You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.
So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.
Today, I will just post my old artworks. This is giving me a weird feeling. I tried to look for the oldest drawing I made. Lucky I had saved some. What I can remember is that I didn’t get to save my artworks before I entered school for the first time (I do remember that I was happy in my own drawing land with my board, eraser and chalk…oddly enough I am holding same things as a teacher. LOL) My eldest brother told me that I started drawing when I was three. Just doodling on the paper. As I draw, I imagine the people I draw talking with each other. I make things talk to each other. That’s how I used to play, alone in the corner sitting quietly letting my imagination run wild. I hope I won’t bore you today because I have to warn you, this might be a long post.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy my art story.
1994 – when I was 8 yrs. old
This is the oldest drawing I have. I was 8 years old. I didn’t know I get to save a small drawing book and I was shocked just now when I looked at the date. So, I’ve been keeping this drawing for 17 years. My father was a music teacher. He was giving rondalla lessons, so, I get to see plenty of string instruments around our house. On the drawing above, that is a guitar and a bandurria.
Can you see a box in the above right? That was my 1999-self invading my1994 drawing, as if looking in disgust on how I used to draw. Oh, and by the way, I am not a child raised up in luxury, so during those times I was probably wishing that my parents would buy me a Barbie doll, but I never insisted because I knew it was too expensive for us. So, I just drew it. lol! 😀
Uh-oh…that’s when I was being bullied by my fourth brother. Knowing I hated so much being paired up, he was teasing me to this Jason (who is now married, so don’t you dare tease me too! LOL). But I had my revenge….I wrote on every wall I can see with “Edmond ♥ Mapet, Edmond ♥ Mapet, Edmond ♥ Mapet…” My… he was so mad! We had a writing on the wall war. Good thing we wrote somewhere our parents wouldn’t notice. LOL.
I wrote there “araw ng mga bulaklak.” That was in Tagalog which means “day of the flowers” or just “flowers’ day.” I obviously like flowers. 😛
This is something Walt Disney inspired. I kept a large fairy tale book with all those stories about prince and princesses. I wonder what the girl in blue is doing. Probably sprinkling some magic? The other might be fixing the girl in yellow’s hair. But personally, I like princesses who can fight, not those princesses who’ll end up dying if no one is around to save her. 😛
1997 – when my Grandfather taught me how to draw
My late grandfather is one of the contemporary painters in the Philippines – Jose D. Castro (or J.D. Castro). He taught me for a few days in his home. He offered me to stay for the rest of the summer vacation. But I thought there is something scary about the aura of his house that I refused the offer immediately. Every corner, every room, every wall is painted by him. It somehow got some magical aura, more like a home where the faeries live. Lots of plants and gardens. He got a dark room full of paintings, which kinda looks mysterious to me as a child. But I love it whenever I was visiting his home. I get to read tons of Philippine comics (that’s the time when Philippine comics industry is flourishing). During those times no one would buy a Marvel comics. Every store got a comics stand. But because we were poor, I only get to read them in my grandfather’s house. 🙂
My grandfather was a little strict. He wanted me to measure everything. Every single distance and length. He wanted me to copy the picture perfectly. He want me to work slowly to measure everything. He said I’ll get to do them faster by practice. Look at the ear with an “x.” That’s when Tatang (that’s what I call him) got mad at me. He figured out that I cheated and became lazy that I didn’t measure it properly and just relied on my own perception of distance. He made me repeat it all over again.
Obviously the repeated ear look way much better. The darker tones was retouched by him to show me how to make a better shading and how to create the dark values.
I got my first realistic eyes in this drawing. I always draw cartoon eyes, but in here, it now looks more realistic.
And now, the face… I had a hard time on the nose and the mouth, trying to align them properly.
This was my last lesson from him and there will be no more next. I don’t know the reason why I didn’t get to return to my grandpa for further art lessons. It is probably my parents having a hard time fetching me back and fourth.
1998 – My self taught summer vacation
I still continued to draw in that same drawing book I used with my grandpa. I tend to draw a LOT, usually anime characters, but I only save the art that I made in my drawing book. Others are in scratch papers, behind the notebooks…all of which can be easily thrown in the trash can. Haha.
This is a rose I copied from the picture hanging on our wall with a Bible saying. I my used eldest brother’s oil pastel for this.
This was our Mayor during that time, and I don’t know why I chose to draw his face. Probably because his picture is readily available for me to copy, printed on a large calendar. But I’m not sure. lol
I copied this lady from the back cover of a picture frame. My parents are so pleased when they saw this. My father showed it to my uncle – Luis J. Castro. He then told me that he will teach me next summer vacation.
1999 – My Uncle’s Teaching
This year I think is the year I truly developed my talent. It’s like it was the time I was finally awaken artistically speaking. This is my transition period from being an elementary student to a high school student.
My uncle picked up where my grandfather has stopped in teaching me. He asked me to repeat them again. So, this face looks a lot better this time. But…the lips on the right is not aligned properly. lol
This is the face that I didn’t get to finish under my grandpa’s instruction. I became lazy again on measuring everything, I did a shortcut yet again and not measured everything properly. (I was taught to measure each distance through my pencil.) My uncle wasn’t so pleased, he asked me to repeat everything again. But he’s not too pleased on the second one too because although the measurement is correct, the lines and shading doesn’t look at all soft compared to the first one.
I guess I’ll just make a Part II on Monday, and show the rest of the artworks I made under my uncle. I hope you enjoyed looking back with me. Have a great day! 🙂
21 thoughts on “Looking back, trying to revive my old passion for drawing…”
What a nice post! Thank you very much for sharing all those drawings and comments.
By the way, do you also use bandurrias? I played in a rondalla when I was a child (it is not the best music for a child that aspires to be the next Beatle). I left the instruments for many years, it was a serious hiatus (maybe 20 years). Then I begun to play piano when I finished my PhD. And I returned to the guitar playing 6 years ago when I was enjoying a “fado nigth” at Lisbon (when I got my current nick: Nuno).
It seems your post made me remember… Thanks 🙂
Yeah, I used to play a bandurria as a child and we perform on school events.
LOL, my brother Clementine (whom I feature a lot on my Indie Saturday posts) aspires to be the next Beatle too but he used his rondalla background in one of his music videos. He used an octavina in the middle of the song. 🙂
Woah…that’s a very long pause. 20 years. But well, we don’t need to be famous to enjoy music right? Good to hear you picked up your guitar again. 🙂
Can I ask.. what do you mean by “Nuno”? It meant a ‘dwarf-like creature’ in our native language (Tagalog). lol 😀
That’s a cool song! I bopped my head to it.
Yeah, that sounds pretty good!
Nuno, the dwarf 😀
Nuno is a Portuguese name. My Portuguese friends call me Nuno. We were kidding. Then, I needed a nick for a music forum and I used it.
Child prodigy. Great.
Thanks Tim! 🙂
Melody, the paintings of your grandfather and uncle are awesome! Thanks for sharing them, too!
I might share more of my uncle’s soon. He’s asking me to help him sell his paintings online. 🙂
Oh wow, Mel–this was very interesting indeed!! Thank you so much for sharing with us!! God bless you with a lovely, inspired Palm Sunday weekend!!
Happy Palm Sunday Caddo! Thanks! Have a blessed week ahead of you. 🙂
What a wonderful post, Mel. Thank you so much for sharing. It makes me quiet.
Thanks too. I think you might now know what other people who are actually near to me in real life don’t know about me, since I am more of a listener. 🙂
I really enjoyed this! Thanks for sharing – you’re very talented 🙂
Thanks! I actually thought hard if I will share that princess drawing or not, and the one with the heart! LOL!!
I think they’re both lovely – it shows where you’ve come from and I find children’s drawings so expressive. I might see if I have anything of mine from that long ago (I don’t think mine go that far back tho!).
Wow! It’s great to see your progress over the years and also how you’ve come to learn your technique.
Thanks, it’s exactly how they taught me how to draw…starting out with the parts of the face, copying a picture with exact same size as my drawing paper. 🙂
This is such a cute post. 🙂