Friday, June 14, 2013


CANVAS proudly presents a two-man show 
by Sergio Bumatay III and Rommel Joson
at the CANVAS Gallery and Garden
13-27 June 2013
For inquiries, send an email to

In DREAMTIME, Sergio Bumatay III and Rommel Joson - both practicing children's book illustrators - plumb the depths of their dreams, entering places of indeterminate locations and frozen time. Here, they explore visual narratives and create characters and images that call to mind the cycle of creation and dissolution and while celebrating the wonder and power of dreams.

Here's a peek at the process of one of my works in the exhibit:

A full view of the artwork:

36x48 inches 
pencils and acrylic on canvas

And here's one of my favorite pieces from Rommel's collection:

36x48 inches
oil on canvas


Sergio Bumatay III is an award-winning children’s book illustrator, book designer, and occasional painter. His book, Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu!, written by Nanoy Rafael, was recently awarded the Peter Pan Prize by the International Board on Books for Young People in Sweden. He also won the grand prize in the 20th Daekyo Eye Level Children’s Literature Award in South Korea for his picture book, The Best Book in the World. Among his significant works as an illustrator include Ay Naku!, 2012 National Children’s Book Award–One of the Best Reads; Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu!, 2008 Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) Alcala Illustrator’s Prize grand winner and NOMA Concours Japan Encouragement Prize winner; The Boy Who Touched Heaven, 2008 National Book awardee; and the Tight Times, 2007 PBBY Alcala Illustrator’s Prize grand winner. He is also a member of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK), the first and only art group in the Philippines dedicated to illustrations for children. He was a scholar and graduated magna cum laude at the University of Santo Tomas. Some of his illustration and craft tutorials can be read at

Rommel Joson graduated magna cum laude and college valedictorian from the University of Philippines College of Fine Arts in 2006. He also holds a degree in Business Management from the Ateneo de Manila University, where he also received the Dean's Awards for Visual Arts in 1999. He has won awards in the fields of painting, illustration, design, and advertising art direction. In 2005, he won 3rd Place in the Oil/Acrylic Category of the 38th Shell National Student Art Competition. In 2007, he won 3rd Place at the Neil Gaiman/Fully Booked Graphic Fiction Competition. He worked in the advertising industry for a number of years, winning Silver and Bronze awards at the Philippine Araw Awards and Silver at the 1st Adobo Design Awards. In 2009, he was featured in Rogue Magazine's List of Top 16 Philippine Illustrators. In 2012, he was a semifinalist in the Oil on Canvas Category of the Metrobank Art and Design Excellence Competition. He now illustrates children's books for various publishers, garnering Honorable Mention citations at the PBBY-Alcala Illustrator's Prize. He is currently a member of the illustration group Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK).

Rommel's @AngINK.

A view from CANVAS Gallery and Garden

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Calling

The Calling
pencils and acrylic on plywood

Transmuting passion to a higher purpose.

My work for CANVAS annual banner group show entitled, 
Revolution: Celebrating 150 years of Andres Bonifacio
 On view at the UP Vargas Museum and Oval until June 18, 2013

WHEW, five years of banner art!


Artwork for an upcoming exhibit. 
My process in creating personal works usually begins with making random textures. 
I "capture" characters formed from those textures. 
Sometimes, finding those characters takes time and staring long at the canvas.

Voice and clarity: two words that most established artists and illustrators keep mentioning in their talks. I kept repeating those words to know what they really mean because it used to be vague for me.

When they are talking about finding and amplifying "voice," does it mean the things that keep ringing in your head? Is it thinking out loud, visually? Is it really something that you wanted to say visually?

Personally, I think the "voice" refers to your principles, emotions, and your own life story.

When they are talking about "clarity," does it mean sharpness (literal and figurative) of an image? the focus of subject? Effectively translating verbal communication through visual language?

I think clarity in illustration, especially in picture books, simply means the reader can understand what's going on in the scene, or grasp what the images or objects are.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

works in progress

Detail of our upcoming book 

Detail of artwork for an exhibit

Work in progress for the annual banner show