Posts Tagged "craft materials"

Shrink Plastic Workshop at Hey Kessy + Callalily’s 10th Anniversary Album

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

I’m teaching my first ever workshop and it will be on Shrink Plastic Crafting! If you’d like to learn how to turn your doodles into wearable art in the form of necklace pendants, bracelet charms, pins, and earrings, I will show you how to do it and share some techniques and tricks I’ve learned along the way. It will be on November 21, Saturday, from 1-4pm at Hey Kessy (31 E. Abada, Katipunan).

The workshop fee already includes shrink plastic sheets and all other materials, design templates, a take-home zine, snacks and refreshments. (Additional shrink plastic sheets can be purchased from me at a discounted rate if you‚Äôre a participant. ūüôā )

See you there? Please go to to reserve your slot!



Callalily’s 5th album “Greetings from Callalily” was released last Friday, October 23, and I’m very happy to have been part of it! It’s been a while since I’ve designed a full-blown album because almost everyone prefers buying MP3s, right? But then this is Callalily — I heard that their albums’ sales can hit Platinum — so I wanted to design something that a fan would love to have in his/her possession. I’m happy with the end result and I can’t wait to share it with you. Please see the portfolio to see what we came up with. ūüôā

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Watercolor Review: Shin Han Professional Korean Watercolours

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. 

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. ūüėČ ¬†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.

shin han art professional korean watercolors

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? ūüôā 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. ūüėÄ

shin han art watercolor review

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. ūüôā

Same reason for this next one below.

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

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.

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Where I buy art & craft materials in Manila

Years ago National Book Store was the only easily accessible place where you can buy¬†arts and crafts equipment here in Manila. Well there was Joli along Espana and Artek in Delta but they were quite far, and online shopping — let alone the internet — was unheard of at the time. So by default NBS was The Mothership and to be fair, selection wasn’t bad. It’s just that compared to today, we had a¬†very limited range¬†of art materials to choose from.

And now¬†— okay I don’t know when exactly the local arts and crafts movement boomed but it sure happened when I wasn’t looking. Very pleased¬†though that I don’t have to turn to DickBlick or Amazon’s Arts, Crafts & Sewing section for supplies anymore since I can now easily get them locally and from within the comforts of home, no less.

If you check my Instagram feed, you’ll see that I’ve been into honing my analog art skills¬†since late last year¬†and I’ve explored everything¬†from rubber stamp carving¬†and¬†shrink¬†plastic¬†crafting to watercolor painting and even lettering. Here are the stores I’ve been getting all my crafty goodies from.¬†There may be more out there but I find the following¬†shops’ inventories sufficient for my needs.

(Updated on Jan. 6, 2018)

ARTWHALE an online store that carries beautiful not-so-commonly-available 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 highly pigmented watercolors in sheet form), and Shin Han Art Korean Watercolours. The proprietor Kuki is very friendly and knowledgeable about their products and customer service is top notch. (Please refer to this newer post for the full story. :D)


They have pop-up stores every once in a while so I recommend following¬†their Instagram account to see if they’ll be in a bazaar soon.

CRAFT CARROT¬†– an online store¬†based¬†in¬†Loyola Heights, Quezon City. They¬†stock¬†artist paints & paper, calligraphy tools and inks, sketch markers, and rubber stamp carving supplies. I got my two-tone carving blocks¬†—¬†4″x 6″ and 2″x 2″ round and square¬†blocks — from them (see below). I also purchased a few of the inexpensive “Craft” brand ink pads. I don’t think¬†they’re archival though¬†so I just use them for testing my stamps.

craft carrot ph

I’m not sure if they have a physical shop since their website says you’ll have to set up an appointment before visiting their office¬†but ordering online¬†is¬†quick and painless. I’ve already purchased from them twice and both times I received fast and friendly service – “friendly” meaning there is actual communication from¬†the shopkeepers, not just automated replies. ūüôā Also, they use for shipping so you’ll be sure to get your items within 24-48 hours upon receiving confirmation for your order.

HEY KESSY¬†– another online store¬†with an¬†HQ in Loyola Heights which I believe is a physical shop. They sell washi tape, chalk markers, air dry clay and a¬†good variety¬†of fun¬†crafting supplies.¬†They’re the only place I’ve found that carries¬†Tsukineko VersaCraft Fabric Inkpads (pigment-based, archival, and acid-free) and¬†Speedball Speedy-Carve Carving Blocks, currently¬†the biggest (and priciest) ones that are available locally. These blocks carve like butter — no, wait.¬†Like konnyaku jelly! Soft and jiggly!¬†—¬†so I use them for special, intricate designs.

hey kessy

I can also say that they know how to make their customers feel special. Aside from the friendly correspondence, they sent me that¬†adorable postcard on the left. Look at how the¬†items were¬†packaged too. It¬†was¬†like opening a gift. (It’s all in the details. ūüôā ) I’ll definitely buy from them again — but first, I need to use up my blocks. As¬†with Craft Carrot, you can receive your items within 24-48 hours.

CREATE CRAFTS¬†– a.k.a. CreatebyTLF is another online store based Quezon City. There is no physical shop but they have a display at Mrs. Graham’s Store in Scout Rallos¬†which is restocked twice a month. So far I’ve bought 1.75″x 3.5″ eraser blocks (sold by the dozen!) and Japanese keshigomu carving blocks¬†(smaller than the ones from Craft Carrot and Speedycarve but they carve just as smoothly), Kuretake ZIG Clean Color Real Brush markers, and Speedball Lino Cutter spare blades.Create Crafts PH

When you buy from their site, you have the option to¬†create¬†an account which facilitates ordering¬†in the future since you won’t have to input your details all over again. Becoming a site member also entitles you to occasional¬†perks like free shipping¬†— just keep your eyes peeled for promos¬†(I was able to avail of that last December.) ¬†I’m not sure if they really don’t update customers with tracking numbers¬†via e-mail but my purchases appear at my doorstep right on schedule which makes up for¬†the lack of communication.

BEE HAPPY CRAFTS¬†– is a crafting and party supplies¬†store in Caloocan, open to customers on Saturdays but you can also order from them online. They stock a lot of scrapbook¬†and journal-keeping goods like stamps, stickers, scrapbook sheets, punches, cardboard¬†stock, ribbons, etc. They’re also the only place I’ve found that stocks unbranded shrink plastic locally.¬†I’ve ordered a few sheets of the Inkjet shrink plastic and have found that they hold ink well and shrink almost exactly like¬†the Shrinky Dinks-branded ones that I bought from Amazon¬†(please¬†see my Instagram feed or the previous post for examples of what I’ve done with the material).

bee happy

The Inkjet sheets are a little pricey at P90/piece but I’m glad to have¬†an option to ordering them from overseas. I’ve also bought some cardboard stock from them for mounting. The site is easy to use and you¬†will¬†receive email confirmations for your order. You may also follow up with them through sms.

… and finally¬†DEOVIR

I love that they have physical stores in¬†malls which means that I can get my materials on the same day I need them. The selection in their SM North Edsa outlet is impressive¬†and Arnold has been buying his Micron drawing pens, watercolor paper, and comic tools¬†from there for years. You can also buy from them online but I haven’t¬†done¬†so yet since SM is close by.¬†Also,¬†there are items in the physical stores that aren’t on the site so it’s more advisable¬†to swing by the actual shop and see the merchandise first hand.

I’d love to know where you shop for your art materials. And¬†if you know of other stores that I may have missed (or don’t know about yet), do let me know in the comments!

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I'm Cynthia Bauzon-Arre, a Filipino watercolor artist & graphic designer. I live in QC with my 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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