#riatriesillustration Project

Hello!  Today I’d like to share a few bits about a personal project I started last year.   I want to improve on my watercolor and illustration skills so I’m trying to make a year’s worth of watercolor illustrations (so ambitious!).   I’ve been tagging my work online as #riatriesillustration .


I’ve been using the Hobonichi 2018 A5 planner as a watercolor sketchbook because I didn’t want to buy expensive sketchbooks.   I don’t want to feel pressured to produce masterpieces.   Just really glad to know that Tomoe River paper can hold its own with watercolor.   For my palette, I have the Sakura Koi 18 watercolor set.

I always paint with a reference photo from the internet.   At this point, I don’t think I’m ready to work from my imagination. 🙂


I paint at night when everyone has gone to sleep.   At first, I was able to paint daily until life got in the way.   Now, I’m lucky if I get to paint at least once a month (!!!).

Some days I felt really happy with what I’ve produced, and some days, my work is just so ugly, it makes me want to give up, hehehe.


Hopefully, with practice comes progress. I can’t wait to reach Day 365. I’m so excited to see how my work has progressed from Day 1.

I did a flip through of my first 31 days.  Hope you can check it out here.

Do you have a similar project going on right now?  Let me know in the comments. Thanks for dropping by!



How to Make a Travel Doodle Itinerary

how to doodle

As my family’s recreation and trip planner, I take my job seriously.   Before each trip, I like to research about the place we’ve chosen so that we can make the most of our visit.  This is also because we have the mantra “Visit once and never return”.  Travelling can be expensive and we have a limited amount of money so it makes more sense if we plan our trips effectively so that we can visit a different place each time.


TRAVEL FAIRS – I always attend the ones held at the SMX in MOA during February and September.  I like bringing home a bagful(!!!!) of free brochures and maps which I use for my research and for scrapbooking.  Then, I sort these according to location so that my materials are organized.

FACEBOOK ALBUMS – Find a facebook friend who shares the same interests and budget as you.  I have some friends who are my travel pegs.  I like sharing my travel photos too, but not to brag, but to inspire and aid others in their research.

INTERNET – Everything is out there, you just have to google it.  I read the following travel blogs: pattylaurel.com, ourawesomeplanet.com, lakadpilipinas.com and many more.


1. I read and read and read. Blogs, books, travel guides, maps, etc. about the our destination. At the same time, I already jot down notes about which places to visit, what to eat, where to stay, etc.


travel guides and brochures

2.  I save the online images that I like so that I can reproduce them in my doodle.  When drawing,  I don’t pressure myself to produce an exact likeness of the images.  It’s still a doodle after all.      I always use a black PILOT FRIXION PEN because I need to be able to erase parts of my doodle that I don’t like.  I am not sure about the archival quality of the ink though.


3. I fill up the whole page with all sorts of details about the place just so that I will not have to research again in case I plan to return there in the future.  Afterwards, I embellish my itinerary with washi tape to add some pops of color.


4.  I share these online just in case someone  needs a little help planning their trip.

kl retouch

Kuala Lumpur Doodle Itinerary

I know of some people who like doing on-the-spot sketches of places they’ve travelled to.  I prefer doing my sketches beforehand so that I can enjoy the place more.  If you have your own travel doodles, please share them with me. Thanks!

P.S. There is only one place that would make me break my rule of “Visit once and never return.”  That is New York. 🙂