Watercolor Workshop Experience

Hello everyone! I’m just posting to let you know that the blog is still alive (lol). How was your week? I was too busy at work that I no longer have any time to pick up my brush. It’s kind of frustrating and I’m still working my way around the hectic schedule. Just to share, today is a Sunday and I’m here somewhere covering a karting championship (unfortunately, I have to work on a weekend). In case you’re wondering, I wrote this last Friday, the only time I was free because it was a national holiday here in the Philippines. I wanted to sleep but I thought I needed to catch up on some art-related stuff.

Anyway, I’m here to post about the workshop I attended a week ago. For the first time, I decided to invest my money and time on a watercolor workshop and  I was so excited for a lot of reasons.

One, the fact that I was able to find a food illustration workshop! I really, really wanted to attend a watercolor workshop because who doesn’t want to further their knowledge on their craft? It took me some time before finding a few local artists who delves in food illustration. Sadly, most of them are based in North Luzon or Visayas so their workshops are always conducted there. One day, I was surprised to see an Instagram post from an artist I was following. She’s based in Laoag but she’ll be having a 2-day food illustration workshop in Manila! Hooray!!! I don’t usually attend events without any friends to take but this time it doesn’t matter. Even if no one would accompany me, I would attend on my own. The not so expensive fee was also a deciding factor (haha, I’m cheap like that)

Two, it will be held in Maginhawa, Quezon City. If you’re from the Philippines, we all know that Maginhawa is a haven for foodies and artists. So many small cafes and food trucks lining the streets offer reasonable and affordable food prices. Most of the watercolor or even calligraphy workshops that local artists offer are held in Maginhawa. Since I live in Manila and I only commute, it would be kind of difficult for me to travel all the way there (probably 1-2 hours travel). I promised myself to only visit Maginhawa for a workshop if I’m near the area and if it’s about food illustration. Luckily that weekend, I was in Cubao and it only took me 30-45 minutes of travel.

Three, it’s my chance to connect with fellow artists, most especially those that I follow in Instagram! Whether they’re accomplished artists or just plain interested with watercolors, I look forward to meeting them. I really wanted to be part of an art community and attending a workshop is one step closer to that goal. I tend to be quiet and shy around strangers but I promised myself to be extra friendly this time.

© Jane of @eat_eggs_for_lunch

So the workshop I attended was called Watercolor and Food Illustration Workshop. Our teacher was the talented and fellow food illustrator Jane Gaspar. I’m a fan of her works that’s why I decided to join her class also. You can check out her illustrations in Instagram or Tumblr. She had three sets to choose from, the fee and materials varying for each set. I chose the Deluxe set below which only costed me Php1000.

Deluxe Set for only Php1000 (L-R: Mini watercolor pad, kneaded eraser, white gel pen, black-brown gel pen, blue-black gel pen, pencil, rigger brush, round bush, U-Art watercolor)

L-R: Mini watercolor pad, kneaded eraser, white gel pen, black-brown gel pen, blue-black gel pen, pencil, rigger brush, round bush, U-Art watercolor © Jane Gaspar

The workshop was held in Moonleaf Maginhawa, a popular milk tea shop with pastas and desserts. We were there from 11AM-4PM and we, the participants, were the ones who shouldered our own snacks which we later on painted. Below are some of the pictures I took during the workshop. I was only able to take a few photos because we were already busy painting our food.

Moonleaf Maginhawa

Moonleaf Maginhawa

Kits for the participants

Kits for the participants

The Workspace

Before ordering our food, we learned first the basics of watercolor and tried a few techniques

Look who I met in class!! It's Ella Lama, the doodler and letterer ❤️

Look who I met in class!! It’s Ella Lama, the doodler and letterer ❤️

My Strawberry Milkslush and Penne with chicken strips (It took so long for my food to be served that I opted to paint another participants order instead)

My Strawberry Milkslush and Penne with chicken strips (It took so long for my food to be served that I opted to paint another participant’s order instead)

During the workshop, I realized that maybe one of the reasons why it’s taking me time to produce an artwork was because of its size. I usually paint on a 9×12 and the illustration above was only 1/4 of a pad. Painting in a big sheet can be a little intimidating because you always wonder how you’re going to fill that blank space. Considering the time in the evening I only have after work, reducing my canvas to something that I can finish in two or three hours would probably make a difference. It might be a challenge to incorporate details but I think I can work on that. The important thing is to be able to practice even in smaller pieces.

A closer look on the works of my classmates

A closer look on the works of my classmates

It was fun to try too the styles of other artists. I don’t usually line my work but this time I gave it a try. It was indeed easier because you can just wash the ink to give your work subtle shades and contrast. I really like the blue-black pen we got from our kit, kind of resembles the Payne’s Gray shade in watercolor which I usually use for my shadows.

Jane and me with our artworks

Jane and me with our artworks

Class photo! © Jane Gaspar

Class photo! ❤️ © Jane Gaspar

Good vibes indeed. Thanks Moonleaf and Jane!

Good vibes indeed. Thanks Moonleaf and Jane!

I’m really glad that I was able to attend this workshop. I met new art friends and even won an item from the raffle! (which rarely happens). It’s super fun discussing watercolor tips and challenges to people interested also with the craft. I hope I get to attend again another event in the future. A watercolor playdate would be nice also. Thank you so much Jane and Moonleaf! ❤️

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