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Flower Power

So, as it happens, my latest obsession has been botanical art. This is partially due to the fact that some of my favorite artists are really into it as well. But I think that it’s also something that fits my personality well. While I do love creating loose, expressive watercolors as much as every other painter, most of the time I prefer to be methodical when it comes to most things. I’m still not 100% exact when it comes to botanicals, though. (Still too impatient for that.) But at least, it’s methodical.

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Referenced from The Sweet Pea Book by Graham Rice

You can blame it on good old nursing school discipline, perhaps. Anything I do still follows the framework of assess-diagnose-plan-implement-evaluate. Yes, for everything. Even painting. And, as you may imagine, that’s not exactly something that flies when you’re trying to be loose and painterly. Basically, I have a stick up my ass. So judge me.

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It’s taking forever to finish this one…

And while I do like getting messy with paint sometimes, I find planning and taking my time to put in tiny details just so meditative. This is probably why, nowadays, finishing a single piece takes such a long time. Painting is not any more about producing finished things to post online (although that’s nice when it happens, too). Instead, it has become about exploration, getting to know things in a way you never would otherwise. You can, after all, appreciate all the flowers in a parts. But drawing them helps you get to know every single leaf whether green or dry and every single hole carved out by a hungry insect. You don’t see flowers that are just white or red or yellow anymore. Instead, you get to know all the tiny little hints of purple or blue or deep gold. That’s the true joy of painting, I think.

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In honor of R+L=J

And on today’s morning walk, I think I found myself my next subject. If anyone can tell me what sort of plant this is, I’d very much appreciate it.

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Sea Boys

M. Graham Watercolors on Arches Rough Watercolor Paper (or at least I think it was Arches Rough. All I know it was on sale at National Bookstore last year.)

It’s been a year since my last serious art piece. And by “serious” I mean any work of art in which I use fancy watercolor paper instead of my sketchbooks.

And, also, I finally got myself a pair of gorgeous Kolinsky sable brushes that I have wanted since forever. They’re available over at Art Whale, an online store based in Manila, which incredibly has prices that match those of international sellers, minus the crazy shipping costs. (I wish they sold my favorite paints, but I think I’ll give the Shin Han ones they do have a try.)

So I guess I was due for another big thing.

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Last year, my boyfriend and I conspired to give one of our good friends a nice painting of a few teacups. This year, I wanted to surprise him with a painting of boys playing on boats in the sea which he took with his cellphone.

I like the overall shapes of the boys, although I know there are anatomy snafus aplenty. I guess I was so excited to use color that I didn’t double check on my sketch!

I wanted to amp up the blues and the textures of the sea. Pretty happy with what I got.

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Again, many thanks to Jonard Albopera for the reference photo and the inspiration. 😀

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Catching up over lunch

Given that so much has happened over the past few months and I haven’t been blogging a whole lot, I have so much to catch up on! I haven’t had that much time to draw, either. Although I do draw more than the average person (mostly because of low attention span issues, and it’s one of the only ways I can ever focus on anything), but lately it just hasn’t been enough to churn out a lot of stuff I would post online.

However that doesn’t mean I haven’t been drawing a lot of my favorite thing to draw: food. There are so many advantages to drawing food. First: It stays still. Unless someone else touches it before you finish, which is why in this case I do not recommend sharing. Second: It’s always pretty. Or, at least, it’s always possible to make it pretty or fascinating on paper. Third: There’s so much variety in form, textures and colors. Fourth: It’s fun to understand your food. Sometimes you just don’t notice things when you’re so intent on eating them. Fifth: You get to eat it afterwards. The only disadvantage, I guess, is that it gets cold after drawing. But that’s not something I mind entirely.

One of my favorite drawing places is Missy Bonbon. They have some of the best salads and breads. Also love their gelato. Plus, they have such a cheery ambiance and very reliable WiFi.

Salad and Tea at Missy BonbonSalad and Tea at Missy Bonbon

If you’ve been following for a while, you know I’ve posted sketches of their food a couple of times before:

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Another of my favorite drawing places as of late is Red Nectar. Their specialty is fruit and veggie shakes which, admittedly, I’m not all that into. They serve a decent coffee, though. And I’ve recently tried their Kori Kohi which is basically coffee cubes in milk. I dig this so much. It’s basically just milk that gets coffee-ier and coffee-ier by the minute.

Lunch at Red NectarPasta and Kohi Kori and Red Nectar

It’s a convenient chill place because it’s near my uni. A bonus is that it’s always fun as a 20-something to chill with a slow, solo lunch and listen to college kids overthinking their relationships out loud. Don’t worry, kids. I don’t judge. Was like that once. Although there was this one time I was sorely tempted to tell some guy at the next table “Uhm, I’m sorry bro, but I just don’t think she’s into you, you know.”

For lunch, I usually go for anything with pesto, just because their pesto smells amazing.

Coffee and a Sandwich at Red Nectar

Yet another place I’ve gotten the chance to go to pretty often is Dave’s Beanery Cafe, which is a bit of a pitstop when I’m going around barangays for work. I only go there for coffee, although one day I’d like to try their cakes which are huge for coffee shop standards.

Display at Dave's Beanery

Dave's Beanery

There are a few other of my favorite coffee and lunch places which I haven’t managed to sketch. Mostly because I’m just there for a quick lunch or I’m feeling self-conscious about sketching at the moment. Perhaps I’ll make it my mission over the holidays to sketch them all.

(By the way, my Instagram is a bit more updated than this blog. Mostly because I don’t curate it with really high standards. So if you’re on IG, perhaps you’d like to check it out too.)

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Scribble Diaries: Mallfolk

When in doubt, draw in a mall. There’s always an abundance of subjects, most of whom are too busy minding their own business to notice you’re sketching them. The thing is, they’re so busy minding their own business that they are almost always moving around.

Which all makes it the perfect place for scribbler homework in Marc Taro Holmes’ “Drawing People in Motion” class. Which I am taking since I’m compensating for the fact that I could not be at the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Singapore. Which makes me sad. Almost miserable.

But that’s nothing a few hours of sketching cannot fix.

20150725_184415This girl was just passing by. I loved her hair and her billowy sleeves so I tried catching that in the few seconds she was visible.

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Some people waiting in line at the bakeshop. I wished I could have gotten the details of their clothes, but another bunch of (less interesting) people blocked them from my vision.

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High school-ish guy waiting for his brother to get ice cream or something. I liked his relaxed posture, although I think I may have made him look slightly stiff here.

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Lady leaning on a counter, waiting for someone who was talking with the teller. She seemed to me a bit impatient to go (perhaps tired?).

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I love people who age fabulously. This lady was a classic, with her short, sleek hair and regal posture. They make me comfortable about growing old in a world where people are obsessed with youth and are embarrassed about any age older than 25.

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Painting Practice: Kanya Ash-hands (Steamhawke)

Last year, I took a traditional animation class at Informatics Computer Institute. For my final project, I chose to animate Kanya Ash-Hands, my old character from the Steamhawke RPG which I briefly participated in some years ago before life ate me off of the internet.

I totally forgot to scan my classwork before submitting them so I can’t show you those. But all that work did revive my interest in Kanya.

I’m quite happy with most of the things in this practice painting… Not all of it, but many things turned out pretty fine. The steampunk goggles, in particular, turned out better than I expected. 😀

I don’t quite like the background, though, with its scribbly blueprint-wannabe pattern. But I was ready to give up by the time I had finished her, so I figured I’d just draw something quick.

I never really got the chance to explain Kanya’s backstory, so I’ll just write some of it here after the cut.  But first! Some details.:)

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