We did a fundraiser for Ruth’s father last February. He was diagnosed with Non-Hodkin’s Lymphoma. We started a commission drive to help with the expenses for chemotherapy. For every 500php donation, Hannah or I will make an artwork.

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I’m glad that there were people who were interested! The artworks above are for the following: my practice hoya pubicalyx piece for a fellow botanical artist. A portrait for someone who saw Hannah’s tweet. After these commissions, I did a pet portrait of Nori (black american cocker spaniel below) for my mom. Then a high school classmate, Jake, donated for worth 4 pet portraits. He even added more for these to be framed. Thank you so much!

In total, we raised around 8.5k for Ruth. ♥ I really had fun making these pet portraits. I looked at our commission excel sheet and noticed that some donors didn’t request their artwork subjects yet. Must follow these up!

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!

Art vs Artist

I noticed that some of my friends were joining the #ArtVsArtist hashtag on Instagram. Being the inggitera that I am, I also joined in HAHA. Here are my versions:

Flower version. ♥

Portrait version. ♥

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Yes, that’s me in the middle. I used to have my signature straight bangs but maintaining it was a chore, so I decided to let it grow for a while. This was taken during my birthday celebration a few days ago. ♥


Since I’m usually known as the flower painter in our group, that’s the first photo. I liked how bright, fun, and a little bit loose my flowers looked here. I hope to paint more different flowers than these four: sunflowers, hydrangeas, peonies, and magnolias!


Ever since I was young, I always drew in anime style. Through the years though, I’ve been practicing realistic/semi-realistic portraits. And this version shows the different styles that I can do. ♥

The top layer represents my childhood HAHA. Back then, I stubbornly did drawings on MS Paint using a mouse with my right hand. Stubbornly because my left hand is the dominant one. It paid off, I think! The top layer are my latest drawings on MS Paint.

The middle layer shows my favorites from my Inktober challenge last year. I can also do traditional ink drawings using unipins and various pens. My stubborn, younger self also indulged in using these pens on making my own manga HAHAHA. That again, paid off through constant practice and obsession (and through drafting class in college).

The lower layer shows my progress. Although far from my realistic portrait goals, I’m satisfied with what I can do now. The people on the lower left are the founders of our January Makers PH group. The middle one is the family portrait commission that I did last year for a friend. And the last one is just another portrait practice using watercolor.

Handmade watercolors by seamountainco

I’d like to talk about seamountainco, one of my favorite watercolors! Seamountainco is a local store that specializes in portable handmade watercolor sets & notebooks. Their products are perfect for those who love to travel! The owner is a dear friend of mine & also one of the co-founding members of January Makers PH. ♥ Though we are friends, this post is not sponsored in any way & is not biased. Hopefully.

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(This post is long overdue. I planned on posting this last July 2017! But I was too lazy to do the sample artworks.)

The basic set (middle tin with 4 watercolor half pans).

We received one of the first batches of the Basic set last February 2017. You can read more about that here. The Basic set includes a portable tin can, four artist grade handmade watercolors in half pans that are highly pigmented with excellent light fastness. The four colors are: Ultramarine Blue, Indian Red, Yellow Ochre, and Raw Earth Umber.

We were tasked with reviewing the quality of the first batch. It really is highly pigmented. Just one swipe is enough. ♥ I used to joke that her watercolor is similar to the dishwashing liquid commercial: “Isang patak, sangkatutak!“. HAHA sorry.

On fabriano acquarello postcard paper.

What can you do with the Basic Set? I usually use mine for my sunflower watercolor paintings. I really love the yellow ochre for this. Its versatile that it can do the light yellows and also do the darker, muted tones that I want on my paintings. (Did that make sense?!). The only problem I think is the green. You can mix Ultramarine & Yellow Ochre to create an Olive green, but its not my preferred tone of green.

On further meet-ups, I received these from Jean: Philippine Indigo (aka #Jeandigo), Venetian Red, Verona Green, Cassel Earth, and Nicosia Green. I also bought the Purple Ochre, Pink Pipestone and Gold during our recent bazaar.

Clockwise from Top Right: Philippine Indigo, Venetian Red, Purple Ochre, Gold, Pink Pipestone, Nicosia Green, Verona Green, and Cassel Earth.

Even though seamountainco aims to cater to those who love to travel, their sets are also versatile in other subjects. My fellow January Makers PH members can attest to that! Check out their works below:

I’m very happy with my seamountainco set. ♥ I plan on buying more when I get the chance! HAHA.

You can follow seamountainco on Instagram & Facebook! For online orders, click here. ♥

SGD Coffee + Commission

A few weeks ago, my friend commissioned me to make her a watercolor family portrait painting as a gift to her husband. I gladly accepted since she was a close friend way back in elementary. I wanted to paint outside of the house, so I asked Inggo to accompany me to Maginhawa.

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We had lunch at Friuli Trattoria because we were thinking of having coffee at Negative Space Coffee after. Unfortunately, the cafe has closed operation. I was distraught because this was my favorite coffee shop in Maginhawa! I didn’t even had a chance to blog about it properly huhu.

So we decided to look for another cafe around Maginhawa. Then I remembered Tricia Gosingtian’s blog post about her adventure around this area where she recommended a coffee shop called SGD Coffee. Thanks to the internet and google maps, we easily found our way there HAHA.

Coffee round 1!

We ordered the SGD Black (120 php) and SGD Cold (175 php) for our drinks. Inggo also wanted a snack so I ordered a Lemon Bar (65php) for him. The place was packed full but we found a corner space on the second floor.

We were amused with the plating for the lemon bar. (ehem, /r/WeWantPlates). We’re not coffee connoisseurs, but sagada beans is our favorite Philippine variety because this one has a smooth, non-metallic, and not burnt taste. But it will still depend on the coffee shop. The drinks here were good! It has the same taste with other shops with sagada beans, but this one is much smoother.


My table setup: watercolor pouch, power bank, and my seamountainco set. ♥

I also liked the interiors of the store. It was an old house converted into a coffee shop and learning center. I loved that it had large windows bringing in natural light inside. Perfect for me since I needed it for painting.

Another view of my table setup: Seamountainco set, portable mixing palette, and my w&n cotman set.

I also decided to paint another portrait of my friend because of our conversation. She mentioned that I made her a portrait when we were in Grade 6. Sadly, she lost the portrait due to constant moving. So I made a new one for her. ♥

We shared this plate. ♥

While doing the second painting, Inggo ordered food and drinks. He ordered the Longganisa (220php), Cappuccino (145php) for him, and Flat White (145php) for me. The food was really good and filling! I liked the runny egg yolks mixed with the etag and black rice. The veggies were also delicious. I think these are all Sagada products.

Coffee round 2!

His cappuccino had cinnamon powder on top instead of the usual chocolate powder. He said his drink was good. I don’t usually drink flat white, but this was also good. You could still taste the smooth sagada brew in it. The only pet peeve I think is that they serve hot drinks on glass cups. But that’s just my preference.

Finished! ♥

Overall, we had a good time here in SGD Coffee. It’s the perfect place for art tambays with the natural light. The food and drinks were good, although a bit expensive for the student crowd. They also teach everything about coffee, so do check out their Facebook page and website for more details.

Is this my new favorite coffee shop in Maginhawa? I’m still not sure.

Further reading:

SGD Coffee wants to make Sagada coffee among the best in the world.

Coffee from Sagada is challenging the way we think about local beans.

Art Fair 2017

A few weeks ago, the January Girls met up for another Art Tambay at Makati during the Art Fair Philippines weekend. ♥ We chose Fundamental Coffee as our location. Heavy rains poured the whole afternoon, so it took a while for us to be complete.

Pretty interiors.

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Getting to Fundamental Coffee is easier than the previous coffee shop we went to. From Glorietta Mall, exit through the Glorietta 2 exit (the one with the new activity center/waterfall entrance), and just cross the street to Park Terraces.

The menu.

Hannah and I got there first. I ordered the Double chocolate mocha & their Fundamental French Toast. Hannah ordered their best seller, which was Cappuccino with butterscotch. We talked about the interiors of the cafe while waiting for our orders.

Their fundamental french toast was heavenly. ♥ Three hefty slices of french toast with honey & nuts. So delicious!

Double chocolate mocha. The chocolate foam was a unique touch to this drink.

We invited another person to our art tambay. She was our (Aiza & I) group mate back then in the ATC trade last year. Her name is Monique. She makes the yummiest food illustrations on instagram! I did her portrait during this art tambay. Speaking of portraits – I did portraits of the girls as gifts for this meet-up. I’m glad they liked it. ♥

Flat lay attempt of my table space lol.

That cute tin can pictured above is from seamountainco. A local store that makes its own artist-grade pigments! Thank you Jean for gifting us a sample of your watercolor paint! I can’t wait to make art with this. ♥ I did try it out during our art tambay, and its really pigmented! A small amount of paint goes a long way for this. I can’t wait to experiment with it.

After that, we decided to go to The Link for the Art Fair. This event is held at the top floors of a parking lot building. There was a long line to the entrance. But it was orderly and the management/security did their jobs well. We went on a Saturday so the venue was crowded. This event showcases the best of the Philippines’ contemporary art. Here are some of the paintings that caught my eye:

Mass hysteria number two by Liv Vinluan.

Ramon Orlina glass sculptures.

Takahiro Hirabayashi paintings.

And that’s it for the month of February. For March, we plan on meeting again at the Just Add Water + Ink event. Hope to see you there!

Portraits (Nov-Dec 2016)

First of all- Happy New Year ! May 2017 bring more positive vibes to all. ♥

At my last job, I was known as the person who makes watercolor portraits as a birthday gift/farewell gift/good luck-for-board exams gift for my office mates. And, well, for the last time, I did portraits for my closest friends and colleagues there as my farewell gift to them. I also did some portrait practice during a get together with friends. ♥

The last time that I posted about my artworks was way back in October during the Just Add Water 2 event. So finally, here is the compilation post for November & December.

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Left: Birthday gift for Gerard / Right: Farewell gift from me to Stephen. #TeamQuiet

Left: “I’m sorry for leaving all ID projects to you” gift to Badet / Right: Advanced happy birthday gift & farewell gift to Ruden.

Portrait practices.

Here’s to more art next year! ♥

August – September 2016 Portraits

I’ve been pretty silent last September. (Only 3 posts ehmeged I’M SORRY). I’m still doing art but I haven’t compiled them yet until now. A lot of people left our office recently, and a lot more to come I think. I made portraits for them as farewell gifts, good luck gifts for their board exams, and some birthday gifts as well. My art doesn’t exactly look like them but I hope they like it. ♥ Here’s the compilation from August to September:


The board exam group. GOOD LUCK GUYSSSS!

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Birthday celebrants.


For better work opportunities?

In other news – Instagram won’t work in my blog anymore HUHU. The hyperlink thing won’t work even with tech support. My Inggo is trying to fix it though! Hopefully it’ll work soon.

I have to do my artist trading cards for the weekend event. Argh! I don’t have the time yet due to work deadlines. Sigh. Good luck to me! ♥

Portraits (July 2016)

I’m back to doing portraits! The “to do” list is still long but at least there’s progress. It’s a weird yet fuzzy feeling that there are people who requested an artwork from me. So here are the ones I did this July. Apparently, July is also the #WorldWaterColorMonth.

2016 07 Portraits 1

Office mates.

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2016 07 Portraits 2

Gifts for the Senior Architects.

2016 07 Portraits 3

Left: My online game friend requested a portrait / Right: Birthday gift for an office mate.

2016 07 Portraits 4

VERY late birthday gifts for my friends. ♥

2016 07 Portraits 5

VERY late birthday gifts for my friends ♥.

My portraits are not 100% the same with the reference photos, but I feel like I’m improving a bit. As usual, progress and continuity are important to me. Whenever I browse my blog, I feel this sense of accomplishment like “Hey, I did something for this month! I’m productive! I didn’t just laze around & played video games all weekend!”. Haha.

Here’s to more art in the future.