banda Besar

Videos from Banda:

Banda Islands - Intro

Banda Sketch Walk - Ambon City

Banda Sketch Walk - Day 1 

Banda Sketch Walk - Day 2

Banda Sketch Walk - Day 3 

Banda Sketch Walk - Hiking Banda Api

Banda Sketch Walk - LAST DAY

Featured Artist - Indira P. Diani

Above Banda

Indonesian sketchers using their time fruitfully while waiting
for the ferry boat bak to Banda Neira.

Our daily commute

Lots and lots of bananas in this part of the world

Waiting for the ferry boat at Pulau Ay

Oil sketch of Pulau Run from Pulau Nailaka

Sketch from the top of the volcano - Banda Api

I will be heading to Banda Neira again in Dec 2018. This time to really live and sketch the place.  The idea is to be able to produce a sketchbook from this journey. So stay very tuned it to my Instagrams posts and Youtube Channel for updates. :)

Follow Alvin Mark:


(Facebook Art)

(Coffee to go)

(inks and watercolours)

(oil paintings) 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


The 3rd Asia-link Sketch Walk was held in Taichung, Taiwan this year! It was another great reason to visit Bubble Tea Land... and of course meet up with my favourite sketchers from the region. A total of  400 participants representing 21 countries took part, all the way from Russia, Netherlands and the U.S.A.!

I spent a few nights with friends in Taipei (north) before heading to the central region of Taiwan. The bus ride was very comfortable and I'd recommend that over taking the regional trains.

As usual, I will be posting highlights of the event via my Youtube links below. Within the links, you get to meet artists, hear their thoughts, see their works and explore Taichung through my eyes. So get your fingers ready to click away! :D

Asia-Link Sketch Walk Videos:

1. ALSW2018 TAICHUNG Opening (Day 1)

2. ALSW2018 TAICHUNG Day 2

3. ALSW2018 TAICHUNG Day 3

4. ALSW2018 TAICHUNG Day 4 (Houli excursion)

5. ALSW2018 TAICHUNG with Tae from Bangkok Sketchers

My friends from Taipei fed me well! :D 

Noodles from the first bubble tea shop (Chun Shui Tang) ever in Taichung

Oldest artist I met this trip. He's 96! Saved an entire village by painting it. 

I love collecting stamps in Taiwan. They are everywhere! 

Vanont from Bangkok and his souvenirs. 

Tae from Bangkok right before her sharing session on her book.
A book swap just happened. 

One of the 5 paintout sessions 

Sketching at Taichung Park. 

万春宫 (Wan Chun Gong)

Watercolour piece I did during Vanont's workshop

 Eleanor Doughty (@herbcoil) from Seattle

Panoramic sketch from Ah Tong (Kuching), Jason (Kuala Lumpur), me and Benedict (Singapore)

It was another fantastic and event not to be taken for granted and being able to sketch alongside like-minded sketchers in Taichung. I made a ton of new friends this year since I missed the event last year in Kuching. There were too many people to get to know and say "hi" to in four days. (400 participants is a pretty sizeable amount.) But I did manage to catch up with friends that I had already known or artists I have been following.

I've always thought of us sketchers being ambassadors of our countries, fostering friendship and passion for art whenever we go for such trips. Not only do we represent the Urban Sketchers Chapters from our region, but also as citizens from countries. And it is really great to see that neither boarders nor language separate us, and art that binds us all - that common language.

Looking forward to Banda Indonesia coming up shortly.


Follow Alvin Mark:


(Facebook Art)

(Coffee to go)

(inks and watercolours)

(oil paintings)

Explore the planet with globe trotting artist Alvin Mark Tan in his Travel Sketch series. Check out the daily local scene of a village, town or city and experience the culture and food that intrinsically binds us all together. Also get insights into oil painting and ink sketching while on the fly.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Art in the Open 2018

It was another eventful painting trip to Wexford! Art in the Open is in its 11th year and is Europe's largest painting festival. Live demos and workshops stretch for over 10 days in County Wexford. This year's edition ushers in a lot of new artists both locally and from across the globe. There are also many tie-in events with the National Gallery of Ireland scattered throughout the evenings in Wexford town. Culminating with an excursion by the National Gallery of Ireland, artists boarded the Irish Rail from Wexford's O'Hanrahan Station via the scenic coastal route to Pearse Station in Dublin. Participating artists toured the latest summer show - the O'Conor and the Moderns (from Paris to Post Aven) and took part in a mass paint-out with local Dublin plein air artists at Merrion Square.

Above Redmond Square, Wexford

I vlogged each day's affairs and have organised them neatly on this post. May it be a source of archive and joy for all who watch the videos.  If you like the content, I would like to invite you to LIKE the videos and SUBSCRIBE to my Youtube channel, so that the algorithms tell the company that I am working hard to provide everyone with good content. :D

If you are new to Art in the Open and want to know how to get from Dublin Airport to Wexford, do watch this.  -->  From Dublin Airport to Wexford via the Wexford Bus:

Day 1 - Wexford

Day 2 - Duncannon

Day 3 - Artramon House

Day 4 - Clonegal & Huntington Castle

Day 5 - Rosslare

Day 6 - Bunclody

Day 7 - Quick Draw

Day 8 - Exhibition/ Gala

Day 9 - National Gallery of Ireland Excursion

Above Wexford County

From Arklow to Rathdrum on the Irish Rail

Until the next post... ciao ciao!

That's me working on a mural near the bridge