Monday, November 10, 2014

ink and water

I've been using my pens more for sketching than writing, and I have quite a few go-to sketching tools that I seriously feel lost without. I lean towards using pens with permanent, waterproof ink because I like putting watercolor washes over my sketches

Last Saturday I bought a bottle of Noodler's X-feather ink, something that's said to look great on any kind of paper. Feathering is a common problem when using fountain pens on paper, and this ink claims to be unaffected by that. It's also anti-forgery, but my signature isn't all that valuable, but okay. Now, X-feather is not at all waterproof, but I think it has its merits, sketching-wise.

After laying down some lines, you can get a waterbrush and put some shadows or grey tones over the sketch. I do this with my non-permanent ink brushpens, like the Akashiya:

and the Paintastics black brush pen, which turns purple when wet:

My other fountain pen inks are too light or too "watery" for sketching purposes, so I found this Noodler's ink really nice. It's good for times when I don't have time to put watercolors, or have no desire to bring colored pencils but still want to use my fountain pens and put some form of "color" in. And because I have a full bottle, I won't be using "I might use up all of my precious permanent ink" as an excuse for not practicing my line work with my fountain pens. 

(My friend Ige lets me have some of his Noodler's Black waterproof ink, but I don't want to use up his stash and besides, I've been looking for ink that dilutes to grey this nicely.)

a shoe, a water tumbler, and my pen organizer. quick sketches!

The ink+water combo works best on watercolor paper, but can also be done on plain paper--just expect some bleed-through!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Baguio, for a wee while

The annual conference of the Anthropological Association of the Philippines brought me to Baguio this year. The conference starts on a Thursday but I was there starting Wednesday to help in the preparations. The last time I was in Baguio was March last year, when my trip buddies and I stopped over for a meal on our way to Sagada. I remember it was 3am and it was freezing. The last time before that was in 2009, for a training seminar.

I was supposed to go home on the Sunday after the conference, but felt compelled to stay another day. I found out there was going to be an art event that weekend and I wanted to check it out, plus I felt I just needed more time to myself, to re-explore, to sketch, and simply to spend a leisurely time on my own.

I walked a lot, took photos, sketched. I discovered new places and rediscovered old ones. I explored the market, walked to the bus terminal from the SLU guesthouse where I was staying and came back another way, stayed for a good while in Mt. Cloud bookshop, and walked some more.

On Saturday I was able to meet a couple of Baguio artists. We sketched and I encouraged them to be active in our Urban Sketchers group. I spent most of Sunday with a Baguio-based colleague who went with me to the art event, took me to the new art space along Assumption Road called Ili-likha (one of Kidlat Tahimik's projects), and also introduced me to perhaps the oldest bar along Session Road, Rumours. While walking to Cafe by the Ruins we saw a couple of German Shepherds, one of which was carrying a basket in its mouth, and in the basket was the cutest little Shih Tzu--or I think it was a Shih Tzu--trotting along their owner, perhaps on their way to Burnham Park for some treats from tourists. I wanted to stay longer, but had things to do back in Manila.

Brooms soon.

Passionfruit on the left, Spanish tomatoes on the right

I was told that the Buddhist temple in Baguio welcomes visitors--you just have to knock on the door. It's on my to-do list.

Kawayan de Guia's work for 'Markets of Resistance'

Artworks for barter. The concept was, instead of paying for an artwork with cash, you barter with items that the artist needs, such as food (rice, beans, coffee, etc.) and art materials (canvas, paint, textiles). I wanted the green tile on the far left and left my number, but the artist hasn't contacted me about what he wants to barter with. I was, however, contacted by someone else who also wanted one of the artist's tiles. :/

My colleague Hector (we were classmates in grad school) looking at artworks in one of the stalls.

I sketched and sketched. I'd like to believe I'm getting better at location sketching. :)

While waiting for my bus to call for boarding

The view from my seat, while waiting for the bus to leave the terminal. I really like how I did the water tank.

The scenes along the highway don't change much, so even if the bus was moving I was able to do some quick sketches.
A 15-minute stopover--the last one--let me do a quick sketch of a hut that sold pasalubong. I had to finish coloring in the bus.

One of the participants of the conference, during break time. We had rice cakes.

We stayed in the Saint Louis University guest house. 

After checking out the stalls for 'Markets of Resistance', we made our way to Cafe by the Ruins for a light snack...

...and ginger tea with honey.

That night we headed to VOCAS and hung out the balcony...

...before heading to Ili-likha for vegetarian paella. I was able to cuddle this sweet cat.

Then suddenly it was Monday and I had to go home. Oh well, I thought, there's always a next time.