Odds and Ends,  Sunday Snippets

Sunday Snippets: on speaking English, how I draw sunblock, and the land of Oz

A question I get asked often when I'm in the US.

I don’t remember what I was thinking of that prompted this quick, warm-up drawing I made last week. But it’s a true story and during my last trip to the US almost a year ago, I got asked that question more times than I can count in a span of two months. One such incident was when I visited my cousin at her college dorm in Irvine and I was introduced to her American roommate.

“Your English is so good!” the roommate exclaimed, after I answered the requisite questions on where I was from and how long I was staying in the States. She wanted to know how I learned English. Now, I’ve encountered questions similar in nature every time I go to the US so I already had a ready answer, unlike the very first time I was asked how I knew English (I was 12 years old at the time) and all I could say was, “I don’t know.” But back to the roommate. Before I could launch into my canned answer (“English is the language of business in the Philippines and school is conducted in English as well”), my uncle spoke for me, winking. “She learned English on the plane on her way here.”

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Here’s a small detail from an illustration I’m working on. It shows a good visual step-by-step process of how I draw in Adobe Illustrator.


I draw my outlines first then fill them up with color. Color is not my concern at the earliest stages, but getting the form and shape right. Nothing too refined or perfect (unless the project calls for it)– for this, I drew freehand on the computer with a pen tablet and I wanted to retain the hand-drawn quality, hence the uneven lines. Once I get my shapes in, that’s the time I change the colors and see what works best. I add details then shadows and highlights last.

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I watched Oz The Great and Powerful yesterday. I knew nothing about the movie other than the fact that it had something to do with The Wizard of Oz story we’re all familiar with, and that Rachel Weisz is in it. I’ve loved Rachel Weisz ever since she appeared in The Mummy with Brendan Fraser. I try to watch every movie she’s in.

With no expectations before going in to see the movie, I ended up loving every bit of it. Well, most of it. I did not like Mila Kunis’ one-trick-pony portrayal of her character and James Franco’s greasy hat hair and unstable acting. I thought that perhaps Johnny Depp would’ve been better for the role. But that’s not really what I want to talk about. What I LOVE about the movie is how much of a visual feast it is– from the motion graphics opening title sequence, to the set, the costumes, and most especially, the backgrounds.

The visual effects were beautiful, whimsical, and at times a bit garish and over-the-top, but it’s Oz. Maybe it’s supposed to be. Oz the Great and Powerful is an enjoyable and entertaining family film which I think I will be catching in the theaters again, for another look at the visuals.

Oz photo sources 1, 2, 3, 4


(Sunday Snippets is a new, semi-regular Sunday column on my blog, a disjointed, catch-all entry for the little random snippets of art, random thoughts, interesting links, and whatever’s catching my fancy at the moment. It’s my own kind of microblogging.)