Watercolor Class at The Crafters Marketplace

I believe that art is a gift and that even though many people are doing it nowadays, there are those whose works will always stand out. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that non-pros cannot do art nor find joy in doing it. That’s me!

I was so thrilled to join the watercolor class at The Crafters Marketplace yesterday with some of the other mommies from Mommy Bloggers Philippines. What an opportunity!

Our instructor was Ian De Jesus. Just like Brush Lettering instructor, Margot Uy, he also graduated Magna Cum Laude in Fine Arts at The University of the East. And just like her, he also ventured into advertising and shirt designs.


(READ: Learning something new…like brush lettering)

A bit of Art history

Ian De Jesus is a professor of Art theories and History which figures why the discussion was so interesting. Aside from teaching us about brushes and watercolor brands, he told us a bit of history about the colors used by renaissance artists.

He shared that back in the days, paint colors were hard to come by. Artists had to either create them out of leaves or cooking spices, and even use Cow pee, and that these were mixed in honey or oil, for them to have something to use.

He also explained to us that the more expensive paint colors have higher pigment in them.

Did you know that gold paint back then were actually made out of melted gold and that Cobalt blue actually had cobalt in them? No wonder paintings during those days have so much value!

Of course eventually synthetic colors were manufactured and sold which made it easier for artists to find what they need for their masterpieces.

We had a little laugh when he recalled the yellow watercolor set we used to bring in grade school art class. The one with the useless black brush, haha! That watercolor had been phased out because of its lead content.

Ian De Jesus advised us to try our watercolors first and make swatches because the colors change when they’ve dried.


The Color Wheel

A few years go, I interviewed artist Frederick Agustin for When In Manila and I remember him telling me that the first thing he bought in pursuit of his art was a color wheel.

As a child, the color wheel was introduced in our art classes but I never really understood what it’s for until now. Now I understand and appreciate the color wheel and I vow to keep my copy, look at it and study it until I cannot forget it.

What’s a color wheel for? In my understanding, the color wheel helps you in the combination of colors – what color goes with what and what would look good with what. Much like progressions and chords are in music. There are notes that sound beautifully when played together.

In music, there are major and minor chords. The minor chords are usually in music that are sad and poignant, while the major chords are the vibrant and happy ones. The color wheel also has that. The warm colors make you feel happy, excited and passionate, the cool colors give you a sense of peace, quietness, solitude and even sadness.



Practice exercises

We were given 6 exercises to do. First, we applied the principle of the color wheel. Using one of the small watercolor papers we were given, we painted the primary colors then combined them to see if the result will be close to that in our color wheel.

I made a mistake with mine so I’ll just show you the first part of the color wheel exercise:


Ian also taught us some of the watercolor techniques. This part was a bit too fast for me, but I remember wet on wet, which I learned from my friend, Alelie, wet on dry,which is what everyone else is doing, graded and variegated washes, and basic wash.

We tried these techniques on paper first then Ian let us try them on Ian’s printed art works. Then he taught us how to paint a simple picture using these techniques. We painted a picture of a sky, with a couple of islands and the sea. Ian helped me with my sky and the trees of one of my islands. I think I need to try doing it again.

Then we learned how to paint different types of flowers and leaves, then for our final practice, we did the floral lei (scroll up to first photo).


Bonding time with my friend Janice

One of the things I love about this workshop is that I got to bond with my good friend, Janice of We both got into brush lettering and it was so much fun learning how to do watercolor painting with her.

Just look at us:

Image courtesy of The Crafts Marketplace.
Image courtesy of The Crafts Marketplace.
Image courtesy of The Crafts Marketplace.

Janice was bolder with the use of the colors, while I played it safe with monochromes.

I know we look like we’re not talking to each other at all, but believe me, we were and we were happy, haha!

What’s next?

I need time to practice, absorb and think all the lessons through. I loved the class even though I was a bit bitin (short of time). I hope to come up with art works that would make both my art instructors proud and happy to have taught me.

According to Ian, if you want to be good at it, you have to practice. He said that many people who think they can’t are those who did not practice or those who stopped doing it a long time ago.

I have no ambitions on turning into a Heart Evangelista in art but I do want to become good at this and be able to paint pictures and do calligraphy on them.

Trying out my flowers with my letters. 🙂 #inspiredbrushlettering #artsymargot #artsymargotdrillstoprettiness #watercolor #calligraphy

A photo posted by May De Jesus-Palacpac (@fullyhousewifed) on

I’ll practice the techniques and the mixing of colors and hopefully get to enjoy hours of art with my kids. My eldest son is starting on watercolor class on Tuesday at Legacy and I’ve been looking for a place for my artistic 7-year old to go to. I plan to look into The Crafters Marketplace’s Art Playgroup for him.

The Crafters Marketplace offers several art classes. They have Calligraphy, Watercolour, Felt Crafts, Polymer Clay, Scrapbooking, Card Making, Sketching for Beginners, Sketching and Coloring with Markers, and Watercolor classes, Zen doodling, and Children’s Art.

There were two batches of Mommy Bloggers watercolor classes. I was in the morning batch.

If you want to know  more about these classes, get in touch Sunshine or Alma:

The Crafters Marketplace
Rustan’s Grocery, Lower Level, Shangri-la Mall, Edsa
Contact number: 0926-6231284
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: The Crafters Marketplace on Facebook
Instagram: The Crafters Marketplace on Instagram

Special thanks to Alma of The Crafters Marketplace and Mommy Bloggers Philippines for the wonderful opportunity to learn from Ian De Jesus.


  • Mia Foo

    the colour wheel exercise sounds so fun! when i played with water colours when i was young, it’s always so fun to combine colours and seeing what colour comes up. but of course, i always overdo it and end up with murky brown in the end. hahaha!

  • Gigi M

    I didn’t know the old paintings used real gold and cobalt! 🙂 I used to paint a little bit, too, but life got busy so I’m into taking photos on my iPhone. When my kids grow a little older, hopefully we’ll get back into painting. I agree art is a gift. And the artwork is a reflection into the soul of the artist.

  • Michi

    I wanted to try this too, maybe next year since I know that I need money to buy materials for this hobby. Natawa ko sa watercolor brush! Agree, useless yung free brush nila. hehehe!

  • Fred

    Of the painting media, my personal favorite is watercolors. I never learned it this way with color wheels and all. I think it should be nice to have a little training on this.

  • Elizabeth O.

    That’s a class that I would love to attend! It’s so awesome to learn more about the different techniques especially when it comes to painting. I’m sure it was a fun and memorable experience for everyone!

  • Gilian

    Love everything about it. The color wheel part. haha. Same sentiments here. I honestly bought a color wheel lately because I’m not that good at color combination and I realized it’s so important in all areas of my life from make-up to blog design. haha =) Would love to be in this class. =)

  • Melissa

    This is one of the things I would love to learn including calligraphy. Will attend craft classes like this but I need to invest on the materials first.

  • Leke Awonuga

    Colors definitely comes in different spice to human life. They simply set the tone or dictate the flow of a design. I enjoy having bright colors around me…it creates a radiant feel of beauty to the soul.

  • Berlin

    Also had workshops at Crafter Marketplace and Ms. Alma and even the staff and instructor are all amiable. Love the workshop you did. And it was nice that the color wheel was explained to you.

  • Janice

    It was really great to experience this with you. 🙂 So much fun! I just wish we had more time to enjoy it together. Let’s take more artsy workshops in the future. Weeee!!!! 🙂

  • Maan

    I’m so jelly! I’m really into brush lettering and calligraphy but I haven’t even touched, much less use, watercolour yet. Maybe I should take the plunge too!

  • J. Ivy Boyter

    That looks like a lot of fun and really interesting history as well! I’m not an artist myself, but I think my daughter will be … she spends tons of time painting, drawing, and coloring, and she’s not quite 5 yet.

  • Edel

    I’ve dabbled in painting years ago (acrylic and oil) but not watercolor painting. It is something that I would want to learn, though. So guys are so lucky. 🙂

  • TweenselMom

    Ang busisi pala ng watercolor 🙂 Hahah, as much as I wanted to dive into art, I feel ang bilis ko na mainip. I feel mas mahirap pa ang watercolor kesa sa acrylic painting.

  • Nini Perez

    They always have nice workshops there noh?

    My husband’s an artist din. Such an advantage kasi he always advises me what color matches with what. 🙂 I didn’t know that yellow and very matigas na watercolor palette has lead. Kaya pala di ko na nakikita. So nostalgic pa naman.

  • Arlene

    Looks like you had fun! 🙂 When I took a similar floral watercolor class, it was so ecstatic. I got so high on the petals, colors and washes. The more I drew and painted, the more I felt some stillness. Other people faded and so did noises—it was just me, the paper, the sound of my brushes, the mutating colors. It was more like the awakening of a part of me that had been dozing for years! Your post makes me miss that trance. 🙂

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