In Situ Sketching

It was during high school that I was reprimanded by my English teacher when she saw an exaggerated cartoon sketch of her at the back of my notebook. I wouldn’t blame her for getting upset because she may have interpreted it differently. It might have insulted her in a massive scale, though (with all the enlarged eyes, tiny feet, and crazy hair).

Years after that unfortunate incident (which clearly affected my conduct in school), I found myself doing that same thing on my notebooks – more realism, less exaggeration. Yes, sketching like nobody’s looking is a “constant” in my day to day living and I find it very interesting to be able to capture what is in front of me and translate it onto a sketchbook.

Sketch Exercises

On-the-spot sketching session at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Photo by: Runica Cruz

On-the-spot sketching session at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Photo by: Runica Cruz

Last Friday (11/07/14), I went with #TeamBanggi, for a medical mission conducted in MacArthur, Leyte. I was in a different plane together with my friends Marcos and Emman. Instead of flying from Iloilo to Cebu to Tacloban (which is clearly a good route), we flew out to Manila and endured hours of waiting before going south, yet again, to Tacloban. That’s 5 long hours of eye-popping nothingness.

And so without further to do other than absorb the annoying sound of children crying in the airport and women with megaphone mouths, I began sketching using a set of Noris Club 144 Staedtler Colored Pencils on (guess what?) watercolor paper. I just thought it would be nice to have a rougher surface to rub the pencils on to give it a cool textured look.

Emman and Marcos patiently waiting at Gate 132 of NAIA 3. Mel Tiangco several meters away.

Emman and Marcos patiently waiting at Gate 132 of NAIA 3. Mel Tiangco several meters away.

It was a good thing we managed to bump into two of our doctor friends who happen to be in the next flight following ours to Tacloban City. Doc Rhunz and I sat together and “killed” time by talking about Nicki Minaj’s wardrobe malfunction in a recent live performance as well as her gigantic asset in her “Anaconda” music video – which I really don’t get why it was even called Anaconda – lol!

In the middle of our conversation, someone tapped her shoulder and asked if the seat beside her was taken. “Nope… Uhm… Yes…” she stuttered considering that there was a black bag on it. We went back to our hilarious conversation and we realized that the person who was asking her was Mel Tiangco, a popular TV newscaster and host in the country.

Well, no wonder everybody was staring at us when she came.

A quick in situ sketch of Mel Tianco while she was reading the newspaper across us. (Look! We had this signed by her!)

A quick in situ sketching session featuring Mel Tiangco while she was reading the newspaper across us. (Look! We had this signed by her!)

Sketch to De-stress

Our flight was extremely delayed. It even took me four trips to the little lady’s room to keep my sanity in tact. Just kidding.

It was around five in the afternoon when everyone in the congested airport was clamoring about the obvious delay of flights. We even had our own gulp of airport insults from the sarcastic and not-so-friendly personnel handling the complaints of passengers. Yes, indeed, it was like a jungle filled with so many animals trying to break free.

We took off really late. The sun was slowly hiding behind the horizon as we ascended. While everyone was sleeping, I opened my tray and began “speed sketching” the airplane scene when the sunset was trying to fill the interior with its beautiful orange light.

My view from Seat 5D. The sun was setting and the orange and purple colors shine through.

My view from Seat 5D. The sun was setting and the orange and purple colors shine through.

While doing the sketch and chasing the light and the shadows created by the vanishing sun, I thought to myself…

It would have been better and a challenge to use watercolor instead of colored pencils. Imagine how fun it would be if there’s a huge turbulence on the way and the outcome would become a phenomenal abstract artwork!

Thank God, we landed after all those long hours of waiting. Lol! Oh, and look at that! Three new artworks to keep to remind me how airports could suck out the remaining sanity in you. Good thing sketching is as therapeutic as a full body massage or a dose of caffeine. Else, I would have settled for several cups of Iced Caramel Macchiato.

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© 2017 Regine Garcia 🎨 Watercolor