That Day in Maginhawa Part 1

I spent the last Sunday of my September by going to Maginhawa. I had two agenda on that day: 1) to attend another watercolour workshop and 2) to experience what Maginhawa has to offer for someone like me who haven’t explored yet the area. It was a tiring but super fun day and I was with my officemates too. I’ve decided to divide this story into two posts as this will definitely be long. Start below to see what I was up to for 11 hours. Let’s go!

Cafe Mithi

Cafe Mithi

At 10 o’ clock, I was already at Cafe Mithi – I was actually the first one to arrive. Cafe Mithi is a new cafe in Maginhawa, probably one or two months old. Because it’s new, artists are also trying this as a venue for their workshops. I like their tagline: A Cafe for Dreamers and Makers, it makes me want to stay longer, think about my future with the art and paint whatever’s there on the menu LOL. Anyway, since I was still waiting for my instructor and other classmates to arrive, I ended up taking photos of the place and even my Tomi illustration, which was posted in my Instagram account.

The workshop area

The workshop area

I love their spiral staircase

I love their spiral staircase

Some calligraphy displayed in one of the shelves

Some calligraphy displayed in one of the shelves

That patterned wall!

That patterned wall!

I attended a Basic Watercolor for Beginners workshop by Kat Santos of @thepapercat. I know, I already attended a similar class and I’m not a “beginner” as what the instructor also told the rest of the class haha. I’m actually spending because I want to meet like-minded individuals and because there are still techniques that one can’t just learn by watching Youtube. I truly admire Kat’s work, may it be her florals or her food illustrations, that’s why I was very excited to be part of this class. Just look at the poster she made below.

© Kat Santos / @thepapercat

© Kat Santos / @thepapercat

The workshop fee was Php 2,000 inclusive of food, Prang watercolors, brushes, pencil and a pack of Canson 200gsm watercolors. We were only six in class which allowed the teacher also to be more hands-on with her students.

Beside the usual topics such as flat washes, how to care for the brushes, paints etc., what I like about the workshop was that it forced us to work only with three colors namely Red, Yellow and Blue. Kat challenged us to create new colors using only the primaries and it was a bit hard since I’m already used to using 8 or more colors. I was able to produce pretty tones however, it was mostly earthy tones so I’m not sure if I can use those for food illustrations.

One of the topics discussed also were highlights and shadows. I’m not sure as to what style I really want myself to develop but my recent illustrations involve these and honestly, I don’t feel like I’m doing them properly. Highlights and shadows are really the key to making your art look realistic. I usually use white china ink for my highlights which I then apply after my painting dries. For this particular workshop, I need to leave gaps or white spaces, something that I had to do while in the process of painting. Eep! I miscalculated the spaces I need to leave white and so I ended up with bad work. That tomato and flower make me cringe!

Teacher Kat demoing a Cara Delavigne portrait

Teacher Kat demoing a Cara Delavigne portrait

Behold, the initial stage of Cara’s portrait. Everyone was in awe. What started as a pencil sketch slowly began to look alive. Kat said that she was interested with portraits because it just feels like she’s doing make-up, especially with all those contours and highlights.

After doing some exercises, we were given a watercolor postcard where we can paint in our chosen subject for our final work. I’ve said this also in my Instagram post that I wouldn’t waste a pretty paper on something I know I would ruin (remembering that tomato and flower) so I opted to paint the subject I’m most comfortable with, FOOD.

Speaking of food, Cafe Mithi served us Iced Coffee along with their best-selling Masagana snack – it’s a big cup filled with delicious mojos and potato wedges. Definitely something that I would order again if I were to come back.

The unfinished work

The unfinished work 

We only had 30 minutes left to finish our final output as Kat still had to prepare for another watercolor class. These were the only details I managed to paint and by the looks of it, I’d still need to use ink for the highlights (facepalm).

Teacher Kat, me and my painted toast

Teacher Kat, me and my painted toast

I’m glad I was able to attend one of Kat’s workshops. There are still loads to learn. It saddens me that I would no longer be able to attend her workshop focused on food illustrations (money problems) but still, I’m thrilled to finally meet the artist that I only get to follow in Instagram. Art goal checked! Thank you so much Kat for the kind words about my art and for sharing your knowledge to me and the rest of the class! Shoutout also to Cafe Mithi for being part of this learning experience. ❤️

Wait for my next post, That Day in Maginhawa Part 2, where I will share the rest of my Maginhawa experience. :)

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