Tuesday, December 27, 2011

December Sketching at the Ayala Triangle, Makati

This month's sketching session took place at the Central Bussiness District of Makati, Metro Manila. The Ayala Triangle park had a few newly opened restaurants and cafes and adds amenities for people to enjoy a green breathing space within an urban setting. One interesting structure we had wanted to sketch was the former air tower turned heritage library in the 1990s. We were barred from sketching within the library's premises, but that did not stop us sketching it from the adjacent Ayala Triangle park.

I had a chance to further explore sketching with the 5.3" Samsung Galaxy Note smart phone. Using the application Sketchbook Mobile Express, I was able to just get some satisfactory sketches. I see the digital sketching capability as the future common standard for smart phones. Bare in mind however, that this is merely a  high tech tool, just like the essential blank paper and pencil/pen/brush. The artist makes the art, not the material and medium making the art. The process of observation through sketching than just taking a picture is the main essence why we have these regular sessions.

6 year-old Ampao had a fun time recording what she saw. Children have a natural ability of sketching honest impressions of things, places and people. We adults sometimes forget it.
Other people who came and joined the sketching were Buz, Cesar, Pinoy, Muffy and Ryan.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sketching this coming December 17

Our theme for this month will be the Makati CBD area, from 9 am to 12 pm at the Ayala Triangle Park. This is usually open to the public but we can just walk about seeing what interest our fancy to sketch. At around 1 pm, we can attend the free Heima arts and design at the LRI Plaza at 1 pm, as suggested by Cesar, the birthday boy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Villa de Acuzar Resort

Philippines is rich with heritage structures from the influence of  European and American colonists. But with poor policies, we lose old houses and buildings to new high accommodating structures.

Villa de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan is a resort with the concept of using transferred old houses and buildings to its site for leisure stay. This concept is more for business than conservation and I have mixed reactions towards this issue - yes, at least they are not gone forever but they were modified somehow from their original construction. I've learned proper conservation adhere to certain strict rules to the way a heritage buildings should be handled and cared for.

With my 3 day stay at the resort due to my work, I have managed to get some impressions of how these buildings were seen and felt before. Just their essence since these uprooted buildings are not in their original context of how they responded to their original environment.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pasig City Sketches

On the veranda of Bahay Na Tisa, in Barangay San Jose, Pasig.

The "azotea" - original main entrance to the house.

A street scene in Pasig City - I first noticed the leaning power poles with its' cacaphony of electrical wires.

Due to a late announcement, the November 26th monthly Sketch Walk in Pasig City was only attended by Carlo Martinez and Buz (me). We started with some sketching in the original city center, in Rizal Plaza. After a visit to the Pasig City Hall & lunch, we sketched on the grounds of a 160-year old house, Bahay Na Tisa, in the Barangay San Jose. The house design & interiors gave me a peek of what life in old Manila would have been like.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Quiet Views of Manila

The Santuario de San Antonio Parish Church

The Manila American Cemetery

Several recent sketches from the McKinley/Bonifacio area - drawings done during the past holiday weekend & on a warm Tuesday morning.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Manila Bay

I spent quite some time sketching in Manila Bay a couple of weeks ago while my was taking care of a work event. The sketch above is probably one of the most polished I've ever done, which makes sense since it took me about an hour to finish it.  I was actually sketching it outside in the wind and rain until some employees of Yellow Cab Pizza took pity on me and invited me to stay inside since there weren't a lot of customers that day. I wanted to order something in thanks but I was really full after one and a half sandwiches at Starbucks, so I sheepishly sneaked away after I was done with my sketch.  This one was done with a pencil outline, then brush pen and gray marker brush for shading.  The little squiggles on the upper right were supposed to be birds flapping in the wind, which I wasn't quite successful with.

This sketch was done in the aforementioned Starbucks.  I must have looked suspicious to the Starbucks crew and customers because I spent maybe 10 minutes just walking around Starbucks trying to find the best view.  These were all sketched in Harbor Square opposite the CCP complex.  I'd actually had no idea that this structure existed before that Saturday, but it's a pretty nice place to go and view the sunset or the boats and yachts moored in Manila Bay with skyscrapers and the piers in the background.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sketching Results of Manila Monuments last October 22

A brief introduction to some new art materials
Sketch by Carlo Martinez
After a brief talk by an art supply distributor before starting out October's sketching session, we first proceeded with the statue of Queen Isabela II just outside the Intramuros, Manila. Most of the statues found in the area of Intramuros reminds us about the old Spanish empire that ruled the Philippines for 300 years. We got to sketch about 3 statues of former Spanish rulers namely Queen Isabela II, King Philip II and King Don Carlos IV. 6-year-old Ampao Roxas' drawings were utterly cute! This is how sketching should be - pure connection to what you are observing. She even noticed that King Philip's name was spelled in the Spanish version - Felipe.
New participant, Noipy Cruz' excellent pen sketch

Janeil's try on a large Derwent panoramic sketch pad

Ampao's mother, Muffy's sketch.
6-year-old Ampao had the right attitude with this sketch of Queen Isabela
by Carlo Martinez
King Philip's statue

King Don Carlos
Janeil's sketch last January
by Carlo Martinez

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sketching Manila Monuments this Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011

We start our monument sketching project by sketching some of the statues of the old walled city of Intramuros. Please make sure to bring much needed water, sun protection and only essentials.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sketch Result of last September 24 at the National Museum

Another fun-filled sketching session has concluded at the National Art Gallery of National Museum. The building originally  housed the Philippine Republic's congress assembly. The architecture is of neo-classical in the 1930s. It was severely damaged during WWII but was restored later on. It is going through as major rehabilitation, and the entrance fee was waved during regular weekdays.

There were some 15 sketchers who attended, including 6-year-old Ampao. Burt volunteered to video record during the session and has ploaded the final cut on Youtube. Here is the link:

USk-PH sketches the National Museum Video

Carlo's stair sketch
Cesar's sketch of the old Congress Hall
Cesar's sketch of the side of the hall
Buz likes catches the magic of ordinary things and people
Janeil's neck-stretching 180 degree sketch of the old Congress Hall

Monday, September 5, 2011

Metropolitan Theatre

On a warm Sunday morning, 4 Sept, I sketched at the classic Art Deco Metropolitan Theatre, which I'd been eyeing for several months, as a potential subject. As Manila folks know, it's closed now, and the weather conditions & harsh environment are beginning to take its' toll on the building, in the forms of fungus, garbage & some broken windows. The front of the Theatre was in full sun, so I found a shady view off to one side of the building, and sketched for 2 hours, while a number of street vendors & passers-by periodically watched and asked me questions.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Urban Sketching Manila Water Fountains

I only have been sketching with a serious sketchbook only a year ago. With only four months worth of sketching I wrote to BluPrint (via an architect teacher colleague who is a contributor) with some of my on-location drawings as samples of some topics I was suggesting for the magazine could cover. The managing editor wrote back and asked me if I could write them. And so this is how I started writing for the publication, with the sketches of water fountains around Metro Manila.

The article came out April 2011, and it was Buz who  wrote to me about the possibility of setting up an Urban Sketchers Philippines group. We invited a bunch of people who might be interested for our first ever meeting that mid-April. Only 3 of us - Ryan, Buz and I were able to meet. We had soon requested for the privilege of the official USk Philippines group.

Urban Sketchers' manifesto works for all and not just for serious artists. It gives anyone a chance to see the world through sketching; and the result is not so important - the process is valued more. An upcoming BluPrint issue in October will feature some USk Philippines members' sketches on the topic of Travel Sketching.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sketching Result of August 20, 2011 of Paco Park

Paco Park Entrance by Buz Walker-Teach
Carlo Martinez' sketch of the Front Arch
Eileen Escueta's sketch of the chapel
Noel Amano the archaeologist's sketch of the chapel
Janeil Arlegui's watercolor impression of the chapel of Paco Park
A great turnout so far for the Urban Sketchers of the Philippines. There was close to 20 people of various professionals and students who came and joined to sketch Paco National Park. We had a lawyer, a science teacher, archaeologist, art teacher, architects, students and house wives who were keen on seeing and experiencing through sketching. Special thanks to Architect Augusto Villalon and NPDC Executive Director Jett Villegas for the free entrance and snacks for this event.
Cesar's pencil sketch of the curving walls with niches, behind the front entrance. It used to be a cemetery.