Thursday, November 29, 2012

Manila Central Post Office

Been a while since I went on an Urban Sketching jaunt with the Urban Sketchers Philippines group.  This meetup was tiny, just four of us hanging out an sketching, but at least we're keeping the monthly streak of meetups going.  While the main focus was the beautiful Manila Central Post Office, I was drawn to this shoe repair man fixing shoes underneath a palm tree.  You'd think that a random shoe shine repair guy in the middle of a small park would be out of place, but he was doing pretty brisk business, tending to at least three customers while I was around.

Here's the Central Post Office.  The sketch on top was made from behind some foliage, basically the only spot I could find with a seat and some decent cover from the burning sun.  The sketch on the bottom was actually taken from the opposite bank of the Pasig River, after I'd crossed to have lunch at "Sincerity Chicken".  It's a shame how little is being done to preserve and clean up the Lawton area (where the Post Office resides).  It really wouldn't take a lot of money to clean up the place and make it look more presentable and attractive to both local and foreign tourists.  Hopefully Manila's next mayor will do a better job at tourism and heritage conservation than the incumbent Alfredo Lim.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Faces in pen an ink.  May or may not be related to work.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Vintage Travel Posters

I'm trying to coax myself to work despite having an awful stiff neck when I woke up this morning.  Not quite feeling it yet, so I'll put up my weekly blog post first.  I talked a little bit about vintage Travel ads when I made my own Hong Kong travel ad.  That led me down to a rabbit hole of vintage travel ads, and speculating about which ones I'd like to purchase.  My favorite travel ad so far is the one above, originally made for Japan National Railways.  This simple yet striking image incorporating the sakura blossoms and a 5 level pagoda (In Nara?) tells you all you need to know about exotic Japan.

Another Japan travel ad I like is by BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation).  I actually like quite a few of BOAC's posters, but this one by Frank Wooton (who ironically also produced propaganda posters during WWII) is superb, drawing you in with its detail and striking use of color.

This is another BOAC ad that I like, inviting travelers to visit "The Orient".  The orient in question looks like Thailand, Cambodia or Burma, based on the clothing and the temples in the background.  Once again the striking use of colors is what makes this BOAC piece stand out.  I also like the sharp, almost cartoony illustration of the vendor, which reminds me of the work of Pixar's Ronnie Del Carmen.

This poster of Les Ruines D'Angkor brings you right back to the early 20th century, when one had to take steamships across the oceans and railroads to get into the interior.  The exotic people in the foreground contrast with the peaceful and mysterious temple in the background, making this a visual feast for the eyes.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Planes of the Face

Because I had so much trouble with my faces in my last illustration, I decided to do some exercises to help me better understand how the planes of the face work.  I first did some tracing, drawing over photographs and trying to figure out the contours of different faces. Then I found this post by artist Daniel Helzer, wher he shows off this statue of a face that clearly shows off the different planes.  It's actually a learning tool for sculptors, but Daniel found it handy for visualizing the planes of the face, and so did I.  I used his photograph of the sculpture and traced over the contours of the face, and then afterwards painted it.  I'll probably do more of these over the course of the week.  I wish I could get this statue locally so I can tweak the lighting myself, but for now working with photos will have to do.

original photo