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

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

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!

Van Gogh Sketchbook

For my birthday a few years ago, two friends both gifted me the huge Van Gogh notebook usually seen in bookstores. Both of them said that sunflowers reminded them of me. One is kept in my office pedestal, while Aira’s gift is here at home. During the early days of the pandemic, I tried out watercolors on one of them out of curiosity. I never know this could take watercolors!

The same Van Gogh sunflower painting! ♥

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Here are some of the post-processed artworks that I did! In real life though, the paper is wrinkled because of too much water. Its a good thing that I invested in a new scanner so I could scan and clean my works. It was a nice change of pace of just painting, without any pressure of making good art.

Van Gogh inspired sunflower | Delphinium

Sakura, I think? | Peonies in a vase

Sunflower bouquet | Snapdragon. Not sure if obvious but I remembered feeling sad and angry when I was painting this.

More watercolor practices! Look at those wrinkles lol

I also treated this sketchbook for its true purpose. Which is sketching! Most artists get pressured into creating that perfect, complete, and professional sketchbook. Not mine though! I also spilled coffee on the side and most pages are stained hahaha.

Theo and Philo , a local chocolate brand, also held a wrapper design contest that year. The winner will get chocolate! I love their unique chocolate flavors so of course I joined. It was my first time combining traditional elements with digital items. I didn’t win though! But I got to experience something new, and helped me with my photoshop skills.

Concept 1: I think this was supposed to be banana leaves and ube color? | Concept 2: Sunflowers, gold, maroon color for UP

Concept 3: White orchids on yellowish background | Concept 4: Underwater themed

My contest submissions ♥

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

The first ECQ and painting my cravings

Browsing through my photos made me realize that even though I’ve been working from home since last year, I’ve done a lot of things that are still worthy to blog about. Or maybe I’m just in the mood to write? I’m currently sorting and editing through 2020, hopefully I could get a lot done before 2021 ends. (And then 2021 posts on 2022? HAHA) ♥

First thing that I should write about is the first ECQ. (What number are we in right now anyway!?) Everyone was required to stay home except for our front liners. Most restaurants closed down at that time. Delivery was the booming back then. I painted my cravings away during those days:

Chirashi don!

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There was a time that coffee shops were closed! I had to survive on instant coffee for a while. I used my Canson XL watercolor paper for these. I love the effects it made on very wet on wet style. Look at the iced americano!

Some coffee that I miss: latte, americano, caramel macchiato (starbucks style)

When coffee shops were closed. People were desperate and made dalgona coffee using instant coffee

And then I just painted more drinks because I discovered that I love the effects on my watercolor paper. Some matcha latte art!

Berry tea and Blue butterfly pea tea. Have you tried the blue butterfly pea tea? My friends said it was good!

April was my birth month, so I had an excuse to order food:

Salmon sashimi bilao from Alexsea Delicatessen

Pasta and Pizza from Friuli Trattoria

Yes, I ordered two bilaos HAHAHA.

We ordered these on another day because it was a good deal for the amount of food! This is from Kimchi Kingdom.

Writing this post made me crave for sashimi again. Ugh! Until next time! ♥

Philippine Flora

I submitted another artwork for Philippine Botanical Art Society last May for their Philippine Flora exhibit in collaboration with the DFA Philippines!

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My painting is a mabolo fruit. Finding references is hard during this pandemic. Luckily, the tree beside the apartment is actually an endemic tree! This is a mabolo fruit, from the kamagong tree. This is actually the first time that I heard of the fruit, as the wood is more valuable part of the tree!

The exhibit website is found here. Hopefully its still up! ♥