One Musical, Two Museums, Loads of Dimsum and Overflowing Inspiration

Metro Manila is not really a favorite destination of mine. There is so much traffic. It is so crowded. It really drains my energy. Navigating its streets is always a challenge. Nonetheless, there is no other way around it but to just face it. The place is unavoidable for someone like me who loves to travel. Metro Manila is a hub for a lot ot things I love. I just have to learn to survive and find a way to get the most of what it has to offer. And that was just what I did last March.

I knew that the musical “Ang Huling El Bimbo” was running in the Resorts World in March and I wanted to watch it. With the trip to Korea coming up, I worked on fixing my schedule to allow me time to watch the musical. “Ang Huling El Bimbo” is a musical featuring Eraserheads songs. The Eraserheads was the band of my generation so it was easy to convince three of my friends to watch “El Bimbo” with me. Incidentally, three of us went to the same university as the band members who rose to popularity while we were still gnawing our way in the dog-eat-dog world of college life. The scenes and some of the drama easily brought us back to our teenage years because the cast and their performances were awesome. I did not mind the possible neck strain of the partially distracted view of the stage because I bought the cheapest tickets. My view shifted every now and then from the stage to the large screen on the left where they projected the video. My friend got a good deal of ribbing from me for crying during some heartbreaking scenes. It was my way of fending off that tear that was trying to break free from my lacrimal glands. I really enjoyed the show. I look forward to watching more Filipino musicals!

I had a day to spare in Manila so I asked my friend, Shirly, to accompany me to visit the museums. Our first stop was the National Museum of Fine Arts. The museum was heaven for me since I love to paint. Immediately, when one entered the main gallery, Juan Luna’s Spoliarium stood with such jaw-dropping splendor. It covered almost the entire wall of the gallery. Incidentally, Eraserheads had a song of the same title and it was a soundtrack playing in my head while looking at the painting.

Spoliarium is so grand!

The museum had different galleries featuring different Filipino artists. Many of Juan Luna’s works were displayed. One notable painting is the Portait of a Lady. Esquire published a comprehensive history of the painting and it was a very interesting.

Another Juan Luna painting being displayed was The Parisian Life which was acquired by GSIS for around Php 45 million.

These were the other paintings/displays that caught my eye.

These sketches of Fernando Amorsolo gave a glimpse of the painting process of the national artist known for depicting rural scenes. One could see that there was a lot of planning being done to create a masterpiece.

It became easy for me to spot an Amorsolo painting.

A new favorite of mine is Vicente Manansala. I was drawn to his painting because it was a little modern, colorful and it was done in watercolor, my favorite medium.


This is another Manansala work.

I am not really intro abstract but I like this Jose Joya work. (Yung feeling na parang kaya ko naman ito gawin siguro pero hindi ko maexplain or mainterpret ang painting. hahaha)

And I am a fan of Araceli Dans’ lacework.

After immersing ourselves with all the artworks, off we went to the National Museum of Natural History. The museum was opened last year and it housed a lot of specimens of Philippine zoology, botany and geology.

There is a atrium in the middle which makes the space bright and airy.

The remains of Lolong, once dubbed as the worlds largest crocodile in captivity, can be found here. The bones are displayed suspended from the ceiling.

The ‘taxidermied’ crocodile can also be found in the one of the displays.

It was funny that I wanted to visit this museum but only to realize later that there was one particular animal that I was (and still am) afraid of and I knew that it would be displayed in one form of another (a photo, drawing, taxidermy or the real one inside a jar of formalin). Before we walked through an exhibit hall, I would ask my friend, Shirly, to see first if there was such a display. And indeed, in some halls, the display of such animal existed. Hah! I looked like this frightened woman in a horror house. I always took a peek first at the surrounding and spot the possible area that might had that kind of display. Yes, I could be crazy and paranoid with my phobia. All in all, it was a pleasant experience.

After all the walking around, we were done with the museum-hopping, we decided to go to binondo. I wanted my milk tea , dimsum and milk tea fix. Not counting the trip to the 168 mall years ago, this was my first time to walk around the streets of Manila’s Chinatown. My first order of business was to visit Eng Bee Tin.

This is Shirly and our Milk tea order. Hi, Shirl!

We dropped by this dimsum place. The place was small but teeming with waiting customers and they only sell this type of dimsum. I think the draw was that it was freshly made every time. Oh, I want this one product kind of business.

And off we went to Greenbelt to meet up with friends. Metro Manila is not that bad after all if you plan your day right.

And because I had a lot of art inspirations, I was pretty productive after the trip. I hope to paint more.

Push lang, Kat! ūüėČ

How to Paint a Sunset Scene

I have always painted flowers.   Recently, I started painting landscape photos for practice.  I believe in continuous learning.

These are some of my recent work.

Notice that I always paint from a photo reference.  I think it is a good way to practice.

I also believe in sharing knowledge so I am showing you how I paint sunset.

For the sunset painting practice, I am using a photo I took years ago. It was a sunset in San Agustin, Surigao del Sur.

I start with a sketch.  I am not really good at sketching so what I do is add grid lines to the photo.  I use Photoshop to fill the photo with square patterns.

I have the same square patterns on my paper. Then I start sketching grid by grid. After I finish sketching, I erase the grid lines.

I can start painting. I start with Sennelier yellow. I am using a flat 3/4 synthetic brush.  I lightly brush over the areas with yellow.  Then I use ivory black. With a wet brush, I blend the color.

I paint an outline around this area with yellow and blend the color.

I always look at the reference photo and try to see where the yellow glow of the sun hits the water because once I start painting with black, there is no turning back.

I lightly put another layer of ivory black.

I am now painting the dark areas. I use burnt sienna and ivory black.  I also changed my brush into a Kolinksky round brush size 0.  Every now and then, I switch from a round brush size 0 and round brush size 4.

From here, I am going to start filling the sketch with black. I hope you will be able to follow what I am doing.

This is the completed artwork.

You can also follow the painting process on my Youtube channel.¬† Don’t forget to like and subscribe!


Let know if you were able to paint the same scene. If you want more tutorials, please let me know what you want me to paint next.

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Materials¬† used: Fabriano Artistico 300¬†gsm paper, Sennelier watercolor, 3/4″ synthetic flat brush,¬† Kolinsky sable round brush size 0¬†and 4

 

My Creative Process Behind a Custom Artwork

Late last year, my college blockmate messaged me about painting a custom artwork for her. She recently moved to the US for work and she wanted to spruce up her apartment walls with art. I am happy that she thought of me to do this for her! She is a repeat client for my artwork. She ordered watercolor artworks with motivational quotes from me before which she gave as gifts to her friends for Christmas. I really appreciate her for trusting me again with this task.

She wanted 6 or 9 pieces of A4-sized artworks that she can display side by side and everything would look like a continuous piece. I love her idea. It was quite clever. Shipping one large artwork would be expensive. Having small pieces is easier to pack and move should she need to transfer residence. She hoped I would be able to send the artwork to her family in Manila before they leave for the US to visit her.

I asked for pegs so I have an idea of what she wants. She gave me free rein over the art work so I just bounced off ideas to her. I told her I thought of painting something tropical to remind her of home. She said tend to like green and orange colors and she preferred the mountains over the beach. I remembered the photos on Facebook of all the climbs she did. She also sent me a poem that she loved. I told her I will find a way to incorporate the poem into the painting.

So I looked for photos of Philippine mountains. I picked Mt. Batulao for its lovely ridges. I thought about painting from a vantage point similar to Katy Perry’s Roar video where she looked over Taal Volcano.

Katy Perry’s Roar Video

For the artwork, I decided to make 6 pieces. Mt Batulao would be at the center.

It was framed by trees and tropical plants and flowers. So I picked the following flowers to paint:

Angel’s trumpet and Hibiscus (Gumamela)


Lobster claw (Heliconia) and Taro leaves (Gabi)

Wild orchid


Plumeria (Kalachuchi)

Birds of paradise and Tahitian Ginger

I filled the blank areas with palm leaves and green vegetation.
Individually, the artwork can be displayed on its own.

Collectively, it is one large artwork.

Oh, I did not forget the poem. The verses are hidden somewhere in the painting.

I am really happy with the result. The whole process took 25 days from the time she messaged me until she received the artwork. I had other work to do in between. I paint when I have enough time to enjoy the process. Painting is my happy pill. Every work of art from me comes from a happy place. I do not paint to express sadness.

I am glad the my friend loves the painting. She found acrylic frames being sold online so it appears like the artwork is floating on her wall. The paintings now hang in her bedroom wall. She posted this on Facebook.

Thank you, Hannisel!
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For custom artwork, just message me here or in any of my social media pages.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katrinacenteno/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/katrinakarenart/
Youtube:    https://www.youtube.com/c/katrinacenteno

Oh, I also have paintings for sale through Artfinder. I also accept commission work through Artfinder.

Original Watercolor Paintings for Sale and How to Display Them

‚ÄúDraw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use ‚Äď do the work you want to see done.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

So here I am. I finally completed 12 botanical paintings that are for sale. It was an exciting process of finding the subjects that appeal to me. I have to paint what I like because if these paintings will not end up in somebody else’s home, I am keeping them and I will still be happy. ¬†I find joy in the creative process but the business side of it is what I dread most. What do I know about selling? Nothing. However, these words spoke to me.

‚ÄúDon’t wait until you know who you are to get started.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”– Gail Devers,¬†¬†three-time Olympic champion in track-and-field.

Seeing the paints, brushes, paper and other materials I have to buy to continue doing what I love is my motivation. Ha! So I am now putting my paintings¬†for sale on my Facebook page. These are all botanical watercolor done using artist-grade watercolor and 140 lb. hot-pressed watercolor paper in A3 size (11.7″ x 16.5″). I used Holbein for the watercolor and Daler-Rowney for the paper. All the paintings in this set are¬†in landscape orientation but there are some paintings¬†that still look okay when displayed in portrait orientation.

I am selling these paintings unframed because it is easier to ship them that way. The paintings will be shipped from the Philippines. When a painting is unframed, the client has the option to choose the right frame that will match the interiors where the the painting will be displayed.  I suggest that the painting be framed in a glass to protect the painting from dust and water.  For those who do not want the glare of the glass in a painting, there is always the non-reflective glass but it may cost a little more.  One can go a step further by using a conservation glass with UV protection against harmful rays.

To help you visualize how the paintings will look like in frames, I made the mock-ups below.

I have taken a step further by putting the paintings in an interior scene so you can better visualize where to possible display them in your space.

I hope I have convinced you enough to brighten up your walls with my paintings. You can have a closer look at my paintings in my Facebook page.  Message me there for details.

For larger photos of the paintings, click here.

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”¬†–Walt Disney

 

Sources for the mock-ups:

http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/realisitc-photo-frame-mockup_1177173.htm
http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/blank-picture-frame-on-a-wooden-wall-background_852393.htm http://www.freepik.com/free-psd/ipad-screen-on-wood-background_1096356.htm https://365webresources.com/10-free-poster-frame-mock-ups-graphic-designers/ https://www.freecreatives.com/mockups/photo-frame-psd-mockups.html

How I Continue to Learn Painting Using Watercolors

I am often asked what websites to visit when learning how to paint. ¬†I would immediately reply, “Youtube!”

My watercolor art journey started two years ago and I have learned a lot since then. I still continue to learn. Albert Einstein said that once you stop learning, you start dying. So I chose to learn unceasingly  (Well, with leisure on the side).

I often refer to Anna Mason’s tutorials when it comes to botanicals. I love to paint flowers. Here is her tutorial in painting a rose:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83C5oitfM2I]

Here is my version using one of her watercolor painting of a rose as a model.
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Two years ago, I came across a tutorial on how to draw a realistic eye.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJ25OngOLts]

I think I have improved the technique since then.
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I continue to practice. I think it is the best way to learn.  Put on the 10,000 hours of work and eventually, I get better than the last time. Here are my recent original botanical paintings.

anemone-katrinacenteno

peonies-katrina centeno

I also follow a lot of watercolor artists on Instagram. ¬†I am currently part of the @wgcollab¬†on instagram, where different watercolor artists share their painting techniques every day. Follow us there to learn more techniques. Use #wgcollab16 hashtag to find the videos. ¬†The videos are also ¬†posted on Facebook via Watercolour Gallery’s page.¬† Here is my painting video I made for this month.

[facebook url=”https://www.facebook.com/watercolourgallery/videos/1207394052625664/” /]
 

July is also the World Watercolor Month. Find inspiration using the hashtag ‪#‎WorldWatercolorMonth‬ on Facebook and Instagram.
Follow my instagram page: @katrinacenteno
Like my Facebook page: Katrina Karen Art

 

 



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