An Attempt at Acting

I’ve been meaning to get back into acting workshops, but since I have just started work I’m still in the “settling in” phase. The first time I took a class was summer of 2018, and it was quite an interesting experience. I came to appreciate that acting entails a lot of preparation – from knowing your lines and being able to use them in different tones and ways, depending on the direction for that scene, to most importantly being able to establish a connection with the fellow actors. This is done through listening. At first I thought, listening meant being able to catch up on the script and knowing when my lines come in. But my acting mentors called me out on that wrong notion. When I did that, it showed I was waiting, and that I was just saying my lines – the connection wasn’t there at all. I wasn’t in the moment. I realized I had to listen to what, and how, my co-actor was saying, or not saying for that matter. When I listened, the subtle body language and nuances followed naturally.

Another thing that I learned from class was that there was no room for being conscious as to how one would look on camera – I had to, in a sense, let go.

There were times when, after a certain dialogue I’d be emotionally drained – and then we had to repeat that for a couple more times, and I remember I had a migraine after that scene because of the repeated rush of emotions. But no pain, no gain, right? I was glad to have gone through that exercise.

Another perk that I had from my acting workshops was being able to establish friendships with people who I shared the same passion with. It’s cool that the appreciation for this form of art comes from different ages and personality types.

So, my plan for this year is to enroll in theater acting workshops. I bet it’s gonna be a different ball game, but I’m up for the experience and the learnings. And while I wait for the sessions to start, I’ve lined up some plays and shows that I will watch.

First on my list: Potted Potter this March. Watch out for my review of this show!

Learning Oil Pastel Drawing

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I love going to museums and stare at works of art for hours. There are even some paintings or photographs that make me tear up. I love art, but I admit I still need a lot of practice to become an artist myself.

Because I’m trying to hone my artistic skills (or try hard to draw out any artistic talent in me), I have enrolled in several workshops: drawing & oil pastel, acting, and Minhwa (Korean painting). I found an art school that conducts classes for all ages near my home – the Luna Art Workshop. Because I was a beginner, I took the basic drawing and oil pastel class which was composed of 8 2-hour sessions (total of 16 hours). Included in my enrollment fee are the drawing materials: a sketchpad, pencil, eraser, 24 color oil pastels, and Canson mi-tientes art paper.

On my first day, Teacher Ted taught me the basics of drawing using my sketchpad and pencil. At first I was a bit shy because I was the only adult in the class, but later on I relaxed as Teacher Ted patiently guided me and gave me feedback and tips. The atmosphere in the studio was light and soft music was played, making the students at ease. I practiced drawing shapes, created a pencil gradient, and drew still life objects. I was advised to keep practicing my drawing even at home, so I tuned in on some YouTube and Pinterest tutorials for inspiration. I even started bringing a small notebook in my purse for my doodles.

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One of my random drawings while practicing at home.

The following days were dedicated for oil pastel drawing. I was able to make two still life objects, two landscapes (using cool and warm toned subjects), and 2 portraits.

Canson mi-tientes has two sides: rough and smooth, and I drew on the smooth side of the paper. What worked for me was starting with a light sketch before adding the colors and fine-tuning the details.

Of the themes, I was most comfortable drawing still life objects. Still Life

Still Life 2

While I love landscapes, I am still not an expert in doing my own drawings or paintings. So this is something that I continue to practice as much as I can. For now, I still struggle on warm-toned landscape subjects. My goal is to be able to draw or paint a beautiful sunset soon.

Landscape Cool

Landscape Warm
Sunset drawing: a work in progress
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A ‘practice’ drawing I did at home.

Portraits were the most complicated ones for me. I tried my best drawing a model, but ended up making something that looked like a cartoon. Teacher Ted was very encouraging, and he said that I did not need to perfect the features of the model, otherwise it would look like a photograph.

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For some reason, this portrait looks like me…

I’m glad I found Luna Art Workshop, and my teacher was very supportive. I believe it’s never too late for me to learn so as long as I keep practicing and getting guidance and feedback. My dream is to be a watercolor artist some day so I’m grabbing all the chance I can get to attend these workshops, or spend at least an hour a day to draw or paint at home.

Luna Art Workshop is located at 66 G. Puyat St., BF Homes, Paranaque City, Philippines. For more information, you can find them in Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/artlandph/