Thursday, December 17, 2015

Hybrid Brushes from Mont Marte

    There is another type of watercolor brushes from Mont Marte in Fully Booked. I suspect it uses the same hair as the ones found on the Mont Marte Quills. First impressions suggest that this brush is a hybrid, though the handle says its round. It's a flat but has a belly a bit thicker than most flats of the same width, and the hairs are a bit longer. The edge form a rounded shape similar to a cats tongue/filbert.

Mont Marte brushes

Friday, October 2, 2015

Mont Marte Quill Brush

     If you have never tried Squirrel quill brushes before, I encourage you to get one and try. I mostly work on wet on wet washes so ever since I've experienced these brushes, they have been my tool of choice. A true squirrel quill is a bit pricey and hard to get hold of, unless, you have a friend going abroad, a relative or traveling yourself.
     Then there is Mont Marte and they are available here at Fully Booked.

These are currently available in sizes 0, 2, 4

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sketching at Laloma Cemetery

     The La loma Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Manila which opened in 1884 according to Wikipedia.  Until last Friday,  I've never been there and was always curious since I only see the dome of the St Pancratius Chapel from the north cemetery. I might be wrong but I have an impression the the tombs and mausoleums are more organized similar to the Chinese Cemetery than the familiar North Cemetery.
      A good thing about google is we were able to find out where to alight from LRT1. Since La loma are is so big, too much walking will just our drain energy reserved for sketching. Another good coincidence is we were able to meet up with Ian and Kuki, who has their own ride and saves us from walking. Thank you Ian and Kuki! 
St Pancratius Chapel

Monday, September 7, 2015

Binondo Sketchwalk

     Last Saturday's sketch walk was planned to be about El Hogar Filipino Building which most of us haven't sketched yet. I've been scouting the place for a while, and there is a good vantage point across Pasig river. 

El Hogar Filipino Building along Muelle de la Industria cor. Juan Luna

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sketching at Malate, Manila

     Today's sketching session is one of those days where you experience the challenge of outdoor sketching. It was a very humid when when Aurelio, my fellow sketcher and I arrived. It was a good thing that the meeting place is in Family Mart beside Malate Church, so we had time to cool down before heading out to sketch.
     Halfway through my penciling stage, thunderclouds suddenly hover above us with matching mini tornadoes that carries dust and dead leaves in the area. We were forced to pack up our stuffs and decided to just wait it out in the nearest convenience store. As if just teasing us, the rain did not even fell, and the dark clouds disappeared as fast as it came. Oh well, so we just resumed sketching. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sketching at La Cenerentola Rehearsal

     To us sketchers, sketching as an activity is kind of exciting and relaxing. Most of the time we have a background music which further heightens the mood. What the next best thing? Sketching while listening to a live music of course!  
     On a short notice which I was lucky enough to be available, we were invited by my friend Amado to join the rehearsal of Manila Symphony Orchestra with conductor Darrell Ang for the show La Cenerentola. For those interested in the show you can get your tickets here.

The Manila Symphony Orchestra with Conductor Darrell Ang

Friday, July 10, 2015

Wetcanvas Monthly Challenge - July 2015

     For the first time I was I able to this on the second week of the month. Usually I'm able to start at the last week or two days before the end of the month due to busy schedule. 

10" x 14" arches CP

Monday, July 6, 2015

WetCanvas Monthly Challenge - June 2015

     The challenge  for June is about glass jars. It is really challenging yet fun to do. This kind of image requires a tight drawing otherwise it would destroy the illusion. I realized that I failed in the perspective of the lid and in alignment of other elements. I'm happy with the colors though.

10" x 14" Arches CP

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Life Drawing Session with Omart Life Drawing Group

     I was invited by an artist friend Eric David to join a life drawing session with the Omart Life Drawing Group Last Sunday. I'm glad I went. Most of the participants were seasoned artist, yet the ambiance was relaxing and inspiring. Classical music was even playing in the background as we draw!
     We started by warming up first to 5 minute poses and proceeded with 20 minute poses. 

20 minute pose

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ad Hoc Sketching with USk Members

     This is a late post of June 12 ad hoc sketch walk with USk Philippines members. In line with the Independence Day theme, we sketched along Plaza Lawton and Manila City Hall were we can find two Andres Bonifacio Monuments.
Our first stop was in Lawton, in front of Andres Bonifacio Statue. Painted using Gouache. It was my first time bringing gouache into an on location sketch. Different way of working.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

More Gouache Exercises

     Even at my second attempt at gouache, it still feels intimidating to me. As I lay down my first strokes, I'm unsure of what the outcome would be. I feel the face is a little bit off in the final image. Even though I had a tight drawing, painting in gouache covers your initial line work and I was forced just to wing it as I go on. There are methods and techniques to counter this, but I want to learn a different method and not be dependent on my initial drawing. Just the same I enjoyed doing this and I think it turned out okay. 
     For this exercise, I attempted to do a Game of Thrones character. Image referenced from a Google search.

10" x 7.5" Shinhan Pass on watercolor paper
     It took me about 3 hours total in 1 hour intervals. For my first serious attempt and info gouache, kindly see  my previous post.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Shinhan Pass Hybrid

      I've been meaning to learn how to paint with gouache, but this medium is not so popular nowadays that it is really hard to source unless you order online. I had but five tubes of basic colors I bought sometime ago, but to be of much use requires that I buy some more tubes of paint which I think is not so practical at the moment.

Shinhan Pass Hybrid

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

WetCanvas Monthly Challenge May 2015

     It has been a while since my last post. I'm aware that the gap between post has been getting longer and I must do something about it. I'm totally swamped between job applications and freelance work. I hope a day will come when I will become a full time painter.
     For this months challenge I've experimented with Canson Montval 200 gsm paper. A lot lighter and little less tooth from what I'm used to using,but way more cheaper. It is really very limiting, since initial layers tend to lift up with the succeeding layers. 
     I've also limited myself to four colors (Dioxazine Purple, Thalo Blue GS, Quinacridone Gold and cobalt teal blue). The Thalo Blue replaces the ultramarine blue that I'm used to using.

10.5" x 7" Canson Monval 200gsm

    I'm really not happy with the result but I will try to use up the remaining stock that I have and hopefully tame this paper.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tug boat in watercolor

          Another watercolor exercise. Still, from one of the photos taken during our sketchwalk in Navotas by Amado.

11" x 15" Fabriano Artistico CP

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April 2015 Sketchwalk at the Manila Zoo

     It's my second time around sketching here when I visited this place last year. There are more animals compared to my previous visit and they looked  a bit better. I guess a lot of urban sketchers are animal lovers since we have a lot sketchers who attended and a lot of new faces too.

The first successful sketch after the warm up

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

101 Watercolor Portrait Challenge - Portrait 001

     I think doing watercolor portraits is a good exercise in understanding watercolor. My friends Amado and Rica, who are  both good in doing watercolor portraits inspired me to follow suit. So, I'm setting myself a goal of doing a hundred portraits this year. This is my first one.

Color and value study

Friday, April 3, 2015

Sketching at the Manila Chinese Cemetery

     April 2 is a holiday, so Amado, Nice, and I agreed to have a sketchwalk on Manila Chinese Cemetery. I've never been there before and compared to the North Cemetery  where I have been already it is more organized and clean. The cemetery is a place where there are lots of interesting subjects to sketch.

Our first stop. Nice and I decided to  sketch this one and Amado a different structure

Monday, March 16, 2015

Trucks in Watercolor

     During our last visit in Navotas, I took some pictures of views that I might paint as an exercise when I can paint out. One of these is the image of the trucks below. It sure is an interesting subject and very enjoyable to paint!

Reference picture from my phone camera

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Wetcanvas Monthly Challenge - Lord Leverhulme Monument

     I am a bit late with this challenge for February 2015 since I've been busy for the past few weeks. I'm glad there is really no deadline though if I can help it, I want to be up to date

15" x 11" watercolor on Arches CP
     Quite a challenge indeed! I had a hard time blending the light parts with the shadow parts being careful with the shape of the folds.
     The thread for this challenge can be found here.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Nuestra Señora de Gracia Church

     Another good spot for sketching is Nuestra Señora de Gracia Church I accidentally found through Google maps. A good old church from around 1600. From J.P. Rizal just take Trinidad St. until you reach Gonzales St. Just to be safe I asked permission from the guard to sketch on the premises. I wasn't able to see the interior since a wedding ceremony is currently being held.
I wished to go back here to see what the interior looks like. 

Nuestra Señora de Gracia 7.5" x 11" watercolor on paper

Friday, March 6, 2015

Makati Central Fire Station

     Depending on the location, there will be a different experience from the kind people whose curiosity you will attract while you sketch or paint. Generally, here in the Philippines, most people are not used to seeing other people doing art on the street. One could get a mixture of reaction from admiration to some awful comments, or worst like being confronted by a security guard and asked to leave. I'm glad, I haven't experienced the latter, but in this sketching session it was fortunate that my friend knew someone from around the place since the security guards started roaming  the moment we started.

A shot of our work in progress

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

February 2015 Sketchwalk

     This February the sketchwalk was held around Binondo area, to take advantage of the Chinese New Year celebration. I came early to take advantage of the sunlight and and of course the food! I was hoping to find a good spot to sketch that is related to the New Year celebration but it proved to be quite a challenge. Even if it is already 2 days after the New Year, there is still heavy traffic of people and vehicles.

My first stop for a warm up, Tomas Pinpin cor. Gandara Sts.. A group of people working on machine parts. This has always been one of my favorite subject, people at work. Lamy ink smeared with a waterbrush.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

January 2015 Sketchwalk at Quezon Memorial Circle

     This post has been long overdue since I have been busy researching builds for a new PC and taking an exam for a job application. The next few post will be updates on sketches and paintings I failed to upload during the last few weeks.
    For the month of January, the sketchwalk was held at Quezon Memorial Circle. I've had  a hard time looking for a good sketching spot. Though being a famous landmark, it was my first time being there so I'm not familiar with the place.  It took me about 30 minutes going around the area and since its about 3:00 pm already, I felt pressured to sketch something before the sun goes down.

The right spot

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Little Diversion

Happy First Birthday Steve!
    For a friends son's first birthday, whose theme is "robots", I was asked to make a robot from Styrofoam to be used as a backdrop piece. A project I really love doing since I used to do miniature models in high school. 

The robot template. I had to make sure the measurement are right and converted it to the correct scale. As it was said, measure twice cut once.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Learning to Control Watercolor (Part II)

     This post is long due. I have started this experiment right after the first part of this post, but I've become to busy painting that made me wonder if this is still relevant when someone can gain this knowledge through practice and observation. Just the same, I hope somebody might find it useful.
     One of the watercolor concepts that has always eluded my understanding is the "wet on wet technique" The are many tutorials online and most of them simply describes it as an application of  wet paint on still wet paint on paper or sometimes an application of wet paint on paper pre-wetted with water. I've also read about avoiding applying wet paint on damp paper since it will produce unwanted effects. Some text even mentioned to watch out for the shininess of the paper. The question still remains with me: how much wetness should the paper have? What should be the water to paint ratio in the brush? Is there any scale to measure paper wetness? With these questions I've set out to do an experiment in order to find out what I could measure, in order to at least, get consistent results we want when painting.
     This experiment is  to determine amount of dispersion the watercolor solution will do on wet paper. My initial thought on this is if I could "measure" the drying time of the paper then I would know when to apply the paint. I was wrong.

A- 10mins, B - 1 min., C- 3 mins.
     My first test shows that even on the same area size, the time it took to lose the shininess (indication that there is water on the paper surface) varies from 1 minute to as much as 10 minutes.

Trying to read the paper wetness in stages I can identify

Thursday, January 29, 2015

SketchWalk at Navotas Fish Port

     A friend I met though Urban Sketchers Philippines happens to be a great watercolor artist and a passionate painter. We've decided to paint around  Navotas, Fish Port area in Manila. The first location we visited that looks like a shipyard has a good sketching spot from every conceivable view. The place seems intimidating at first, but once you start sketching all your worries goes away and the only thing that matters is simply capturing the beautiful scenery in front of you.

This large ship is currently being repaired.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Quick and dirty perspective tool for the rest of us

     If I can help it, I will always try my best not to use any drawing aids for training's sake. But the last sketchwalk had me realize that there are still times I'm struggling with perspective especially if  the subject is something really up close. There are also times when I get pressure to come up with something really fast, and the view is to distracting.
     These gave me an idea to come up with some solution. What if there is a tool we can use to ease things up?
     Again,I was thinking of something portable, and if possible can be inserted between the pages of a sketchbook. So, I've made a viewfinder. Nothing new here. The internet host a lot of different versions that are easy to make. This version is just a piece illustration board cut to size.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sketching with fellow artist from Gameloft

     After seeing me doing sketching for a while, fellow artist whom  I have used to worked with contacted me to do sketching together. Initially there is this feeling of discomfort and uneasiness of sketching on location and being seen in public. But after the initial sketch, they have gotten  used to it. The original plan of three hours of sketching became a whole day of sketching!

This is very reminiscent of my first sketchwalk. It seems to be a good place to start with the benches around it and few onlookers.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Wetcanvas Monthly Challenge - Cherries

     This challenge has gotten serious for me. I mean reflections, shiny objects and glass ? I have never really given it much thought. Until now. I'm so glad I committed myself to joining WetCanvas monthly watercolor challenge. Like what Doug, the moderator says, it is a challenge you wouldn't normally tackle so I find myself learning new stuff every time.

7.5" x 11" arches CP

     I find that a tight drawing plays a really important role here, perspective and proportions should be correct. Otherwise, it just destroys the illusion even if the colors and values are correct.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Sketchwalk at the North (From Vigan to Pagudpod) Part II

Day 3 

     On this day we went further north to to Pagudpod. It was non-stop rain and wind.

First stop, Kabigan falls. We've  walked through  fields and hills to get here while it is raining but it is worth it .