Agueda 2020

I’ve been a loyal follower of Agueda Manila since the beginning (proof here HAHA), a local business in Metro Manila that sells brigadeiros and pinta cookies. Dandi has experimented with different ways of providing “paints” to her Pinta cookies. The one below is made from a food printer!

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It was a bit light and not as vibrant as the usual food coloring, but you could still paint with this! I also got her pinta cookie set Christmas edition last year. This one had a different painting set, and was what I was more used to.

Still too pretty to eat! My tip when painting is to use a mixing palette. I used one of our ramekins for this.

Experimentation – Color pencils and markers

The last of my experimentation series are color pencils and markers. Whenever I’m not in the mood to paint with watercolor, I usually grab my prismacolor pencils for some doodles. I’m not the best at coloring with color pencils, but it is fun, when you have the patience for it! ♥ Asides from flowers, I usually do different subjects whenever I’m in the mood for it. The drawing below is for my officemate’s Draw this in your style challenge:

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And funnily, that’s the only artwork that I did with markers. I felt like the markers alone felt a bit weak, so I grabbed my color pencils to add texture. Looks nice, I think! The sunflower artwork below had a watercolor base, then detailed with color pencils.

I remember the time when I was creating this rafflesia artwork. It was one of the busiest months in our office, and I was handling huge projects with a team. We were so busy that I only had time to make art during weekends. I did this on/off for weeks. Really loved the color layers on the green parts. All of the artworks below were done on my Van Gogh Sketchbook! 

And that’s it for my experiments. I had a lot of fun. So far, I made 12 blog posts about 2020 already. I hope I could do more, or my “2021 posts in 2022” would turn into a reality hahaha. 

Experimentation – Metallics

Still not over my metallic phase, I bought some gold foil from a friend’s business and tried to experiment with them. The last watercolor works from the previous posts were transformed into this:

So fun! I bought a glue that you had to apply with an old brush, wait for it to dry a little, then apply the gold foil. But be careful though! It could rip the paper if you’re not patient enough.

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The right most painting above, the peony, had torn watercolor paper. I was too impatient that I ripped off the gold foil too early. I still need practice on the timing of removing the foil. But wow, I love how shiny it is! The hydrangea one below, I added gold poster paint as outlines for the petals. If I remember correctly, I also added gold foil for the background. But I couldn’t find a decent photo of it!

 I also found my old metallic prang watercolor set, but it melted! Ugh! Such a waste of paint.

Below are the swatches for the metallic paint. They were glittery, of course. A lot of fun to use. I especially liked the red and gold paints:

I also practiced painting cherry blossoms, but wasn’t feeling it, so I added gold poster paint to it. It would look good as a sticker sheet, I think.

The last one, I made an ink drawing of a sunflower. After trying out my old prang metallic watercolor set, I wanted to try other brands as well. I bought the metallic set from Seamiart on Shopee. Will probably do an art haul from that shop soon! I got a lot of items from them through the year. ♥

And that’s it for metallics. I think my artwork experiments weren’t that great for this series, but I felt accomplished knowing that I sated my curiosity and experimented with new art materials. The last of the experiment series will be color pencils and a bit of markers.


Experimentation – Watercolors

Next up on my experimentations were watercolors. I was pushing myself to paint more subjects during this period. These were also the first few artworks that I did after moving into our new home, so there were a few adjustments before I got used to my new working place.

Had to use lamp since the lighting is poor in our unit.

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Because of my preference on my Instagram account, I always create artworks in a set of 3. The first purple works were made on our Japanese style dining table since it has a bigger space than my work table. I had to get used to my work table though, so I borrowed Inggo’s table lamp. The paper I used is the Canson 200gsm watercolor paper that I got last 2019 during our office Christmas Exchange Gift. Yup, I still haven’t used them all!

Apple blossom ♥

I like the post-processed artworks so I combined them here. It shows a lot of difference from my phone photos and this one.

The next one, I tried to experiment with watercolor quality. The left artwork is made with Mijello artist grade paints, and the right artwork is made with Prang student grade paints. There are people who will say that the quality does not matter if you’re talented. I sort of agree. But if you’re planning on selling the original artwork, artist grade is the way to go to prevent the colors from fading a.k.a. light fastness. Prang paint will fade over them under direct sunlight.

The next set of photos were experiments with lots of water and brush strokes. Can you tell that I love painting hydrangeas? ♥ Also, you may have noticed that there are more paragraphs now than photo captions. There seems to be an issue with captions in my blog now and it sometimes re-arranges the photo order. I don’t have the time and patience for that, so paragraphs it is for now.

The last set of paintings – sunflowers and a pink hydrangea, were my chosen artworks to experiment with on the next post. Stay tuned!

Some of my artworks are uploaded in Society 6Red Bubble, and Inprnt

Experimentation and new materials

Looking at my instagram feed, I can’t think of any other word other than experimentation for my posts from August 2020 up to November 2020. I was lost on what to do next. The previous months had “themes” that I could write about. This one, I played with my other art materials – gouache, color pencils, markers, gold foil, and a bit of watercolor. For the first post on this series – I’ll write about gouache.

I brought out my Himi Miya gouache again for experiments. I had a bunch of old watercolor paper in stock and thought I could use these for practice. They were a bit dried out but was revived with water and a lot of patience! This was also the time that I had no motivation to scan most of my works, so I relied on my phone photos for a while.

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All of the artworks that needed to be scanned that time

I also attempted to do gouachetober using the back of old watercolor papers

More gouache and old watercolor paper works

Got tired of doing gouachetober on day 3, so I did ink on day 4. This is a representation of “I’m tired of fighting for our profession, but we must fight because who will defend us?” face that we were experiencing that time.

Since I made a portrait, I had to make 2 more for a set of 3 for my instagram page. Pencils and gouache flowers for these.

My entry for a Paperaicashop’s DTIYS contest

Look at that gold ♥

I also remember feeling resentment and bitterness during this time. I dedicated my time on our group’s website layout, blog posts, listings, accounting, and even promotions. It was my usual phase of being tired over initiating conversations with people and following up on on each other’s tasks. I didn’t want any of that anymore. So after this, I stopped initiating. Below is my contribution to our monthly sticker collaboration of sorts.

Places you want to be

The last photo are more gouache experiments that are coffee themed. It looks cute! Would love to turn this into sticker sheets some day. ♥


The golden phase

Now from the bit of gold on my pink poppy, to ink paintings, then to lotus watercolor paintings lined with gold poster paint, we are now here to fully gold paintings. I thought orchids would look great in gold, and it does! These look sooooo sparkly and shiny in real life. 

I used the same gold poster paint for all of my paintings. But it looked like I didn’t matched the colors on of all them. Oops! The middle one is a phalaenopsis and the first painting that I made. The right most is a cymbidium, and the second painting. I realized that since I used poster paint, I could water down the lines and attempt to make a gradient of the gold. The left most – also the third, shows a more watered down look. This is also a phal, and the white versions are usually the preferred flower of interior designers due to their structural and elegant nature.

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The next set of paintings are in the correct order. Left: I wanted to paint the pattern on the petals. Middle: Another phal accompanied with buds. Even if not all of them are fully bloomed, they still look aesthetically pleasing to me! Right: After obsessing with phal orchids and gold, I thought it was not time to research about the other varieties. This is a slipper orchid! (or Cypripedioideae, thank you Wikipedia lol). Very interesting petals. Will have to study more of this to get the petals right.

Left: This is the Dancing Lady orchid (or Oncidium). They’re small flowers that really look like ladies in gowns. We used to have a bunch of these in our garden. Mama bought 3 and managed to multiply them lol. Middle and Right: I forgot what these are, but I got these from a reference photo group. 

The last of my gold obsession – cattleyas! Beautiful and fragrant! Mama’s room always smells so good whenever a cattleya blooms on her window rack. Even our dog – Nori, loves smelling the flower. 

Also a tidbit from this collection – around November last year, a typhoon hit Metro Manila and its surrounding areas. A lot of people were affected, including acquaintances and officemates. I offered 15 paintings to be sold by our office charity group were I have 100% of the profit to the donation drive. I’m very happy to announce that my bbs sold out and some of them are now shipped to their new homes. 

Some of my artworks are uploaded in Society 6Red Bubble, and Inprnt

After poppies, from ink to gold

Continuing from my last post and artwork. Painting with gold paint reminded me of my previous ink and gold works. So I experimented with these next:

The poppy that started it all

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Flowy ink and gold accents. These were enough to satisfy my curiosity.

Colorful lotus with an ink background

Experimenting with the thought of “How about I make a colorful lotus as a focal point of a monochrome background?” And so I did! Its a bit messy, but I liked the finished outcome. I believe you don’t need to have second thoughts in your concepts and wants. Just make it. If you don’t like it, its okay! At least you’ve indulged in your curiosity and experiments. And you can always try again. ♥ 

Copying what I wrote in my Instagram posts:

Another experiment. I didn’t want to pursue my ink paintings anymore, but now I wanted to paint lotus flowers. My hand wasn’t in the mood to paint that day, and I hated that I didn’t sketched properly and even painted this freely. The next day, with fresh eyes and another look at the painting I thought “Hmm, this needs gold”. Now I sorta like the outcome? Hahaha.

The next day of experimenting, someone shared another gorgeous lotus photo in an FB group. And I couldn’t resist painting it! (that forgot to sketch lololol). I can’t seem to get the style that want – a balance of light with hints of color but very detailed in the petals. I know that I lack the patience to do it haha. In the beginning, I used to splatter white poster paint on my artworks to make up my lack of experience with the medium. This kind of reminds me of those days – except this time its with gold. I’m happy with the piece, but I hope I can achieve the style that I want in the future – just need more practice.

The last of my gold lotus experiments. This time I tried to achieve simpler colors and lines. I think it looks great! 

What comes next after all these experiments? Find out in the next post!

2020 World Watercolor Month and my obsession with poppies

I find it funny that my recent blog post titles are long! Just like the trend with light novels and manga nowadays. After portraits and gouache, it was already July 2020. Which meant it is now World Watercolor Month! From their website:

World Watercolor Month was founded by Charlie O’Shields, creator of Doodlewash®, in 2016. It’s a month to inspire people to paint with watercolor (watercolour, aquarelle) while raising awareness for the importance of art and creativity in the world. Take the ultimate challenge of 31 watercolors in 31 days, or simply post when you can! Anyone can join the celebration from master watercolorists to artists just starting out with watercolor! Simply tag any art that uses watercolors (or gouache) with #WorldWatercolorMonth during the month of July!

I joined some FB groups that shares free reference photos from photographers and hobbyists that artists could use for free without any credit or permission. But of course credit is appreciated! July was also the start of spring in other parts of the world, which meant a lot of poppy photos were shared. I got obsessed with them! The simple flowers with a lot of folds in between… irresistible! It was so much fun painting those ruffles.

So many poppy colors! ♥

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I really love this one!

The process of the blue poppy!

Aside from poppies, I also painted other flowers as well. ♥

This is a cactus flower. The colors are gorgeous!

Funny story, this rose was “reviewed” by print on demand sites due to pornographic material. Uhm..!?

Waling waling, an endemic orchid of the Philippines. | Poppies during a virtual art tambay

I also practiced with white flowers! Really loved the middle painting. ♥

The last poppy that I made was a pink one. I was looking for the remaining poppy colors that I should paint individually. The winner was pink! But I felt that there’s something missing in this piece. So I added gold in the middle and I loved it! This was the start of my gold phase! Next up are the experiments and downward spiral of my sparkly addiction.

Some of my artworks are uploaded in Society 6Red Bubble, and Inprnt

Return to Gouache

After drawing 50 portraits, I liked the change of pace from watercolors. So I switched to gouache this time. I remembered that I have a Himi Miya Gouache somewhere and looked for it. They said gouache is better when the paint is still wet since its easier to blend. The Himi Miya can stay wet as long as you check every other month and spray water on it. I did not do that (oops):

The state of my Himi

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This is fine, though! You can still revive dried up gouache. I poured water on all pans and mixed it with a chopsticks to try to re-wet and revive it. It worked! I also bought a new watercolor pad to try out – Daler Rowney Aquafine pad from Art Caravan PH.

Hydrangeas = Rainy season! ♥


Since I was still hang over from doing portraits, I thought I could do portraits in gouache as well. As you could see in the first photo, I got bad sizing paper from my pad. Its a good thing that I can cover this up with gouache!

Anemone Girl in Inprnt

Hydrangea Girl in Inprnt

50 JuiceHeads in 10 Days Challenge

A friend invited me to create 50 portraits in 10 days. I didn’t finish this in 10 days, but I completed it! With every challenge whenever applicable, I always start with a self portrait. The rest of the portraits I’ve drawn are from officemates, and the rest I referenced from Pinterest.

The only watercolor portraits: Myself, my officemate’s babies, and our Managing Director.

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The middle sketch made me realize that I wanted to draw hair. ♥

Left: Yes to more hair | Middle: I was experimenting with the head sizes for this one. Should I make multiple portrait sketches in one page? Should I combine them? The good thing with having one portrait in one page is that I could detail it some more. For the multiple portraits, not so much. But I could generally practice getting the proportions right. | Right: Really loved the bottom sketch!

Left: Raina Hein ♥

Experimenting with hair hatches ♥

Gushing over the hair details

Around this time, I ran out of mechanical pencil refills so I had to use normal pencils. It felt weird since I was so used to the line consistency of mechanical pencils.

I’ve learned a lot of things during this challenge: I rarely use my eraser (need to fix this), I still love sketching hair and making hatches, proportions are hard, fundamentals are important, and the only way to improve is to keep on drawing. ♥ 50 portraits is not enough to master this, but it was a nice change of pace!