Smelly Cat

Earlier this year, we were adopted by a stray. He started showing up on our doorstep shortly before my aunt’s cat, Tiger passed away. He’d show up on our doormat every evening, yollering for food and scritches.  I named him Stinky, for the faint smell of stale saliva he gave off. He had a possible tooth problem and a limp that seemed to get better only to get worse, and I’ve always felt guilty that I couldn’t afford to bring him to the vet. The most that I could offer him was a safe space to sleep and a full belly.

We started out by feeding him whatever scraps of food we had in the fridge, until we eventually started buying cat food for him. I soon found out that we shared custody over Stinky with one of the units on the third floor, on whose doorstep he could be found when he wasn’t at ours.

On most days, Stinky didn’t linger long after being fed and fawned over, but I noticed that whenever Mama was sick, he’d be on our doormat the whole night. Only resuming his nightly rounds when Mama was back on her feet again.

He went missing almost three months ago. He just never showed up again after a stormy couple of days. He must have gotten lost during the deluge, and considering he wasn’t in the best health to begin with,  I’ve given up hope that he’s still alive.

A friend reminded me of Gaiman’s, “The Price,” after I updated her on Stinky. I hadn’t read or thought about that story in years, but I got a little emotional. I miss his smelly little butt. It was a comfort to hear his distinct meows at our door in the evenings, and his purring after being fed.

Whatever you were protecting us from, Stinky boy, we thank you for your love and your service.

Mini-Inktober 2018

Look at me, tryina blog again.

I never really participate in Inktober because I don’t need that kind of pressure in my life. One drawing per day? For a month?? Really??? I did sort of stumble into doing a mini-digital-inktober when I drew Dream and Death. I mean, might as well draw all the siblings, right?

When I started these, I’d intended for this to be a series of quick portraits using no line art, on one layer. It worked well enough for Dream, but I started cheating with the rest of the siblings with more defined lines and multiple layers.

I hadn’t drawn in black and grey in a long time. The last time was probably my live drawing classes in college, where we had to use either graphite or charcoal. It took a little getting used to working with tone and contrast again, but it was a good exercise overall.

Sandman was such a pivotal piece of my late teens. My high school art teacher lent me Brief Lives (and the rest of his Sandman trades and Neil Gaiman collection soon after), and it validated so much of myself that I hadn’t yet come to terms with because of a very religious, Christian upbringing.

I re-read Sandman every couple of years or so, and every time, I still find something that speaks to me in new ways.

Sorsogon Weekend

Last month, Chelli and I made the spontaneous decision to go down to Sorsogon and be guinea pigs/beta testers for Just Wandering Tours. In hindsight, we should have thought the trip through better because with over 12-hours spent on the bus per way, it only left us less with than 2 whole days in the area.

I’ve always believed in DIY travel, so it was a new experience to completely hand the reins over. Nina met us at the Sorsogon bus station with coffee and breakfast so we could stretch out before hitting the road for another hour to Bulusan.


Home for the Weekend

We spent the day at Bulusan lake, where it started pouring (because of course it did. My Ame Onna powers know no bounds). We managed to make the hike around the lake during a lull in the deluge, but it did start coming down again while I was in the middle of the lake on a paddleboard lol.


There was a stream behind the hut we stayed in that lulled us to sleep before 10pm  — a damn miracle, I tell you, considering our little band of night owls. (Or should that be our little parliament of night owls?) We checked out the stream first thing in the morning, and I have not seen a body of water so close to where people live that was so clean in years. I wish I had photos of it to share, but there was a man bathing in it while we were taking our morning stroll haha!

After breakfast, we made our way to Lola Sayong Eco-Surf Camp in Gubat. I was so grateful for the clear skies and glassy, mushy waves that made for a chill surf day. While it was the part of our trip that I was most looking forward to, it was also the part that made me most anxious. Not only was it my first time surfing outside Zambales, I also didn’t have the safety blanket of my usual surf buddies. But the Lola Sayong locals were really friendly and put me at ease almost immediately.


It was such a perfect way to end our weekend. Nina spoiled us the entire time — she had us chauffeured around Sorsogon, fed us incredibly well, and basically made our stay stress-free. I only regret that we didn’t plan our time away from the city better and stay longer. But there’s always next time, eh?

If you ever want to go around Bulusan with a local in comfort, go check out Just Wandering Tours!
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Take another little peach of my heart now, baby

Hullo, blog. Haven’t seen you in a while. In the time that I’ve been gone, I went and sat for my 6th tattoo!

I’d been mulling over getting a peach for a variety of reasons, (favourite children’s book growing up, favourite fruit, favourite movie, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier) but most notably because it’s what my mom craved the most when she was pregnant with me.

I put it off for the longest time because I’d originally wanted to draw it myself, but honestly, who could be bothered? I have an artist whose vision I trust and who’s being doing my tattoos for almost a decade.

I love it so much. I guess you could say, I think it’s just peachy. (  •̀.̫•́ )✧

Designed and tattooed by DaddyRam Marual of Psyko Studio Tattoos Cavite.

If at first… pt. 2

I had a watercolour commission due end of January and how do other artists do it? I haven’t used watercolour since I got my tablet and it’s been so jarring to switch back after working digitally for a month.

I’m still going through old doodles and abandoned sketches to re-do or continue digitally and I’m chuffed, honestly. This tablet has made starting over pieces I previously fucked up so much easier and feel less like a chore, it’s fantastic. Going over old, unfinished stuff also solves my problem of wanting to practice painting, but not having any new ideas to draw.

This was previously just a floating head that I didn’t think was going to go anywhere because I drew it too big on paper and didn’t have space for, y’know, his body. And look! I drew a background! Sort of. I painted blocks of colour that I gaussian blurred the shit out of, but it’s a passable rink, right?

I can usually either draw a good face, or a good body, but rarely both in the same piece. This was one of those times where I loved how the body turned out, but the face was bleh. Being able to zoom in super close on areas has been giving me LIFE.

Now that I’ve found a brush that works for me, all I’ve wanted to do is to paint, but I’m running out of old sketches that I want to do over.

If at first…

…it looks like shit, try again.

Last November, I did this Bombshell Big Barda piece. Somewhere between the pencils and water colour, it transformed into this static thing with a weird face. I’ve been wanting to re-do it for a long time, but doing it traditionally is such a pain in the ass.

I was having trouble getting a commission off the ground earlier this week, so I procrastinated by finally doing my OG girl justice. Got her face to look as intended and redrew her body completely. While my digital painting skills still leave a lot to be desired, I’m finally happy with this piece.

I also finished the commission well ahead of the deadline I set for myself, so it’s been a good art week all around.

Gab, Currently XIV


Y’all sick of me drawing hockey boys in love yet? Well, too bad because the Check, Please! Year 3 finale was a doozy and it will take me months to get over it.

Co-captains. Hausbands.

I still miss watercolour, but I don’t hate the tablet so much anymore.

First surf of the year!

The forecast was practically flat, but we headed up to Crystal anyway for our annual surf fam holiday party. The theme this year was 80’s Aerobics, which went as well as you’d expect from us haha!

This was also my first time to Zumba (to go with the aerobics theme, of course), which was tough enough on its own, but brutal on the legs in the sand. It was a blast though, hugely because everyone else was so down for it.

I haven’t had decent surf in months, so we made do with foot-high waves. I don’t usually have photos of myself in the water, so you best believe I’m spamming you now. These were taken by Migo Antonio.

I borrowed a friend’s board to make things easier for myself and I am actually considering switching to a longboard with similar specs because it handles so well. I love my board and all, but it can get a little moody lol. Decisions, decisions!

Quiet Down

This was one of my first few sketches after getting my tablet, but somewhere during the colouring, it just looked wrong, I scrapped it.

But I really liked how the face turned out, so when I found myself still keyed up after a fairly stressful work night, I decided to rework it into a new piece to cool down.

A follow a fair amount of artists on social media, and I never really understood the concept of cool-down drawing before. Working on this before I headed off to bed helped a great deal in quieting my mind for sleep.

I finally found a brush preset that gives me the texture I miss from painting on paper, so I’m not *as* frustrated with painting digitally.

Saved by Fandom 2017

About two years ago, I was in a bit of a strop over the art world, which resulted in me not painting or drawing anything. I tried easing myself back into it in 2016, but it really wasn’t until mid-2017 that I found my stride again. And I found it in fandom.

I’ve been lurking in various fandoms online since I learned how to use the internet in ’97, and I never really participated until last year, when a bit of fanart I did as watercolour practice made the rounds.

Making fanart has reminded me that I did love to draw, once upon a time. While I may not have an exhibit lined up any time soon, I have been drawing more than I ever have in almost a decade and I consider that a personal triumph.

Here’s the greeting card I made for the CP fandom. I wish I could have spent a little more time on it, but we were out of town just before NYE.

This doodle is a little late by Manila time, but Happy New Year, tumblr folk!

2017 was the first time since I started interneting, that I stopped lurking and actually participated in fandom. So thank you, everyone! Fangirling with you has definitely been one of the highlights of my year. Here’s to more getting-emotional-over-fictional-hockey in 2018! ❤

[ETA] Speaking of fandom, I passed 500 followers on tumblr over the holidays! Which is amazing to me, considering it was just mostly a reblog tumblog with about a hundred followers before I started posting fanart. I stayed up after work to make a quick Bitty for it. I think I’m finally getting a hang of watercolour brush presets. It’s at least the easiest brush to work with, I find.


People have been commenting on how buff this Bitty looks, but I used Tom Daley as a reference, who I think is a great example of being lean but still muscular, but I guess it just translates differently as a drawing.

Gab (vs digital art), Currently XIII

I don’t think I’ve ever been this productive. But It’s easy to be able to squeeze in practice time when you don’t have to set up a bazillion things to be able to paint, in my limited workspace.

I’ve wanted to try this thing where I don’t outline. I mean, I like my lines, but they’ve become a bit of a crutch, tbh. I still haven’t quite figured out a way to make a piece look finished without them.

Photoshop watercolour brushes are trippy because they kinda look like watercolour BUT BEHAVE NOTHING LIKE IT.

If this looks like three different paintings in one, that’s probably because it sorta is. I used a soft pencil brush for the lines, dry brushes for the flats, then watercolour brushes for shading, and now my trad-wired brain doesn’t know how to parse this information haha!