Posts Tagged "custom portraits"

My first solo exhibit – “Girl Jam” at Pablo Gallery BGC

Girl Jam exhibit Cynthia Bauzon Arre Pablo Gallery

Happy New Year! I know this is late but I wanted to tell you a bit about my first solo exhibit, “Girl Jam” which is still on display at Pablo Galleries Fort but only until Saturday, January 6. If you were to tell my 18-year-old Fine Arts student self that I will be having my own show some years — okay, decades — later, I wouldn’t have been able to believe it because back then I wasn’t really serious about pursuing painting. I mean, I drew and painted a lot for school but my heart was bent on working in the advertising industry. Which was exactly what happened, but I digress…

A few years ago, when I started revisiting watercolors, I posted these practice sketches on Instagram —

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A friend from the music scene days, Indi, wrote me privately to say that she would love to see me paint local female musicians. I loved the idea but I wasn’t confident enough at the time so I said to her (and apparently to the Universe?), “maybe someday.” I forgot about it but somehow I got obsessed with drawing portraits and capturing accurate likenesses, as you will see if you scroll down to around 2-3 years ago on my IG.

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Drawing and painting everyday I really did improve. By late 2016, when I had already been selling art prints online for a year I was trying to think of what series to draw next and then I remembered that conversation with Indi. So I asked a female musician friend, Myrene of Sandwich, if I could paint her and she said yes which was awesome. <3 When I had lunch with my friends, writer Chinggay Labrador & artist Christina Dy, I mentioned that I was going to make a postcard series starring female musicians but then CDy said, “postcards? Why not have an exhibit instead?” I was surprised because it was an idea playing in my head too but I guess I needed a boost from someone else? She encouraged me to contact a gallery then & there. Pablo was top of mind since I had already taken part in two group shows at their Cubao X gallery years ago and I also remember promising the owners, Yo & Osie that I will have my first ever show with them. So when I texted them, it was an instant yes and my show was almost immediately scheduled! No turning back anymore.

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That was in December 2016. I had, roughly, a year to prepare but I still had to figure out what style to do and what materials to use. I practiced with different mediums and decided to use Turner Acryl Gouache since the bright opaque colors suited the look I had in mind. I purchased my initial Acryl Gouache set from ArtWhale 2 or so years ago but they were almost used up so I decided to buy big tubes of White, Perm. Red, Perm. Yellow, and Ultramarine Blue plus a couple of small tubes of Burnt Umber. All the colors I used are mixes of those colors. (Btw All the canvases were purchased from ArtWhale as well. They were a great big help to me. <3)

Once I had the look figured out it was time to decide on my muses. I made a list but I also asked my friends Buddy & Raymund (formerly of the Eheads) for suggestions on who else to draw — particularly from the younger set — since I wasn’t that immersed in the local scene anymore. After finalizing my list I finally got to work. This was in July 2017.

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I have to be honest, I was thrilled to be working on a personal passion project but there were also times when I would cry out of frustration & exhaustion. Sometimes I felt like giving up, but it was the thought of making my family & also Arnold proud that pushed me to go on. In the end I decided to just let go because I know that I gave it my all.

Since the show is still up I would like to invite you to check out the paintings in person over at Pablo Gallery, South of Market Residences, 11th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, which is just a couple of blocks away from BHS and Serendra. ūüôā

But if you can’t make it, you can view my IG for a few photos plus more backstories. Also, here’s a quick peek via this Twitter thread. ūüôā

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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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“Greetings from Callalily” Illustrations & Album Design

Project: Callalily’s 10th Anniversary Album “Greetings From Callalily” Packaging Design
Tasks: Watercolor portraits, illustrations, art direction and graphic design
Date of publication: October 23, 2015
Client: Soupstar Entertainment

It was my first time to design a fully-illustrated album in 15 years (the last one was for Ely Buendia’s “Wanted Bedspacer” in 2000) so working on this was a treat. We had already agreed on a watercolor look — it was what made them get in touch with me in the first place — and when the guys told me that the title of the album was going to be “Greetings From Callalily,” I immediately thought of those retro “Greetings from Las Vegas” etc postcards. I suggested a rectangular envelope design containing actual postcards featuring portraits of the guys along with letters from them to their fans. We corresponded via many DMs on Instagram and I was so glad that they were all for it! (Side note: how convenient is it that everyone’s on social media now? Back in the day I had to go to midnight gigs to present my concepts. :D). Here’s a peek of the postcards with each band member’s personal note:

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For the back side of each card, I asked the guys to send me gut-wrenching lines from their respective songs so that I could make some typography art for them. All incorporating the calla lily flower. ūüėÄ

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Watercolor Artwork for Callalily’s 10th Anniversary Concert + Album Art in-the-making

callalily band 10th year watercolor illustration

Delighted to present¬†my artwork for the band Callalily’s 10th Anniversary Concert (although some of you might have already seen this floating around on Instagram¬†ūüôā ). This is also my first time working with them and¬†I’m very touched that they chose to work with me on the occasion of their 10th year.

The guys are celebrating the milestone¬†with a special show¬†tomorrow July 28 at 12 Monkeys in Century City Mall in Makati,¬†8pm, where you’ll be able to avail of this limited edition t-shirt:

A photo posted by Kean Cipriano (@keanedward) on

I think only a hundred of these were printed so better go¬†early. Admission is free. ¬†ūüôā

AND! I suppose you’ve already guessed that I’m working on the art and packaging design of Callalily’s¬†2015 album. I can’t reveal specific details yet but you can follow the design process and development on my Instagram where I’ve been sharing sneak peeks via the hashtag #CynxCLcollab.

callalily band album art in the making

Bonus pic: my first meeting with the band members Kean, Aaron, Tatsi, Lemuel (partly hidden), +¬†Soupstar Entertainment head honcho Darwin Hernandez and Callalily’s road manager JR.

photo with callalily

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Watercolor Illustrations for Adobo Magazine’s “Women of Influence 2015”

women of influence 2015 adobo magazine

I’m very honored to have been asked by Adobo Magazine to draw in watercolor three of this year’s Women of Influence for their March-April issue. As some of you already know, I was in the advertising industry¬†for almost a decade back in the ’90s so I felt a little nostalgic while working on this project. ¬†ūüėé ¬†The lovely ladies I was assigned are¬†(from left to right)¬†Merlee Jayme (CEO of DM9JaymeSyfu), Lorna Tabuena (Co-owner of Film Pabrika), and Joanna Mojica (Managing Director of¬†Starcom Mediavest Group).

The objective was to portray them in a manner best representative of their accomplishments and status.¬†Of the three women, I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting Merlee — a¬†creative director I’ve always¬†looked up to — long ago when we had lunch to¬†explore the possibility of me working with her in Saatchi. ūüėČ ¬†I wanted to learn more about Ms. Tabuena and Ms. Mojica so it¬†helped a lot when Adobo’s Victor and Charisma sent me their interviews. It¬†struck me that these highly successful women were most proud of their accomplishments as mothers and wives, which is why I thought of making the portraits elegant¬†and¬†feminine, hence the flowers and light colors.

There’s a closer view of¬†the illustrations in the Portfolio section. Many thanks to Angel Guerrero of Adobo for this golden¬†opportunity.

***

On another note, I’m thrilled to announce that I’m joining my first craft fair on Saturday, April 11 in Bonifacio Global City for¬†the BGC Art Mart. I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to join one this soon but my friend, Marita Alcazaren de Leon of Handmade Lemonade, a veteran of these bazaars, convinced and encouraged me to try it out so I applied. I could’ve signed up for one whole weekend but I don’t trust my energy resources anymore. ūüėõ Here¬†are some of the items I’ll be selling —

Please keep an eye on Instagram because I’ll be posting a few more items in the next few days. I’ll be there from 12 noon to 9 pm so if you’ll be in the vicinity, please say hello. I would love to meet you.¬†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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