A workshop with LK Bing

At the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Manchester I had the chance to be a student for a few hours with the very talented Indonesian artist LK Bing. The rainy day was ideal for his workshop “Capturing Atmosphere Using Dramatic Lighting and Fast Spontaneity” and we watched him demonstrate his work as we huddled under a colonnade, trying to stay dry.

The workshop began with a demo of value sketches. Bing spread out all his materials (opaque and transparent watercolours, water-soluble markers, pastels and gouache) on the ground around him, and on small pieces of mat board the size of coasters he quickly sketched a few views of the street in front of him.



Using a toned board, either grey or tan, he often draws in water-soluble marker and then adds both darks and lights in watercolour and pastel or gouache.


We had a chance to try this out as well so I did three quick ones. By this time the rain was falling pretty heavily and we kept moving deeper into the colonnade. The small cards are a perfect size for the exercise because you really can’t get too much detail onto a surface that’s this small.


Our final sketch was a bigger one which I decided to do in my sketchbook. As you can see, the wind added a little extra atmosphere to my page by blowing a fine spray over everything, but this was about atmosphere, right? For some reason the black pen turned pinkish when I went over it with water but I don’t mind the result. Unfortunately I had to rush off before the three hours were over because I had my own workshop to prepare for, but I will be definitely be trying some of LK Bing’s techniques again. He’s such a generous teacher and a really superb painter.


16 Comments on “A workshop with LK Bing”

  1. Toni Cummins says:

    This looks so interesting Shari! I do love the way the colours have moved giving a diffused light.KK creates such energy into his work, its a delight. Wondering though what water soluble markers he used as if you can help plase? btw…loved your video to Rooi…one very excited lady !


    • Hi Toni, I had hugs from every one of Rooi’s friends. Sometimes twice from some people. It was pretty funny. The water-soluble marker is one I have never seen: Snowman from Japan. You can see them in the photo (black with a white top).


  2. Malinda Anderson says:

    Thank you for posting this. I can see that my sketches would improve if I worked on value sketches like you demonstrated in your Craftsy class. This was so useful. I like the fact that he used small pieces of matt board so there is no temptation to put in details. I will try that. Malinda Anders


    • Malinda, those value sketches are very useful and it was fun to create them in a slightly different way than what I usually do by using colour instead of just tone. You should give them a try.


  3. Judy Sopher says:

    I really like this style and your paintings. Amazing use of value. One of the qualities of a work of art that appeals to me is when it keeps me going back to it again and again. And that is what I am doing with your larger painting.

    I also wonder what markers he used.


  4. monique says:

    Shari..so different than your usual paintings.that I LOVE..I am so impressed you could do something so different..there is nothing you cannot do 🙂
    I love this one!


  5. Audrey Hinsman says:

    Thanks for sharing this Shari. What are the little cards that LK Bing is using?


    • Those are mat board, cut up into pieces, like what you use to mat a framed painting. You can buy big sheets and cut it up into smaller pieces. Very clever. If you use the toned board then you can add highlights in white. I loved trying it.


  6. His method of doing thumbnails is a great idea. You did some nice small ones, and that rainy scene is really great…I love the juicy look to it that the rain just added to.


    • He is not only talented but he’s very generous too. He cut up all those small boards for us to use, including rounding all four corners on each one. And brought pens for all of us…


  7. LauraLu says:

    Your sketching and watercoloring are beautiful. What is the stick that LKBing is using in the photo above? I am so new to all this so I am sorry I don’t know the names of the tools.Thank you for this blog and information. It is so kind of you to share your art and experiences.


  8. I’d have loved to just watch him work: looks so exciting all the mad mixing of mediums!


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