That One Afternoon in Taal

That One Afternoon in Taal

I almost forgot to write about this trip. After that Taiwan trip last April,  my friend,  Gail, and I extended our stay in Luzon to go to Taal, the heritage town in Batangas. (We are from Mindanao, Philippines, btw.) Gail and our friend, Shirly, already went there months before and I wanted to visit the place, too.  Gail was so nice to accompany me even if she had gone there before and even if we were already very tired from our trip. (We have become Titas!) We both wanted to go home to our provinces but we also had to take this trip because we already paid for our overnight stay in Lemery. We decided to take our time. Rushing would only stress us. I think we left the Airbnb we rented at 9 AM. We did not rush. We were chill.

We arrived at a hotel in Lemery at around lunch time and I could not remember if we ate lunch. I think we skipped lunch (*insert a shocked emoji) because we planned to eat our way in Taal.

In Taal, we were greeted with these buntings.

That One Afternoon in Taal

It was the ‘El Pasubat Festival’, a celebration of its founding anniversary. There was a culinary contest at a plaza near the municipal building. While hanging out there watching the activity, we saw Kuya selling ice cream.

We had to buy ice cream! Yum!

Gail had been raving about Taal’s lomi so we had to get one. We just ordered from a random eatery and, lo and behold, we got the thick and savory noodle dish. This was lunch and it was filling.

That One Afternoon in Taal

We dropped by the church which is said to be the biggest Catholic church in Asia. This is the Basilica de San Martin de Tours.

That One Afternoon in Taal

There was going to be a wedding that afternoon.

That One Afternoon in Taal

It is a beautiful church.

That One Afternoon in Taal

There is a balcony attached to the church.

That One Afternoon in Taal

It overlooks a koi pond.

That One Afternoon in Taal

Another food to try in Taal is the halo-halo at a carwash. Since it was a long walk from the church, we figured our tummies were now ready for merienda.

The carwash/cafe was decorated with memorabilia.

That One Afternoon in Taal

The halo-halo was yummy! It was the type with finely shaved ice and minimal ingredients. It reminded me of Razon’s halo-halo.

After that halo-halo, we started our walk around the town.

This is Gregorio Agoncillo’s mansion. Now this space in the blog should be a brief story on who Gregorio Agoncillo was, but I took this photo outside a closed gate.  I could have written down the stories of the things I saw inside the house and the people who lived there. Ha! Now we all have to google.  Sorry about that.

That One Afternoon in Taal

We were really walking at a leisurely pace that it was past 4 PM when we reached Galleria Taal.

That One Afternoon in Taal

Galleria Taal is a museum with the largest collection (i think) of cameras in the Philippines.  I only took a few photos. (Nahiya ang camera ko sa camera nila!) Talk about my camera being camera shy!

These are just a really small sample of their collection.

That One Afternoon in Taal

I was only able to visit one museum.  It was already 5 PM when I exited the camera museum. So much for being chill and taking my time! Ha! Ha!

That One Afternoon in Taal

Even this place where we could dress up in Filipiniana was already closed.

That One Afternoon in Taal

We just said hi to Marcela Agoncillo, the woman who made the first and official Philippine flag.

That One Afternoon in Taal

We were following a Taal town map and we saw that there was another church.  This is the Our Lady of Caysaysay church.

That One Afternoon in Taal

The church was closed but the caretaker allowed us to enter. He had to get a set of keys for us to be able to get inside.

We said our prayers.

That One Afternoon in Taal

Since Gail had visited before, she also knew that there was a miracle well near.  The water from the well was believed to have miraculous healing powers.

That One Afternoon in Taal

The sun was about to set as we left the Caysasay church area.

That One Afternoon in Taal

We dropped by the basilica again and we were able to catch the wedding party as they were taking pictures. Now if we only knew where the wedding reception was, it would have been free dinner for us! Kidding!

That One Afternoon in Taal

The Basilica lit up at night.

We had dinner at a local restaurant and rode a tricycle back to our hotel in Lemery, Batangas.

It was a chill and no-frills trip.  Thank you, Gail, for being my tour guide!

Show and Tell: 25 Watercolor Postcards

25 watercolor postcards

Early in January, I bought different packs of watercolor pads  from Jackson’s Art. I wanted to try different brands of watercolor paper. One of which was a pack of 25 Fabriano Artistico postcards. I painted on these cards in January only when I felt like painting.

My first postcard was a winter scene from Niigata Prefecture in Japan where my friend Grace lives.

25 watercolor postcards

The next postcard was a sunset scene where I also created a tutorial on how to paint it.

25 watercolor postcards sunset scene

I guess I was busy from February to May because the next postcard I painted was done in June.  I also have painting tutorial on how to paint these tulips.

25 watercolor postcards

I was pretty hard working in June and painted all these.

25 watercolor postcards

In July, I challenged myself to not paint flowers and I was happy with this little accomplishment that I posted this photo on Facebook.

25 watercolor postcards 4

Two of my friends (who happened to be husband and wife) took notice and asked me if they can buy all the postcards.  I knew I had 4 empty postcards left of the 25 so I offered that they might want to wait for the rest of the postcards to be painted so they could chose which postcards they would like to buy. Without hesitation, they offered that they will buy all the 25 postcards.  My jaw dropped. They have not even seen the rest of the 15 postcards! I am grateful that they appreciate my art.  As a little token for their appreciation, I asked what they wanted me to paint on those 4 postcards.  My friend asked for postcards representing the four seasons. She picked what subjects to paint and it was up to me how I was going to paint them. I made these.

4 seasons

And I then I found out I still have an extra postcard so I decided to paint this.

25 watercolor postcards

And these are all the post cards in one photo. I hope my friends like them all.

25 watercolor postcards

Since I will be saying  goodbye to all these postcards, I made a Youtube video!


How to Paint Realistic Cherries in Watercolor

How to Paint Cherries in Watercolor

I finally got around into writing another art tutorial. It is almost the end of July and it is World Watercolor Month. For this month, I challenged myself to not paint flowers so this tutorial is about painting cherries.  The reference photo for this painting is from Pexels.

I always start with a drawing and I marked all the areas where I put my highlights and shadows.

How to Paint Cherries in Watercolor (1)

I used Raphael kolinsky round brushes (size 2 and 4) and I used Daler-Rowney watercolors. For this painting, I used alizarin crimson, cadmium red, prussian blue, chinese white, viridian and yellow ochre.

To get the colors I wanted that are close to the dark red plump cherries. I play with these three colors: alizarin crimson, cadmium red, prussian blue. I mix alizarin crimson with prussian blue when painting the areas and the shadows. I used the individual colors to match the different tones in the cherry.

How to Paint Cherries in Watercolor (2)

Whenever I start painting, I always have this fear that I would be wasting my time trying to paint and end up with unsatisfactory painting. I like to scare myself that way. (Praning-praningan. hehehe) When I started, the first cherry did not look like a cherry at all. Honestly, I was not sure if I am going to successfully paint it but I continued painting. It took me almost two hours to complete the painting.

As you can see there were areas that I avoided painting, those are the areas for highlighting. Cherries have shiny skin. To show that shine, you need to leave areas unpainted because it is easier to add color to these areas later than to remove the pigment. For me, the markings on the drawing where to put the highlights and shadows are helpful in the painting process. I have not yet developed the skill of painting from memory. I still need planning on how to tackle a certain painting. I always look at the reference photo as a whole and try to understand where the light source is and how the light casts shadows on the surface. I also try to identify the different colors on the object so even if we see that the cherry is dark red, there are different shades of red you can see and these shades depend on how the light illuminates the surface. This is how I study the subject so that it would closely resemble the real thing.

In every painting I work on, I always have a tissue near my palette to easily blot the excess water on the brush. I also have another paper on the side where I test if I mixed the right color.

My usual painting technique when using watercolor is to apply my strokes using a dry and more saturated color on the dark areas and I gradually spread the color using a wet brush. I use this technique when my subject is either a flower, fruit or animal. It may look like I am very certain and precise about my strokes and colors.  In reality, I am really looking at the reference photo every now and then and I paint the different shades on the different areas as I see fit.

At this point, the painting is slowly taking shape. Attention to details is important in realistic paintings. Each little highlight and fine stroke contribute to the painting a whole. This is one of the benefits in learning how to paint; you tend to be very observant of your surroundings.

How to Paint Cherries in Watercolor (4)

All these colors used in painting cherries are the different colors that are produced from mixing alizarin crimson, cadmium red and prussian blue. These are the specific pigments I used. You can also try different shades of red available in you palette. Try to experiment one bright red pigment, one medium red and one dark blue or any combination of red and blue. Cherries have stages of ripeness and different varieties so different combinations of reds and blues could still result to a realistic painting.

Painting a glass jar can look challenging. It is easier to paint it by studying the jar. Understand that this jar is a clear object. It does not have color. The reflection of the cherries on the surface tells us that this is a glass jar. Also try to observe the way the light hits the surface. For the rim and grooves on jar, I see shades of light gray to gray on the surface of the glass. I used the existing colors on my palette . I mixed everything which made the mixture close to black and when I mix black with white, I get grey. The different shades of gray is dependent on the amount of white mixed in. In that way, I did not have use tube of black paint. I get save on paint by the the colors I already have in my palette.

How to Paint Cherries in Watercolor (5)

In painting a jar, you do not have to paint the entire shape. You just paint the reflection and shadows and when finished, you can already see the shape of the container. When looking at the reference photo, I really try to identify the very dark areas and try to replicate it in the painting. The contrast between light and dark adds depth and makes the painting look real.

For the finishing touches, I went over the painting and started blending the colors until I was satisfied with the outcome.

This is the completed painting.

How to Paint Cherries in Watercolor (7)

This is the Youtube video of the process.

Until the next tutorial!

Painting Vlog 1: The Oil Painting Newbie

I am an oil painting newbie.  My friends gave me this Daler-Rowney set when I did commissions for them. (Such generous friends! Thank you, Maea and Randy!)   It took me 8 months to try oil painting. I got the set last October and I got the  brushes from Jackson’s Art in January.

oil painting, brushes

But I was only able to buy linseed oil last week.

My friend,  Jeanne, who asked me to teach her how to paint flowers in acrylic, has done several oil paintings already.  She is so artistic! (And a fast learner!) So I asked her where she was able to buy linseed oil.  She referred me to a local bookstore. When I was able to finally buy linseed oil, I tried to learn how to paint with oils. I also watched the Youtube videos of Lena Danya and Andrew Tischler.

This was something new that I was going to try so I documented my learning journey though a vlog!  This was also the first time that I was in front of the camera talking about my art. LOL.  I was very awkward. Hahaha Twenty years from now, I hope I would be able to look at this video and see my younger self with much fondness even with the grammar mistakes I made. ( Bisaya is my default language.) Here’s my video:

I shared my thoughts and realizations in the middle of the video and at the end of the video.  Oil painting is difficult!  Perhaps I will write another blog post about that.

These are my oil painting outputs.

oil painting landscape

the oil painting newbie

I also painted botanicals with oils.

botanical oil painting

Comparing my output with my watercolor painting,  I have better result with watercolors. I think I should focus on watercolors for now.  Hahaha!

botanical watercolor

Till next vlog or blog! (Whichever comes first)

How to Paint Angel Roses in Watercolor

how to paint angel roses in watercolor, watercolor roses tutorial video, angel roses

I am happy I have the time to do watercolor painting this month so I have another time lapse video on Youtube! It is a quick painting process. I was not doing much detailed work. I am still in process of practicing my strokes before I paint something for sale on Artfinder.

how to paint angel roses in watercolor , watercolor painting video

Here is the video:

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