Thursday, December 10, 2009

Last exhibit...for 2009

I'm part of this group exhibit and my last for the year 2009, and hopefully more to come next year. Hope you can drop by and see the wonderful works.

Blowing Boxes 

Illustrators add a dash more merriment to the holiday season with Blowing Boxes, a conceptual 3D art exhibit at the 1/of Gallery at the 2nd level, Shops at Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Imagination comes to play as 28 illustrators turn clear acrylic boxes into a unique showcase of art. Fun, funky, fantastic, and everything in between, the exhibit pieces depict frolicking kittens, flying sheep, dreamy beach escapades, manic teddy bears, and other figments of the artists' imaginations.

An offshoot of an illustration workshop conducted by German illustrator Sabine Dittmer initiated by the Goethe Institute and the National Library, Blowing Boxes features the works of Marcus Nada, Blooey Singson, Jomike Tejido, Liza Flores, Robert Alejandro, Daniel Tayona, Leo Alvarado, Vane Tamayo, AJ Omandac, Pergy Acuna, Ariel Santillan, Conrad Raquel, Kora D. Albano, Philip Reytiran, Lesley Lim, Abi Goy, Guia Salumbides, Zeus Bascon, Clio Tantoco, Gigi Lapid, Beth Parrocha, Ray Zapanta, Robbie Bautista, Aldy Aguirre, Totet de Jesus, Isa Natividad, Ray Sunga and Sergio Bumatay III.

The exhibit runs until Dec. 29. Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday, 1-9 pm.

poster by Ray Zapanta & Gigi Lapid

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I would like to say thank you to those who came and appreciated my works for "Tuwing Sabado" at the MIBF Lampara booth. How I wish I've met all of you and get to know those who brought home some artworks, I forgot to even ask your names! (especially the lady who asked how to protect her painting) Please do get in touch through my email/blog, I would love to hear from you.

God bless!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Book Signing...and doodling!!!

One of the reasons why I go to the Manila International Book Fair is hunting for precious finds and getting huge discounts on it. For example, I found hard bound, designer coffee table books for less than 200 pesos! Isn't that, cool? It is also a great time to meet some of the writers and illustrators and have them sign your copies! Book signing is my favorite time to meet and greet different people, lots of interesting people. You might even meet celebrities and national artists!

The Manila International Book Fair opens today September 16, 2009 until the 20th at the SMX Center SM Mall of Asia, opens 10am until 8pm. 

I will have some book signing on September 20, Sunday

Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu!

Book Signing with Nanoy Rafael and me

20 September, 3pm

MIBF Adarna booth

SMX Center Mall of Asia

The Boy Who Touched Heaven 

Book Signing with Iris Gem Li and me

20 September, 5pm

MIBF Adarna booth

SMX Center Mall of Asia

Tuwing Sabado

Book Signing 

20 September, 2pm

MIBF Lampara booth

SMX Center Mall of Asia

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tuwing Sabado

My new children's book is out, Tuwing Sabado, a story that won Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature by the award-winning author Russell Molina, published by Lampara Books. The original illustrations are for sale and may be viewed at the Lampara booth in Manila International Book Fair this September 16-20, 2009 10-8pm at the SMX Center Mall of Asia.

Here' an animation I created.

Read more story about the artworks.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

You are invited!

You are formally invited to an art exhibit: The Sinugdanan Bohol Artist's Summit: Pieces on passion for the nation presented by Amorita Resort and the Hulma Foundation, in cooperation with The Outlooke Pointe Foundation.

Exhibit will feature works by Sergio Bumatay III, Odette Cagandahan, Victor Dumaguing, Dexter Fernandez, Derick Macutay, Dennis Montera, Marcus Nada, Bru Sim, Janelle Tang.

When: July 30 2009, 6:30 PM
Where: Absinth Cafe, Greenbelt 3, Makati City

Entrance is free!
Cocktails, conversations and art for a cause!

See my work here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Post-it Affirmation Art no.4

"Live each day like tomorrow's your last."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Post-it Affirmation Art no.3

"Major and minor decisions: Do not delay!!!"

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pambihirang Guniguni

They say that a painting or art doesn't need verbal explanation. All the things that the viewer might want to know is already there on the painting itself, readily digestedvisually. 

That is just one of the ways of seeing art or a painting, if one wants to decipher its message. 

My painting for the Looking for Juan banner project, on first look, seems unrelated to the specific theme relayed to me, which was to depict what it means to be Filipino. One might even comment how on earth is that work all about Pinoy? I could hardly think of a specific subject to work on because to define our people or nation is as diverse as our flora and fauna: each is unique that makes up the whole. Working on a tight schedule and with no specific subject in mind, I tried to paint anything on the canvas. While paint-doodling, I thought maybe it is better to avoid patriotic cliches, pessimism, or sarcasm. Why not tackle on positive points of view? I thought art perhaps doesn't need be heavy to be meaningful or powerful. Then it dawned on me, maybe I could celebrate Pinoy creativity itself.

I prefer not to explain every bits of my painting, I'd like to leave something for the viewer to figure out. Explaining the work takes out its mystery, just like when you specifically describe the artistic Filipino. But here's what I wrote so people can be able to grasp a little story about it:

“Pambihirang Guniguni” (Exceptional Imagination)

24”x 48”

Acrylic on canvas

As an illustrator, the artwork is my interpretation of the ingenuity of the Filipino creative: a hybridity of styles and cultures that resulted to powerful imagination, liberal spirit, and diversity of technical expertise. We may have been bound from the colonial past, but I believe the concoction and transmission of cultures has positively shaped the Filipino artist today: responsive to the changing times and globally competitive.

If you are interested in this original painting, please contact CANVAS or 1/of Gallery at:


1/of Gallery, 2nd Level Shops at Serendra

Global City, Metro Manila

Tel. (+632) 901.3152

Proceeds will be used to fund projects that promote Philippine art and culture.

This painting, together with other originals of the project is on view until July 7, 2009 at the:

Alab Art Space of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) Building

351 Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City

Open to public mon-fri 9am-6pm

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sinugdanan Artist's Summit

"May Nilaga ang May Tiyaga"

"Magsumikap ang May Pangarap"

acrylic on canvas


I think what our people need is an inspiration. What better way to feed the soul than through art. From a sound mind and soul, every wonderful things follow: you think and do right, care for others, and strive to prosper.

My work is a visual affirmation, these are illustrations that depict positive reinforcement. We usually counteract negative feelings and behaviors by repeatedly saying positive phrases. In this work, I used visual images to deploy that effect. Our mind works magically as it controls us through our thoughts. Therefore, we should always be careful about what we are thinking, it is important to think positively. The paintings are rendered in a simple and whimsical style so that every viewer can easily grasp their meaning, working the images way to their minds subliminally. Visual images and texts are so powerful that they influence most of our lives. Hopefully my paintings create lasting happy impressions thereby viewers getting inspired and consequently urges to take positive actions. 


This is my work from the Sinugdanan Artist's Summit in Bohol. Should you be interested in any paintings from the summit, please contact The Outlooke Point Foundation at

Proceeds will be used to fund projects that promote Philippine art and culture. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

ASTiG ORiG Pinoy Banners at CCP!

So what does it mean to be Filipino today?

I am proud not only as a Pinoy but also taking part on this very significant project from CANVAS.

The original artworks from this great outdoor banner project will be on display at the CCP from May 12 through June 7, 2009. The banners will also be on view at the University of the Philippines sometime in June.

My participating artwork depicts the creative ingenuity of the Filipino. Here's a sneak peek of my painting...

I hope you will not pass on this opportunity to view all the wonderful artworks!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

How to Make a 3D Stereo pair in Photoshop

When I was in grade school, my classmate showed me his cool book, "The Magic Eye" where 3D dinosaurs pop out from random bits of colors and shapes. At first, I could hardly see the dinosaurs he was talking about, wondering maybe he was just making a fool out of me. Until I grew up and came across Stereograms. I was so surprised to see the images in 3D, finally.

It is hard to see the effect at first, takes some time to get it right. The technique is slowly crossing your eyes in a relaxed manner. Do not force your eyes into the image if you don't get it right in the beginning. When you've learned the technique, the rest becomes much easier. The visual experience is truly amazing.

A stereo pair is another version of a stereogram, an illusion of three-dimensional depth is created using two identical images but slightly angled differently. The eyes fill up the "empty" spaces to create the illusion using the cross-eyed method. There are many ways of producing the effect, and there are also many pieces of research about the topic on the internet, you can google them if you are interested to read on further.

I made my own version using my recent illustration study for a corporate invite in the photo above.

The steps are simple, follow the steps below to match with the photo above:

a. Select an image that can be viewed in 3D easily. Images that have depth and perspective work best.

b. Duplicate the image by copying into another layer in Photoshop. Make sure the distance between the object is at about 2 inches. Or, if you have mastered the technique of seeing a stereogram, you can adjust the distance by trial and error - moving the second image to the left within the desired 3D depth.

c. Try to cut out each part separately for the first object. In this case, we are separating the chair, then slightly move it to the right, transform or skew it slightly to show it at another angle, or use trial and error using the cross-eyed method until the desired depth is achieved. Clean up and fix missing parts using eraser and stamp tool.

d-e. I want to have the wings and dress depth in 3D, so I cut them out and slightly moved them to the right or left, depends on the order I wanted them to be: to the left when it's closer, to the right if it's farther away to the back.

f. This is a guide on what to expect when viewing 3D using the cross-eye method: while crossing your eye slowly, try to merge the two images together until a single image form in between. The 3D "floating" effect can be viewed this way.

Happy viewing!


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Post-it Affirmation Art no.2

"The internet is best for knowledge, dramas are best kept somewhere else."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Depth of Field

A friend showed me a book with a list of up-and-coming artists to watch out for, a list of creative individuals who will "define" the next wave of Philippine art. As I browsed over, they seem promising indeed. I actually know some of them, have heard of, admire, and met a few. I haven't thoroughly read the entire book and I am very much interested to know how they came up with the list.

I am agreeing that today is the age of the young, the smart, and the creative. We are entering an age where a lot of changes going on, a change that's happening extremely fast. To survive this fast-paced world, it is an advantage to have those qualities: fresh, intelligent, and creative.

Personally, I find most of the works in the "portfolio" a bit dark, some are actually shocking. It makes me feel sad and depressed looking at them, rather than move me to participate and act for a social change, if that should be the role of art today: to inspire. It makes me think, does art always have to be rebellious and despairing in order to have depth and power? What about ecstasy, optimism, and love...

What is art in a third-world country today, anyway?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Why I love Sampu

cover of Sampu Pataas, Sampu Pababa leaves you grinningly smiling 

If there's one style of illustration and story line of children's books that I would enjoy reading - although as an adult - over and over again, Sampu Pataas, Sampu Pababa written by Russell Molina and illustrated by Conrad Raquel, is definitely one of them. Simply because it's funny and smart, aptly made for discovering mathematics−a boring subject for a kid−in an unusual way.

The book reminds me of the quirky writing style of Jon Scieszka; the sarcasm of an innocent mind, unapologetic characters, and unexpected twists and transition of scenes. I believe Sampu Pataas, Sampu Pababa dispels a child's fear of dealing with numbers, it offers instead how to relate simple, everyday objects and scenarios to mathematics. The story is easy to read while an important issue is also weaved in, it's amazing how the writer stitched them all together.

The illustrations are imaginative and laden with humor. It may not be the usual sweet characters we often love in local children's books, but it offers another visual perspective on a slice of life. The humor is visually smart: the expressions of the characters alone are enough to leave you laughing at the side. I'm sure kids will be snorting when they see them. My favorite part is the descriptive illustration of the stick, it definitely puts personality on the character and story, a clear example of how illustration can expand interpretation beyond the texts.

Sampu Pataas, Sampu Pababa is a highly recommended children's story book on mathematics from Adarna House. To make a list of reasons why, ten is not enough.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Post-it Affirmation Art no.1

"I can finish a lot of things efficiently today!"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Why I love a Keida Foto

I love photography that's why I curse whoever invented it. What would life be without this technology?

Ever since the digital camera shelved the analogs, anyone who has the capacity to get the latest digital camera model declare themselves a photographer. Anyone can be a photographer today, but not everyone can have the talent of seeing. You can always have the coolest digital camera in the world but you can never buy artistic vision and taste. You can easily create an amazing photograph but you can not capture style in a flash of shutter just like that.

What sets a real photographer from the rest is his/her creative approach to the subject. Technique can be achieved easily by the book and through experience, so any commercial, eye-candy 'look' or 'feel' desired can already be done in a click, and virtually by anyone who has digital camera and equipment. The challenge now is to create a refreshing perspective: extraordinary, very creative, personal, and the "wtf-how-did-he-do-that" instead of the cliched "x" factor on images.

photography transmit magic exactly like that.

I don't know how but any subject his camera points at becomes interesting. It's not the usual still life, portrait, fashion, event, celebrity or wedding photos you see in glossy magazines and exorbitantly rated photo albums. I mean, whenever I browse a big shot photographer's works, I couldn't stop my thought bubble "Is that it? What is so special and expensive about that shot?" Keida's photos are definitely way better than that, partiality aside. And when everyone relies on post editing techniques like Photoshop to enhance their images, he does everything on shooting the image itself. How amazing is that? That is not Canon EOS 5D Mark II nor Nikon D3X, just sheer talent. Let him do his creative drill, trust his artistic vision and you'll never be disappointed getting the coolest image.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How to Tilt Shift Miniature Effect in Photoshop

The photo is not a mini-diorama or scaled down mockup of buildings. It's a real shot I took on my first boarding on a plane. I used the "tilt shifting effect" to blur some areas and mimic a fake miniature setting. The technique is not new but is very simple to do using Adobe Photoshop.

Here are the steps I did:

1. Select a photo that will fully simulate the miniature effect: landscapes, buildings, village, trees, park, cars etc., work best. An aerial shot yields good results.

2. Work on exaggerating the contrast and saturation of colors. Then adjust dark and light balance.

3. Now, using the selection tool (cross with ants when selected), select the entire upper and lower part of the photo. Use a feather of at least 30px. Be careful not to select necessary elements to bring in the effect.

4. Lastly, use the blur effect under filters, and use gaussian blur. Adjust accordingly to achieve the miniature effect.

5. Ok, that was easy. Here are more photos I did:

Friday, January 9, 2009

How to Make a Pinhole Toy Camera

Here is a creative way to recycle the excesses we had during the holiday season. A milk carton transformed into a pinhole toy camera. There are so many great ideas to do with a milk carton but this one's easy and fun to create, the results will be rewarding.

A pinhole camera is the basic of all cameras: you just need a tiny hole as a lens to make a photograph. I was very fascinated how it works and so I made myself one. The joy of making the camera plus the anticipation in developing the image it produces is unimaginable.

The steps are simple:

1. Gather all your materials: An empty milk carton, an aluminum sheet taken from soda or chip cans, needle, very fine sandpaper, cut or exacto knife, masking tape, double-sided tape, glue or epoxy, black construction paper, white latex paint, acrylics, varnish, some photographic papers, developer and fixer. You may also use alternatives if the materials are not available.

2. Peel off carefully the plastic lid opening with a cutter. Glue a small piece of board or any small object that fits to close the hole. Take the plastic lid and trace the inner opening to the center of the box facing you or the object to be photographed, this will be the "shutter" of the milk box camera. Cut the traced opening, we will place the "lens" in here later.

3. Take a piece of your used photographic paper, cut to your desired size, and trace it at the back of the milk carton parallel to the hole on the other side. Measure an allowance to give a smaller frame for the "negative film". Cut this smaller frame, this is where the "film back" of the pinhole camera will be placed.

4. Now, cut a small aluminum sheet that will fit the opening made by the traced plastic lid. Punch the smallest pinhole you can get into the aluminum sheet using a needlepoint. The technique is to take your time to get through the sheet slowly. After making the pinhole, you will need to sand it lightly to remove the bur made in punching. Clean the pinhole thoroughly and make sure it is smooth and perfectly round as possible. This will be the "lens" of the pinhole camera.

5. Securely attach the aluminum sheet or "lens" to the opening made by the traced plastic lid inside the box. Put masking tape on the lens' space, front and back to cover the hole from dust and paint. Now you are ready to paint the inside with black, then outside with white. Make sure to sand first to remove the glossy finish of the milk carton so the paint will "stick" to the surface. You can also spray it with a primer first before painting it with a flat latex paint. You can decorate your box with any paint or objects that you like and finally seal the design with a varnish. Attach the plastic lid opening or "shutter" firmly with glue or epoxy.

6. Get your black construction paper (you may use a more durable material for this, say a felt, leather or rubber foam) and measure it accordingly to the size of your photographic paper. Fold and create the pattern to make an envelope as shown in the photo below. Cut an opening on the front side to match the opening of the box. Firmly attach this envelope to the milk box with double-sided tape to seal in the light.

7. In a dark room (if you can't have one you may use the bathroom, placing black curtains on the windows), carefully place your fresh photographic paper into the envelope, with emulsion side (glossy side) sticking to the box, then close the envelope with a masking tape. You are now ready to take your first photograph with the pinhole camera. Open the "shutter" plastic lid as you expose, which takes about 2-8 minutes if it's a dark subject and about 1-2minutes if sunny.

8. After shooting the "negative film" you may develop it with the developer and fixer inside the dark room. To make the positive print, you can sandwich the negative paper with another photographic paper, emulsion side by side and exposed to a 15w bulb then develop as you did with the negative. If you don't need a hard copy right away, you scan the negative and invert the color using Photoshop.

Some tips in shooting with the pinhole camera:
a. Patience is the key to shooting and developing
b. Select subjects that stay still because moving will cause blurry images; landscapes, architecture, and still life work best
c. Shoot outdoor with lots of lighting
d. Secure your pinhole camera firmly to avoid shake as the shutter needs to be exposed longer

Happy shooting!


If you like this tutorial, please click on the ads to support my art projects. 

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