July 26, 2011
Almost forgot my Tuesday post, that’s how crazy this day was, what with massive rainstorms and traffic jams and buses falling off highways. Good thing I have a ready sketch to put up! Had a sketchcrawl with the Urban Sketchers Philippines group last Saturday, touring Escolta street in Manila and sketched the Regina building. On Escolta:
At the far end of Escolta is one of the most beautiful streetscapes in the city with two breathtaking pre-World War II buildings facing each other: the Regina Building and the Perez-Samanillo. The former has a neo-Classical air akin to the government buildings in New Delhi. The latter is a masterpiece of Philippine Art Deco architecture. It was designed by Juan Luna’s son, Andres Luna de San Pedro. One can detect in this splendid edifice touches of Angkor and even Meso-American motifs.
July 7, 2011
This was sketched two weekends ago, while Aissa, Fer, Luigi and I were hanging out in Pergola near BF homes. I was testing out the Dip pens (ie fountain pens but you actually dip them into bottles of ink) that I got months ago in China. I quite like them, but I haven’t had the time to really play with them much. Maybe I’ll use them in the Sketchcrawl later this month.
July 5, 2011
Been a while since I posted a sketch, so I thought I’d post this one of Cafe Mary Grace in the Fort. Aissa took a day off a couple of Mondays ago, so after working through my workload in the morning we went off to the Fort to look for someplace to have a snack. At first we were having some trouble finding a place to eat. I was stuck i one of those rotten moods, where I wanted to eat something specific but I couldn’t figure out what it was and neither could Aissa. By the time we settled on Cafe mary Grace in Serendra, it was already 5:30 and suddenly my late snack had turned into an early dinner. I capped the day off with my customary trip to “A Different Bookstore”‘s bargain bin and picked up two biographies, one about Neil Armstrong and one about Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry aka Stepin Fetchit.
June 7, 2011
Turns out I have an affinity for drawing men under trees (make of that what you will). This was drawn while having drinks and dessert with some friends in Eastwood City last Sunday night. This is one of the few times I’ve used both pages of my sketchpad, and I find that I like having the extra space to let a sketch breath a little bit. I’m not sure how I feel about the placement of my caption though. In terms of composition I think it may have been better in the upper right corner.
May 27, 2011
This was actually done two weeks ago, when Aissa and I sought shelter from the heat in the Venice Piazza at Mckinley Hill. We had a schedule brownout from 8:00am to 2:pm, so we had lunch at Pho Hoa and coffee at the Dunkin Donuts cafe. I picked the cafe specifically because it gave me a good view of the statues on the facade of the main entrace to McKinley Hill, which looked pretty from afar. Upon close inspection the statues were unimpressive, though that didn’t stop me from sketching them.
May 23, 2011
Went on a sketchwalk with the Urban Sketchers Philippine group last Saturday, which was a lot of fun. I haven’t been to the San Sebastian Basilica in decades, so it was nice to explore that area. The gothic extravagance of the cathedral was pretty daunting when I tried to sketch it from up close, so I moved outside of the cathedral to the 7-11 across the street to get this particular view. The sketch on the left is of one of the 11 boy scouts that died in a tragic plane crash while on their way to a Boy Scout Jamboree in 1963. Sadly, it wasn’t the boy scout that drew my attention, but the giant hand behind him.
May 18, 2011
Aissa was shopping for some home decoration stuff in SM Makati last Sunday so I went to National bookstore to pick up a paintbrush for this Saturday’s sketch session of the San Sebastian Cathedral. I had to kill some time after that so I wandered over to the small circular park in the middle of the Glorietta shopping complex. At first I sketched the Glorietta 5 shopping complex. I wasn’t super pleased with that so I’m posting this sketch of a man under a tree (in the same park) instead, which I thought turned out rather nicely.
May 5, 2011
Travelling to the Great Wall was certainly one of the “must dos” of our trip to Beijing. There’s a lot of debate on which part of the great wall you should visit in terms of “authenticity” but since we were travelling with a group that included my 16 year old sister in law and my 59 year old mother in law, I chose ease of access as the primary criterion. Badaling is said to be the most tourist trappy of all the sections of the great wall, but it was the most well restored and easily accessible by train, so it won out handily. The sketch above was after a 500m hike from the Badaling train station to the small commercial area outside the great wall. The girls had taken a bathroom break so I had 5-10 minutes to sketch by the side of the road. I was actually a little disappointed because I’d heard that there would be merchants here with camels that you could have a photo op with, and sunbears that you could feed carrots to, and I’d wanted to sketch them. I won’t venture an opinion on the tackiness of such obvious tourist related commercial enterprises, but certainly it’s not something I get a chance to see/draw everyday.
This was sketched at the highest section of the Badaling Wall, at least of the area that we visited. There is a path leading left and a path leading right when one enters the great wall, and supposedly the path to the left is steeper but has better views. I coaxed my family to take the leftmost path mostly because all of the tour groups were going right, which meant a huge mass of people on the wall. Since this was the highest section of “our” wall, I decided to take a break to commemorate the climb (and get a little rest as well), spending about 30 minutes on this particular sketch. There were a number of people looking of my shoulder while I was sketching, but since they didn’t really ask questions I was able to sketch without any interruptions.
I’d love to visit Beijing again someday, ideally when the Chinese government is less paranoid about handing out visas. There are still many places to see in the city proper, and definitely quite a few places where I wish I had more time to sketch.
May 4, 2011
It was Sunday, and we were going to have mass at the Wangfujing Cathedral in Beijing. I had been informed by the Philippine Embassy that there was an English mass at 4PM, but seeing as my mother in law was very serious about making sure there was a scheduled mass today I walked my way to the cathedral at 9AM in the morning. After looking in vain for any signage that announce a special Easter Mass, I tentatively walked over to a Chinese nun who confirmed that there indeed was a 4PM English mass that day. Feeling more relaxed now if there wasn’t a mass at 4pm, it’s on her head, not mine), I took a seat at the little park area in front of the church and noticed a couple of old ladies cutting other old ladies’ hair. I have no explanation for this cute cultural practice, but I knew that I had to sketch these endearing little old ladies.
After hearing mass (which was preceded by a series of events which included a taxi driver miming shooting an AK 47 to indicate confirm that we wanted to go to the military museum) we decided to relax in the afternoon and rest up for our great wall trip the next day. We sat ourselves at Cafe Costa (which sold mango lattes) and while the girls chatted in the background my brother-in-law Luigi and I took the opportunity to sit down and sketch some of the cafe patrons.
May 3, 2011
Day 2 of our Beijing trip was spent wandering around the park area of the Temple of Heaven and going into the temple complex itself. It’s a huge complex, and we only saw about a quarter of it. The scene above was sketched while we were taking shelter from the rain in one of the walkways leading up to the temple. This sketch was drawn in another walkway that surrounded a Cherry blossom garden. An old Chinese man as playing some beautiful music on what I now know is an Erhu. I wanted to give him one of the sketches but I was a little too shy (and also not satisfied with how the sketch looked) to do so.
After the temple of Heaven we went to the National History Museum just outside the Temple of heaven’s West Gate to check out some dinosaur fossils. Shame I didnt’ think to sketch there, I guess I was just overawed at the size of the fossils that they had. In any case my last sketch of the day was at a cafe we found while looking for the nearest subway station to go back to our hotel.