without hesitation, i declare that this is the most beautiful place i’ve visited in the philippines.

these sketches do not do this island justice.


busan, south korea

learning never ends

seems that arts and crafts are the trend nowadays, with countless pop up stores and workshops all over the city. i was more than happy to jump the bandwagon, and took 2 classes in my neighbourhood:

first, i joined a tangle workshop. tangling is just starting to pick up in my side of the world. it’s a fun process, which surprisingly is easy yet requires full concentration. this really tested my patience but i pulled through andĀ managed to complete some works. i’d use this as a warm up for drawing or painting as i feel it gets me “in the zone” faster.

the next weekend, i joined a “travel doodling” workshop, which is really just teaching you the basics of doodling. it’s not as easy as it sounds, because doodling meansĀ to draw in a carefree manner, like a child, different from representational drawing that i am used to. i felt this is what i needed to learn to “let go” when drawing. it’s been a while sinceĀ i did some serious doodling and going back to it was just pure fun.

apart from these workshops, i joined the local urban sketching group for a night sketching session. it wasn’t really a class or workshop but seeing other people’s works is a learning experience in itself. it was very challenging, but being with fellow (struggling in the dark) sketchers put me at ease with chit chat, food and positive vibes. there was even a 7 or 8-year old in our group who always reminded us that there is nothing we cannot draw. her very wise words inspired us to draw each other’s portraits.

not sure if my drawing skills improved, but definitely revived some skills i long forgot.

in any case, learning never ends.


a few weeks ago, i spent a week-long vacation in indonesia. i had three stops:

a) gili trawangan, lombok. the island reminded me a lot of boracay, especially the rows of restaurants, cafes and diving/tourist centers at the beachfront. but here, you can walk to one side of the island to watch the sunset while listening to the rhythmic sound of banjoes then walk to the other side and have fresh grilled seafood for dinner, watch a movie underneath the stars with the sounds of crashing waves, and get lost with your bike in the middle of a coconut plantation at night with no lights trying to find your way back home.

b) bali. lots of temples, lots of waves, lots of rice fields, lots of interesting people. what don’t you know about this place from all the travel guidebooks and that movie with julia roberts? it does, however, live up to its good reputation and even exceeds it, if you decide to partake of the activities which truly interest you.

c) yogyakarta. a well-worth one-day visit to the two famous temples – prambanan and borobudur – ending the day with a beautiful sunset from the ancient ruins of ratu boko.

you can see from the gallery that i was able to sneak in a little sketching. i am still very much uncomfortable taking out my sketchbook in public. i only felt compelled to do some on-the-spot sketching when i saw my photos of these amazing places included tourists with cheesy poses and umbrellas blocking the view. in this trip, too, i resolved not to be so fussy about getting every single detail correct, and just draw quickly and purposefully, getting the idea or the feeling of what i wanted to draw. i think i did accomplish what i set out to do, and commit to practice more until my next trip.

working indoors

yesterday, i spent the day indoors and worked on quite a number of drawings and paintings. here are my favorites:

20140127-002952.jpgthis is my homework for next tuesday’s drawing class, copy of a painting from my teacher’s book. when i was working on this, i felt like i finally understood how watercolor works (forgive the stubborn, slow learner). i just can’t believe i only used 2 colors for this.




a chinese ink study of the still life i posted previously. i really want to continue on this on another medium, maybe oil (but when?!).