Manila Art Events

Found out about two art related events here in Manila, if you're interested.

ManilArt '09
16-19 July 2009
NBC Tent, Bonifacio Global City
Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines

MANILART O9 is the first international art fair to be hosted in the Philippines, participated in by the country's leading art galleries and those of the Asian region. Art collectors and enthusiasts can view the finest examples of Contemporary Art today and gather together to exchange views and insights about the world of art.

The opening night is by invitation only and will serve as a preview to the entire art fair. MANILART 09 will open its doors to the public on July 17 until July 19. Admission tickets are priced at P200 (US$5).

Manila Design Week ‘09 Invite

Sorry for the small picture. You can check out the Project Manila entry about it for a bigger (but not so very) picture.

Drawing letters

My brother asked me to write his name on a blank page of his notebook. Normally, I'd just grab a pen and write it in block letters, but I remember how I used to really put some effort in it, so I decided to do just that.

First, I looked for a nice font to use and decided on Cracked (I think it's default here on the MacBook). Then, I took a ruler and made some boxes to evenly space the letters in between each other. Using those lines as a guide, I drew the letters, eyeballing the size.

Using a brush pen (I have a Yoka KBP15-01M which I bought on a whim), I inked in the letters. I started with the letter i because it had the least number of cracks. For some reason, my hands were shaking, which contributed to the squiggles of the letters and was ok (but if I were drawing something else, it would've been a disaster).

Finishing the other letters

After all the letters have been inked, I erased the pencil lines. To do this, I took a soft eraser and gently brushed it outwards. The paper was thin and I needed to be careful. A putty eraser would've been better. I also used an erasing shield to focus on the pencil marks. It helps keep the eraser off the ink and lessen the chances of fading it (which happens to some inks when you pass it over with an eraser).

Final product :)

Old fashioned snail mail

When I was younger, I wrote a lot of letters. I wrote to my friends when I'm in Baguio for school. I wrote to my classmates when I'm in Manila or Zambales during vacation. I wrote to my grandparents when they went to the U.S. I wrote to my cousins. I wrote little notes and long letters to my college boyfriend. I wrote to my classmates and left it in the library or bulletin boards. I even had a penpal or two abroad whom I wrote to on a regular basis.

And it wasn't just regular writing, mind you. Oh sure it was often filled with little, inconsequential things about everything and nothing, but it wasn't just words. I drew on the margins, I painted on the envelopes and sometimes wrote with nothing but pictures.

It always gave me a thrill to walk to the post office and drop the letters off. The best thing though would be when I receive a letter in return. The guys I wrote to didn't really write much, but the girls were enthusiastic in writing and were as creative as I was with their letters, maybe more.

Sadly, it seems that the number of letter writers has dwindled over the years, in favor for the faster and more convenient email, online messengers and even social networking sites.

There is nothing wrong with that, but I miss the old fashioned writing method. Hence last year, I asked my friends to send me postcards or letters and I'll send some back to them. I've yet to keep up my end of the bargain *blush* but so far, I have received four letters/postcards. Now that doesn't seem much, considering I used to get four letters in a month, whereas this was over the course of six months.

However, it's still an achievement, and every time I receive one, I feel giddy. The first one was from my college classmate Kat, then a postcard from my best friend's sister when she was in Vienna. I got a birthday card from another classmate Thet (that was a surprise!) and just today, I got a postcard from my cousins who visited New York. The stamps were all from the UN, and one that had my cousins' picture in it.

It may no longer be the chosen way to keep in touch, but I'm sure people would appreciate it if you could send a letter or two every now and then. I know I would.

I'm off now to make some postcards.

Doodle: Steampunk

For some reason I wanted to do a steampunk themed drawing, so I went searching for various information and picture references about it. There's still plenty I don't know, and I need to practice more, but I like how this came about (though it's doesn't look very steampunk-y).

I did the sketch on in my drawing pad, then using a Sakura Micron 0.3 outlined the face and body. I used watercolor then added some accents with colored pencil. The hair intentionally has no outline.

He reminds me of a high school classmate of mine. :p

More practice! :D

LRT Art 2009

Commuters of the MRT and LRT line may have noticed some posters a few months ago calling for entries for the LRT Art contest. Filipino citizens age 18 and above were enjoined to participate in the contest with the theme “LRT at ang Buhay Pinoy”.

I don't know how many entries were there, as I wasn't able to find any press release or news item about the results. However, selected entries may be seen at the LRT Cubao station. I'm not sure if this is the formal exhibit, as there are ropes cordoning off the commuters from the paintings (although you can still see most of them).

Here a few of the entries. I even found one artist on DeviantArt, but I don't know what his work looks like.

I love this one. It's Pinoy superheroes heading home after a busy day.

This one feels like Grand Central Station

This one's really nice too. It looks like a photograph.

There were a lot of beautiful works there, some were very creative and thought provoking; some very avant-garde and imaginative (see the superheroes one), while some were very much traditional and realistic. There were two paintings there though, that looked so similar that it was obvious that both artists used the same reference picture (one that was used as an LRT publicity picture, methinks).

Head on over to the LRT Cubao station to take a look at these works. However, you have to get past the turnstiles for that. If in any case the exhibit would formally open, I suggest you wait for that.

Drawing in time lapse 2: Feet related

I played around with my camera's time lapse recording feature (I have a Canon Ixus 80 IS). Mounted it on a tripod and tried to find a good position so that it can clearly see my drawing process. A bit difficult, but I managed.

My choices of subject were unintentional. The shoe was the first thing I grabbed, and my feet were the only ones nearby (or a blank wall, literally). I had fun with this experiment: both drawing and figuring out what was good for the camera. I did about four videos, but I decided to post these two.

Artist feature: Michaël Zancan

I first came across Michaël Zancan through DeviantArt. One of his works was awarded a Daily Deviation and curious, I checked out his profile. Needless to say, I absolutely fell in love with his paintings.

I am sure of one thing anyway: painting is saving my soul.

Born in a town called Agen in the southwest of France in 1976, Michaël Zancan wasn't originally a painter. During his teen years he was very much into programming. At the age of eighteen he dabbled in street art, experimenting on various painting techniques like airbrushing. He gradually moved from painting on walls to paper, and it wasn't until he was twenty two did he start to get into drawing, thanks to various projects for his engineering school's gazette, party posters and t-shirts.

Later on, he discovered oils and that was when he felt that he was really painting. In one of his comments to his site's visitor, Michaël says that in hindsight, he thinks that he didn't have the maturity to paint well back in his early twenties. Initially, he struggled with his painting, playing around with a cheap box of primary colors until it all started to come naturally. He tried every possible technique until he found a style that he was comfortable with. However, he considers that there is still a lot to be learned, and that painting is a lifetime, long learning experience.

The Book takes time to study, observe and assimilate the theory that will help you guide your creative energy towards the idea you're aiming at. It's even a daily, never-ending learning task. In the meantime it requires you to free up yourself and let the gestures go, even imperfect; that takes time to, and is more related to the knowledge of yourself...

Home and the Fairies

Below the rust

For Michaël, computers definitely allows artists to create faster and brings out many possibilities, especially for illustrators who have tight deadlines. Though he uses technology (he has a small web design company in Bordeaux), he finds that traditional medium is more fulfilling, as it involves the entirety of the artist. "To tame it, you have to stay humble and true."

One of his digital works, "Tears for Joy in the Garden of Giants" created for CGTalk's 'spectacular' challenge in December 2005 is currently in the process of being painted into canvas.

Tears for Joy in the Garden of Giants

More than one site visitor has claimed (myself included) that his paintings have stories and serve as an inspiration. "Even though they are usually built upon a story of my own, when I spread an image to the world I try to make it as free for interpretation as possible, giving only clues, or surreal words that encourage the imagination.

"Inspiring might be the most rewarding adjective to welcome my work."

I continue to be in awe of Michaël's works. He creates worlds that are fantastic and majestic, yet retaining a touch of reality that viewers recognize and appreciate. The worlds and its people touch a whimsical side to those who see it, inviting them for a closer inspection.

Visit his gallery at his website or over at his DeviantArt page.

Credits: All images © Michaël Zancan
Source: Michaël Zancan
Many thanks to Michaël for allowing me to use his photos & site content, as well as for the corrections :)

Videocast test

I plan to take videos of me drawing or painting one of these days, then set them to timelapse so it won't be too long a watch. I tried doing a test recording today, and it wasn't so bad. The drawing was crappy, and the frames kept flipping around, but otherwise, I think it went ok. Hopefully, I'll get to improve --- both with the quality of the editing and the drawing --- over time.

Spotlight: Drawn!

I don't think anyone is a stranger to Drawn! (exclamation point does not denote the end of my sentence hehe), as it is possibly one of the best sources of news, tidbits, tips and whatnot about illustration and cartooning. In fact, as their tagline suggests, it is The illustration and cartooning blog.

Clicking on the "about" link on the site give us this information:

Drawn! is a multi-author blog devoted to illustration, art, cartooning and drawing. Its purpose is to inspire creativity by sharing links and resources.

Further clicking would give us a list of contributors.

What else can I say about Drawn!? It's a simple enough site, where you can read up about various artists who will definitely inspire you. Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed by the sheer talent that this site showcases, it's hard not to be intimidated. It's also a great place to get lost in if you want to be inspired to do some bit of creation and art yourself. With Drawn! you can also see trends in illustration, or see new things that you haven't come across before. Subscribe to Drawn! so you won't miss an update.

P.S. This is not a paid ad, ok? I get nothing from this (except the satisfaction that perhaps you get inspired to draw something too).

Real life Photoshop

Yes, I know this has been shared many times over, but it never fails to amaze me.

The behind the scenes look is even more awe inspiring. I can only imagine the effort (and the fun) that the people behind this did. Wow!


I went to the dentist today, but since it was just a follow-up to a major visit I did a month ago, my dentist said I didn't have to pay her. Since I saved some money, I was itching to buy something. Originally I thought about a book, but I didn't find anything interesting, so I headed to the bookstore and browsed through the art supplies.

I wanted to try acrylic and even go back to watercolor. I did some calculations after checking out some equipment and when I found that it was well within my budget, I went ahead and brought them.

This is what I got: two small brushes (a pointed one, size four and a flat one, size four as well), a watercolor paper pad, and a set of acrylic paints. I still have some watercolor at home so I didn't get anything new. Oh yeah, I got a cheap ballpoint pen as well. :)


Now, I should get started on this.

In the beginning... we create

Just recently, I decided to get back to doing "traditional" art: sketching, painting, drawing without using any digital tools. It dawned upon me that I had a lot of subscriptions from sites that deal with graphic design, web graphics or anything pertaining to digital art, but not so much from the "offline" medium.

A random Plurk message from a friend sparked the idea of putting up an art blog. Now, I'm not a very experienced artist, and it has been a long time since I truly did anything I'd consider art related, but I figured that I could use this blog to share things that I find meaningful and useful for this love of mine. Maybe as time passes I could add my own tutorials and tips about art. Goodness knows I have alot of stock knowledge but little practical experience (which I hope to remedy).

I can't understand why I stopped drawing, really. Growing up I was always encouraged by my family to pursue art. My mom enrolled me in classes when I was seven, and never reprimanded when I'd rather draw than study. I have more than my share of influences from various family members who could draw and paint, not to mention sing or play various musical instruments.

This blog aims not only to share with you things I found inspiring, but also I hope would serve as a motivation for me to get up and start creating. Cheers!

P.S. Blogspot domain for now :)

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