Commissioned Works Roundup 6.4.2016

I love drawing human faces, and it brings me great joy and honor to be asked to draw them. I’ll probably talk about this in detail in a future post – a condensed version of a talk I gave at the University of Sto. Tomas a couple of months back.

Anyway. I did a quick scan of my posts, and I figured I haven’t featured some of these commissioned portraits.

So here we are and here we go!


First up: my first commissioned portrait in grayscale (Game of Thrones fans, not that kind of grayscale lol). The client dropped by the BGC Art Mart April 2015 leg and contacted me a week after.



A friend also asked me to do a portrait of his close friend for his birthday.



My cousin who flies planes for a living  tapped me to draw his son, my nephew Mado, wearing some vintage flying gear. This portrait was then used for the invite and other collaterals of his first birthday party.



An orgmate from college asked me to draw her in-laws – the most faces I’ve done in a watercolor portrait. This was hand-carried to New Zealand as a gift.



And lastly, my boss commissioned me to draw his mother – a gift for her 88th birthday. What is pressure. Hahaha. This is the biggest I’ve done thus far – 10×14 inches on my beloved Arches hot pressed watercolor block.


Once again, I can’t thank all of my clients enough for entrusting me to do their and their loved ones’ portraits. In the words of Jay-Z, “Thank you, thank you, thank you, you’re far too kind.”

If you’re interested in having one made, just drop me a message on my email: Cheers, guys!


Portrait of a Baby Party Animal

I love doing portraits of people I’m a fan of as I feel that it’s a great way of expressing my obsession love.

I was recently commissioned by someone who’s a huge fan of celebrity baby, Olivia Manzano Reyes, the daughter of Radio DJ and host Andi Manzano and club owner and restaurateur GP Reyes.  I regularly see her pictures in my feed, with friends who are fans gushing just how cute this baby is.

And I couldn’t agree more.


The portrait proved to be quite a challenge because I don’t draw babies regularly; I’m not that comfortable or knowledgeable with the proportions. But as they say, growth/progress lies at the edge of your comfort zone so challenge accepted. *sweat drips from my forehead haha*

The reference photos was taken from her first birthday party, which had a jungle theme. Palace Pool Club, which her dad owned, was decorated with tropical foliage and cute animal elements like stuffed toys. I was recently given samples of French brand Sennelier by Art Whale PH, and I was able to use Hooker’s Green for the background as well as different greens from Holbein. I also used my go-to paints, Shin Han PWC (also available locally via Art Whale PH).

Here’s a peek on the process. Photos were taken using my phone.

First wash
Painting of hand-painted dress
Photo 30-04-2016, 2 36 33 PM
On with the background
Painted the stuffed toys last

And heres the finished painting. Yay!

Obligatory flatlay, y’all

Belated Happy Birthday, Baby Olivia! 😀

And if you are interested in having something done, shoot me an email at

A Radiant Transformation

A few weeks back, my day job involved staging the launch of a game-changing whitening soap dubbed as the One Wash Wonder – the new Olay Skin Whitening Bar.

Olay Skin Whitening Bar in Rose and Milk

The soap transforms the way we know white as it offers a mild way to reveal fair and radiant skin from the first use. As in local parlance, no more tiis-ganda moments.

Vask, one of Asia’s 50 Best restaurants, was transformed into a rose garden of white and pink with guests enjoying treats that played on transformation as well as the ingredients rose and milk.

Valerie Wiegmann, the face of the new Olay Skin Whitening Bar

You can check out more photos via the official hashtag, #OneWashWonder and on the Olay Philippines Facebook page as well as the reveal on Facebook Live. I was all set to leave for the event, but unforeseen circumstances led to my absence. 😦

Now apart from conceptualizing and scriptwriting duties, I was also tasked to do the illustration for the giveaway (Thanks so much, D!). Guests went home with 3 variants of the bar plus other bath essentials all encased in a large box, which they carried in this tote bag.

From illustration to tote bag

For those who are curious, I used a limited palette of Shin Han PWC  watercolor (Opera, Alizarin Crimson, Neutral Tint, and Indigo if I remember it right) on 140lb Arches hot pressed watercolor block.

The illustration follows the brand’s signature pose featuring Valerie Weigmann, which you can see on the One Wash Wonder Facebook page.


I posted a work-in-progres on my Instagram account, and there were two who commented that the girl looked like actress and singer Tiffany Hwang. I actually had to Google her. Ooops!

Tiffany Hwang, is that you?

Oh, and I must say that the hero variant, Rose and Milk, smells really, really good. I’m not into floral scents as they make me sneeze, but this one’s never cloyingly sweet nor floral. Just the scent alone tells you how it will feel on your skin: gentle and mild.

The new Olay Skin Whitening Bar is now available locally, and if you want to learn more about the One Wash Wonder, check out the official Facebook page.

Note: Event photos are from the Olay PH Facebook page.  

Band of Brothers

It’s not everyday that you get a notification on your phone telling you that one of your favorite members from a kid’s show in the nineties now follows you on Instagram.

It’s not everyday that she asks you for a portrait commission.

It’s not everyday that this commission involves one of the country’s solid rock groups who happen to be celebrating their 10th year making music and making fans swoon. 😉

Close-up of this Callalily commission (PS I adore alliteration haha)

Interestingly, I already did a portrait of Callalily’s bass player, Aaron Ricafrente, last year.

2014 portrait

This time however, I had to do the whole band. Any project that’s music-related excites me, so I was EXCITED and anxious at the same time (as with any commission).

Chynna Ortaleza had ideas for this particular piece – a vision. This wasn’t my typical commission where I just draw the subjects as in the provided reference: I had separate photos of the Callalily guys, and I had to lay them out together as in Chynna’s peg.

So I did some quick pencil studies first, and once the layout was approved, I then proceeded to do a study in watercolor. It’s always best to do a study first because unlike Photoshop/Illustrator, you can’t just change your mind and Cmd+Z what you’ve started. 😉

(Side note: Sometimes when I’m drawing and I commit a mistake, my brain commands me to Cmd+Z. Hahaha. Does this happen to you too?)

Another close-up of this Callalily commission (PS I adore alliteration haha)

I was able to take photos with my phone as I did the final artwork, so I’m sharing with you a very short video of the process.

And here’s the final artwork, which I gave to Chynna in person one rainy Saturday afternoon. I used a cold pressed St. Cuthbert Mills watercolor block and Rembrandt watercolors.

Obligatory flatlay ;P

She had an Arctic Monkeys bag with her that I secretly wanted to steal, but I’m a nice person and I don’t steal things so I just gushed and made a mental note to get myself one in the future. Hahaha! So glad to meet her in person! And hurray for Arctic Monkeys fans!

Now while I was in the process of making the portrait, I found out that Cynthia Arre was also doing something related for Callalily.

Watch out because Cynthia’s working her magic on their new album. You can get updates by following the hashtag #CynxCLcollab on Instagram.

And in case you didn’t know, apart from her awesome acting skills, Chynna also writes and makes art as well, and she created this mixed media piece using my illustration.

Instant collab, wooohoo!

MARAMING SALAMAT again, Chynna, for entrusting me to work on this, and HAPPY 10TH YEAR, Kean, Tatsi, Aaron, and Lem of CALLALILY! Here’s to rocking OPM! Yay!

Happy 10 years of rocking out! 😀

Welcome to the Bright Side

One decision that I’m proud to have done in my twenties is that I started investing on my personal insurance. I was 22 then *GASPS*.

If I can give a single advice on money to fresh graduates, it’s that you should start investing early. The years will fly by, I swear. It’s almost 8 years since I decided to make that “grown-up” decision, and I’m happy with the results.

And this is why I was thrilled to have been tapped by the guys from leading insurance company, Sun Life Philippines, for their various efforts to encourage people, especially the young ones, to start investing on their future now.


The first project was a comic that urges folks to get rid of the YOLO (You Only Live Once) mentality. Instead, they should PYOLO – Plan. You Only Live Once – a play on Sun Life’s endorser, Piolo Pascual.

You may view the article here.


The second project was a Facebook app, What’s Your Invesmentality? that helped folks choose what investment option they should pursue. I found this really useful as I am THE target: I get lost with all the financial mumbo-jumbo. This made everything clearer and simpler. Plus those who took the quiz had the chance to fly to beautiful Seoul. I made a total of 11 illustrations: one for each quiz question and the results.

The quiz has been closed as the winners have been announced, but the article’s here.

Here are some screenshots from the app.

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 6.01.04 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 5.59.58 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 5.58.55 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 5.58.13 PM


Christmas in the Philippines is all about gift-giving.

But the sad truth is it’s easy to fall into the trap of giving for giving’s sake, giving it all (until you don’t have anything left from the holiday bonuses or worse, your savings) and giving until it hurts.

And so last Christmas, a 4-part comic was released, Naughty vs Nice, encouraging readers to reevaluate the choices they make in giving gifts. Here‘s one of the four:


The latest is for their Go120 Money Challenge where three individuals race to save their Php120K by the end of the year. Each participant comes from a different background and has different spending habits.

Sun Life_Go 120_297px_3characters

Follow their story and get some tips on how you can save too here.


Thanks again, Reyna, Ila, and Mika of Sun Life for the opportunities. Yay!


Nope, this isn’t about tearing up although I kind of tear up when I get asked to do commissions: to be trusted to create something is always an honor.

Last year, I was able to work on some commissioned portraits that were all given as gifts – which made these projects extra special.  🙂


Bianca found me over at Tumblr, and this was actually the second portrait she commissioned me to create. This was given to a friend.



Me-ann, a friend from college, asked me to create this portrait of her and her boyfriend, which she gave as a gift for Christmas.



Me-ann referred me to her friend, Pat. She also asked me to do a portrait of her and her boyfriend.


Plus a portrait of her boyfriend who plays the bass for local rock group, Callalily.



Gem, a friend from high school, also asked me to paint her husband and their son.


The original intention, however, was to have this printed on a pillow case. I’ll post a photo of the printed artwork soon.

And in case you want to have your portrait drawn by yours truly, just shoot me an email over at 🙂

Wear your art on your sleeve

Last August 2014, I was tapped by Finney Santos of Empire Shirts for a very interesting project: create watercolor portraits of sportsmen which will be printed on shirts using the new Epson fabric printer.

I am no sports buff: my idea of sportsmen are limited to the likes of David Beckham who I knew because he is the husband of my favorite Spice Girl. So I had to seek advice from the family’s sports fans: my brothers.

The deadline was tight so I came up with 2 portraits. The first was of my favorite fictional basketball star, Jackie Moon, played by Will Ferrell.

Jackie Moon
Jackie Moon from the movie Semi-Pro

The second was my brothers’ suggestion: FC Barcelona’s Lionel “Leo” Messi from Argentina, apparently the greatest football player alive.

Lionel “Leo” Messi

I was able to see the shirts on the day of the launch, and I was really impressed with the print. The details, e.g. washes and pencil marks, even the texture of the paper I used can be seen! Also, I like the fact that it wasn’t embossed, which makes the shirt super comfortable to wear. According to Finney, the printing process took only a few minutes, and it was practically like printing on paper. Finney also tested the shirts by washing them several times, and the designs didn’t fade.

artwork on shirt
artwork on shirt
The shirts as worn by the models

Apart from the shirts, the launch also showcased other apparel created using fabric printed with the Epson printer. I’m partial to blues, grays, and whites, so Avel Bacudio’s collection was an instant favorite.

Avel Bacudio for Epson
Avel Bacudio for Epson

Thanks again, Finney, Empire Shirts, and Epson Philippines. Yay!

Check this out for more details on the printer.


Being the non-sports buff that I am, I was surprised that a lot knew of this Messi dude, and there were fans among my friends. So I made this portrait available at my Society6 page. Do check it out. 🙂

This artwork at Society6
This artwork at Society6