Thursday, July 21, 2016

Chasing Waterfalls


We walked along the river and balanced on rocks on a random Monday morning

to get to Tangadan Falls in San Gabriel, La Union

After the hour-long trek, this is what greeted us: the majestic 40-footer waterfall!

I was soooo not prepared for the hike--only wore my Havaianas! :P It was definitely a struggle especially while crossing rivers and stepping on smooth, slippery rocks, but they (& I) survived!

Video posted by PJ Lanot (@pjlanot) on 

Of course, PJ (our very own ninja warrior), did not miss the opportunity to jump off the cliffs and rocks :P

We swam in this gorgeous cyan pool just in front of the waterfalls. Water was so cold, but it was suuuper relaxing. I could have stayed there all day. THIS is exactly what we need. Regularly.

I realized then that my life is way too fast. Days are counted by ticks off my to-do lists. Multiple meetings are scheduled in an afternoon, and it results to everything being a blur. What happened? Who was I with? When did it happen? I hardly even have time to journal anymore.

There, a few quiet minutes to myself, was when I promised that I would be present in each moment, and to take in each experience.

To be present, and to be grateful.

The flowers I painted (and cut) above are Banaba flowers, from the Banaba tree. Going up the top of the waterfalls, the rocks were covered with these magenta petals!! They were so beautiful! I wasn't able to take photos, so I decided to recreate them with radiant watercolor. I nomate these flowers/trees to be our country's own version of Sakura :) Someone please plant these in a park!!!

And then back in San Juan, we hung out on the beach.

I noticed that the shore was dotted with tiny broken shells. Maybe because of the big waves? I started picking up a few, and decided to challenge myself with...

a Shellphebet! :P

Haha! Took me a couple of hours searching for the right shapes to make the letters. Took a photo and then tossed them back into the sand.

Photo by BJ Ching 

'Til the next weekday getaway ;)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Botanical Watercolor Workshop

Learn basic botanical painting in this watercolor class focused on flowers and leaves! In class, I go over the step-by-step process of watercolor painting.

Build your own professional watercolor palette from Winsor & Newton Artist watercolor pigments. We'll also be using Arches Watercolor paper in class. 

The watercolor pigments go into these portable tins, and you can customise your own palette with unique color combinations.

You'll also get Silver Brush brushes in the kit. Only the best materials for this class!;)

This Watercolor Workshop is perfect for beginners--even those without any experience with watercolor, and is a great way to get started on creating floral designs for commercial use.

Check out some of the students' posts on Instagram :)

Sign-up below to join the Botanical Watercolor Workshop!:)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Rise From The Clutter

We've held two Creative Talks already, and aside from sharing my Notes To Self and learning from other artists, my favorite part is always the Q&A portion where we speakers answer questions about the creative & freelance life. One of the most popular questions is how to get your work noticed. Especially when there are already so many creatives out there.

Here are some of the Notes-to-Self that I share at the talks:

Rise from the clutter. If it's online, then it's already been done.

- - - - - - - - - 

I have an easy formula for creativity:

Take the

Pair it with the

To create something

- - - - - - - - - 

I realize that though this formula works, it lacks one thing:


- - - - - - - - - 

Until you speak your own story, pull from your own experiences, and
then your work could possibly just be regular, forgettable,... like everyone else's.

- - - - - - - - - 

Go out, and be inspired by the people and the world around you. Find that creative connection between what's outside, with what's inside you. And use that as your inspiration.

- - - - - - - - - 

On a lighter note, here's a little progress video of my floral sketching. This was done on Arches 300gsm Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper (my fave :P). I first painted the letters, and then under-sketched the flowers. I drew these peonies during our trip to Giverny, France last summer. We were in the gardens for hours and it was there that really studied the way flowers are constructed (especially those that aren't local to tropical weather!) and doodled the afternoon away. Now, I can sketch these peonies from memory, and bend them to different angles!:)

You can check out my process photos and videos on Snapchat! @alessandralanot

Best of luck on your creative journey!:)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Leather Crafternoon

With a little creative magic, we breathed new life into NiQua's locally sourced leather scraps! What would have been waste was turned into quirky bag charms and keychains :)

The workshop was held at NiQua's pop-up shop at CommerCenter Alabang last weekend.

I'll be having more schedules for this class. Sign up here if you want to be notified about the next Leather Crafternoon: :)

Friday, July 1, 2016

July 2016 Printable Calendar

After a loooong break, the free printable monthly calendars are back!:) Okay so the real reason why I stopped making monthly calendars (after 3 straight years) was because I bought a really cute monthly calendar notebook from one of my trips, so didn't have the need to create monthly calendars anymore. :P Haha, yes, these printable calendars are actually originally for my own personal use, but I've been getting lots of messages and requests to bring them back. So, if you are part of the plan-your-schedule-by-the-month club, you go! It's a doodled peony pattern for this month. :)


As today marks the halfway point of the year, it's just fitting that I re-evaluate my plans for 2016. I promised myself that I would focus more time for making art for myself. Slowly, I am getting there. Part of the process is the hunt for new desks and work chairs that will help make my workspaces (I have two spaces to decorate) more conducive for painting. Right now, my current work setup is very mobile (very clay-go), but it's not helping the creative process at all. I need a constant area for constant crafty mess. :P

Since the year started, I've taught 42 workshops already (!!!) and I'm always thinking of ways to make the classes better. I've decided to pair workshops together to create options for full-day classes for those who want a more intensive experience. Next month, I'm teaching Floral Sketching class in the morning + Botanical Watercolor in the afternoon at Hillside Cafe QC. I'm also bringing back the Stamp Carving workshops, but this time, making the class a full-day affair to include crafts that you can make using stamps.

The goal is also to give more free workshops in the next half of the year, plus refresher courses for those who have already taken the basic classes. I also want to bring my workshops to more places around the country!:)

To travel, to create, and to pull from my own experiences. To be honest to myself, and to trust in the work of my hands. What's your #MidYearResolution? :P

Happy half-year, and 1st of the month!:)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Watercolored Envelopes

I reunited with my favorite Radiant Watercolors by Dr. Ph Martin's for a Watercolor Demo for the Silver Ultra Mini Brush Series at Craft Carrot's flagship store on East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo.

I've been using Silver Brush for watercolor for as long as I can remember. These are the brushes that I always include in my workshop kits. This 20/0 spotter brush in particular, is one of my faves. They're perfect for lettering and botanical details!

Worked on a bunch of different pads because watercolors take A LOT of time to dry in between layers.

This little watercolor + craft project has been looming in my head for some time now, and I'm glad I was able to share it at the demo. I used a Silver Brush Black Velvet mop brush, and the #14 and #6 designer round brushes, on Arches Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper.

This is my underpainting process:

The rainbow colored thing at the center is masking tape / washi for covering the address area part of the envelope. Just peeled it off when the paint was dry.

Everyone in the room squirmed a bit when I started folding and cutting up my watercolored works. Hehe :P But check out the final designs! I'm wishing for a bride out there who'll want to have these vibrant colors for their invitation suite :)

These actually also serve as color and floral studies for some new patterns and workshops that I'm developing. Bringing back the Dr. Ph Martin's pigments in my kits this July. Watch out for those!;)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Instagram Giveaway: FREE Floral Sketching Workshop

When I find art tools that I reeaaaally like, I kinda go crazy :P

My favorite white & bronze pigment pens went on sale in the US, so I ordered a bunch of them, had them shipped to my Shipping Cart address in the US, and they were delivered straight to my doorstep. It really is the easiest and most efficient way of ordering from the US, because you pre-pay for the cost of shipment online, so you're not surprised by any extra customs charges. Also, they minimize the packaging. Some art stores I buy from overpack the boxes with paper stuffers. Paper is heavy! I hate having to pay for packaging weight. :( I was happy to see that Shipping Cart consolidated my packages, which made the shipping free from US to Manila more cost efficient.

You can easily get your own US address so you can easily shop from online stores in the States by creating an account at

Love this broad white pigment pen!

And the best news of the day? :P I'm sharing these pens (and black pads) with you! I've got an Instagram Giveaway going on til tomorrow, Saturday. Head on over to and follow the instructions on the post.

Winners will be drawn and notified on Saturday, June 25. The free workshop is on July 3. :)