Of Art and Wine: Para sa Kalikasan Part II

Getting back to the present year of 2021: Once again, I submitted another flower painting to Philippine Botanical Art Society for their latest exhibit “Of Art and Wine: Para sa Kalikasan Part II” in collaboration with Conrad Manila.

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I was part of the virtual exhibit since I could not create a 30″ x 40″ watercolor painting due to the limited space in my current home. Not sure if I mentioned it yet, but I’m the ~leader~ of our office art club. I kept on posting art events there on the chance that some of my officemates would be interested in joining. Finally, one of my officemates was interested in joining this exhibit. She has submitted her own 30″ x 40″ acrylic painting for the physical exhibit at Conrad Manila. Amazing!

For this exhibit, I finally decided to buy one of the highest quality paper out there – Arches! I bought mine from The Oil Paint Store since they have a branch near our place. I got the 24″ x 32″ paper size so I could submit the 2nd largest size requirement for the exhibit. I had to draft the required dimensions of the painting using a standard ruler size and placed washi tapes as borders for the painting. And the arches paper, wow! You could tell the difference from the first brush stroke. There’s no blooms, and the paint blends beautifully.

After the exhibit with PhilBas and Conrad Manila, this painting is also exhibited at PNPCSI’s  (Philippine Native Plant Conservation Society Inc.) 6th International Symposium held last November 15 to 19, 2021, in collaboration again with Philippine Botanical Art Society. ♥ This painting is still for sale! Please message PhilBas or PNPCSI if you’re interested!

And after two exhibits, my artwork is part of the next open call poster:

This one will be a challenge for sure! The paintings will be judged first in our home country, and then will be judged the second time in Singapore. My officemate plans on joining as well. Good luck to both of us! ♥

November 2020 – December 2020 Artworks

The rest of 2020 were watercolor paintings using my new Mijello paints. There wasn’t any theme for this one, just painting whatever I want. ♥

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The twin poppies were painted on Daler Rowney paper. I hated that paper! It doesn’t fit with the way I paint, since we’re both stubborn lmao. Paired with my new seamiart mop brush, it created a lot of watercolor blooms on the petals. Its now up to me whether to fix the blooms or keep them. Personally, I really like watercolor blooms. It shows the unpredictability and stubbornness of watercolor in general. And sometimes, you just have to let it go during painting.

Story time!! Last November 2020, a typhoon hit Metro Manila and a lot of people’s lives were affected. I offered 15 paintings to be sold by SW Reaps – our office charity group at @studiowestph where I gave 100% 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. This rose was the last one to be sold. ♥

The Katmon artwork is part of Philippine Botanical Art Society’s Punla Exhibit. 

This one was a request by an officemate, and the commission fee is also donated to our charity drive.

The hydrangea painting with gold accents is created as a pair to the pink hydrangea painting with gold foil. I considered both of them as rejects – which is not a bad thing! I got to experiment with them by adding other art materials like color pencil, gold paint, and gold foil. The hydrangea painting beside it is just a loose watercolor experiment with a mop brush and just letting the paint flow. ♥

The cattleya painting is also a remake of one of my paintings 3 years ago. (Also blogged about it here). I really love this one! When I posted it on social media, some of my tita officemates were commenting “mine” thinking that I will sell this one. I’m not ready to sell it yet! 

And wow, that’s all of my stories for 2020! I can finally start working on 2021 posts this December 2021. I hope I could continue this momentum!

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

Mijello Pure Pigment Set

Last year, I finally bought one of the watercolor sets that I’ve been eyeing for years. This is the Mijello Pure Pigment set. It is a Korean brand that sells artist brand paints. I wanted this because I learned that for watercolors, having one pigment used for the paint is ideal due to lightfastness concerns and to prevent muddy colors.

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I bought mine on Shopee, from a korean seller than ships items to the Philippines. I also bought some metal palettes, half and full pans so I could make another custom palette. Below is the Mijello Pure Pigment set in full pans, the right one is my custom palette with different brands.

I tested these out immediately. And they do not disappoint! ♥ The stargazer lily on the second photo is actually the first painting that I made using this palette. The paint was so vibrant that I had a hard time adjusting at first. I think I also used a new mop brush and watercolor paper during this time? The watercolor bloom effects were obvious as well.

The orchid painting is a remake of a painting that I did 3 years ago (I even blogged about it here). For this one, I used a mix of my usual and new brushes so I could experiment some more. Really loved how this one turned out!

The last painting is a passiflora, or a passion fruit flower. We used to have this in our family garden! Painting the details was hard, and I had to use poster paint for the squiggly lines. 

After a year of painting with the Mijello pure pigment set, I’m pretty happy! I love my full pan set. I still need to learn more about mixing colors though! I haven’t experimented with the blues yet. I also added other mijello colors like Indigo and Naples Yellow since they are my convenient colors. 

Right now, I’m tempted to buy White Nights paints to try out as well. But maybe I’ll move this wish to another year.

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 work 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!