Letters & Colors Workshop

When I first sat down with Abbey in December 2014 for some supposed art session-turned-four-hours-of-talk, the last thing I had in mind was a collab workshop.  To boot, I knew we had very different styles.  As we went along with our projects, we both knew we were working with very different palettes.  Also, I had no expectations from our meet up to the point that I was thinking it might probably be the first and last time that we’ll ever sit down in a cafe together. *Ha!* 

Learn by ABC KitFast forward to 2016 and ta-dahhh!  We have a collab workshop called Letters & Colors.
Faber-Castell Pitt Pens & Watercolor IMG_9699

Since Abbey is into lettering & lay-outs while I’m into colors, we finally decided to collaborate.  We thought, we didn’t really have to offer the same thing.  Actually, if we teamed up, we will be able to share more things since we’re working on different sides of the spectrum lettering-wise. 🙂

Faber-Castell Watercolor SetIn this workshop, we worked with Faber-Castell watercolor sets. People usually ask, “What’s watercolor brand should I buy?”  It’s nice to work with a reliable beginner’s set that’s easily accessible.

The Faber-Castell 12-watercolor is something I personally like & use because it produces vibrant colors.  It has no red & purple cakes (only magenta, red orange & dark blue).  That way, you get to mix your own colors.


I like that Abbey & I are aligned with this thought.  She also encourages everyone to do lettering with accessible easy-to-bring around materials such as fine liners, pens & pencils.  For this session, we used Faber-Castell’s Pitt Pens.

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Fully Booked Art SectionThe workshop was held at Fully Booked in Greenbelt 5 in the middle of it all–the art section. 🙂 How not to stop yourself from buying paper or a book at the end of the workshop is another question. Haha.

Letters & Colors Mini Exhibit

I just noticed that every time I do workshops, I would always change one tiny thing and it keeps on evolving and evolving depending on the needs of the participants.  One of the things that I learned from being a member of Ilustrador ng Kabataan (INK) is that you will learn a lot from group exhibits and so we did.

In this session, participants were given worksheets for them to color based on their personal style & the techniques that they learned.  At the end of the day, everyone had a different output. 🙂 In the photo above, we all gathered together to learn from everyone’s works.  *Also, spot the tiny observer Riley. Haha.*

Watercolor Exercises

People always think I want Riley to do what I’m doing too.  Well, of course I’m looking forward to the time when we can paint and draw together or doodle on glass windows.  However, I must say, I’m just really hoping that someday, he can pursue what he’s very passionate about too.  Also, when that day comes, I’m hoping I will have enough resources and energy to back him up. 🙂

Then again, things change.  We don’t know what will happen but that’s the plan. 😉

*How many times do I have to digress from the original topic? IDK.*

Abbey Sy Googly Gooeys Work SamplesBack to zeh workshop: we also asked the participants to build their own alphabet based on their personal style.  I’m just happy that this is another thing that Abbey & I both agree on.

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Abbey Sy Worksheets

As with every watercolor workshop, I shared with the participants how they can expand their palette.   We all have this misconception that we need to buy all the colors.  All you need are cyan, magenta & yellow and you’re good to go. A lot of the things you will discover through workshops and happy accidents. 🙂

Color Mixing Demo

Color Mixing Demo

We also inserted multiple demo’s during the whole day workshop.  If there’s one thing I appreciated when I was still learning to dance, those were demo’s by the instructors so we made sure that even if this is another art form, participants learn by observing. 🙂

Abbey Sy Teaching

Never Stop Setting GoalsBut of course everyone has to learn by doing too.  Thus, it was a full day of worksheets and really going through each process.  That’s why it’s called an intensive course.  (The April 23 session started at 11am and ended at 7pm while the one tomorrow will be from 10am-6pm).

02 Owa Faber-Castell Lettering IMG_9722We usually give 4-hour sessions but we just felt that it didn’t give participants enough time to really acquaint themselves with the behind-the-scenes of 1 finished product.  This workshop at least communicates that nothing is instant.  As Abbey’s favorite quote goes, “Trust the process”.  It’s true and it applies to so many things: from working out to attempting to give a bittersweet inspirational speech on someone’s hospital bed. #TrueStory *It’s really Abbey’s fault I’ve learned the millenial linggo.  I’m short of putting a Yass in this blog post. Hahaha.*

It really is a process–a tedious one at that where much of the work really happens inside your mind.  As one of my favorite song lyrics goes, you’re “Trying to draw the line between who you are and who you invent” (Adam Cohen, Cry Ophelia).  It always boils down to being comfortable with what your hands can produce, accepting the fact that this is what you’re capable of.  Eventually though, with constant practice (hundreds or even thousands of hours of practice), your work will evolve.  But first, it’s important to set aside what perceived standards and comments society may have about your work. 😉

*I can already feel Abbey, judging my use of the word “but” when starting sentences. Mwehehe.*

Letters & Colors Workshop ParticipantWoops!  That’s it.  I told myself “Oh, this is going to be a short blog post.  Most probably a photo essay” but no ho ho ho…I ended up sharing a mouthful again.  Oopsies!  But thank you to everyone who joined the letters & colors session!  I can’t believe it’s already been 3 weeks since this workshop!  Ahhh…

Thanks again for continued support.  We’re always grateful that through workshops, we also learn a lot of things from the you guys through your curiosity.  We also continue to be inspired by meeting kindred souls who share the same passion nevermind if we have different dayjobs. 🙂

‘Til the next session! 🙂


P.S. All our May workshops are officially more than full.  We’re no longer accepting participants for May 14, 15 & 28 but we have two new sessions in June:

June 5 – Watercolor Brush Lettering at Fully Booked BGC, 1-5pm
June 11 – Watercolor Doodles, Fully Booked Alabang, 1-5pm

See you there!

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