Monday, May 16, 2011


Graphite and Charcoal on an 18"x24" (114 gsm) Paper

This piece was inspired by hearing one of their songs “When I met you” over the radio one day. Back in the day, I remembered their voices, their individual inflections, tonal contours and the mélange of sounds that was particular of that time. I knew who sang which part but it never really meant anything until I was old enough to understand.

There’s a line in the song about before he met the girl he was merely existing. That reminded me of my sister in high school, gushing like nobody’s business because a guy used it, a paraphrase of the line, on her. I remember my initial reaction was: Gross. Then I used it too in one of my wooing misadventures.

The song evoked more memories of my grade school days, in a school event. We were out in the field with a stage set up (can’t remember what for) and from my line of vision, I only noticed rows of chairs. My mom, star struck, tapped me on the shoulder and said, look that’s Bubuy of Apo Hiking Society. He was there as a parent and not a performer.

As I searched them on YouTube, I was inundated with so many more of their hits that either escaped my memory or just didn’t come across growing up, but still continued to stand the test of time.

The picture I used as reference was from one of their last string of concerts in 2010 before retiring for good.

A close up on the faces. I emblazoned their initials on their collar to further unify the trio: B for Bubuy Garovillo D for Danny Javier, J for Jim Paredes. One other thing is if you look at the mouths, you will see a transition from an open smile, to a closed one to pressed lips. They all smile differently but the transition you see signifies the swelling of emotions at that particular point in time.

A close up on the garments and the fingers. Clothes at first seem like a daunting task to do but the wrinkles make it more worth the while. The length of the sleeves, and the placement of their hands on their sides can reveal more about who they are. There wasn’t a lot of hands to do in this piece but I thoroughly enjoyed doing the fingers.

I wasn’t able to document the entire process since the camera was on loan and all. But this is where it all began.

Monday, May 9, 2011


This is, and I quote, "Maverick only" and "Ariel with a capital A" of the one hour show, Totoo TV. These guys crack me up! This is probably the only local show, make that the only show I watch on TV, since I don't get to watch TV much nowadays. Their charisma and humor come from their outlandish fashion and unscripted conversations in the vernacular. They interview and interact with real people from all walks of life, from students to political figures, asking their point of view on relevant topics and in the end reflecting on what they had learned. The thrust of the show is aimed at how to get by in life and make the most of what you have.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Here is a quick sketch of the The Duchess and Duke of Cambridge to commemorate the marital union televised all over the world.


This is a portrait I did a few weeks back as my way of taking some time out to show some moral support for the Japanese in the recent tsunami incident. Cyril Takayama is a famous Japanese-American-French magician who's brand of magic continues to raise eyebrows of magicians and non-magicians. His slogan "Just Believe" from a couple of years back came to mind when I was doing this piece. Hang in there my fellow Asian neighbors. Believe that for every set back good things are just around the corner.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I had pretty much been given free-reign on creating this piece so I had a blast with this one! This is an 9x11, landscape portrait. This time I used a combination of charcoal and graphite. I like how this looks and how the two mediums go pretty well together.

Because I didn't have high-res pictures, I had to make do with these small photos. I used three reference photos, taking the sock-hat from one, the pose, shirt and lighting information from others.

This is the quick thumbnail I did. This gave me a rough idea of what the final piece will look like. Changes and adjustments may still happen to bring the piece closer to the person's likeness, so I thought I'd throw in a shoulder tattoo of a flying heart with MOM around it. I had originally intended to have his target weight indicated instead but didn't know what it was. Nevertheless, I think it's a cool tat for several reasons: 1) Everybody loves their moms and he seems to be really close with his 2) No one gives a hard-core body-builder a hard time for his heart shaped tattoo 3) To quote the guy, he once said and I paraphrase: It's not about the car you drive but the size of the arm hangin out the window.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Thursday, February 24, 2011


This is a commissioned piece, 10"x12" full body portrait on an 18"x24" paper. The deadline was pretty tight and I had about 4 business days to do this upon the approval of the final sketch. There were plenty of pictures to choose from, which gave me some idea of how she carries herself, though most of them were too small to really work in the details. I was left with just these shots to work from:

Because I had to interpret the adjectives given to me, "energetic, active and flowing" the full body pose in this picture doesn't come across as so. I had to suggest poses and create them from the ground up. I also needed to find more references for this particular style of dress and man, a dress by any style is still a dress to me. Thank god for facebook, my fashionista friends helped me out in that department!

After the approved pose, I needed to make sure that the body would have the same lighting as the face in the picture above. I sought the help of my partner, Jet, to pose for me and to bring whatever accessories she might have that resembles the ones I needed. She came pronto and I couldn't thank her enough for that. I still owe her lunch!

The hem of the dress was something I needed to pay close attention to, to simulate a flowing pattern. The dress she had on was garterized, so it pretty much closed up at the bottom. Good thing Jet brought another skirt! Talk about foresight!

I used two fans to blow the skirt to see the natural fluid motion of wind on skirt since what I had in my final sketch didn't look right to me.

I also needed to take more references for the finger positions, hands, arms, assets, shoes with the same lighting to keep it consistent with the entire piece. Upon reviewing all the pictures sent, I noticed I had not worked in the beads and the watch. I had to borrow more girly stuff from my aunt who provided the extra accessories!

After taking all the references I needed, that was the only time I really started to work on the actual portrait. I do not copy what I see, but try to simplify and then add my own interpretation to it. If I could x-ray my head while doing the piece, I'd probably see lots of areas lit up since every stage of the portrait entails a lot of decision making such as darkening the shoes instead of keeping it light as how it appears in the picture, size relationships between parts, consistency of volume and length for all the arms and hands, values, etc.

Finally, when I felt that the piece was ready for the final touches, I added the details in such as fly away strands, the pattern on her blue dress which I thought would bring more life into an otherwise plain garb and the slight twinkle in her eyes.

This was a really challenging piece to do but I had the opportunity to channel my inner Rockwell, to not limit myself and recreate everything from scratch. I was sleep-deprived the entire week but I think it turned out quite well given the complexity of the concept, the deadline and the support from everyone who pitched in on this project!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Conan O Brien

A favorite comedian of mine. I find him side-splitting even without trying.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Anton is a foodie blogger and entrepreneur. Check his blog out at:

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Arnel Telesforo. Visual Artist/Illustrator/Animator/ Photographer/Birdwatcher. Check his website out at: ;

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


A friend of mine who is also the godmother of my nephew and an entrepreneur. Check out her stylish tote bags for your tech gear at:

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