Category: Art

GM2016 Feature Image

Graphika Manila 2016 Conference

Last January I attended the Graphika Manila 2016 Conference on Creativity.  They had a mix of twelve international and local speakers lined up for the two day event.


Graphika Manila 2016


The decision to attend this years Graphika Manila was a no brainer. When I saw that someone from Pixar was coming, I just knew that I really needed to go.

Benjamin Su

Benjamin Su - Graphika Manila 2016
Benjamin Su – Graphika Manila 2016

All of the speakers during the Graphika Manila 2016 were very inspiring, but my favorite was from Pixar animator Benjamin Su. He is a seasoned animator who has worked on animated films like Sony’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Pixar’s Toy Story 3, Brave and Inside Out.

Su took us on a quick tour around the Pixar campus, showing photos of the Steve Jobs Building — the main atrium that houses all of the Pixar employees, in which Steve Jobs designed with the thought of having everyone meet and interact in a central place.

Pixar employees also have the freedom to customize their workspaces, not your average bring some toys and photos to decorate your desk, but a full tear down the walls to construct a new building. There were photos of an office that looked like jungle full of vines, another a castle, but my favorite was one that looked like a crashed airplane.

Right outside the atrium is a giant statue of the iconic Luxo Jr. , from Pixar’s ground breaking short film of same name. The 22-acre campus also has a park with an amphitheater, a tennis court and a pool.

Su also shared about the importance of feedback. Where in, Pixar has created a culture of openness where everyone is free to share ideas and opinion. Candor is encouraged, being honest to push forward the story to become better. It’s one of the key elements to what makes Pixar stories great. This also is mentioned constantly in Ed Catmull’s book, Creativity, Inc. — go read this!

The most inspiring part of Su’s talk was when footage of his daughter running around came up, side by side with footage from Inside Out. Su’s daughter’s footage was the reference for the animation for toddler Riley scenes. Bonnie from Toy Story 3 was also referenced from Su’s daughter. I was really amazed how his daughter inspired the work, then in the end the work will inspire his daughter. A circle of inspiration.

Tosh Kodama


Tosh Kodama - Graphika Manila 2016
Tosh Kodama – Graphika Manila 2016

Imaginary Forces director Tosh Kodama — coolest name ever, who shared their process from rejected ideas, storyboard concepts and final renders. IF is responsible some of my favorite opening titles, namely the titles for Person of Interest — which elements were also designer by Ash Thorp ( Graphika Manila 2014 speaker ) and the titles for Marvel’s Jessica Jones.

Imaginary Forces – Person of Interest from Imaginary Forces on Vimeo.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones – Main Title from Imaginary Forces on Vimeo.

Timothy Goodman

Timothy Goodman-Graphika Manila 2016
Timothy Goodman

Goodman shared some of his very funny instagram posts.


He also did the 40 Days of Dating Project which was a collaboration with his friend Jessica Walsh. It was an experiment where the two of them dated for forty days.They also have another project called 12 Acts of Kindness where they performed random acts of kindness in the streets of New York.

40 Days of Dating: The Book from 40 Days of Dating on Vimeo.

Harvey Tolibao

Harvey presentation was also unforgettable. Harvey was the last speaker on the second day. Before Harvey’s talk, I felt the audience was already tired from all the creative inspiration thrown at them. Then suddenly the lights were dimmed down, fight music was slowly building up — the emcee spoke. “Here is Harvey Tolibao!” Spotlight on Harvey as he was walking up on to the stage, the music now all at full blast and the crowd cheering wildly. The halls of SMX felt like a sports event.

Harvey is a comic book artist who has worked with top publishers as Marvel, DC and IDW. He has worked on the Star Wars comics, What If – Civil War, Psylocke and Green Arrow.

Harvey’s presentation started with a video of his daily routine, starting from his home then walking and commuting going to his studio office — which was on the fourth floor of a building that doesn’t have an elevator. Everything in Harvey’s talk was inspiring — from his humble beginnings to how practice, persistence and passion leads the road to success. Harvey drew everyday, he drew on everything, he drew everyone.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Harvey speak before at the Graphicon Davao 2015 event — I also met his wife Juli and son Zod. His talks are very inspiring and funny. I’m thinking if he wasn’t a successful comic book artist he could become a stand-up comedian.

Harvey Tolibao
Graphicon 2015 – Me, Zod, Harvey Tolibao and Julius Genosas
Harvey Tolibao
Graphicon 2015 – Joker and Batman by Harvey Tolibao

Final Thoughts

Graphika Manila 2016
Graphika Manila 2016

The Graphika Manila  2016 Conference on Creativity was held last January 30-31, 2016 at the SM Mall of Asia Convention Center. Graphika Manila 2016 was fantastic and inspiring but I wish there was more — workshops during event day, booth rentals offered to local talents to sell their shit , stuff from Wacom, Adobe and any other art/design related supplier, software and tools companies — maybe they tried all this on past events and it didn’t work?

This is actually my second time to attend Graphika Manila — I also attended the 2014 event, where I got to meet the great Ash Thorp, Sara Blake, Eugene Gauran and Jessica Hische. Graphika Manila 2014


Painting Play-Doh Groot Sculpt

Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy  Mini Bust
Material: Play-Doh
Height: 3 Inches

Repainted the Play-Doh Groot sculpt I did two years ago.

Groot Play-Doh Repaint
Play-Doh clay Groot sculpt paint 2014 and 2016

It was looking a bit dull as Play-Doh wasn’t meant to last long. Coating it with PVA glue helped preserve it a bit, but it still shrunk a little, there were cracks and the twigs sticking out the back part fell off. Looks better without them anyway.

I started out by adding a fresh coat of PVA then sprayed with a primer then went on with the painting using acrylics. Adding a lighter tone first then building up painting with a darker wash to get some nice gritty woodsy effect, then finally some greens here and there for moss.

Play-Doh Groot Sculpt Repaint

I now have an awesome looking Groot paper-weight!

More process photos on my Facebook page

First Davao Dribble

DGDC : First Davao Dribbble Meet-up

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The Davao Graphics Designers Community ( DGDC ) held the first Davao Dribbble meet-up last March 19, 2016 at Dreamwork Co-working space.  The afternoon was filled with fun and learning, we had freebies, food and a couple of our community members shared their craft.


Davao Dribbble Freebies
Davao Dribbble Freebies


What is Dribble? It’s an online portfolio site, but unlike other portfolio sites, you can only upload your work when you are invited by another member and invites are rare. This means more curated content, as it is encouraged that you only invite artists/designers who you think are worth following, can contribute great work and can give constructive feedback to other members. The site has a long list of guidelines to help members of whom should be deemed worthy for invites, as each member is also limited to only 3 invites per year or depending on how active you are in the community.

After the Dribbble intro, three speakers were lined up to share that afternoon.

1. Stephanie Tan – Getting Started on Painting
2. Cesar Villame – Mascot Design
3. Dominic Saraum – UI Design

Davao Dribbble Speakers


Stephanie Tan
Stephanie Tan – Getting Started with Painting


First speaker was Stephanie, she shared some insight on traditional and digital painting, art tips on how having a great foundation on drawing will make better paintings, understanding values and a little bit about color temperature. She showed a quick video about her painting process and also brought some of her watercolor paintings, which were amazing to see up close.


Cesar Villame
Cesar Villame – Mascot Design


Cesar aka Zest, gave a few tips on creating an effective mascot design, creating non-static, more dynamic characters by using a 3/4th view, focus on the eyes having the right direction for the reflection, and using shadows to give the design depth. After his talk, he did a quick demo, creating a mascot from scratch and in under 20 mins or so he had designed full mascot of DGDC founder Marx Consuegra.

Third speaker Dominic Saraum didn’t make it to the meet but I’m sure we will get to see him on the next meet-up.

After the creative talks, we had a small sketching activity. Task was to design concepts for a Davao Dribbble icon. Top three concepts were chosen and selected participants got some awesome prizes from DGDC and Dribbble.


Davao Dribbble Icon Sketching
Davao Dribbble Icon Sketching


DGDC had news on some exciting community collaboration projects and updates on upcoming events . Overall it was an inspiring first Davao Dribbble and thirteenth DGDC Designers meet-up and I’m looking forward to the next ones.

Clik the link for more photos ~  First Davao Dribble Meet-up


Robocop vs Terminators Feature Image

Robocop In Pursuit



Last February I entered Douglas Sonders, Robocop retouching contest, didn’t win but my entry and a few others got featured along with the winner on the Fstoppers website. You can view my entry below. But before you scroll down any further you should play this clip first. =)

Original Entry

Re:retouch Robocop vs Terminator

I made another version after I learned about this Robocop vs Terminator comics from the 90’s.

They provided some amazing RAW images to play with. Out of the 8 photos provided,  the photo of Robocop  pointing a gun at a fleeing old man caught my eye, I had an idea to upgrade the old guy to a cyborg, after all it would be sad to see Murphy gunning down an old man. Although if you look at the original photo, it seems that Robocop’s aim is a bit off. Maybe he was aiming at something else and the old guy is an innocent civilian?

Stocks from stock exchange, cgtextures and deviantart.

Terminator Renders and other elements :Stiks-1969 via cheyenne75

Some reference images. Color treatment hugely influenced by the Kavinsky and Drive posters.

This was one of the more exciting pieces I’ve worked on in a while, I hope you guys like it!

Forever Alone Feature Image

Re:retouch Game or Girl

Quick re-edit from Blinque’s 2012 calendar. Another one of my favorites from the shoot, did basic cleanups on skin painted in stray hair and giving the photo a more balanced composition. Checkout the original edit and raw photo below.


Went for a warm golden night color tone.


October – Soon to be forever alone Lvl: 300



After the rain? Another version a bit more blue and added water droplets to the window.

Gamer Girl

Re:retouch Gamer Chick

For this week’s weekend project, I dug up the Blinque 2012 Calendar photos again, and picked a few of my favorites for a new weekend project called Re:retouch. In all the composites I’ve done, I’ve never been truly satisfied. There is always something to change, to add or take out, from a minor superficial fix to abstract symbolisms, as the great Leonardo Da Vinci once said “art is never finished, only abandoned”.

In the next few weekends, I’ll be working on 5 of my favorite photos from the calendar shoot, one each weekend. For today I picked the “Gamer Chick” photo, this is my 5th favorite from the set. Checkout the changes I made to the photo below.

Re:retouch, one big major change I did was the color treatment, I gave it a more sexy pink and violet this time. The new colors seem to give it more depth.

From the original I already did a head replacement, sadly I don’t have the copy anymore. From that I created the master file.Then I started from scratch with skin cleanup color correction/grading the only thing I didn’t redo were the HUD elements.

Compared to the original composite, the new look gave it a more powerful feminine feel.

Moonlit Wish Feature Image

Moonlit Wish Feat. Alodia Gosiengfiao

Blinque and SplatPH photoshoot / interview with the cosplay queen Alodia Gosiengfiao. This photo has been sitting pretty and forgotten on my desktop for nearly half a year. Had a bit of a creative block when I got the photos and this was an unexpected photo from a friend Eight Espino for our friends over at Blinque and SplatPH. Sorry guys nadugay!Haha. Alodia was a guest judge at the Mindanao Cosplay Summit 2012 organized by Ambox. This was an after event photoshoot. Checkout the breakdown video and photos below.


Stock photos used for the moon, bird, mountains. The rest just basic Photoshop goodness.


I had a few problems when I was brainstorming a concept for the edit. First off who/what anime/manga was she cosplaying? Is it anime/manga related at all? or an original? Why don’t I recognize this?! My soul died a little inside that day. Turns out the dress was a gift from Doll Heart. Ok now thats out of the way. Should I go gothic drama dark? Skulls? Crosses? Crows? A single tear running down her cheek?


Had a bunch of options, Eight had a lot of good portraits from the set but I opted to go with this full body, her expression is just what the I needed. Decided not to go too gothic dark, but went for a more hope and dreams kind of thing. Original photo on the left. I did some body parts replacement to get the pose I needed. Although looking at it now, it could have worked without replacing the arms. Yes yes just because you can doesn’t mean you should.


Did a little bit of tailoring on the dress, cutting out a part of the dress to give a little separation from the legs. Then finally masking out the background.




Eight Productions

Alodia Gosiengfiao

Silentman Studios Retouching

Midnight Noir Feature Image

Midnight Noir Breakdown

Sultan Ghahtani aka Photo Sultan did a a fantastic job on this photoshoot with a 50’s-esque theme. The photo itself looks amazing even without retouching, but imagination takes over resulting into “Midnight Noir”. I have always loved the 40’s and 50’s era specifically pin-ups and the film noir look and feel.   For this touch up goal was to introduce more shadows and completely relight the scene. Check out the quick video breakdown below.

The final edit.


Le original photo.


Le black and white goodness in the spirit of Film noir. If you have questions Leave a comment below. Share and Enjoy.


Project : Midnight Noir

Photographer: Sultan Ghahtani

Retoucher/Digital Artist : Silentman Studios