1339 – Where would you prefer to live?

On Tuesday I headed off to Makati on my bike to make my “annual report” (all foreigners living in the Philippines with an Alien Certificate of Registration have to show up to the Bureau of Immigration in the first two months of the year and pay a small fee). It’s quite a long ride, but I do love cycling along the Pasig River…though its a bit smelly in places. I sketched this on the way back sitting in one of the little strips of park sandwiched in between the river and the noisy Dr. Jose P Rizal Avenue. I was planning to do more work on it when I got home…but then decided I liked the lighter half finished feel. I would definitely prefer to live in those little riverside houses rather than in one of the huge anonymous blocks behind.


1027 – El taco

I had very little time to sketch on Saturday when I was at the mall doing our weekly shopping…so what did I do? I did a 5 minute sketch, took a photo and added the colour at home. I was in such a hurry that I got the name of the taco stand wrong – it’s El taco Mucho …I missed out the “h”. I’ve sketched these orange chairs before and will no doubt do it again – I love the bright colours of the chairs and stand compared to the dull background. The woman working at the taco stand even had a shirt that matched the colour of the chairs.


1023 – On the street in Ortigas

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – there really are some spectacular trees on the streets in Metro Manila. This one is outside the SM Center (a mall) in Pasig – of which Ortigas is part. I found a spot on a wall half in, half out of the sun and the bushes to draw this. A lot of the time I was grumbling to myself as procession of large cars decided that the perfect place to wait to pick someone up was right in front of me!


1002 – The brightest building in town

On Saturday while my daughter was in her gymnastics class, I found a shady spot near the mall to sketch. I’ve passed this building many times and couldn’t resist doing a drawing. Inside are rides for kids, party venues and so forth – while sketching I noticed some sort of train ride going around. The building (mostly made out of what, as a student architect, we used to call wiggly tin) really is painted in such bright colours – we could do with a few more cheerful buildings like this in grubby Metro Manila!


992 – Waiting turn

Here is another of my “watching my daughter at gymnastics” sketches. Just for a change she actually appears in this one, waiting her turn to a “back hip circle” on the uneven bars. Just a simple doodle – I liked the angles and shapes the bars and wires formed.


966 – Gym bags and water bottles

Another indicator that I am well and truly back in the Philippines is taking my daughter to her gymnastics class. It seems like most of the kids at the class have the same bags – some sponsorship arrangement or something I think. Anyway that’s nice for me as the repetition presents a good opportunity for sketching. For a change I decided to leave a lot of white areas in this sketch, rather than overdoing the background as I often do.


877 – The chair is there for Gordon

The title of this might seem a bit odd, but as I was sketching the chair to the right I was thinking of my friend Gordon Rice who passed away several years ago. He was a friend of my parents as well but him and I used to visit art exhibitions in London and attended several summer painting classes together. I once showed him a sketch with a chair just like the one in this sketch, that was hanging up on a wall – and he marvelled at the interesting things I always find to draw. I miss him.


869 – Poster girls

So today I was at my daughters gym class and of course had time to kill. Thinking I should draw some of the gymnasts for a change, I spotted some posters and decided to draw them (with all the other gym equipment around) … much easier because they don’t move around!