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.

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!

Nuestra Señora de Alderaan

Braved the Manila Christmas gridlock to catch a screening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi last Thursday. A year after her death, I am still mourning Carrie Fisher. There was only one way to deal with all these sads that I’ve been sitting on for over a year, of course.

So I spent most of my Saturday drawing my feelings. I would have finished it in one sitting too, if I didn’t have a Christmas dinner to get to in the evening.

The tablet still frustrates me, mostly because I’ve been trying to paint the same way I do traditionally and that isn’t working out for me. I have to unlearn to learn, but I think this came out pretty well regardless.

Nuestra Señora de Alderaan

Like XO

My tablet arrived early this week, so I’ve been spending a few hours a day trying to get used to it. Drawing while looking at the monitor instead of your hands is such a bizarre sensation to get used to.

While I’m still not completely sold on it, it does make some things easier. I’m generally terrible at planning out my drawings. My biggest problem is almost always running out of space, so being able to move the sketch layer around when that happens is amazing. It’s been great not having to adjust colours and shit too, because editing photos of my watercolour pieces for printing and posting online is such a nightmare.

I’ve been managing with the pencil brushes because I can get away with a lot of short strokes, but the inking brushes are still giving me grief. I also still haven’t found a brush I like painting with. The tablet came with Corel Painter but learning a new program on top of everything seems like the quickest route to a stroke, so I’m holding off.


It took me three days to finish my first attempt at an all-digital piece. I think I’m going to need another three days to recover because this shit was hard.

Gab, Currently XVII

I’ve been slowly, over the course of this year, getting my feet wet in the ocean that is digital art.

The catalyst being some illustrations I had to do for work in June. I had been stubbornly holding on to doing things traditionally, but it really didn’t fit the project brief and I had to learn on the fly.

I’ve been mostly dicking around with colouring on Photoshop whenever I’m feeling too lazy to set up for painting, but I had another rush illustration project recently and screaming at my mouse every 15 minutes just reinforced that it’s time for me to fully join the 21st century.


I was thinking of getting myself a Kindle for Christmas, but I have instead ordered my first graphics tablet. I should be able to pick it up next week and while I’m sure it will be a thoroughly frustrating process to get used to a new medium, I’m excited.