Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Tribute to the
Pound for Pound Champion

Goodness! I am sooo flooding my blog with my digital art. ^_^
Here's a rather pop-art portrait of Manny Pacquiao. I just grabbed all the images I used here from the internet of course. A lot have expressed their appreciation of the Pinoy champion through art. As a fan of his, I present my version of Pacman Art.

It would have been more appropriate though if I have posted this for an upcoming fight. His next fight schedule was moved from April 16 to May 7 of 2012.

You can have a portrait like this too. Click here to know how.

See more digital paintings here.

Mark & Erlaine

Here's a portrait of my brother Mark and his wife Erlaine. They were married on December 5, 2007 at the Shrine of Jesus Church in Pasay City. They now have a 3 year old daughter, my beautiful niece Kelsea, whom I'm yet to make a portrait of. ^_^

A large painting of your wedding picture makes a really sweet anniversary gift. Click here to find out how to get one.

See more digital paintings here.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Portrait of a Pakistani

Now here's a portrait of my friend from Pakistan. He goes by the name Ballli. I find the original photo quite interesting because of the traditional garments he was wearing - turban, mustache and all. It certainly compliments the old world charm of traditional oil paintings.

Nice shirt, don't you think? It looks similar to the Filipino polo-barong.

If you want to have a digital painting like this, which you can have printed and framed, click here.

See more digital paintings here.

The Music of Dennis Brown

I just felt like listening to reggae music today while working. So I checked Google to find a reggae artist to bring new music to my ears. Reggae really is a genre I don't get to listen too often (contrary to the way I look hehe). Anyway, I typed "famous reggae artist" and the name Dennis Brown showed up. So I listened to a few tracks... pretty damn good! No wonder why Bob Marley cited him as his favorite singer. Yeah I read that somewhere hehe.

Dennis Brown (1957-1999) was a Jamaican singer who's career began in the late 60's. He is also known as "The Crown Prince of Reggae." Go give him a listen!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Couple of Self-Portraits

Of course an artist can have as many self-portraits as he wants hehe.

I took the original picture for this portrait from our balcony. I had to wait for the sun to be in the right place to achieve this kind of light. Changing the background is a very easy thing to do. I can be in the middle of the desert if I want to.

I tried a different style here. I hoped to achieve a somewhat Manet-like rough painting. I used two softwares: Deep Paint for the sketch and Adobe Photoshop to place the old paper background and the rendering. Turned out okay, I think...

Want your own digital portrait paining? Click here.

See more digital paintings here.

The Bohemian Diet:
Mongolian Bowl

It's been a long time since I had Mongolian Bowl at Mongolian Quick-Stop. I thought that today's a good time to much on an old favorite.

I remember that I used to order the eat-all-you-can bowl and have up to 3 servings. I was fat then hehe. Then I started to just order the single bowl. Nowadays, I just order their quick box - the serving that helps to keep small your gut capacity and your spending as well. The quick box is only P85.

When getting the ingredients, I skip the rice and the noodles. More on the tofu, mongo bean sprouts, cabbage, and string beans, and I include all the meat. I always request for the sweet and spicy sauce. Healthy and affordable - that's the bohemian diet!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ikus the Cat

This is Ikus. A pet cat of my friend Don Triviño, author of the blog BonggaBa.Com. He also has a photo-blog: DonTriviño.Com.

LinkIkus was an abandoned little kitten meowing for help when Don found him in the streets of his neighborhood, about a year ago. Thanks to Don, the young white and orange tabby now has a home and is being spoiled up to this day.

A Portrait of My Niece

My 2-year old cute little niece with a deep voice, Amelie Felice Tan, who could be a future mezzo soprano. She's the first daughter of my sister Jeth Gool-Tan and her husband Jigger Tan. They are both into photography. In fact they met in a photography club.

The original picture was taken while they were sorting their folded clothes and thought that they put Amelie in a plastic laundry basket for a while to entertain herself.

Want a digital painting of your cute bundle of joy? Click here.

See more digital paintings here.

Friday, January 27, 2012

More About Bando Tamasaburo V

His real name is Morita Shin'ichi and he was born in April 25, 1950. He made his first appearance on stage when he was 7 years old with the stage name Bando Kinoji. In June 1964 he takes the name Bando Tamasaburo V. His adoptive father, the kabuki actor Morita Kan'ya XIV, was Bando Tamasaburo IV.
Bando Tamasaburo V is the most celebrated onnagata. His life is devoted to the theater and thus he has made countless performances not only in his homeland but also in the United States and Paris.

Being very much fascinated by Japanese art, I am completely mesmerized by the beautiful woman that he portrays, her graceful movements and those awesome kimonos! There are a lot of videos of his performances on YouTube. I'm glad that most videos include English narrations that not only tell you about the story but also the other elements of the play and a bit about Japanese culture and history.

The video below is the first part of two 10-minute videos of Fuji Musume (Wisteria Maiden), one of my favorite kabuki plays because of the happy tune and the quick kimono changes.

Watch part 2 here. Enjoy! ^_^

A Portrait of an Onnagata

A portrait of Japan's leading onnagata, Bando Tamasaburo. I'm a big fan of his artistry. An onnagata is a male kabuki actor who specially play female roles. (click on the image to enlarge). The original photo was taken from a book by renowned Japanese photographer Shinoyama Kishin. His book, titled after the actor, is a collection of photographs that reveal the secluded and traditional-bound world of kabuki. (Yes, the book is part of my wish list!)

Someday I'll have this digital artwork printed on canvas for my personal collection. It's a 30 x 38 inch artwork.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Portrait of Maxi

This is a portrait of a very dear friend. Hussein "Maxi" Shirazi is half Filipino and half Iranian. He wanted his portrait to be a bit pop-art, not the clean vectorized type and not in tutti fruity colors. So there. I actually patterned the colors from the Obama "hope" poster.

Want a digital portrait like this? Click here.

See more digital paintings here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Bohemian Fashion:
Batik Magnifique

To appreciate the aesthetics of a different culture is common. But to actually wear the traditional clothing of another culture, particularly with a rich artistic heritage, is definitely bohemian. So here's another fashion must-have for the bohemian man. When I saw this batik shirt at the second hand store, I pulled it out of the rack and dashed to the fitting room. I had no second thoughts about buying it when it fitted me perfectly. It's only Php160! Would have been cooler though if I have bought it in Indonesia as a tourist. ^_^

Batik is a fabric with elaborate patterns traditionally done by wax-resist dying technique. In Indonesia, the batik shirt was invented in the 1960's as a formal non-Western upper garment for men. UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in October 2, 2009. And as a measure to preserve their heritage, the Indonesian administration called upon their citizens to wear batik every Friday.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Launching My Digital Portrait
& Painting Services

I've mentioned this business endeavor many times in this blog. I am supposed to launch the website on Multiply.Com this month but I made a little change. I'm having bit of a hard time customizing the Multiply page so instead I'll just use Multiply as an advertisement page that will link to this blog.

So the official website of the business is...right here! Welcome to my blog. ^_^

Let me show you some of my first works.

This is a portait of Paul Vincent Pua, a friend of mine from a motorcycle club. He does photography too. He's usually into photographing cosplayers. He actually took this photo himself. I find interesting the Rembrandt-like lighting he used. So I thought converting it into a "painting" will add more drama to his self-portrait.

Here's a portrait of another friend. Roda Postrado is a professional loctician (dreadlock artist). The original photo was taken by another dreadlocked friend, photographer Richard Arcas. I was there at the shoot. I did the styling and directing.

Erwin Buenaventura is a friend of mine from another motorcycle group. The original pic was taken, I assume, from a webcam, he might be having fun with gray contact lenses at that time. Really, he doesn't need color lenses. His natural hazel eyes is something I'm envious of.

If you want to have a digital portrait painting, click here.

See more digital paintings here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Enter the Water Dragon...
Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Today begins the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Traditionally, it's a 15-day celebration so it ends on February 4, 2011. Actually, for the first time here in the Philippines, the occasion is observed as a special non-working holiday.

So have you guys checked your fortune for the year of the Black Dragon? (Black is the designated color for the element of water, in Chinese astrology). There are mainly two perspectives in Chinese astrology - one is by your animal sign, and the other is by your element. Did you know that the element of the year you are born is different from your lucky element?

I'm a wood rabbit. My source says that it's gonna be a fair year for the rabbit even without any lucky signs *sob*. Because there are no lucky signs, I should take care of what I have now - my relationships, my resources, and my health. But my birth element is wood, and 2012 is a water year. Water is my lucky element. Water nourishes the trees (wood) so help and support will always be available to me this year. ^_^

Read your fortune for 2012 at ChineseAstrologyOnline.Com. Not a very well designed website but the content is highly credible.

Since it's the year of the dragon I've decorated my online notebook with this red paper dragon cut-out for the much needed good luck.

The traditional art of paper cutting is called Jianzhi - invented in the Han Dynasty. Paper started as a precious commodity back then. So people with access to paper for art purposes were usually nobles.

In the rural countrysides of mainland China, paper cutting is traditionally a female activity. In the past, girls were trained to master the craft and brides are often judged by their skill. On the other hand, men usually were the professional cutters.

The paper used in this art is really thin and delicate. So don't ever think it's easy to make. If you want to see colorful and intricate collections of jianzhi check out SinoPaperArt.Com. =)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Underworld 4: Awakening

It's so good to see the vampire Selene doing her ass-kicking moves again, after three years. Kate Beckinsale still has it! Haven't been to the movies for so long. Seeing the movie poster really awakened the sleeping vampire action film fan in me.

Underworld is my all-time favorite vampire film series. I'm not exactly sure who wrote the first three films. There was legal controversy behind it, but anyway, I love the plot. I like their concept of the origins of vampires and warewolves and the war between the two creatures. Also I like the idea of three vampire elders taking turns in ruling while the other two go sleeping; that a vampire-warewolf hybrid can exist; and that both creatures (of the same speed and strength) had to use technology to kill each other.

I love the production too . I like the old world scenes. Not to mention the modern vampire outfits with Goth-Celtic details!

This 4th film is different - no more elders or old world flashbacks but I still love it because it's still packed with a good plot, lots of action and special effects. The setting is 12 years after humans thought that they have exterminated all vampires and warewolves.

If you're an Underworld fan, go watch it now!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Just reflecting on these simple but powerful words. We really have to take charge of our own lives if we want it to get better.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Riusuke Fukahori's 3D Goldfish Paintings

I simply must feature this artist whose work really swept me off my feet. A friend shared about the Japanese artist on facebook and I'm glad he did.

I love goldfish, the roundish double-tailed kind, I used to keep some in my aquarium years ago. I also love the Zen quality of Japanese art so Fukahori's works is something I sooo want to see in person. I wish I could be one of the lucky people to own at least one of his small pieces like this goldfish in a small wooden box.

Fukahori uses traditional painting techniques on layers and layers of clear resin, thus creating a three-dimensional effect. The natural shadows makes it even more realistic! Here's a video showing the process of his work (that requires a lot of diligence) and some pieces form his Goldfish Salvation exhibit. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Bohemian Fashion

I've seen fashion blogs where the authors photograph themselves, wearing their favorite outfits that they styled up together. I think its a fun thing to do so I'm gonna do the same. After all, just like everybody else, I have accumulated a lot of wearable stuff over the years since I was old enough to buy clothes for myself, and it would be nice to have a picture of yourself wearing your favorite get ups while they still look good on you or while you still look good in them. ^_^

So I'll be sharing to you my style which is my interpretation of men's bohemian fashion. Now, what is bohemian fashion? I'd say that it's the clothing style of a person who is artistically inclined, one who is eclectic - has an appreciation of the aesthetics of different cultures. It is the fashion of the non-conformist, one who wears something not because it's "in" but because it reflects his personality, it expresses his individuality.

Also, bohemian fashion is the clothing style of a person who has high-end taste but with low-end budget. So he's the kind of person who would buy a jacket with a woven pattern from a second hand store, rather than a new jacket with a big printed logo of a popular clothing brand.

For ladies it's so easy to sport the bohemian style because there are so many brands out there that make clothes that fit the look. But for men, such brands are rare. When I type "men's bohemian fashion" on Google I find very few images that I can actually call bohemian. Perhaps because the majority of men care less about fashion, let alone personal style?

Anyways, let me start with two get ups. I think it's best to start with my basic street wear. This is as basic as I can go on ordinary days when I need to blend in with the crowd and be invisible for a moment.

A well fitted t-shirt, clean jeans and sneakers - the fundamental combo that is decent enough in this tropical third-world country. Some establishments here require that at least your feet, legs, and shoulders are not exposed if you want to get in. In my case, a scarf draping from my neck and bracelets around my left wrist is part of what I call basic.

Sometimes when it's really warm or really wet, and I need to do a lot of outdoor walking, I will usually be seen in a black t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. Of course there's always a shemagh scarf (I have 8 of them). It's such a handy piece of accessory for this dread-headed, motorcycle-riding bohemian guy, living in a country with polluted cities under the very unpredictable weather.

So that's all for my first post about my bohemian fashion, the next posts will be my not-so-basic get ups. Watch out for eccentric ones! ^_^

Monday, January 9, 2012


Again another cool video found on Vimeo. Influencers is a short documentary by R+I Creative that "explores what it means to be an influencer and how trends and creativity become contagious today in music, fashion and entertainment".

I think it needs a bohemian mind to be an influencer, since bohemianism involves creativity and unconventionality. One has to combine these two factors to come up with a new style. The most unique of artists - musicians, and designers alike, are the ones who set the trend.

So, are you one of the influencers?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Thoughts of the End
at the Start of the Year

Who can forget the scenes from the movie 2012 that was shown 3 years ago? That doomsday film directed by Roland Emmerich started the buzz about the astonishing ancient Mayan calendar that ends on December 21, 2012.

These ancient inhabitants of Mesoamerica had an amazing understanding of mathematics and astronomy. One of their 4 calendars, the Mayan Long Count Calendar, is not as simple as the calendar we use today where it only tracks the earth's lunar and solar cycle. The Mayan Calendar also tracks the cycle of other planets like Venus, Mercury and Jupiter. They believe that the position of the planets and the stars emit a cosmic energy that influences everything and everyone in this world. So with their sophisticated stone calendar, they were able to predict quite accurately, the good and the bad events in history.

Now if they have accurately predicted these events, and have a calendar that ends on a specific date, many would think that the end of time will happen then. But just as many argue that that date is merely the end of a 5,125 year cycle.

Faithful Christians will not believe in any specific prediction of the apocalypse. Because Christ himself said, "Only the Father knows". But these words won't bring relief to those who fear the end because that day can happen sooner that what the ancient Mayans had us expected.

But if the world does end on December 21, 2012, that means we have 361 days left (and counting) before we experience, in person, the totally freaking scenarios of Emmerich's film. So how does one prepare for it? How does the ordinary person, with not enough money to pay for some secret international doomsday survival project, prepare for the worldwide wipe out?

There is no way. But if you are very determined to survive, perhaps some tips from ApocalypticPost.Com will help you. They have nice ideas on what you can wear after that fateful day.

Let's get real! Unless you are a vulture who feeds on carcass or a cockroach that can digest almost anything, you will not survive 40 days after your post-apocalypse food supply runs out.

Anyways, enough of the scary and gross thoughts of doomsday. To worry about it will certainly not add another day to our lives. Instead let us have the right attitude about the shortness of life. And so, let me end this blog post with this quote by Dr. Wayne Dyer:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Good Morning Sunshine

The first sunrise of the year, taken sometime between 7:00 and 7:20 AM from the rooftop of our house in Alabang, City of Muntinlupa. It's a diffused sunrise due to either the clouds or the smog.

I do this every first morning of the year (since 2007), I watch the sunrise and feel it's warmth on my skin. Somehow I have this belief that the light coming from the first sunrise of the year is packed with blessings.