Ink and Watercolor Sketch of a Young Girl

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Faces and figures are a joy to sketch. Whether they come from life or from one’s imagination, they make wonderful drawing subjects for any medium or substrate. My imagined faces often look alike and [for some reason] I’m glad they do.  Even when I take after another artist’s drawing, I try to stick to my own version of that face or subject.

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This ink and watercolor sketch of a young girl was inspired by a sketch made by Cristina Parus. I thought I wanted to make my own version with pigtails and a Fauvist look. I used Derwent Inktense pencils to sketch and color the face. Then I added a background using light washes of purple and medium yellow (Sakura Koi). I outlined the sketch with a Faber-Castell PITT Artist fineliner (S point, indanthrene blue 247) and put those whites on the pupils using a white gel pen (Uni-ball Signo broad).

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This sketch was done on the fly. I was actually just testing some ink and stamps on scrap watercolor paper. Cristina’s beautiful sketch suddenly came to mind, and I knew I had to grab whatever’s on hand and get my artwork done. Thanks for the inspiration, Cristina!

Follow step-by-step lessons for creating beautiful faces in your mixed-media art from Jane Davenport! Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces

Art Journal | Wild and Whimsy Orange Tulips

There are days when all I want to do at my art desk is go wild and free. I ignore those books and other fine art techniques and just draw and paint whatever I feel like at the moment. Spontaneity comes to me when I temporarily abandon the guards who watch every movement that I make. I do it all for fun and for self-discovery. And, more often than not, I do find something interesting or come up with new art ideas. I suppose this a common circumstance for other art enthusiasts too.

wild tulips

This mixed-media painting of orange tulips was done on the page of an old menu planner. (I bought the planner at Booksale for Php 45!) I cut out squares and rectangles out of an old Reader’s Digest book and turned them into a collage background. Then I coated the page lightly with white gesso using an old ID card. I drew the tulips using Derwent Inktense pencils and then painted the leaves and sky using acrylics.

whimsy tulips

I love how the text showed through and how the painting gave a vintage feel. It’s just how I wanted it to look like. I made this whimsical painting after working on a diptych painting of orange tulips. The exercise wore me off as it compelled me to employ watercolor techniques I’d never done before. So I thought to draw my own impression of orange tulips and just let go. Indeed, it proved to be a liberating experience for me.

Courageous Art Journaling with Dina Wakley

What’s Been Happening On The Homefront

It’s already the middle of July! Where have you been? That’s a question that I’ll have to ask myself right now. I’ve been so busy with new and old daily routines that I can no longer go online and post as often as I used to. I think I’ve never been deeply immersed in family and business matters as I am now. I’m literally soaking my body and brain in all this. My husband tells me I should take it easy sometimes. That I will try to do little by little. I think I’ll start by writing something here. So here’s a rundown of what’s been happening on the homefront (and possibly elsewhere):

New morning schedule. I get up at 4 a.m. or a little later than that to prepare breakfast and baon for my family. Husband and eldest daughter now leave at 6 a.m to catch the service van that takes Candice to her school in AAV.  She has to join the morning carpool now following the stricter traffic rules and regulations imposed by the AAV homeowners. As soon as hubby and Dicey leave, I wake up Stella. This is so she’ll have enough time to prepare for her 7:30 a.m. Kindergarten class. After she takes breakfast, gets dressed and makes enough drawings for the morning, I drive her to school.

My one and only pasahero for the day :)

A photo posted by Connie Luayon (@conniesnotebook) on

New alone time schedule. Now that Stella is in an earlier schedule, I get a different alone time as well. Twice a week, after dropping her off at school, I drive to the nearest Robinsons supermarket to get fresh supplies and produce. In between those days, it’s either I go straight home to do chores and rest, or run errands (like pay bills, etc.) It’s nice that I can now get more than 2 hours of downtime. The only thing that disappoints me sometimes is that I can’t use this ‘window period’ to visit a bookstore or a mall as commercial stores open at 10:30 a.m. This is Stella’s dismissal time. Anyway, I hope to make more good use of this new alone time schedule in some way.

The Wednesday route. This is actually new and quite exciting. I now fetch Candice in Alabang every Wednesday as she spends only half day in school on this day. Right after I pick up Stella from her school, we drive to Hillsborough to meet Ate Candice who waits for us at Daddy’s workplace at around 1 p.m. Given the new AAV traffic rules and doubly expensive AAV car sticker, my husband and I decided that I should just meet her in Hillsborough. Both our cars have Alabang Hills stickers so it seems to be the more practical approach. I’m not so used to driving to that part of Alabang yet, but the first time I tried, I did okay. I just got a bit confused somewhere in Alabang Hills and had to stay at the clubhouse with Stella who enjoyed small talk with some college students from San Beda Alabang (formerly the Benedictine Abbey School).

More study time with the girls. I made a promise to give my girls more study time with Mommy this school year. Although they’ve done well in the academics last school year and received their medals, I feel that they deserve more guidance now than before. While some parents tend to reduce the study time as their kids get older, I kind of feel that I should get more involved as my daughters progress in school. I just want to make sure that they will and can cope well as the departmentalized K-12 system becomes tougher and more demanding. I don’t want to just rely on my daughters being generally smart; I also want them to know that their parents are there to guide them through academic challenges and to help them process their thoughts and feelings toward learning and social interaction.

Lots of no-gadget playtime for the girls. I’m happy to see that our girls now spend more time playing with toys and other stuff and not getting too obsessed with tablet or gadget games. I do not allow tablet games on school days, by the way. They can only have access starting Friday night and until Sunday afternoon, or when there are class suspensions and their teachers did not send any workload. Candice also spends a great deal of time playing on the piano. She’s done with my old Teaching Little Fingers to Play (John Thompson) book and wants to learn more ensemble pieces. I’m still looking for a copy of another Teaching Little Fingers to Play (for ensemble or accompaniments). In the meantime, she and Daddy play music by ear and they enjoy it.

Well, that’s all for now. I hope to post more often as soon as I get used to the new things in my life. It really does take a while for me to process certain matters and get used to unfamiliar terrain. I know I’ll get better in time. See you all again in a couple of days or weeks!

Candice’s first public recital

Hello! It’s been a while since I last made an update. I’m alive and able and well. I went through 2 weeks of life challenge, and I had to drop a lot of things then in order to focus on what needs to be addressed right away. I’m not sure if I can share the details here as it’s too painful to think about it right now. Let me just share with you a happy moment, like Candice’s first public recital! Yup, the little girl has completed her first summer piano course and was more than glad to perform in front of an unknown crowd. I’m so proud of her! She played her two pieces without mistakes. Here’s a short video that I posted on Instagram:

Candice playing 10 Little Indians during the recital

A video posted by Connie Luayon (@conniesnotebook) on

I’m thankful for her teacher who managed to teach her a lot of pieces in less than 12 sessions. We’re now thinking of having her tutored again come October — but in the actual studio this time. Stella will join her sister next summer and learn piano too.
I was so in awe of the other kids, really young people, who did their best and practiced hard. Truly, you do not need a lot to achieve excellence. You only need your passion and your instrument. Though of course, it wouldn’t hurt to have additional gadgets later on. I actually scrutinized the sound system before the program proper to check what high tech stuff they got … maybe a pioneer dj controller or something.

Congratulations, Ate Candice! We are ever proud of you. There’ll be more of this for sure.