Monday, November 14, 2016


"A great calligrapher doesn't blame the brush!"
- Fuji (Prince of Tennis)

Yep! Totally agree! But no offense to Fuji (I love Prince of Tennis BTW), watercolor brushes requires the bristles to absorb and hold water... so a good brush set definitely helps! :D

Here are my personally loved manes...

I feel that brushes are like magical artifacts... similar to wands. They have their own consciousness wherein they decide who should wield them... like the levitation cloak... :D

Ok, enough Doctor Strange! Haha!

My mostly used brush that I feel gets the job done for most of my works is the #8 Escoda! I really love how it holds the water and the bounce when released/applied on paper. I mostly draw portraits, so no fancy brushes here yet as rounds fit the bill for me. The widest brush on the right is what I use to spread the water on paper when doing washes. Also it helps distribute the pigments well and quickly. 

I really love the big round mops as it is versatile enough to hold water for big washes at the same time produces lovely details with its pointed tip. You just need to have a good control though.

Regardless what brand, style or kind your brushes are, just make sure you know enough what works for your style. Good brushes are expected to handle any punishment you put into it. After all, the brush is the artists channel from the imaginary to the tangible. Just make sure you take good care of it. Always clean it up after use and hang it with the bristles pointing to the ground. This would help avoid the water from seeping through the wood in the handle. Happy painting!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Needless to say, almost all filipino cooks unequivocally use garlic and onions as opening salvo to that all too familiar ginisa. Such combo is so powerful that it defined a dish that has later on captured the palettes of millions of filipinos. As both an artist and cook myself, I found inspiration from these simple yet humble ingredients that will always be present in our kitchen.

Here's my reference photo. I arranged it in such a way the it gives focus to the main subjects using the rule of thirds.


First, I stretched out a block of Strathmore watercolor paper 300 gsm. Some of you may not need to stretch a paper as heavy as this, but for my piece,  I prefer to stretch it coz I will be doing some heavy washes. For the unfamiliar, stretching is a process wherein you would wet your paper first and then mount it on a piece of flat surface using paper tape/butchers tape. This would prevent the paper from buckling later on. 

Then I draw the subjects using 2B pencil. I prefer a soft yet dark underdrawing for this since I need the outlines to show through after heavy washes.

I then prepared my palette. I use Daniel Smith essentials for this and did some color mixing for me to produce more colors. 

I applied some masking fluid on the highlights to preserve the white of the paper.

I then painted the basic washes for the foreground and background as well as the subjects. Note the cool colors in the background and warm on the foreground makes the subject pop out. After it has dried, I then removed the masking fluid to reveal the preserved paper (white highlights).

More details are then added on the subjects.

And then the foreground wood texture is added and signed! 

Hope you enjoyed and learned something. 
Happy painting! :)

Friday, August 12, 2016


Painting portraits has always fascinated me. Even when I was young, I really liked drawing faces rather than landscapes. I would draw people, cartoon characters and even pets. I really enjoyed doing it. I have come a long way from doing stick figures though. :)

To me, portrait painting is more than just a "pretty" face. What I aim to achieve when I draw is to bring out the soul, the character of the person I am drawing. I prefer to draw in watercolour since it is my favourite medium. I also did some works in pastel, oil and graphite.

I'd say, portrait painting is very challenging. Every line and stroke could alter or destroy the essence or identity of the person you are painting. It takes great patience and passion to really come up with a good piece.

Here are some of my works in different mediums. Hope you enjoy! :D

"The Girl with the Pomegranate"
(Portrait of Agnes)

Portrait of Eve

"Ang Yaya"
(Portrait of Ching)

Portrait of Rafy

Portrait of Harold

Portrait of Malin

Portrait of Neil

Portrait of Govian

(Portrait of Raymond and Daughter)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Just like that

Right now, I am currently in a state of hiatus. It's been a while since I held the brush. I had lots of visions that await my strokes. Yet somehow, despite the silence, I felt like I needed to post something. This time not with a painting, but with words. This poem somehow came to me while sipping my tea. This is about one's encounter with reality and the realization that came with it. Having been in a state of quarterlife crisis, this somehow reflects what it felt, at least for me. Here it goes:

Just like that

No more goodbyes,
You took yourself to the door
Wearing the promise
You convinced yourself
With eyes closed
falling like rain

Drifting into sea
Lost in stillness
Holding on to hope
If only you stayed
Confused and numbed
Braved every soul

In that quiet night
Bliss came forth
Alone again in silence
Befriended the ghost
stars shone the path
and your heart is home

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


I have always been fascinated by the great outdoors. Such blissful yet tranquil atmosphere consumes our senses! Though seeing the sky, mountain, sand, sea and rivers is already picture perfect, I think a little bit of human element makes it real. Here are some works that I did along with some works after Amorsolo and Monet. In terms of painting style, I believe impressionism wins in painting landscapes. Not only did it capture the fleeting colors of the day vividly but also the soul through which Nature seems to talk in the canvass. Such technique was developed in the earlier parts of this century and has created names for artists like Monet, Degas, Renoir and their contemporaries, even Van Gogh. For us here in the Philippines, such delicate light and sceneries are best captured in the works of Fernando Amorsolo.


(after Amorsolo)
Oil Pastel

(After Amorsolo)
Oil Pastel

(After Monet)
Oil Pastel


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Anatomical Sketches

I just wanna share with you some of my anatomical sketches. These are some drawings I did while studying human anatomy. Yes, I studied it like a medical student. There are lots of advantages in studying anatomy. Aside from the fact that you get to know more about the different names of the internal workings of your body, you get to deepen your appreciation on the intricacies of its design. The figures I've drawn are from books. I don't have live models. Haha. I also noticed that in the books, there is a bias towards the male body. It may have been influenced by the works of the classical masters where they idealized the body of the male figure. 

I used mainly graphite on ordinary sketch pads here. In some drawings, I used sanguine pencil (red ones) to give it that "classic" look. I recommend at least using 3 different grades or hardness of the graphite. I also would like to note that when using graphite, make sure you don't have sweaty/oily hands. Also, a kneaded eraser is the perfect tool when erasing graphite for me.

When doing studies, I often create comparisons most importantly ratios and proportions. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


I somehow illusioned my self when I was young (read: slim and innocent) that we do have spring here in the Philippines. Yes, we have the water type, but what I mean is the season. I came to this conclusion when I observed that during Mar-May, certain types of flowers are in full bloom. I would also call the season "Fall" when I see certain types of trees shedding their leaves. Haha. This time of the year, be it called Spring or Summer, we certainly do need a break! Yes, and break we did. We went to Hale Manna in Moalboal here in Cebu. It was a quiet, private and cozy resort. I took these shots when I was in Basdako during sunset. I also took a shot of an orchid in our garden. Oftentimes we seem to forget, let alone recognise, the beauty that God has made for us. From painting the sky with such melancholy, to making the flowers bloom, all for us to be reminded of His love. He really puts up an effort just to make us realize this. Hopefully this coming lenten season, let's give ourselves a break, a break from our daily habits, a break from our old selves, and seek Him.

God Bless!