I’m at a point in my life where I officially acknowledge that I can’t stick to a singular creative expression. I’ve fluctuated between different kinds of art throughout the years, but I thought I was just looking for something I can settle down with. Now, I am juggling a lot at the same time. It’s both exciting and daunting: exciting, because creativity recharges me like no other endeavor can, and there is so much room for growth right now; daunting, because I’m crippled by doubts–but let’s not go into that just yet.

Illustration is not a new hobby, although I cannot say that I was always serious with it. I was big on anime as a kid. I drew  characters on any paper I could get my hands on–even  the generously spaced paper pads I had in elementary. In highschool, it took a back seat because I’d begun reaching out for a guitar, but there was one summer when I busted out my drawing pads and dedicated myself to illustrations again. It was sparked by Mark Crilley, who authored and illustrated Miki Falls, and whose Youtube videos helped me develop details in my drawings.

The years following that, I turned my attention to writing. I thought that summer punctuated the last of my attempts on illustration, but apparently, it wasn’t the end of it.


This time, I am inspired by fashion illustrations, but I am using an entirely new medium: paint. I began orienting myself with watercolors, brushes and techniques a little over a month ago. My greatest trouble so far is finding the time to practice painting and this kind of illustration in general, because I have so little of it—and there is so much to learn and absorb about it. How do I draw lips? Should the shadows fall over this side of her face? Am I properly drawing folds? How can I make this fabric look lightweight? How do I make this one look like satin? Are my brushstrokes right???


This is my favorite piece. It’s from Katie Ermilio’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection, and I love the color palette. Feet are out of proportion, though.


Christian Siriano, Spring/Summer 2015. (She has the stiffest arms ever.)


This is my progress piece. There’s a nice quote I read in one of my researches about watercolors: it’s staining, not really painting. This is the piece where I started loosening up, surrendering some of the control I have on my brushes.

The dress is from Katie Ermilio’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection. I’m illustrating a lot from her collections because she has very streamlined, timeless designs that are great to practice with. Oh, and I love her.


An illustration inspired by my baby sister, Ayette, done on my second watercolor pad (the bookstore ran out of Canson, unfortunately). I painted this on the eve of her 5th birthday.


A few hours after the girl in the pink dress, I decided to do one more illustration. I had no time for another one, but the hankering couldn’t be contained. I initially imagined this girl with a golden era hairstyle, but switched to a pixie at the last minute and put sunnies on her.

I really like watercolors, and this is my main medium. I recently bought gouache paint for richer, darker illustrations, but I will be practicing with watercolors a little more before I incorporate gouache into my illustrations.

Posted by:Abby Caranto

Editor and writer based in Manila. Introvert by nature, extrovert by liquor.

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