Sketchbook Skool

New project!!! This is an Internet school… it’s great, the instructors are from all over the world, I even know a few from the Urban sketchers symposium I took on 2011 in Santo Domingo. Here are the exercises from the first week. 

I’ll be posting my progress!!!





Watercolor and ink flowers

Experimenting with dropping multiple colors and finding shapes afterwards with the ink… “Lines outside the colors”!!! 

Some tangled doodles…

I found out that this exercises help in concentration, like meditation! So I’m giving it a try!!!




Some abstract doodling to loosen up a little. 



Love Park, Philadelphia

Soluble graphite and watercolors, never tried that graphite before… love it!



Chimoltrufia on watercolor

Few months have passed since my last post… lots of new things and changes. With them I intend to embrace sketching daily and experimenting with more media. Today I share a composition inspired by my new cactus Chimoltrufia. It’s made on 9″x12″ 140lb. cold press Strathmore Windpower watercolor paper. The color part is watercolors and for the frame I used carbon black liquitex ink.


My first caricature!!!



Recently my husband Luis found a Facebook page dedicated to puertorican caricaturists, each week there’s an open caricature competition.  At the end of the week people vote for their favorite and the winner gets to pick the next local celebrity to be drawn the next week.  Luis has been really dedicated this past weeks participating, but I wasn’t able to do it until now… also I wasn’t so confident, so I spent some time reviewing the Facebook page, internet sites, some books and of course watching him do his own.  Finally today I decided to dedicate the day to my first attempt.  This week selection is Deddie Romero, a puertorican singer.  First I looked up on the internet for many photos of her… the idea was to identify her recurrent expressions and to observe her particular features.  I started sketching loosely her head and facial features, then the body.  Then I scanned the drawing and scaled it to fit in the paper size I wanted to use, added the lettering -I decided to use a computer font so it wouldn’t distract from the actual drawing- then I printed the original sketch very light on a cardstock and then proceeded to work over it with colored pencils.  I am really proud of my work and enjoyed the process a lot.

Casa Blanca gardens

Just felt like sketching… has been a while since my last one!!! A quick doodle of the beautiful leaves…
Pen brush, micron .01mm and watercolor on paper


cooking heritage… pasteles!

I’ve always loved cooking, must have it in my blood.  My grandmother Elena… Mamá Elena, as we all call her was always known for feeding everybody that came to her house even with her extra limited budget! It was almost like magic… you arrived to her house and in a matter of minutes, while you were chatting with her she will start some kind of rice, steak with onions, beans, maybe a ham soup (my favorite by the way), fry some tostones and no matter what time of the year, she will get out of the freezer some pasteles and put them to boil!!! Every year on her grandkids birthdays we will get our favorite particular cooking treats, they ranged from tembleque (in my case), alcapurrias, arroz con dulce, among other puertorrican traditional meals. Food was always present… also in my childhood I remember my mother making pasteladas, her initiative on keeping the tradition and art of preparing pasteles.  We used to gather in my mom’s kitchen, everybody wearing some kind of handkerchief around our heads to keep hairs from falling on the food… the chef’s hat of the puertorrican cook!  I loved to steal the filling on a plate and hide to eat it… I had to hide because my mother was always worried that it won’t be enough…  I’ve been always known for being difficult when it comes to eating, a lot of things that I didn’t like, but somehow pasteles always made my day!!!

In the past my mother has sent me already grated masa and I used to do the rest of the process, but this christmas I really wanted to try it all by myself.  My father lend me a homemade grating machine and after consulting various family members about tricks and tips on the craft and I started to plan my own recipe for my very own pastelada!!!  I enjoyed the process of developing my own recipe and process, but I surely missed the camaraderie, the bonding that comes out of sharing a hard labor of tradition, love and patience… definitely I will be recruiting some friends and family for my next pastelada!!!

For the benefit of people who have no idea what pasteleles are:  they are a traditional christmas food made of “masa” and some meat filling, traditionally pork.  The “masa” usually consist mostly of grated green plantains, green bananas, pumpking, yautía and some other root vegetables according to taste.  The meat filling is traditionally pork, cooked in a stew fashion that includes chick peas, fresh made sofrito, olives, ham, hot peppers and even raisins.  The masa is combined with some broth and seasoned to taste, then its poured over a banana leaf that has been heated over the fire to make it pliable. The filling is added in the middle of the mix and everything is wrapped with a parchment paper and tied with string.  The pasteles are then boiled.  This usually accompanies a plate filled with rice cooked with pigeon peas, roasted pork, guineítos en escabeche, morcillas and anything else that the guest had brought to the party!!!!!   Here I wanted to share some photos from the process… enjoy!

verduras picadas

starchy vegetables ready to gratemasamasa


meat filling

masa y relleno lista para envolver

masa and filling ready to wrap

pasteles listos

pasteles ready

pasteles hirviendo en la olla

boiling pasteles

pasteles listos para comer

ready to eat pasteles!!!

Campechada 2012

Its been a while… The trip to Santo Domingo was great, soon will be posting my work there. But now I would like to share what I drew at La Campechada. I didn’t had the opportunity to enjoy all the activities but I really loved what happened on San Sebastián street. There were lots of artist dedicated to different media… all working live. There was a paper roll extended on the street for everyone to draw. It was impressive to see how willing is most people to pick a crayon and start doodling… I wonder what we need to do to attract people to our Garabateando project!!!! Here are my sketches done on Saturday and Sunday:











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