Lessons from coming out of Art Block

It has been a while. After my 31 portraits, I decided to take a sabbatical and rest for a while. I was really getting burnt out. Not only with art, but with a lot of other things. 2020 is just depressing and exhausting.

But somehow, I crawled out of my deep cave and came out with a few paintings. It was tough but I finally managed to break its deep bonds slowly. I had to spend time on my art. My studio needed love. So, I put down the Nintendo Switch, and picked up a pencil and drew.

I hated it. Being rusty, I hated everything that came out of my game addled brain. I did not like how my line art worked, and anatomy? what is that? fortnunately, the classes I taught for children on Saturdays helped jump start my brain and I finally came out with decent work.

I joined pencilvember, drew nature, used colored pencil again, abused graphites, and started to puke out sketch after sketch. of different media and work. Maybe I am back to my old speed again. Maybe soon I will be ready to paint big things again.

What I realized though, is that my art is something that I do for myself. I love when I share my art but art as a career is not for me- at least not right now. I cant think of art as a job. It ruins it. It kills my mojo. But if i start doing it as something I love, then it becomes beautiful to me. It has meaning and purpose and that is something that I need to keep in my work.

I cant work with authors breathing down my neck, but I can illustrate my own book. I dont like to commission things I do not have passion for. I don’t want to be a cookie cutter artist. i want to build and study and explore and be me. I am still healing. I am still recovering from the void of artblock

I am still scared of starting a big work.I am afraid to commit. Perhaps next month?

Thanks July Disney Guys, Hello 31 Animal August!

I just finished July Disney Guys, yes all 31 Watercolor Portraits, and I am very proud of myself. Although, I admit that it is bittersweet because I will miss drawing my boys, I am pretty glad to have finished such a challenge. Drawing 31 Portraits in 31 days was not easy, definitely a challenge especially on days when I am tired and sleepy. It proved even more of a challenge when my work schedule suddenly changed and I had to adjust my creative schedule. It was a struggle to paint anything when you barely have enough sleep, exhausted or just mentally drained.

BUT, I DID IT! NO DELAYS TOO! And I am proud of myself. Check out the flip through below for my Completion of July Disney Guys. YOu can also see them here

I learned a lot during the last 31 days. I learned my strengths were in creating skin tone and in expressive brush strokes. I learned more anatomy and facial planes. I learned about watercolor medium how it acts and different techniques used to render the details on each portrait. I also learned more about myself and my persistence, time management and what I need to improve. I know I have to study clothing folds, how to render textures and metals. I also need to learn how to gouache.

But I am proud of it, for the last 2 months of doing portraits, my pictures have shown a lot of growth. It has been a journey that was worth it and I am thrilled to have finished 2 months of beautiful paintings on Jade, my sketchbook. I am going to finish this book strong, as it is my prettiest book to date.

What’s up for August?

For August we are switching gears and doing small paintings on a hand sketchbook. #31AnimalAugust is something I have started just for warm up. You can check them out on Facebook or my Instagram. I also have started Toby’s Cat-tastic Adventures on my sketchbook. It will feature 13 fantasy paintings in full storybook style, which I will build for my portfolio. If it succeeds, who knows? I may make a copyright-free version and maybe publish? Who knows? But this month I will concentrate on backgrounds and animals and storytelling and I hope to succeed in this venture.

Join me in my Cat-tastic adventures this month! I will also be working more with Every Story My Story and some commissions. as well as some promotions! Looking forward to another productive month!

The Likhaya #DTIYS Contest

I do not normally do the Draw-this-in-your-style things that are rampant in Art Twitter and Instagram. I have done a few, but not many. But I chanced upon this that was recommended to me by a friend who is also an artist from Doodle ni Maria. She showed me her entry and I was excited to do this one. This is a redraw of an original collaboration by Shane Salcedo and Sofia Andres for The Lakambini.


The art competition encourages every Filipina Artist to practice her craft and be creative. I do love the fact that I get to empower Filipinas with my art and draw interesting figures.

I admit the whole piece was a bit of a challenge, especially the hands for the lady with the bilao. I also did not like the headwrap, but I had fun with this. I learned about my figure style and learned that these paintings need more room! I need to use bigger paper for these. I did this in my baohong sketchbook.

Even if I do not win the contest, I do love this piece. More power to the Filipina Artists!

I got in an Online Gallery Show !

I cannot believe it. I MADE IT. I was going about my day and I got a PING on my Phone. I thought it was just some of my friends, but it was Museo El Deposito telling me that I am featured on their Facebook page. I am one of the 13 picked for the #TUBIGATSININGSATAHANAN Online Gallery Show and I was 2nd to be feature. I was so shocked that I almost cried.

Watermarked for Protection.

I almost even forgot about that application. I was thinking that I was not good enough and was really feeling low about my art lately. I was really feeling the pressure of this art life. But it all went away with one PING. I feel a little confidence creeping back in. I can do this! I can make people feel something with my work. I am not a NOBODY. I can be somebody and I can work harder to make it happen.

To see the full size work, you can click HERE to go to the Project page of Sunrise fields

BONUS: Ms. Karen Sioson liked my art too!

On Original Illustrations

I realized, I have not updated this blog on my original illustrations and I should scan my Original works. From now on, since I also just learned how to use my Portfolio thing on this site, I will start creating pages for my original works, especially illustration pieces. I have started to populate the categories with my art and hopefully you like my originals too

Here are a few of them, you can click on the image to go to their project page.

Rose Gold, Watercolor 2020
Wonderland Moments, 2020

There are a lot of updated sections on the PORTFOLIO and still updating! So will let you know when finished!

10 Day Check in for #JulyDisney Guys

It has been 10 days since I started this monthly portrait challenge for #JulyDisneyGuys and I have some thoughts on it. So I thought I would blog it out and check my self-progress and well interview myself to see what I could do better.

Am I on track?
Yes, so far. It is going well. I have no problems doing it in the time I have alotted for it.

What’s your biggest accomplishment this month?
Jack Sparrow, Li Shang and Aladdin are two of the best ones I have done so far. I really love the toning on Aladdin, it is my cleanest work and the gradients were so smooth! I loved it! With Li Shang, I really had a good time with it, and it is also very clean gradients and I think I rendered the vision of his regality well. I also loved the fact that his skin is so transluscent. With Jack, I love everything about it! From his cooky expression, to his nice skin tone to the many details on his hair and hat, I really had a great time painting him. I was also so excited for him, maybe that is part of why they look good!

I also put up YouTube Videos for Jack Sparrow and Kristoff, which are accomplishments! I feel like I can show my process confidently.

What’s your biggest challenge right now?
I think for that, it is still Olive skin or darker skin tones. I painted Naveen and I think that was really a bummer, I wanted to make him look great, but he turned out.. meh! I will re-do him definitely, but I think I will have a challenge when it comes to darker skin.

I also am having problems with Backgrounds and finding the light on figures. I did the moon too dark on Prince Kit and he looks like he is glowing. I need help with color compositions, and compositions in general

What should you do differently?
I need to focus on my problem areas, finding the light and varying skin tones. I also want to try to make the Disney guy look closer to Canon in terms of size. I painted Prince Adam/ The Beast too small and I think that is part of why I am not happy with it. I have to be careful to paint them in correct ages too.

I think conceptualizing before the painting is important. All that planning helps out. I really planned out a few paintings well, like Wart from Sword in the stone , Aladdin and Jack Sparrow. That is part of why they really look well composed.

I also want to do more expressions! I enjoyed doing Flynn Rider’s Smoulder!

What are you looking forward to learning in this challenge?
– Definitely learning about many skintones and drawing male faces.
– Composing pictures better
– Better portrait background
– Hair and clothing textures
– Aging the character.

Asking myself these questions definitely put a lot of things in perspective for me. If you want to do a check in for your challenge, you can also use my questions!

Keep Creating!