Saturday, December 25, 2010

Season's greetings (or ambush)

Every late December, my email inbox starts filling up with holiday greetings of various holiday illustrations done by artists from MB Artists (who also represent me). I'm usually a bystander in all this since I never send in my own artwork/art greeting card (I vaguely recall doing it just once).

This year, I barely make it. Here's a quick black &white Christmas sketch that I sent just minutes ago. It may be a little rushed & I admittedly struggled with a new sketchbook paper texture, but I like the concept (one of many that I had in mind, but I had only enough time to do one pencil sketch. Maybe next year).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Battle of Mactan

Over the weekend, I decided to play a little bit. In the past months, I've assumed that, when I finally get to relax, I'll be jumping at the chance to do something along the lines of a figure painting or a plein air sketch by the beach.


When the time came, I went with some low-brow fun on my sketchbook. The subject I stumbled upon was Lapu-Lapu, the Filipino icon before there was even a Philippines. He is best known for defeating the Spanish in the shores of Mactan as well as slaying Ferdinand Magellan, a revered historical figure to the world but a foreign usurper to Filipinos.

Idealized statues & paintings of the man can be found all over the country. He's been printed on money, has a city named after him (as well as a local fish), yet not much else is known about him. He, however, stands alone in the annals of Philippine history as the one Filipino hero known for successfully defeating a foreign invading power. Much of the figures in Philippine history are revered for martyrdom & bravery ... in the face of defeat. Being under colonial rule for 381 out of the past 445 years can do that to a country.

With the help of my new friend, the Mongol #2 pencil, and the best craft store quality colored pencils Davao City can offer (sigh), here are three sketches that I made with Lapu Lapu & the Battle of Mactan in mind. As you can see, historical accuracy was an utmost importance to me.

actual historical quote from the battle.

spanish robots on the beach. yes, those 3 words in one sentence.

seeing these strange otherworldly invaders must have been an imposing sight to the natives.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Joining the facebook game

Currently, many of my friends on facebook have been changing their profile picture to cartoon characters. This is supposed to promote awareness against child abuse. Like other facebook crazes that have preceded this, it's become quite popular and yet I couldn't wrap my mind on how changing your picture to a Thundercat would help.

As well intentioned as it may be (and, may I add, a lot of fun), I refused to play along.

Then the wife changed her profile picture.

Her choice was the princess in a late 70's Japanese animated film Hakucho no Mizumi. A film that was essential viewing in her childhood as Hugo the Hippo was to mine.

She also was now curious on which character I would choose to put up on my own profile. At first, I said I wouldn't do it. I was just too cool for that... but I did start thinking about it.

DC comic characters were easy choices. A few of the old Warner Bros. animation cast would be a good one too. I could easily have gone for 80's tv favorites like Mask, He-Man or G.I. Joe. And of course, there's my old friend Hugo the Hippo.

In the end, I decided to join in, but only on my terms. I would create my own picture. No cutting & pasting for me. I drew my 10 month old daughter, Alison, as Supergirl. It was fast, easy and, as it turned out, quite relaxing. It's been some time since I've drawn without the thought of a paycheck or deadline in mind. Just drawing for the love of it.

Lastly, here's the video that, according to a friend, supposedly inspired this facebook campaign. Changing a profile picture is one thing but getting involved with your time or money is another.