Friday, July 3, 2015

The Botanical Watercolor Workshop - 06/30/15

When I started the LifeAfterBreakfast Workshops in 2012, they were just informal 'crafternoons' where participants gather to create projects, and to learn a little bit more about a specific craft. The primary goals then were to set some time to create, to get out of our little crafty shells, and meet other artists and create/co-work. I eventually created modules for each craft, and the crafternoons evolved into more formal classes. 200+ workshops later (!!!), the classes still feel like the first craft gatherings back then, now leveled up with food + awesome kits + handouts. The workshops are great way to meet new friends as most people come alone for their own 'me time', while some bring friends/sisters/moms/boyfriends/husbands for some bonding time. This is my way of helping both creatives and non-creatives: by sharing with them a new hobby, a chance to forget about the real (and digital) world for a while, and by making art more accessible / the creation process less intimidating. :) After teaching arts & crafts to kids for 8+ years, and crafternoons for almost 4 years, I realize that crafting is my passion just as much as teaching is!


Last Tuesday's workshop was my first public weekday class. When the crafternoons began in 2012, I set the modules to be 3 hours long on Saturday afternoons, so that more people could attend. But after teaching weekday evening courses in the US this past year, I thought, why shouldn't Manila have weekday classes as well? Besides, people are out already during the week days, so they can just go straight to the classes from work (and leave their weekends for family time and rest). In short, here begins a new era of weekday evening craft workshops!:) The weekend workshops will still be there of course, and you can check out bit.ly/LABWorkshopSchedule for the updated list of classes.


The first Botanical Watercolor Workshop was held last Tuesday evening at Prism Gallery in Salcedo Street, Makati. While waiting for the rest of the class to arrived, the students had their early dinner and unboxed their new watercolor sets. 


If you've been reading this blog, you'll know that I'm a sucker for craft supplies shopping, so my workshops are my sneaky way of hoarding craft materials...and sharing them with other people. :P I loooove putting together the workshop kits, and creating new modules. At this class, I gave out a new Workshop Zine on Botanical Watercolor!


Happy to see the participants appreciate the kits!:)


In case you're wondering, the workshop kit includes:
Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Sets
Arches 300 gsm & Montval 185 gsm Watercolor Paper
Workshop Zine
#8 & #20/0 Brushes
plus other tools, and of course, food & refreshments.


The first part of class was a lecture on the basics, and then we moved on to the mixtures & washes.




After discussing the step-by-step watercolor process, and a primer on botanical illustration, we dove right into painting the projects for the night. I included my watercolored flower samples in the handouts as reference for the students. In the beginning, everyone was scared to put brush onto paper, so I went around the room to help some students with sketching first. Because of the intricate petal details, this is the only watercolor class where I allow my students to use pencil before the actual work. :P

Everyone did such a great job, and I've never been more proud of my students. Check out their works and works-in-progress below!

Succulents

Poppies and Peonies

Roses

Some of them posted their finished works on Instagram, too!:)


Thanks to everyone who joined, and to Prism Gallery for having us over! Next Botanical Watercolor classes are on July 8, Wednesday and Sunday, August 2.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 2015 Printable Calendar

Do you realize that today is the hump day of the year? Haha! Can't believe we're on to the next half of 2015! Currently in a meeting to fix plans for LifeAfterBreakfast for the last quarter of the year, and for next year (whuuuut!). There will definitely be more workshops, more giveaways, and more craft events! :)



This month's calendar features dipped pen doodled flowers, for you to fill in with color during your free time. :P Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Free Rubberstamp Carving Workshop Giveaway!

Dainty lavender stamps & wooden stamp handles


There's a FREE Rubberstamp Carving Workshop giveaway happening on Instagram! Head on over to instagram.com/lifeafterbreakfastph to join!:)


UPDATE:
Congratulations to the winners!:)


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday7: Sweet Surprises & Craft Play


ONE: Chunky KitKat Caramel
If Milky Way & KitKat had a child, this would be it. I bought a bar at citysuper in HongKong to take on our plane trip back home, but not I regret not tasting it earlier! Aaah. If you chance upon this anywhere in the world, go grab a whole box! :P


TWO: Beyond Borders Blanket
I love collecting local handwoven fabrics, and I really do use them for our home and for some craft projects. This blanket that we use to cover our sofa bed is from Beyond Borders.


THREE: Chika with a capital CH
Met up with one of my fave brush letterers Christine Herrin last week. The afternoon was spent chatting about random things and work lives, followed by a quick craft exchange. I finished my piece too late, so I took a photo of the stamp I made before I mail it to her. Lettering by CH. :)


FOUR: Foil Foliage
Dipped pen doodles with copper foil. I have a crush on everything copper right now.


FIVE: Peony Practice
Currently creating new handouts for the upcoming Botanical Watercolor workshops!:)


SIX: Bread Coasters
Made custom bread coasters for Pi Breakfast & Pies. Chanced upon speckled cork in the bookstore--it reminds me of multigrain bread!:P


SEVEN: Takoyaki at Home!
Made use of our ebelskiver pan and made takoyaki from scratch. Filled it with cheese & veggies instead of octupus.


Hope you all had a happy Sunday. Happy Father's Day to all dads! :)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

DIY: The Best Gin & Tonic Recipe


If you think about it, gin & tonic is actually pretty simple -- you just need gin and tonic water! So why the recipe?? Last New Year's Eve, we tasted the best Gin & Tonics in SLS Hotel in Las Vegas, at Jose Andres' restaurant Bazaar Meats. It was the first item on the beverage menu, highlighted as their signature drink, so I decided to have one...and a few more after that. Haha! We all headed to the bar and I watched the bartender make the drinks. I just knew I had to recreate this someday!

And that someday was last night. :P I finally found the perfect tools and ingredients to make the perfect G&T's.

Lemon & Lime
Use a vegetable peeler to get a strip of lemon zest. Thinly slice a lime.
(Ceramic knife and vegetable peeler cropped out on right)

Take half of a lemon and use it to rub the insides of the glasses. Don't squeeze the lemon! Just rub. I guess this is the step that ups the G&T game.


Ice Balls
Of course you can use regular ice for this drink...but so boring. Haha :P These ice balls not only make your drinks look sleek; they will also last you a couple more refills, and won't water down your drink as much. Some sphere ice molds work better than others, and I find that this Zoku ball ice mold does. Price is cheaper online, but if you want to save all the shipping hassles, you'll find them at SM Dept Store (which is where I got mine) for a little over P1000. The box comes with just two ice molds, so I've been making and collecting ice (for future house parties) since I bought it. :P


 Gin & Tonic Water
Take 1 lime slice & 1 lemon zest peel and drop it in each glass. Add 1 to 1.5 parts Gin to 3 to 4 parts tonic water. You can use the cap of the gin bottle to measure. Lightly stir.

Juniper Berries
I found some dried juniper berries at Santi's (though they read "juniFer berries" hehehe and it was NOT a typo because it was a handwritten label stuck on each tub) for just P33 per tiny container. Find it in the dried herbs section.


Hmm...maybe we should have a crafts + cocktails party soon! :P

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Burn Bright


That song on the tv commercial of Unionbay (ang 90s!!) that plays in between the NBA Finals (PH broadcast on btv) is so cute! It's such a happy happy song about living in the present, doing it now. "Burn bright before we burn out," the band says. Just that midweek push we all need!




Love & Oceans
by The Dimes

open up your arms 
and feel the sunlight on your skin 
cross your fingers it won't leave you 
that this feeling never ends 

never looking in the rear view 
never had the time 
with the sunshine in your hair 
and your lover in your eyes 

you're the stars up in the night sky 

we went running through waves 
and you asked me for a sign 
I said my love is like an ocean 
and it sounded like a line 

make our way around the world 
reaching every port of call 
smiling like a river 
spilling over every wall 

you're the stars up in the night sky 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Peek into the Process: A Step-by-Step Lettering Guide

I'm always trying to improve my workshop guides and handouts, and though I've taught numerous classes already, each is always a learning experience. Sometimes, a finished piece of work can be really intimidating for beginners, so I've broken down the lettering steps, to make it as easy as possible to comprehend and follow. I'm sharing it now with anyone and everyone who might need the guide. :)

Before we start, let's define some terms. 'Lettering' is the art of creating letters by hand; 'Typography' originally means printing with pre-formed letters (wood/metal). The term 'typography' is loosely used today to refer to the general love for letters, but even if a word/quote looks exactly like a typographic font, as long as it is done by hand, it falls under the category of Lettering.

For this exercise, you will need: a sheet of scratch paper, a pencil, a ruler, an eraser, and your choice of coloring materials + paper that works best for your coloring materials. I will be using Watercolor ink (Dr. Ph Martin's) + watercolor paper (Canson 270gsm) later on.

Okay, let's begin.


STEP 1
Choose the quote you'd like to design.
I'm doing: "Buy the ticket, take the ride."


- - - - -


STEP 2
Write the quote on a sheet of scratch paper.
Keep writing it a few more times to understand the quote's meaning & message better.


- - - - -


STEP 3: 
Highlight the Important Words
Encircle the quote's key words to highlight in your piece.
No need to highlight prepositions, conjunctions, and articles!


- - - - -


STEP 4:
Thumbnails
Re-write the quote, but this time, arrange the words in a layout that will fit your paper best. Select the orientation that works best for your quote. TIP: If there are long words in your quote, you might want to consider a horizontal orientation.
You can choose holding shapes for certain words. Maybe small words like "the" should be placed inside a circle or in between lines? Experiment and explore possibilities. Assign SHAPES for each word and try to fit them like pieces of a puzzle.


- - - - -


STEP 5:
Assign fonts for each word. Do you want a serif or a sans serif? Bold or Italicized? It will help if you doodle out the word in your chosen typeface, just to see if they go together. You don't have to finish doodling the entire words.
TIP: Check out dafont.com for your typeface selection! Just make sure you use ONE font per word. Please don't make it look like a ransom note!:P
In my case, my quote has 3 x 2 words (6 total), and I will just be repeating the font of the first 3 words.


- - - - -


STEP 6:
Draw your grid using pencil.
Remember, see the words as shapes & puzzle pieces, not as individual letters just yet!:)
Tip: Space the lines as close together as possible, It's also okay to overlap, or to make the letters seem like they are overlapping to minimize the white space around the words. You'll want the entire quote to look like one iconic shape, as opposed to words that are far apart.


- - - - -


STEP 7:
Pencil in the quote. Now is the time to obsess over the details of each letter. When you're done, lightly rub a clean eraser over the entire artwork to minimize pencil lines before you begin painting/coloring. 
This step is optional if you are confident enough with your painting skills. I normally challenge myself not to use pencil at this point--it's my way of getting to know the parts of each letter more! 


- - - - -


STEP 8:
Fill in the letters with color.
I always begin with my favourite watercolor technique, wet-on-wet. Allow this first layer of paint to dry.
- - - - -


STEP 9:
Add shadows and details. A little shadow goes a long way--it really helps make the words look a little bit more polished! No need to stylize all the words, because then, nothing will stand out. Again, just highlight the important words.
I also added more elements (like the ticket & stars) using gold foil glue.


- - - - -


STEP 10:
Allow the piece to fully dry before applying the gold foil, and erasing the other visible pencil marks. Don't rush the drying process, and be patient before touching your finished work!:P

Now, you're done! Take a photo of your finished piece for documentation purposes (you might want to reproduce your artwork later on!), and then proudly display your artwork!:)


Workshop Schedule - July-August 2015


Modern Calligraphy + Gold Leafing
Learn pointed pen calligraphy tailored to fit your own handwriting!

Workshop fee is P2500 inclusive of the workshop kit with:
- Wooden Straight Nib holder- Oblique Nib holder
- Three (3) flexible nibs
- A Bottle of Calligraphy Ink
- Practice Guides
- Materials for Gold Leafing
- snacks & refreshments

Upcoming Dates:
July 18, Saturday, 9am-12nn @ Prism Gallery Makati - CLASS IS FULL
July 19, Sunday, 9am-12nn @ Hillside Cafe QC
August 8, Saturday, 9am-12nn @ Hillside Cafe QC


  

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 Dipped Pen Doodles
A crafternoon where students are able to exercise their creativity through illustration using pointed flexible nibs. This is a good intro for those who aren't confident yet with their script, and super fun playtime for those who just want to unwind with some craft materials.
The workshop kit includes:
- A Mini Guidebook
- Calligraphy Pad
- Colored Ink & Paint
- Black Paper
- Straight Nib Holder + 2 nibs
Fee: P2,000 for complete kit
P1,800 if you're bringing your own nib holder & nibs

Upcoming Dates:
August 8, Saturday, 2-5pm @ Hillside Cafe QC


  


- - - - - - - - - -

Watercolor Basics
Learn basic Watercolor techniques, with a focus on birds and small animals.

Workshop fee is P2200 and is inclusive of a workshop kit with:
- Sakura Koi Watercolor Set (24 colors)
- fine watercolor brushes
- watercolor paper
- snacks & refreshments

Upcoming Dates:
July 25, Saturday, 9am-12nn @ FullyBooked BGC




 - - - - - -


Botanical Watercolor 
Learn basic botanical painting in this watercolor class focused on flowers and leaves. Get to know your paints and learn how to mix colors better. Create motifs and monograms to help you get started on creating designs for commercial use. The first two workshops sold out in a day, so I've opened a new class!

Workshop fee is P2850 and is inclusive of a workshop kit with:
- Winsor & Newton Watercolor set (12 colors)
- professional quality watercolor brushes
- watercolor paper
- snacks & refreshments

Upcoming Dates: 
August 2, Saturday, 9am-12nn @ Pipino QC (CLASS IS FULL)
NEW TIME SLOT! August 2, Saturday, 2:30-5:30pm @ Pipino QC 





 - - - - - -


Watercolor Lettering 
Play with an assortment of brushes (flat, round, mop) and practice various lettering techniques. Learn typography basics and specific watercolor techniques to help you create your own watercolored typeface!

Workshop fee is P2500 and is inclusive of a workshop kit with:
- Dr. Ph Martin's Radiant Watercolor
- fine watercolor brushes
- watercolor paper
- lettering supplies
- snacks & refreshments

Upcoming Dates:
July 12, Saturday, 2:30-5:30pm @ Pipino QC
July 18, Saturday, 2:30-5:30pm @ Prism Gallery Makati




- - - - - - - - - 


See you in class!;)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Instagram Giveaway: Watercolor For Four - Updated with Winners!

This Philippine Independence Day Weekend, you could win a 
FREE Watercolor Basics Workshop
for you + 3 friends

The workshop kit includes 4 x 24-color Sakura Koi sets, 4 Winsor & Newton watercolor pads, and 4 sets of fine watercolor brushes!


Winners will be chosen on Sunday, June14. There are TWO free #WatercolorForFour workshops up for grabs! The private workshop schedule will be coordinated with the winners. Contest is open to PH residents, even outside Manila. :)


UPDATE: Sunday, June 14, 7:30pm

The winners have been chosen via randomizer app #TagIt!


Congratulations to @myhappyhand and @lefthandscribe!

You + 3 of your friends have won the free Watercolor Basics Workshop + kit.
Please check your Instagram Message Inbox for the rest of the details! :)

Thanks to everyone who joined! Til the next giveaway!:)