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

Hoarder Diaries: Pigment Pens on Black Paper

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 www.lbcshippingcart.com.

Super love this broad white pigment pen!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Travel Diary: Florence Fonts & Finds

I just got back from a month-long trip to Europe, and Florence was the 6th city on our itinerary. Each member of the family chose a city to visit, and this was my sister's pick. To be honest, all that I planned to do here was shop at the outlet stores. I don't know if it was because of the fact that I had very little expectation of this city that it surprised me the most.

Of course, there is the famous Duomo, that stands out among the city's skyline. The photo above was actually taken at the top of Fiesole, a town right outside Florence.

Marble inlay, marble carvings, built in the 1200's. Commanding both from far away and up close.

Walked by the Arno River near our hotel on our first day, and of course, had to try the gelato! This was one of the best I had, from Gelateria Lungarno.

In Florence, they put the arch in architecture ;P

There's a dude that plays with Florence's street signs: Clet Abraham. He adds stickers and makes stories out of the street signs. Here are a bunch of his vandalised No Entry signs that I came across.

Dotted doors and horse head door handles. Never a lack of texture in this city. I fell in love with all the detail!

While researching for notable craft shops to visit in the city, I first went to a couple of their most popular paper stores: Il Papiro and Johnsons & Relatives. Bought some souvenirs -- I just couldn't resist the metal leaf details on the notecards and wrapping paper!

Initially, I didn't think I would be able to relate to this city. But how could I have not put two and two together?! Of course this would be a country in love with typography--it isn't named a ROMAN typeface for nothing! On our second day, I made it a point to take notice of the city's typography.

I read from some travel guide that the best place to check out the typography in a city is to visit their cemeteries. (Yikes!) But there in Santa Croce, an old church where Michaelangelo, Rossini, Machiavelli, and Galileo Galilei (to name a few) are buried, I spotted some amazing roman & gothic calligraphy, not just written, but carved & laid in marble!!

There's a leather school right next to the church, and you can purchase some of the students' works there. Their products are really well-made and reasonably priced.

We stumbled upon a type-splashed gelateria. I had another scoop of my fave pistachio-flavored gelato. 

At Mercato Centrale, chalkboards are filled up with handwritten letters.
By the way, the truffle veggie burger in this kiosk is a must-try.

Now, if you pay attention to all the details, you'll spot beautiful letters everywhere. A building directory displays its tenants' names in elegant scripts and serifs.

More arches on doorways, with cut glass and flourished letters for the local drugstores.

We went up the natural farmacia of Abbazia di San Miniato al Monte (right across Michaelangelo's point) to buy some oils. The abbey's exterior was covered with white flowers!
You can find more of my #LABtraveldiary on Instagram @lifeafterbreakfastph :)

We spent many hours exploring the city center, and I went inside all the stationery stores that I saw. Paper is what they use to attract the tourists, but sift deeper into the stores, and it's CALLIGRAPHY HEAVEN.

Among all the shops I visited, here are the best ones for me -- a.k.a. where I went shopping :P

Cartiglio sells handmade leather journals and unique wooden fountain pens.
Cartiglio - Via del Proconsolo, 63/R, 50122 Firenze, Italy

Signum carries a wide range of wax seals, calligraphy ink, glass pens, and nib sets.
Signum - Lungarno Archibusieri, 14r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

My favorite shop was Lo Scrittoio. Got a bunch of vintage nibs from here. Very nice and helpful owner, as well!
Lo Scrittoio - Via Nazionale, 126, 50123 Firenze, Italy

Here's part of my calligraphy loot: Fabriano lettering pad, vintage nibs, glass ink well, wooden calligraphy pen, pen stand, and a practice book.
Can't wait to play with these nibs!