Posts Tagged "watercolor"

Figure Drawing Practice

colored pencil illustrations

Figure drawing has always been my crutch so I’ve been re-learning the basics lately. Well I had a lot of practice drawing people back in art school – in fact we had an entire semester devoted to it but after years of relying on digital tools, sadly my skills deteriorated over time (see proof in my art style evolution blog post). Among my resolutions for the year was to hone whatever skills I developed in my early years and pick up where I left off.

I don’t post them online but each night for the past month I would draw human forms in different positions and let Arnold (who obviously is a whiz at figure drawing) check them for flaws. Below are some initial practice sketches from a month ago (waaah, don’t laugh 😳 ).

figure drawing practice

Now you know why I’ve always been drawing cartoon style, I was pretty bad at realistic figure drawing. Arn is a very strict teacher actually, he would give me drills and make me re-draw over and over until I would get details right. (He *should* hold workshops, don’t you think?)

It really helped me find the right path again and soon, I was able to draw those colored pencil illustrations posted above and this one below.

Kinda leaning (hah! ????) towards figure drawing these days. ?? #illustration #coloredpencils #artph

A photo posted by Cynthia Bauzon-Arre (@arncyn) on

More soon, guys. I’m also busy working on an interesting personal project which you’ll see work-in-progress pics of in my Instagram.

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Watercolor flowers alphabet, art cards, and pet portraits update

Here’s something I’ve been laboring on this past couple of weeks — a watercolor version of my floral alphabet. Progress has been verrry slow but that’s also because I haven’t been working on it as often as I should because I’m lazy because I keep finding other things I want to do1  According to my Instagram, I started working on the alphabet on Feb. 1st. And here’s where I am so far.
watercolor flowers alphabet font letters
(Do you lefties also paint from right to left?)

Hopefully posting it here will push me to finish it… OKAY. This time next week it *will* be done — I promise you, Universe!

I’m also thrilled to show you the proofs of my art cards.

art prints cynthia bauzon arre

I had them printed on 250 gsm lightly-textured archival & eco-friendly card stock so they’re sturdy and very nice to the touch. Although I had to slightly adjust the colors on my files because they printed darker than I expected, I’m very happy with how they turned out. Once the final prints arrive you can bet that I will open that shop I’ve been promising (myself, more than anyone else actually. 🙂 )

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And finally here’s my lovely friend (one of my bridesmaids!) April with the portraits of her Shiba dogs Mya and King. I just had to show you (with her permission of course) how happy she is with the drawings. 🙂

shiba inu custom watercolor portraits by cynthia bauzon arre

Mya (orange) is 6 and King (black) is 4 years old.  There are still very few Shiba inu parents here in the Philippines and April is among the few so if you’re considering owning one yourself, do check out her blog Owned by a Shiba.2

  1. like watch TV. I just started Karamazov no Kyoudai, the Japanese drama adaptation of The Brothers Karamazov and it’s got me hooked.[ back]
  2. It hasn’t been updated in a while but there’s a lot of detailed information on there about caring for and rearing Shiba Inus.[ back]
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Custom Pet Portraits + I Love My Cat

I’d like to to share one of my latest projects, something I never thought I would do since I’ve never really drawn animals other than cats and birds before: custom portraits of my friend April’s Shiba Inus! When she first asked me I wasn’t sure if I could do it so I made this colored pencil sketch of her two Shibas sitting side by side. For practice.
custom pet portraits by cynthia bauzon arre
Obviously I got the proportions all wrong. 😳 Anyway, working on the sketch allowed me to familiarize myself with their features and markings so I eventually felt more at ease drawing them. I think it also helped that Shiba dogs look somewhat “feline”1 with their upright ears and almond-shaped upward-slanting eyes.

And then I made individual portraits, taking into account each of their distinct attributes — for instance a slightly crooked ear for one of them which was from an operation, etc — for a more personal touch. I was confident enough to use watercolor this time. I don’t typically use blacks for coloring but the black and tan Shiba variety called for it and I was quite happy with how they turned out and thankfully, so was their mom. 🙂
custom pet portraits cynthia bauzon arre
These were so fun to do and once I get more dog-drawing practice under my belt, I’ll likely add animal portraits to my custom artwork repertoire. (I will have to draw the line at pet reptiles though… 😯 )
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Meanwhile.. it’s no secret that I love our cat. In fact he’s right there in my blog logo illustration which I haven’t changed for years. He’s also in my still-non-existent handmade store’s logo (see watermark) and in a lot of drawings I’ve done and even in some of Arnold‘s comics as an Easter egg to friends who know us well.

There was one day last week when my mind hit a blank and I couldn’t start working. He was lying on his play mat in front of me and, as if sensing my anxiety, started rolling around playfully. I could never resist when he does that so I went over and gave him a chin and back rub. He looked so content and carefree that I felt like preserving that moment. Without thinking I started sketching him. He kept moving around while I tried capturing all his poses and that was the birth of the series of illustrations below (right) which I ended up turning into a pattern (left).
pet portraits

It’s still being proofed over at Spoonflower but if you like cats too, my orange tabbies pattern is now available on phone covers, iPad sleeves, and more at Zazzle and RedBubble.

  1. for me at least[ back]
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My art on RedBubble

cynthia arre illustrations on redbubble

Hey guys, just a quick update to let you know that some of my artworks can now be purchased on art prints, t-shirts, tote bags, some household items, etc via Redbubble. They’ll also be available locally sometime within the month — I just need to get them to my printer. 🙂

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The evolution of my drawing style

First of all, happy new year! I hope your 2015 is off to a great start, yes? As for mine, well I post on Instagram almost everyday so you can have a look-see there if you’d like to know what I’ve been doing since I last wrote.  🙂

I’ve also been working on client-commissioned cartoon portraits for my wedding site over the holidays but I haven’t had the chance to post any of the newer stuff yet. In the meantime you can see what I’ve already done here.

While I’m waiting for a new batch of rubber carving blocks to arrive, I’ve been practicing figure drawing with colored pencils. I confess that I have a hard time drawing males –they always end up looking girly1. Witness Exhibit A.

I made this sketch today, an homage to the Japanese movie “Hidamari no Kanojo” which stars my favorite Juri Ueno (awesome actress) and delicate-faced Jun Matsumoto2. I’m a sucker for chick flicks, even at my age *blush*, and this warm & fuzzy scene at the train station was one of my favorites in the film. Can’t say I liked the ending though, but that’s another story. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a link to the trailer. While working on this drawing, I thought of looking for old artworks I made back in college just to see how much my style has evolved. Thankfully, I remembered that they were in my old online portfolio which means I didn’t have to look too far. 🙂

cynthia arre old illustration

 “Fence” (1990) — Seeing this again today, I can now say that I was a bonafide mushball *bow* — I blame the many Sweet Dreams books I read as a teen. On another note, I’m amazed that I was able to draw the girl’s expression so well! I was 18 when I drew this and I haven’t experienced real love yet #chos. Kilig moments? Probably. I clearly remember making sure that the chain holding the gate together forms a heart, haha. I’ll try scanning the painting again so you can see it in detail.

“Pool Hall” (1991) – See, even with this painting there’s romance brewing between characters. In my teen-aged mind, the girl on the right and the tall guy in red are dating… but his friend, the guy in green likes the girl and she seems to like him back. Tall trophy boyfriend, meanwhile, is oblivious to the sparks between the two and is only concerned about maintaining his billiards champion title. The two guys on the left… well they’re the only ones without love problems tee hee. 🙂 Again, I’m amazed that I was able to tell a story through one painting. Also, I have no patience to paint in watercolor with that kind of attention to detail anymore. Maybe I should title this post “DEvolution of my drawing style” instead, lol.

cynthia bauzon arre illustration

“Hitching a Ride on Santa’s Sleigh” (1996) — And then came the E-heads’ “Fruitcake” book project while I was in the middle of an advertising career. From this point on, it seems I started drawing people in a more cartoony fashion. I also don’t recall why I chose to do these illustrations in black and white. Printing cost concerns, most likely.

Artworks for my old online store “The Paper Basket” (2008) – Looking at this again now, I know I could’ve done this series so much better. I think my freehand drawing downfall started after I got dependent on the computer from 1993 onwards. I would still draw outlines by hand but coloring by computer was so much quicker. That, and I think I lost confidence in my illustrating self after being on the computer for so long…

Artwork for an auction (2009) – I was challenged to explore painting and drawing by hand again when I started getting invited to participate in exhibits and auctions. It was refreshing to actually dab paints to paper and “touch” my drawings after just seeing them on the screen.

“Dreamtangle” (2010) – By this time I was already comfortable drawing and doodling again. Sometimes I would combine hand-drawn inks with digital paint, but now after much trial and error I’ve learned to just leave the pen and ink art alone as they are. K.I.S.S. and all that. The bare-bones black and white version of this drawing is on RedBubble.

Just to cap off this post, let me show you another colored pencil practice sketch. This is from the other day.


After seeing all my old stuff, I’m glad that the attention to detail (folds in the clothes, etc) that was present before is back. However there’s still much to learn and new techniques to experiment with so we shouldn’t stop evolving. As Arnold keeps telling me, “gawa lang ng gawa” — and he has every right to dish out that advice as you can see on his site how much his art has evolved and developed through the years. Laterz!

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  1. have you seen my artworks for “Ang Nawawalang Soundtrack“? Enough said. [ back]
  2. no he’s not my favorite Arashi, Nino is. [ back]
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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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