Tag Archives: art

When a Writer Gets Out of Her Comfort Zone and Tries to Draw

Last week, the March Draw Kuretake challenge by Kuretake ZIG USA ended. After 4 weeks of silly, clumsy drawings, I am done with my artistic attempts. For now, anyway.

March Draw Kuretake Contest Calendar

Last October, I was so happy to have stumbled upon the InkTober drawing challenge started by artist Jake Parker. It was a drawing challenge for artists, but I jumped in anyway (I remember sending a tweet to Mr. Parker, asking for permission to join, and I was happy to have received his blessing)! I was sad when InkTober ended. When I learned about this March Draw Kuretake challenge, I was eager to pick up my pens and markers and try drawing again.

I’m neither a natural nor trained artist, but once in a while, I just want to get out of my comfort zone and draw for fun. Many times, without external motivation, I end up neglecting my beloved brush pens and drawing pens. Having a daily prompt of what to draw and making a commitment to myself and to these art challenge organizers keep me drawing.

My drawings are definitely an amateur’s work and cannot compete for any of the prizes in this drawing challenge by Kuretake ZIG USA. I don’t think I even qualify for winning any prize since I don’t live in the USA. Still, I joined this challenge for fun. And it was! It pays to get out of our comfort zones to let our hair down, have fun and get our creative juices flowing again. And who knows what hidden talents or eureka moments we may discover in the process?

Bonus in this 4-week endeavor? Getting acknowledged by the challenge organizer and a few other artists when they favorited and retweeted some of my drawings. Thank you for giving this writer and non-artist a nod for her efforts!

Through these online drawing challenges, I also learned to not be ashamed of my efforts (since I had to post them on social media 😉 ). So here are a few of my drawings for this March Draw Kuretake challenge.


What’s in Your Treasure Chest?

I am not an artist (stick drawings, perhaps), but I love markers and pens!  And ever since I discovered Kuretake ZIG markers in Singapore (in Art Friend, my favorite art and craft store in Singapore), I fell in love with them.

At the beginning of March, I learned about Kuretake ZIG USA’s Draw Kuretake Challenge.


I wasn’t even sure if I was eligible to win since I don’t live in the US. And having seen some of the drawings already submitted (by true artists!), I knew I wouldn’t stand a chance to win. But after enjoying the InkTober drawing challenge last October, I figured, why not? Trying new things and getting out of my comfort zone has been working well for me lately.

Here I am, in the middle of the March Draw Kuretake challenge. A few days ago, I decided to draw while waiting for my kids at their football training. I read the prompt for March 10 and it said, “What’s in your Treasure Chest?” Wow, after drawing an alien planet, a footballer drawf and a grumpy cat, I was stumped. There I was, sitting in my folding chair, notebook and pens in hand, seriously contemplating. If I did have a treasure chest, what would I put in it? What do I hold dearest to me?

I thought about it. I made a short list. After some minutes, I started to draw. And I came up with these treasures: photographs, my passport, a pen and a notebook, my iPhone and my wedding and engagement rings.

What's in my Treasure Chest? DrawKuretake


I’m happy to join this drawing challenge because it’s fun and it makes me use my beloved pens and markers as often as possible. With this particular drawing challenge, I am extraordinarily thankful for the opportunity to reflect and remember what are my greatest treasures – moments and memories of family, friends and travels; stories, letters and notes; keeping in touch; and my marriage and family.

Now, maybe I’ll ask my family what are in their treasure chests.


InkTober Day 9: Ed Sheeran art

Ed Sheeran art

Today’s InkTober abstract drawing is inspired by something I was stressed about but just had to do this morning – buy tickets to the upcoming Ed Sheeran concert here in Manila. Thankfully, I was able to do it online, but the waiting, the constant refreshing of the webpage to check for the best available seats, the frustration…


InkTober Day 7: Matryoshka Dogs

Matryoshka Dog 2Matryoshka Dog 1

I’ve made several attempts to draw Matty, our beloved Schnauzer-mix-looking dog. These are my fourth and fifth attempts, and I want her to be part of my InkTober drawings before I decide to move on from animals.  While I found it fairly easy to draw a penguin and an owl as matryoshka dolls, I struggled so much with a dog. I’m sure part of it is my lack of drawing expertise, but I’m guessing part of it maybe because the shape of birds is closer to that of the matryoshka doll so it seemed a more natural fit. The silhouette of dogs, or perhaps any creature on fours, is very different from that of the matryoshka doll.

These are drawn with Kuretake ZIG Drawing Pen and Akashiya Fude Sai Japanese Traditional Colors Brush Pens.

P.S. Sorry, Matty.  These drawings don’t do you any justice 😉  You are definitely more beautiful.

InkTober Day 4: Matryoshka Owl

InkTober Day 4: Matryoshka Owl

My InkTober Day 4 drawing is also a day late, but better late than never, right?

This matryoshka owl is inspired by two things.  Yesterday, October 4, was World Animal Day. And yesterday, dictionary.com‘s Word of the Day was boobookEveryday, I check dictionary.com’s Word of the Day and I write a haiku with that word on my wotdhaiku Twitter account.

I could say that this matryoshka owl is special. It is drawn for the InkTober challenge, comes with its own haiku and is inspired by World Animal Day.

This drawing is made with Kuretake ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka 05 pen in Sepia and Akashiya Fude Sai Japanese Traditional Colors brush pens.


InkTober Day 3: Matryoshka Penguin

InkTober Day 3: Matryoshka PenguinMy InkTober drawing for day 3 comes a day late. Aside from having more to do than the usual (excuses, I know), I really found myself struggling with ideas.

I know I am not an artist and I am definitely no expert in drawing. But what I am discovering for myself is that, if I make this InkTober drawing challenge into a learning challenge, a month-long task of teaching myself to draw, then it becomes more manageable, less daunting, and yes, more fun!

I’ve realized that I can’t pluck ideas out of thin air. And I can’t draw something by freehand, without planning and practice. I have given myself permission to look at art and drawings that I like to give me inspiration and ideas. I am going to use themes and templates to work with.  I am drawing not as an expert but as a novice, and I am going to enjoy myself!

For now, I’m going to stick with the matryoshka doll idea. It gives me a framework, something to give my imagination a boundary, and within that boundary I can line and color and imagine as much as I would like!

This is a matryoshka penguin, in celebration of World Animal Day on October 4. I love penguins and it saddens me that some penguin species are endangered.

InkTober Day 2: Matryoshka Doll

InkTober Day 2: Matryoshka Doll

It’s only the 2nd day of October and of the InkTober challenge, and I am already at a loss on what to draw. I doodle, I color, I try to sketch. But I keep second guessing myself, doubting whether or not what I drew is worth posting for this drawing challenge.

I promised myself I would do this, so here I am again. After several attempts to draw something nice, I stopped to think of what it is that I would like to see. I asked myself, “What drawing or image would be nice?” The image of a matryoshka doll just popped in my head.

Here is my first attempt at drawing a matryoshka doll. I used a Kuretake ZIG Drawing Pen and an Akashiya Fude Brush Pen.

Inktober Day 1: Namaste on the Beach

Inktober Day 1 Namaste

I stumbled upon the InkTober drawing challenge a few days ago. I’ve decided to give it a go even though I call myself a non-artist (I don’t know how to draw!). Thankfully, Mr. Jake Parker has explicitly given me permission (since I asked him on Twitter) to join in and he even gave me a short note of encouragement: “It’s the perfect way to get better.”

Here it is! Today’s InkTober drawing is something I would call abstract. It is inspired by Erin Motz’s 2014 Official Yoga Challenge, Week 1, Day 1 practice. On this first day of October, not only did I start my InkTober challenge, but I also finally started with this new yoga challenge.  I was quite surprised, and eventually a bit envious, that Erin was doing her yoga practice on the beach! It was such a lovely, peaceful setting for yoga.

For this drawing, I used Kurekate ZIG Drawing Pen 0.1 in black and Akashiya Fude Sai Japanese Traditional Colors Brush Pens.

I decided to take on this InkTober drawing challenge not because I want to become a good artist but because it sounds like a lot of fun. I like my pens and this gives me the push to keep using them everyday for 31 days! And although I don’t draw well, I am a fan of beautiful, unique and expressive drawings. With InkTober, I get to see many beautiful and interesting ink drawings everyday, I get to use my precious pens everyday, and perhaps somewhere along the way I will learn to draw better.


Inspire Monday: Art and Autism with Stephen Wiltshire

How I wish I was there, among the crowd in Paragon on Orchard Road, Singapore, watching British architectural artist Stephen Wiltshire do his magic. On July 16 to 20, he made a panoramic drawing of the Singapore skyline on a four-meter by one-meter canvas. From the articles and videos posted online, I could see that his drawing was, as expected, spectacular. But wouldn’t it have been so much more special to see the artist at work?

I first heard about Stephen in 2013 when I saw this video on YouTube.

Since then, I’ve become a fan. His art is amazing. His talent is jaw-dropping. And his story is inspiring to us all, not just to families with autism. For those of us who can, let us enable others’ talents to shine and to help make our world better and more beautiful. For those of us who may be facing challenges, physical or otherwise, to pursuing our passions and dreams, we should listen to Stephen’s wise words. “Do the best you can, and never stop.”