Mexico and limited art supplies

Mexico shocks and fascinates me. The cities get exponentially bigger, more chaotic, the cars multiply themselves at alarming rate, everybody seems to own a business of some sort, everybody is working hard and yet, the country simply works. It keeps going and going, despite the bad rap we seem to get, people are just good humored, polite, helpful, joyful.

Though I don’t feel I could live here again it makes me sad every time I go back to Montreal.

This time I thought I’d combine work and family and it’s been a challenge, all of a sudden I had a lot of work  and it’s hard to sit myself in front of the computer.

For this trip I brought very few art materials. Just two notebooks, a regular sketchbook and a watercolor Moleskine. I brought a small Winsor and Newton watercolor set and at the very last minute I brought the Inktense Blocks I’d purchased on sale. I hadn’t tried them and I really didn’t know how to use them. I tried to use them like watercolors but they don’t quite work like that. For one thing, they really are intense so I made a few patterns combining them with watercolor but the results were a bit much:


Sketchbook, watercolor and Inktense blocks.
Sketchbook, watercolor and Inktense blocks.

You can use Inktense blocks by drawing (Pastel-like) on your page and activating them with water or you can take the paint directly with your brush from the block. I tried both. I didn’t like the results that much so I started to mix colors and at the same time started to draw some figures.


And this is where things started to get interesting. My waterbrushes are very worn out but they allowed me a bit of play. I painted lots of the guests at the hotel this way. It was a breakthrough. Finally understanding how to paint the big shapes first, how to add shadows and how to mix certain colors. Also, the sketchbook accepted the Inktense wet media quite well. As opposed to watercolors where the paper warped horribly while sucking up the paint.

The Netflix offer in Mexico is by far better than in Canada and I watched my favorite movie yet again: Annie Hall.



With these experiments I feel I’m moving closer to a style of sketching that I really like.

I also started experimenting with an Android tablet and you can see some of the results in my Instagram:



using the painter app for lack of analog materials. pleasantly surprised. #digitalillustration #portrait#painter#

A photo posted by Luisa Fernanda (@littleeclecticstudio) on

I am using the Painter app and it has been quite a surprise. I had been using Paper by 53 and while I managed to pull acceptable drawings from it, it has no layers and very few tools. While the Painter app has a bunch of beautiful sketch and paint effects I really liked.

Lastly, I managed only one watercolor and for this I used a surprising tool which I will talk about soon.


So it’s been silent here, but I keep practicing!

How about you? Do the Holiday’s get in the way of you art?