Chichirya Series: Kirei and La-La

Finally posting the last two illustrations of my Chichirya series. A bit delayed but thankfully, I managed to finish and post them before this month ends. Goal achieved hehe! These were painted using Winsor and Newton Cotman and a 200gsm Canson paper.

Kirei is one of our shrimp-flavored snacks. I haven’t tried but I think this goes well with vinegar.

I had a bit of difficulty keeping the illustration white or at least making it appear still as white. During the process, I painted the shadows darker compared to previous plans. I remedied that by using white ink to tone down the color (and also some color tweaking in Photoshop).

And now for my tenth illustration, presenting to the world La-La – salty fish crackers best dipped too in sweet/spicy vinegar.

I was thinking of whether to paint this or another kind of snack mainly because I was worried about the fish! Haha. I’ve never painted one and it was a challenge I was praying and hoping that I wouldn’t ruin. It was actually the last detail that I painted.

I also encountered some trouble with the top red part. Total disaster! I was thinking of where to put my highlights and when I thought I had it right, using a #10 round brush, I put a watery wash of white ink over the red layer. The look was so bad (the package looked pink!) that I had to repaint another red layer to cover them. If you think I stopped there, well I hate to say that you’re wrong. I miscalculated again the placement of my highlights and accidentally painted again the top most part with ink! *cries* I corrected again my mistake by repainting and willed myself to not do anything at all! Just let it dry Monique and let it be…and above is my final output. Whew! I was so close to repeating it! Still, despite all the painting hassles, this is by far my best work out of all snack illustrations I did (I think) and my favorite too. :)


Chichirya Series: Tomi


I should’ve posted this a week ago. Sadly, I’m not that confident with the photo I took and how it was edited in Photoshop so I decided to redo both the Nova and Tomi illustrations. Just to share, the illustrations and photos that you see here in my blog were all taken using my trusty iPhone 5s. I just tweak most of my illustrations in Photoshop.

Anyway, back to the artwork above, every 90s kid in the Philippines knows Tomi (90s kid here!!!). We super love the sweet corn taste and gosh, I’m craving for it now! When I was a kid, we used to buy this in small packs, just the size of a fist, for 3-5 pesos. It’s cheap so everyone can buy as many as they want. We still have them in the market but I don’t think children nowadays are familiar with this food. Next time I head to the grocery, I’ll have this one in my basket.

Now for the process, the yellows and greens were bright because I painted those washes twice. My first wash ended up looking pale so I had to put again another layer of color for a more saturated tone (that really happens a lot with watercolor). My favorite detail here was the Tomi text, I had fun painting those reds and those blue shadows. As for the difficult part, definitely it was the ‘caveman’ or ‘troll’ (I don’t know what to call him haha). I was actually a bit hesitant to include Tomi on my illustrations because of it. When I research for references, I really try to skip those complicated package designs to save me some time and trouble haha. But I just really love Tomi and my series would be incomplete without it. So now here it is, finally posted!

Three more to go before I complete the series. I already miss painting different meals so hopefully I’ll have everything done before the month ends. Stay tuned!

Chichirya Series: Nova

Hello there! Painted another cheese-flavored chips that I love to snack on which is Nova. I already used up the sketchbook I got from a workshop so I painted this using a 200gsm Canson watercolor paper. For the Nova text, I used white gouache, but since it’s not purely white, it ended up looking off-white (or maybe it’s just with the way I edited the photo in Photoshop). Four more artworks to complete the series and I can’t wait to finish them all! :)

Taking this opportunity also to share that I was nominated for the Liebster Award. I’m not really sure as what the winner/s would get but the mechanics seem kind of fun. A blogger nominates small blogs (500 followers or less) and then have them answer a few questions, something that would make them share interestng facts about themselves. The nominated blogger, after answering the questions, must also submit his/her own list of nominees and then post also questions for the nominees to answer.

I’d like to thank for the nomination and for including me in her list of blogs to follow. I’m afraid I don’t have yet any nominees for this award (would that disqualify me?) but I’d still like to answer her questions. So here it goes, enjoy reading!

Have you ever flown in a dream?

I wish I had but my dreams were mostly falling from high places.

Do you like to read, if yes, what are your favourite books?

I love reading! It’s my second favorite pastime, first of course is painting. I recently finished Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments. I also keep on rereading The Selection Series by Kiera Cass. But my all-time favorite would be J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter Series.

What scares you?

Darkness and a room full of mirrors.

A giraffe or a hippo? Why?

A hippo. I just find them cute :)

Have you ever or would you do skydiving?

I don’t think I have the courage to do skydiving. It’s thrilling and exciting but I’m afraid of heights so I don’t think I would be able to do it.

What’s your happiest memory from recently or years ago? (like a Patronus worthy memory)

When my favorite artist, Ana Victoria Calderon, liked and shared on her Instagram and Facebook page the fan art that me and and my friends made. It was the first thing I saw in my notifications when I woke up. I literally screamed, jumped out of bed and texted my friends because I was so giddy. It was a dream come true for me to be acknowledged by someone I look up to the most.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

It would definitely make a sound, but since no one’s there to hear, nobody would tell that it made a sound.

Is Friday, 13th a happy or unhappy day for you?

I have a day job so it’s usually unhappy as Friday the 13th here in the Philippines sometimes happens to be our payday. We usually get our salary every 15th and 30th of the month and if those dates fall on a weekend, we get our money on a Friday. So if it’s payday, on a Friday, that means many people would be stuck in severe traffic because everyone is planning to go out and celebrate with friends and colleagues. Filipino readers would get this LOL.

Which super-power you would like to have?

The power to heal or control the four elements

How many if any foreign languages can you speak or which one would you like to learn?

Right now I can only speak and write in English but I would love to learn French, Japanese and Spanish.

Which colour do you like best?

My favorite colors are green and purple.

Chichirya Series: Lay’s Classic

Because we also love the Classic Lay’s here. :)

I used my Zig Kuratake waterbrush in painting the yellow bag. I just discovered that it’s much easier to do washes since the waterbrush is always moist. I’m trying also to be contented with my illustration but my OC self keeps on pinpointing the flaws in my work such as the imperfect “Classic” text and that weird shadow under the potato. Must practice more!

Chichirya Series: V-Cut

Here’s another Jack ‘n Jill potato chip I painted in a 5×4″ sketchbook using Prang and Winsor and Newton watercolors. My dad usually pairs this with a cold beer aside from Piattos.

I’m very detailed with my work and as much as possible, I try to incorporate whatever I see on my subject to my illustration. It’s my main reason of using large pads, to enlarge those details so I could paint them easily. Scaling it down to almost a quarter of a paper kind of increases the effort to render them properly. I liked painting that mini potato guy and the onions around him but all those text/lettering were just difficult (also because my hands were shaking).

Chichirya Series: Piattos

Here in the Philippines, we call our junk foods as “chichirya”. Most of the junk foods we have here are potato chips of different flavors. Trying to think of ways on how to paint regularly, I decided to create an illustration series out of it. Sharing below my first chichirya illustration, Piattos.


Piattos is one of the most popular potato chips in the country. When I’m craving for something salty, this is what I usually pick among other chips (and Nova, which I will also draw in the coming days).

As for the process, it took me three hours to finish this, an improvement from previous projects that takes 4-6 hours of my time. I think it’s because of the scale since I illustrated this on a 5×4″ sketchbook I got from my first workshop. The paints used were a mixture of Prang, Dr. Ph Martin and Winsor and Newton watercolors.

I hope you enjoyed this one. Will be posting more chichirya artworks so stay tuned. :)