The Making of Dreamweaver

My type of therapy these days is a creative kind of watercolor painting, which is coffee painting. When I read about Freeway’s Art Bag Design Contest, I immediately thought that it’s the perfect opportunity to get creative, enjoy the process, and hopefully win something for myself. So there I go – I cleaned my brushes and pans, cut a whole size watercolor paper in half, and started a productive ritual of making a coffee painting artwork.

Before I started sketching on the watercolor paper, I first doodled my “idea” on my recycled paper journal. It looks something like this and the doodle was finished within minutes. I had to doodle fast so as not to lose the vision that I had in mind for the painting.

 Next up, I started sketching on the watercolor paper with a pencil. Sorry for the crappy phone pic quality. The drawing is not that clear yet because it was sketched with pencil.

 Next, I made the sketch clearer with a pen to finalize the image on paper. I used a Point 0.3 G-TEC pen for this, as it is my favorite pen for doing coffee and ink artworks. It really does wonders not just for writing but also for drawing. 

 Before dabbing on some paint, I erased the pencil lines on the watercolor paper to make the drawing crisp and clean.

 Tada! This is how it looks like before painting it with coffee. 

 Since I’m right-handed, I started painting on the left side of the paper, working my way from the top to the bottom. This strategy is to make sure that I don’t smudge the coffee paint due to the motion of my hands and arms. 

 It took me three days to finish the painting, as I was doing other things and I had to wait for the coffee to dry on some areas before proceeding.

The last thing that I had to do was paint some areas with a darker shade of coffee to make the painting pop out and establish the image.

 After drying the painting, I took a picture of it and submitted the digital image to Freeway’s Art Bag Design Contest. 

This is the final image after some brightness and contrast modifications. 

There you go! I hope I was able to contribute to your art knowledge for today. Coffee painting is really a fun process. It’s totally easy because you are dealing with a monochromatic kind of painting. Plus, the aroma of coffee while painting is pure bliss.

The T’boli Tinalak Loomweavers of Mindanao inspired the theme of my painting. I’m always at awe at the mystery and beauty of their creative process in making the Tinalak fabrics. The materials of their fabrics come from their immediate surroundings. The patterns on their fabrics come from their dreams, which is a rare ability from a few women of their tribe. Every Tinalak fabric, for this matter, is unique, which is derived from the dreams of a specific T’boli woman.

While I was traveling around Central Visayas and Northern Luzon last 2010, I also discovered that there are also different places in the country that hold their own loomweaving tradition. In Bohol, they have loomweavers in a municipality called Tubigon, which was the place where my grandfather grew up. When I also went to Vigan in Ilocos Sur, there’s a place called Camangaan were Inabel loomweavers reside. Compared to the hard and strong fabric of the Tinalak, the Inabel fabric is soft and stretchy.

So basically, the whole process of making this painting is my devotion towards this special tradition of our country. I am always in awe with the creativity and resourcefulness of our own craftspeople. As a Filipino, I don’t want to leave this world without contributing to the preservation of our country’s most treasured traditions.

If you want to support me in the contest (pretty please), kindly vote for my entry by clicking this link. Don’t forget to like Freeway Online first before voting my entry to the Art Bag Design Contest!

Thank you once again and may you prosper for the love of coffee and loomweavers!

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