Where to find my art prints, postcards, & other work in Metro Manila

cynthia arre hey kessy

Aside from my online (home-based) store, my products — art prints, postcards, etc — are now also available at two lovely stores in the Katipunan, Quezon City area. The first one is Hey Kessy who has been carrying my products since last year actually. I’va also held a couple of workshops there before and am having another one on July 2 — please see my previous post for details. ūüôā

Hey Kessy has recently moved to a cozy space at the U.P. Town Center’s new Urban Turf section on the 2nd floor which is pretty awesome because it can now be easily accessed by mall-goers. They have a new section called After Nine Keeper which is a pop-up of goods by local artists and crafters including my friends Arlene Sy, Megan Dino, Tweed & Twine, Rubber Ducky Stamp Co., and more!

There you will also find these handmade notebooks below featuring my watercolor cat and girl illustrations. The notebooks¬†are bound by an elastic string with tiny shrink plastic charms and the notebooks are designed in a way that the paper inside can be replaced / refilled. ūüôā

cynthia-arre-hey-kessy-3

Also in Katipunan, right across Ateneo¬†is this wondrous place¬†called Common Room¬†which is essentially a pop-up containing artworks & crafts by around 60 local designers. I’m proud to have my products along with the many beautiful things¬†stocked there. ūüôā

cynthia arre common room katipunan

So many wonderful photo-opps there too. When I hand-delivered this Ang Nawawala” print, I couldn’t help but take a photo along with the LOVE Scrabble pillows by PopJunkLove. <3 Below is another photo I took just today and I love how it also shows the variety of goods you’ll find in-store.

cynthia-arre-common-room-2

Apart from Hey Kessy and Common Room,some of¬†my cards can also be found at Prism Gallery in Makati. ūüôā They were part of an exhibit before but Prism decided to retain them in their collection so please do visit the gallery if you’re in the area.

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Class Alert: Shrink Plastic Workshop at Hey Kessy, QC

shrink plastic crafting workshop

Hi guys! I’ll be having another SHRINK PLASTIC WORKSHOP on July 2 (that’s a Saturday) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the new Hey Kessy shop in U.P. Town Center in Katipunan Quezon City, 2nd floor of the Urban Turf section. In this workshop you will learn how to turn your doodles into wearable and usable shrink art pendants, magnets, etc. Above and below are pics of some of my own doodles that I turned into shrink art. ūüôā

Beginner crafters are absolutely welcome, by the way! Learners from age 12 and above (even way above ;)) are ideal because we will be using very hot equipment like a toaster oven and a heat gun. Please see the workshops page for more details or fill up this form to secure your slot!

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Illustrating Recipes in Watercolor Workshop at Prism Gallery

Hey guys! I’m having a watercolor food illustration workshop at Prism Gallery in Makati on April 30 from 9am-12nn. Class fee, inclusive of materials and yummy snacks and food props (c/0¬†Chili Asylum!) is¬†P2500.00.

This class is perfect for those of you who want to preserve or chronicle your favorite recipes in a fun way in your journals and sketchbooks.
watercolor food illustration workshop

If you’ve been checking my IG, haha yes all those tomato drawings were in preparation for this class! Prism Gallery’s Gold Tantoco asked me to hold¬†a workshop there as far back as¬†August of last year, but I¬†already had classes lined up (and I can only handle one workshop every 2-3¬†months :P) so this¬†actually¬†took¬†several¬†months¬†to plan. I’m glad it’s finally happening. ūüôā

At first I couldn’t think of a theme (aside from portraits) to teach… and then the project with Chili Asylum popped up¬†last January. That¬†brought about the idea of¬†a¬†food illustration class with a twist¬†and since¬†I love Chili Asylum¬†products, it was only fitting that they would¬†be providing the snacks. (Thank you, Isi!)

The class is open to learners with basic¬†skills¬†in drawing and painting in watercolors.¬†Don’t worry though if you haven’t painted in a while — we¬†will review color theory and some general¬†techniques in watercolor painting such as the wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry methods, among others.

watercolor food

Workshop kits will include a watercolor set, brushes, watercolor paper, a fineliner + a pencil and an eraser.

To sign up, please call Prism at 886-3947 or e-mail prismgalleryph@gmail.com (kindly put APRIL WORKSHOPS on the subject line.)

Hope to see you there!

 

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My Watercolor Portrait Workshop: quick recap + snaps

Last Saturday I had the privilege of teaching my first watercolor class on portraits. If anyone¬†told the me of 2015¬†that I’d be holding workshops in a year’s time, I would have laughed¬†in their¬†face. Seriously, it took me a lot of thinking, overthinking, and convincing to finally crawl out of my comfort zone and gather the confidence to actually go and do it. Why? Because workshops are the new ballet lessons? Well …yes (*sheepish smile*) but also¬†because I’ve gained so much from being part of Manila’s growing handmade art community so it’s time to give back. <3 And why not share what I’ve learned over the years decades that I’ve been drawing faces to budding artists who¬†share the same passion for creating?

But first, credit where it’s due. The first and only drawing-related workshop I ever attended is veteran artist¬†Fernando Sena’s Summer Art Workshop way back in 1986. Believe me that was enough. (He still conducts these workshops, do check them out.) It was an intensive 8-session art course (complete with an on-site¬†sketching¬†session at Hinulugang Taktak in Antipolo, a “graduation” and an exhibit) while I was between 2nd and 3rd year high school and that was where I honed my drawing skills. I learned how to use graphite, charcoal, oil pastels, and even oil paints. It completely prepared me for the courses in the UP College of Fine Arts that I would eventually take. ūüôā

oil portrait painting by cynthia bauzon arre

An oil portrait painting I made of my Tita Lina back in 1986. My Ate Peach sent this pic to me via IG. Haven’t seen it in years since it’s in their family home in Sydney. ūüôā

After that I’d do charcoal and oil portraits of relatives, friends, and the random 80s¬†teen hearthrob (i.e. River Phoenix, Scott Baio, Robby Rosa… I know, so very #titahits). It was only last year when I picked up the old hobby again and taught myself how to do it using watercolors by watching Youtube videos and reading tutorials. I would also observe¬†Arnold whenever he drew and applied some of his digital sketching techniques to my analog work. And that’s how I developed a watercolor portrait style that I’m quite happy with — and that’s what I shared and demonstrated in my class last Saturday.

It was held¬†at Hey Kessy, a cute¬†little¬†art and crafts store in Katipunan which also houses a charmingly decorated brightly-lit workshop venue. It’s also where I did the Shrink Art workshop last year. I love the place’s artsy,¬†creative vibe so please expect more workshops from me in the¬†space.

Some photos of what went on…

watercolor workshop portraits

I thought it was important for them to learn face-drawing basics first so I guided the participants on how to do it then let them apply what they learned when sketching from a reference photo. *I just had to pick Kiko Mizuhara as our practice model. How pretty is she?

watercolor workshop portraits watercolor workshop portraits philippines

After we were happy with our respective pencil drawings, we started painting. Below is the result of the face I sketched and painted on-site. Admittedly, this was the part I stressed over for weeks since I’ve never drawn in front of an audience¬†before — can I do it fast enough? Will it turn out okay?

watercolor workshop portraits manila

Below: everyone hard at work on their paintings.

watercolor workshop portraits quezon city

And finally, the result of everyone’s efforts — yay, class photo!

watercolor workshop philippines

A few of the participants are illustrators like my friend Jovan de Ocampo who’s a cake designer¬†and¬†longtime¬†member of AngINK; some are young art students looking to hone their portrait skills, and some are new to watercolors and¬†admitted that they’ve never properly drawn faces before. But look at their outputs above and below, they did it and I think some of their own styles are already emerging! I’m so proud of them. ūüôā

workshop participant works

One of the participants, Chu, even shared a before and after photo (below, left)  of a portrait she made a month ago (inset) and her work after she took my workshop.

workshop student works

The other drawing (aboce, right) is a portrait wherein she used a technique I taught them. So happy to see so much improvement in such a short time!

You can keep track of my workshops and student outputs via the hashtag #cynarreworkshops on Instagram. I will definitely hold another class like this soon so if you’d like to join the next one, please leave a comment on this post¬†+ your preference of area (QC / Makati) so I can update you once I get hold of more details. ūüôā

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My favorite watercolor papers

I recently blogged about my watercolor paints and brushes in two parts — ONE¬†/¬†TWO

However, what good¬†are those wonderful paints and brushes for without beautiful, high-quality paper? For daily practice work, inexpensive student quality pads like the Canson papers with the hot air balloon drawing on the cover that you can find at NBS and a Monologue Sketchbook (which I’ve also been abusing using) are great to have around but for commission work, it’s more appropriate to use paper that will allow¬†illustrations¬†to shine and last for a long time.

Here are some of my staples (so far) along with close-ups of samples of my illustrations using the different papers so that you can see their textures up close as well as how colors respond to them

.comparing watercolor papers

L-R and in no order of preference, these are the paper brands I keep going back to: Arches, Hahnemuhle, Khadi, and Canson. I’ve been hearing good things about Fabriano and Strathmore too but I have to wait for my shipment to arrive so I can try them out. The red, yellow, and blue paint I used for the comparison shot above are Shinhan PWC Permanent Red, Cadmium Yellow Deep, and Peacock Blue (from¬†ArtWhale).

All of the¬†above¬†are acid-free and, save for Canson Montval Torchon which uses 100% cellulose,¬†are fine artist quality papers made of natural fibers like cotton rag and bamboo in Hahnemuhle Bamboo Mixed Media Board’s case. Below¬†are¬†some¬†notes:

arches watercolor paper sample work

Arches Cold-Pressed Cotton Watercolor Paper, 300 gsm (available at NBS and some Fully Booked branches though I got mine from Amazon.com)

I prefer cold-pressed to hot-pressed watercolor papers because I love the rough texture¬†which¬†IMHO¬†lends an organic feel. Arches 100% cotton paper has a nicely coarse “tooth” that seems to absorb pigments easily¬†which allows¬†colors to¬†remain vibrant and intense. I’m also able to paint big juicy washes and draw fine details with minimal buckling, even when I don’t stretch the paper (which I really usually don’t, being lazy). At 300 gsm, it’s also thick enough to handle re-wetting with¬†no visible¬†damage when I make mistakes. ūüėõ

***

Hahnemuhle matte watercolor paper

Hahnemuhle Mould-Made Watercolor Paper (Matte), 200 gsm (available at Deovir Arts)

Arnold introduced me to this paper so¬†it was the first “fine art” paper I ever used. (I’m¬†a bit embarrassed¬†to admit that all of my watercolor work from years ago were done on yellow-backed illustration boards and sketch pads). Because of that, this¬†has become¬†my “benchmark” paper. It’s awesome for wet-on-wet painting (the paper drinks up the water &¬†pigments¬†without diminishing color vibrancy) and as you can see above, I can also do crisp-edged drawings on it with no problems. At 200 gsm, I avoid painting¬†large washes though it may be possible if¬†stretched¬†beforehand.¬†Mistakes are also easy to re-wet and “erase,” making it an ideal choice for beginners.¬†It’s very¬†economical to buy big sheets of these and tear them down to a more manageable size. The deckle edge¬†is¬†a nice touch and it’s inspired me to keep¬†the torn edges when I tear it up into smaller pieces¬†for a¬†raw handmade look. ūüôā

***

Hahnemuhle mould made watercolor paper rough

Hahnemuhle Mould-Made Watercolor Paper (Rough), 300 gsm (available at Deovir Arts)

This one comes in block¬†form and has a rougher, slightly raised and woven texture compared to the matt¬†variant.¬†A¬†block is very convenient since you can immediately apply large washes with no need for stretching. I found the weave-like texture off-putting at first since I was already used to the fine-grained¬†fibrous¬†texture of Hahnemuhle’s matt paper but after using this for a while. I learned to like it as well. It appears that the pigments¬†sink and “sit” in the grooves and so deep, rich colors are preserved.

khadi handmade watercolor paper circle

Khadi Handmade Paper 320 gsm, circle (above) and A5 (below) —¬†(available at¬†ArtWhale)

At 329 gsm, this paper¬†handmade in¬†India is thicker than all the other natural-fiber papers I’ve tried and because it’s made of long-fiber cotton rag (upcycled t-shirt cuttings, anyone?), it¬†seems to be more absorbent¬†than the other papers. The painting above was done on the circle variant (which reminds me of pita bread ūüėČ ) months ago using ShinHan Korean Colors¬†but¬†because the pigments¬†were¬†fully absorbed by the paper, it looks¬†as if¬†it was painted just yesterday.¬†Also, as you can see almost the entire surface is covered in watercolor¬†but at 320 gsm,¬†the paper¬†didn’t buckle much and actually stiffened a bit¬†once the paint dried — possibly because the rag combined with the pigments.

The A5 variant (below) has a slightly finer grain. Since my first artwork is almost opaque, I tried to see how the paper react to¬†a transparent wet-on-wet technique and it performed beyond my expectations. ūüôā The paper was able to soak in¬†a lot of water and it never once buckled. Also, just look at how rich the colors stayed even¬†after the paint dried (I used ShinHan PWC paints for the test below). The A5 size is perfect for portraits too and the deckle edges add a beautiful handmade touch.

khadi handmade watercolor paper a5

***

hahnemuhle bamboo mixed media board

Hahnemuhle Bamboo Mixed Media Board 265 gsm (available at Deovir Arts)

This is an all-in-one artist-grade¬†paper made from 90% bamboo fibers and 10% rag¬†which¬†can be used with¬†watercolour, gouache, acrylics, colored pencils, chalk and oil pastel, stamp pad inks, etc. It comes in sheets at Deovir (for around P118¬†per¬†19″ x 25″ sheet) which is great value since you can cut it up into smaller pieces and it can handle almost any media. The surface is smooth¬†and¬†watercolor¬†glides on it¬†with ease. I like using this paper with the¬†wet-on-dry watercolor technique since colors seems to maintain brilliancy that way.

***

Canson Montval Torchon watercolor paper

Canson Montval Torchon Watercolor Paper, 270 gsm (available at NBS and Fully Booked)

Among relatively inexpensive student-grade papers, this is the closest I’ve found that can mimic the behavior of¬†premium watercolor paper. Made from archival¬†cellulose, the texture is similar to that of Hahnemuhle Bamboo’s — smooth but grainy¬†enough to absorb paint and give paintings a “watercolory” look,¬†meaning it won’t look like the paint is just sitting on top of the paper. At 270 gsm it’s not prone to much buckling unless you’re doing heavy-duty washes.¬†Remember though that this isn’t fine art paper and¬†drawings might¬†eventually fade so make sure to use this only when you will scan and digitize your work.

I would love to know what brands and kinds of paper you like using.¬†Please do share in the comments section. ūüôā

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I'm Cynthia Bauzon-Arre, a Filipino watercolor artist & graphic designer. I live in QC with my talented graphic novelist husband Arnold and our friendly marmalade tabby Abbas. This blog has been chronicling my life, likes, and loves since 2001. [ more ]

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