18 June, 2012

Blooming Roses

Final outcome! What do you think? Do you prefer it with the black ink detail, or just with watercolour? Personally, I prefer the black pen as it adds depth and enhances the different colours. Sorry for the blurry quality of the flowers - my scanner doesn't seem to be working properly!

© Indistinct Vision 2012


Quick watercolour sketch I did from a fashion shoot spread - found it fun experimenting with the different colours for the flower headpiece. Also realised that painting hair with watercolour is hard! This is at the not-quite-finished stage, I shall upload the final piece shortly...

© Indistinct Vision 2012

17 June, 2012

The Silk Shirt

One of my clothing staples has to be the silk shirt. According to some eczema sites, silk isn't the best material as it requires hand-washing, which means you can't kill off any build up of skin residue with hot water washes. This site also informs us that silk production contains sericin, which is apparently a known irritant. However, although I do obsessively check labels of clothing for that all important tagline '100% cotton', I prefer to wear silk clothing when dressing up a little, as it is a nicer material to wear in the evenings. 

Enter the silk shirt. The smoothness of silk doesn't irritate my skin, like viscose or polyester, and hangs so well on the body. Teamed with black jeans and heels or boots, the silk shirt is my go to outfit for when I need to adhere to the tricky boundaries of 'smart-casual'.

Although not within my budget quite yet, I obsess over the Equipment silk shirts. Love this orange pop of colour! They can be found on the Net-a-porter site, with the block colour shirts starting from £230. 

I am also lusting over this pyjama set as well. Sadly, it is quite far out of my budget, although one can always dream!

However, a great affordable option is Massimo Dutti, my new favourite brand. It mixes high-street prices with good quality materials such as silk and cotton, a must for any eczema sufferer! The website currently has a sale on, so get over there before it all sells out. I love the caramel tone of this one, and at £29.95 it's the fraction of the price. 

Perfect for the warm summer evenings....

12 June, 2012

Brand review: Eau Thermale Avène

The French skincare brand Avène uses spring thermal water from the Saint-Odile spring in France, which is where its main hydrotherapy centre is based. Medical treatment for skin ailments can be sought there, and I've been dying to go ever since I found out about the place. It sounds heavenly for the skin. You can find more information about it here. The brand can easily be found in most Boots stores here in the UK, as well as online.

I use the tolerance extreme range cream, which I've found to be really soothing and can hardly feel it on my skin. It also has a rather short ingredient list, which is good as apparently the less ingredients there are, the less allergens you are likely to encounter.

I like the hydrating serum they have, which is quite expensive, but good if you really dislike the feeling of heavy duty creams like I do! I apply it to my face straight after cleansing, and it feels wonderfully light. One thing I am lucky for, is that I hardly have any eczema on my face anymore, apart from a dry upper lip. This means I can still use make-up products without worrying about major flare ups. The serum is rather expensive, as all serums are, but I try to buy it when Boots have a 3 for 2 offer on skincare, which saves so much!
Finally, I also like using their gentle eye make-up remover, which I also use for removing other traces of heavy make-up. It is very gentle and soothing, which doesn't irritate despite being a contact-lens wearer.

I have tried many of their other products, but these are definitely my go to top-3. I used to suffer from acne as well, and eczema + acne really is not the best of combinations! Using Avene really helped me to calm it down. Being more mindful of aesthetics, I also like that the packaging is relatively simple and not hideous, like some eczema focused brands.

Fashion + Eczema

I have decided to expand my blog from being just arty to including more of myself. I will now be posting about my struggles with eczema as well, and how I've coped with fashion and skincare choices.

There are probably millions of teens and adults who suffer from eczema out there, but it's funny how I've never really come across anyone who does in my everyday life. As a result, I've found that my struggle can be incredibly lonely at times. It also frustrates me how most of the eczema sites are geared more towards young children, as opposed to twenty-somethings like myself who suffer from it.

One aspect is clothing. I often get through many clothes in a day, simply because I'm wearing something and it will start to feel itchy and uncomfortable within a few hours. The biggest pain is the labels and inner seams of clothing, which means sometimes I have to wear clothing inside-out to feel better! This has drawn the occasional confused comment from my housemates. What about you? Do you find that you always have to cut the labels off clothing?

23 February, 2012

Fashion Show

© Sophia Chan 2012
Here are some fashion illustrations I did for the Castle Fashion Show programme. Being rather out of practice with fashion illustrations I did a lot of experimentation with pencil, ink, pen and watercolour, but finally settled on using just watercolour. I had to illustrate figures based on the type of clothes that would be modelled on the catwalk - it is definitely a lot trickier drawing figures from the imagination as opposed to copying from a photograph.

© Sophia Chan 2012
I found myself having to rely heavily on the influence of David Downton's work, especially in this drawing of the red ball gown. However, hopefully with more illustrations I can begin to develop more of my own identity. To see a rough layout of the full programme, head over to my talented friend's blog Miyake Design.

I am now working on my entry for Castle Arts Week Exhibition - first prize wins 100 pounds. Wish me luck!

16 February, 2012

12 February, 2012

Life drawing

At university I get to go to life drawing sessions every week for the wonderfully cheap price of 2 pounds per one and a half hour session. I haven't drawn nudes since sixth form at school, and a naked man (gasp, horror!) would never have been let into our all-girls Catholic school.

© Sophia Chan 2012
One of my resolutions is to go every week until my drawing skills are waaay better than present. In my opinion, hands and feet are extremely difficult to get exactly accurate!
© Sophia Chan 2012

23 January, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year

Recycling an old painting I did for my A level art in honour of Chinese New Year and the Year of the dragon. 恭喜發財!Painted using oils on a wooden board. The background effect was done using shellac and gold leaf was used for the mane and tail.

Black and White

I love experimenting with film photography despite being a complete amateur at it. These were taken with my old nikon film camera that I had when I was 9. My very first camera. I've recently started using it again and loved how the black and white film turned out. There always seems to be more mystery and intrigue around grainy film images, probably because you're never really sure how they will turn out. The waiting brings a little suspense too - some of these photos are from a year and a half ago, yet I only finished the film and got them developed in December.

Street Dancers at Trafalgar Square, London
© Sophia Chan 2012

Subway station, New York
© Sophia Chan 2012

Street corner, New York
© Sophia Chan 2012


I have now added the addictive activity of Tumblr to my list of hobbies, and am fully indulging in sartorial images with the same blog name. Click here to visit!