Watercolor illustrations of various subjects
Medium: watercolor on cold-ressed archival paper
* available as art prints in my online store
I was recently invited to join a watercolor-themed craft soiree organized by crafter / designer Alessa Lanot, the brains and talent behind the very popular Life After Breakfast Blog, and it was quite an exhilarating experience.
(photo from LAB)
In her invitation, Alessa said she wanted to gather some of Manila’s top female watercolor artists for a little swap and playdate. It’s been so long since I’ve actually painted along with other artists (not counting my husband of course, teehee) so naturally I was game. I was actually *floored* when I saw the works of the girls in the final list a few days before the event. Very proud to have been among this talented bunch.
We had to bring enough artworks for the swap so I brought prints of these new illustrations. The bottom two look familiar because they are re-creations of the colored pencil illustrations I did sometime ago. 🙂
And below is my art haul from the girls. So precious. <3 You can tap on the image on Instagram to see who made the artworks.
That’s not even half of it. We also took home vegan goodies from Alessa & her husband’s restaurant Pipino (and also got treated to a full course meal off their new menu!), a mug, notebook and magazine from Herschel, art supplies from Craft Carrot, washi tapes from Hey Kessy, non-toxic brush cleaners from Messy Bessy, and cute journals from The Lunch Break Project, to name a few. The gifts just kept on coming — it felt like Christmas came early. 🙂
Most importantly it was awesome exchanging stories about our watercolor journeys with the other girls. Everyone was nice and sweet and I especially got to bond with Lorra Elena Angbue-Te, Arlene Sy, June Digan, Megan Dino, and Frannie Wei-lookalike Fran Alvarez who even brought her “Fruitcake” book for me to sign. 😉 Also happy that I got to see an old friend, Pierra Labrador, and finally meet Macy Alcaraz whom I’ve known online since the early blogging days!
I know I should devote more space to the event but I’m running out of time at the moment… Meanwhile you can check out Life After Breakfast for even more details.
EDIT (May 3, 2015) — you can check out this CandyMag.com article for a list + links to the Instagram accounts of everyone in the swap. Yay!
I also wanted to share that my online shop is NOW (FINALLY) OPEN. *deep intake of breath* It’s my first time to have an actual self-operated online store (as opposed to the ones I have that are hosted on Zazzle, etc) so please bear with kinks and all. You can access it from the graphic above or from the “SHOP” link on the sidebar. 🙂
As a kid I actually learned to paint with tube watercolors, not with pans. When I was 7, my dad worked as a professor in Kyoto for a year and since then, his Japanese colleague would send my brother and me Sakura cray-pas and tube watercolor sets almost every school year until I was in high school.
#tbt – My beloved watercolor set from the 80s on top of my grade school drawing board. These guys survived years of termite infestations and government turnovers. ???? I think the paints can still be reactivated with water but 'd rather just keep them in storage for now. ? #showyourwatercolor #sakura
Later on I got acquainted with Prang and so I grew to love the convenience of not having to open tubes while painting.
I haven’t worked with tubed watercolor for years but a few weeks ago I stumbled upon local online art store Art Whale while Instagram-hopping. They carry beautiful paints like Korea-based Nicker fine art gouache (a.k.a. the brand that Ghibli Animation Studio uses), Japan-based Turner Colour Works Acryl Gouache,Peerless Watercolors (a vintage American brand known for bright colors in sheet form), and Shin Han Art Korean Watercolours. I was attracted to the latter the most so I immediately ordered seven tubes with some of my Art Mart earnings. 😉 I resisted from getting the set of 12 because I never use black and white anyway so I had to think hard about which ones I’ll get the most use out of.
TIP: If you’re planning on working with a limited palette too, consider getting primary and secondary colors since you can mix them to come up with other colors you’ll need. However, if you need a good starter set, I recommend getting the box of 12 or 24. You’ll get a lot for your money’s worth.
After placing my order, the tubes were delivered to my doorstep the very next morning by ArtWhale’s fabulous Kuki herself! How’s that for service? 🙂 She even gave me a very useful tip from her own experience — the binder of Korean colors is made from natural glue (the East’s equivalent of gum arabic) so don’t seal the tubes’ caps on too tightly because they will be difficult to reopen. Just close them tight enough so that they won’t spill.
Right after I got the colors I quickly made the painting above. Coming from working with pan colors, my first impression of Shin Han was that the colors were very intense which shocked me at first. I haven’t tried but I think they can be 100% opaque when applied thickly… I’ll get back to you on that.
So I made a mental note to squirt just a bit of paint into the palette which I proceeded to dilute with lots of water to get the consistency I needed. As you can see in the painting above and below, bright color + transparent effects can be achieved with just a teeny bit of paint. Very economical. 😀
I made this illustration (a portrait of Aoi Miyazaki) because I still had a lot of leftover Shin Han paint on my palette… and for portrait-painting practice. 🙂
Same reason for this next one below.
Most of the pigments in these paints are lightfast as well — the PDF guide in the Korean Shin Han site has lightfastness ratings beside the colors if you need help deciding which ones to choose. They also blend beautifully so employing the wet-on-wet technique is a joy with these paints. I posted a video on my Instagram where I’m using Shin Han so you can check it out to see it in action.
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. 😎 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. 😉 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. 😛 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. 🙂
Client: Adobo Magazine
Project: Portraits of “Women of Influence 2015” for the March-April issue (Merlee Jayme, Lorna Tabuena, and Joanna Mojica)
Medium: Watercolors on cold-pressed Canson Montval 280 gsm
Date of release: April 2015