Those I Hold Dear

Lucky to have a holiday after such a hectic week. As usual I spent my time hanging around my favorite corner, while there is still natural light pouring in through the windows. I’ve had this small table for ages, which I bought for only 499 pesos in CDR King. You’ve probably recognize it as the table I use for all my IG posts and even my attempt in filming for my Youtube channel.

Sometimes I take self-portraits because I like to document my creative journey and this part of my life where I feel most alive. I’d like to remember this moment – the tranquility and content – of just spending my time painting.

Unfortunately, I only took pictures of my back facing the camera. I like this angle because it shows a little more of my room and my precious windows. Honestly I look weird when I face the camera hahaha.

After almost an entire day, I finished it. *congrats self* My personal pieces are under-appreciated but I love them and will continue to make them. Hope you enjoy the closeup shots below!

I was feeling down so I drew black birds with my florals. It’s my first time to draw ravens – but people think they look more like crows hahaha!

Bonus: Here’s my cat who always watches over me when I paint. Another reason to be happy, her tumor is now smaller and one disappeared. We don’t know how that happened but we’ll keep on observing and visiting the vet for check-ups.

Looking at her is a reminder of the many blessings I have in my life, sometimes I forget to be grateful and this post serves to remind me that I am living a good life, not perfect but it’s all good.

Thanks for reading!




How to Start a Watercolor Hobby

I get a lot of questions on which materials to buy when you want to start watercolor as a hobby. Unlike years back when I was starting, I could only rely on National Bookstore for my supplies. Now, there are so many options. Several art supplies shops have popped up online that target hobbyist and full-fledged artists with various watercolor brands hailing from France, Japan, Korea, etc. It makes choosing much more difficult and consequently makes hoarding a lot easier! I’ve seen artists who has as much as 20 brushes and several pans and tubes of paints and I’m astounded how they can figure out which one to use (Is there a designated brush set when doing florals? Or a brand best suited for landscape or portrait perhaps?). But like everything else in life, please take things in moderation. That life lesson includes buying art supplies.

So if you want to give watercolor a try but is afraid to commit, here are some options you can purchase without breaking the bank.


Prang is wonderful brand to start with because it is the best among all the budget friendly options. I started with Prang and as you can see my set is used and abused countless times. If you need more convincing about this set, check out my work here and here that showcase Prang’s vibrant colors.


For those who prefers tubes instead of pans, try Sennelier La Petite Aquarelle Fine Student travel box. The set comes with 12 tubes of basic colors (less pigmented because it’s a student grade) and a mixing tray. But you can do like me and buy a separate palette for more mixing convenience. Tubes last longer than pans so this is a good investment. For sample work using this Sennelier, check this out. Sennelier La Petite Aquarelle Fine Student travel box and mixing palette are available in The Craft Central located in Greenbelt 5, Makati.


For brushes, I recommend only getting 1 big and 1 medium to small round brush. I like round brushes as oppose to flat ones because I can do wash and details with them. You don’t need an arsenal of brushes to start out and you don’t need to get expensive brushes with real hair. Synthetic brushes work just fine and sometimes they work even better, in my opinion. Princeton, Martol and Best Buy brushes are available in National Bookstore and Campus brush set of 3 from artnebulaph. Careful not to buy brushes that have falling hair or those that are too stiff (ala walis tingting hair), as I’ve seen them in NBS as well.


Ok this is the last one in the list – paper! There is paper made for watercolor so don’t use bond, oslo, cartolina, canvas, construction or tracing paper! The most cost friendly and beginner friendly brand would always be Canson and it’s available in National Bookstore (if it’s not sold out which is happening more often)! For beginners, please use 300gsm paper as it is thicker, can absorb more water and will enable you to easily lift colors. Canson Montval pad is a good choice with price ranging from 400-700 pesos, depending on the size. I also put in The Lettering Progress Keeper by Abbey Sy (also by Canson) as it’s a good pad to practice with, despite being 200gsm.

Alright, that’s all you need to start watercoloring! Oh yeah, you also need a jar of clean water, a load of paper towels (Starbucks have really absorbent paper towels haha shhhhhh…), lots of patience and super zen-like aura! Watercoloring should be fun so take it easy. Purchasing the right materials will certainly help you get started, but it is the person’s perseverance and desire for learning that will make the painting truly shine.