Review: Robert Oster Eucalyptus Leaf


Robert Oster Eucalyptus Leaf

Today I’m reviewing Robert Oster Signature Inks Eucalyptus green. It’s a deep green color with a very subtle red undertone. If you’re a green ink lover, this ink is pretty easy to love. At first glance, it reminded me of one of my favorite green inks, De Atramentis Jane Austen, but a closer look shows some differences between the two:

Robert Oster Eucalyptus Leaf

The red undertone of Eucalyptus Leaf (bottom line) gives it a warmer tone. It has more shading, and the light green component of its shading looks beautifully translucent. Of course, shading will depend on the pen that you use as well as paper quality, YMMV.

Eucalyptus Leaf is a wet-flowing ink, and it takes around 20-25 seconds to dry (medium nib, Tomoe River paper). I like that it feels wet but doesn’t bleed and isn’t too wet that it doesn’t show off the shading. It’s just wet enough for the nib to feel like it’s gliding on paper. It stays vibrant even after it dries, which is something I love about Robert Oster inks. This green ink is nicely saturated and is suitable for everyday writing. It’s not water resistant, but if you use it for pen and wash drawings (like the weird-looking Master Oogwey in the writing sample sheet above), it spreads out nicely and shows the red components of the ink.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

Robert Oster Eucalyptus Leaf

Robert Oster Eucalyptus Leaf

Robert Oster Eucalyptus Leaf

Robert Oster Eucalyptus Leaf

Robert Oster Eucalyptus Leaf

Robert Oster Signature Inks are exclusively distributed in the Philippines by Everything Calligraphy.

Dream Catcher 2


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A friend of mine asked if he could have the first dream catcher painting I did, but I couldn’t give it to him so I promised I would just make him a new one. Today I finally had the time to sit down and work on it. It was a pretty interesting experience, trying to recreate a piece. It resulted to different paintings, of course, I couldn’t even recreate the number of loops in the original dream catcher, but I like them both. They’re about the same subject but they’re different.

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Here’s a side by side comparison of the two. The original one on the left is in a clear folder, the light is reflecting on the plastic a bit. I like them both. Makes me want to paint a series. Maybe someday. 🙂

Beauty and the Beast


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Here’s a journal entry I wrote a couple of days ago about the Beauty and the Beast adaptation this year. I’ve been meaning to write about this but only got around to it now. I was honestly not too excited about the movie because I don’t really like the story of Beauty and the Beast. I found the animated movie to be a bit weird, but then again I didn’t like fairy tales even as a child. The animated movie didn’t make much sense to me because it seemed the basis for their “true love” was too shallow.

The movie was quite the surprise because the core of the story stuck to the traditional fairy tale plot, but the addition of Belle and Beast’s back stories made the entire thing about their “love” quite plausible. There were a lot of things about this adaptation that I liked. One is how Belle didn’t feel like she didn’t fit in to the little town’s “provincial life” not just because she’s like the odd girl out, but also because there’s a whole episode in her life that her father didn’t want to tell her about. This film’s Belle was strong, intelligent, compassionate, intellectually curious. She was also an outsider who was keenly aware of the majority of the town’s rejection of her “strangeness”. Her relationship with Beast progressed from resentment to friendship gradually, by getting to know him and his story.

Unlike the animated film where it’s almost taken for granted that it’s Belle’s affection Beast must win, the 2017 adaptation is more balanced. Both Belle and Beast needed to learn how to love each other in order for the curse to be broken. Beast didn’t automatically fall in love with Belle just because she was beautiful. He had to grow into it too.

Both found common ground with their being rejected because of how different they are from other people, both also found another common ground, and it’s probably the  best thing you can base a friendship on–a meeting of the minds. I loved those scenes where they read together. It reminded me of when my husband and I haven’t even started to go out yet. Our friendship took on a different level when we discovered that we both liked to read. We would read the same book and then spend hours talking about it, among other things. This meeting of the minds gives each other an open door, an invitation to step in and get to know each other in a deeper sense. Until now, my husband and I still love going somewhere quiet so we can sit together and read our books, and talk, and talk some more.

That kind of friendship is fertile ground for love. That kind of story goes beyond the superficiality of being beautiful or beastly.

There are a lot of other things I loved about the movie, but this part about them discovering kindred spirits in each other is my favorite. 🙂

Review: Robert Oster Marrone Mustard


Robert Oster Marrone Mustard

I was thinking about which Robert Oster ink to review next and I decided to do Marrone Mustard. I was really expecting something more on the yellow side, as in the commercial mustard that we commonly find in the condiments section of the grocery store. When I put my pen on paper, though, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it’s predominantly brown. A quick Google search on the word Marrone informed me that it’s Italian for brown. The Marrone Mustard ink is a brown mustard color, which is a nice golden brown. It’s pretty striking, especially because it has such expressive shading.

Robert Oster Marrone Mustard

It looks gorgeous on paper, especially in person. The shades of the ink ranges from a soft mustard yellow to a warm brown. I suggest you use a wet medium nib so you can appreciate the shading and the complexity of the color even more. It reminds me of the color of leaves turning. The ink grows a little bit darker a few hours after it dries up on paper. I’ve tried it on my journal which has ivory colored Tomoe River paper and my oh my, it’s gorgeous.

The flow is almost moderate but a tiny bit on the dry side. It’s also not very water resistant, making it a nice ink to use for pen and wash drawings. The water brings out more of the reddish component of the brown tones, though. The wash looks more orange-y than brown or yellow.

Here are a few close ups of the writing samples:

Robert Oster Marrone Mustard

Robert Oster Marrone Mustard

Robert Oster Marrone Mustard

Robert Oster Marrone Mustard

Robert Oster Marrone Mustard

Robert Oster Marrone Mustard

Robert Oster Marrone Mustard

Overall, I find this ink very, very beautiful. I must add it to my personal collection. It’s the kind of ink I want to write many letters and journal entries with.

Robert Oster inks are exclusively distributed in the Philippines by Everything Calligraphy.

Dream Catchin’


Dream catcher

I made this little painting a few weeks ago. I’ve made other dream catchers before but this is the first I’m actually happy with, despite the simplicity of the design of the strings. It’s kinda hard to make them all line up exactly as they should. It’s a slow month for watercolors, considering it’s World Watercolor Month. I wish I had more time to play, but I guess we just squeeze in as much fun as we can manage. ^_^

Coffea Arabica


Coffea Arabica

I managed to squeeze in a bit of practice today, and somehow I ended up making a painting of a coffee plant. It’s probably because I’ve been reading Coffeehouse Mysteries non-stop these past few days, haha. It’s a cozy mystery series that’s very easy to read and has decent plots. I think the first book was published back in 2002, and you can really see how things change through the years. Palm pilots were all the rage during the publication of the first book. Social media wasn’t what it is now. The treatment of female characters have also changed a lot from book 1 to book 11.

What I love most about the book series, though, is all the information about coffee and the food that goes well with or are cooked with it. It’s a nice read, especially if you’re a coffee lover. I just started book 11 today (A Brew to a Kill), and it’s interesting that there are elements of Filipino culture inserted in the story.

Writing Prompt: The One Thing I Would Say to My Teenage Self


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The Stationer Extraordinaire tagged me on one of their writing prompts this week. The prompt gave me pause because it’s something I think about often. I don’t always indulge in this line of thinking because nothing can be done about the past anymore, so it’s a futile kind of wishful thinking. Once in a while, the question is just hard to avoid because the answer would be my kind of escapist fantasy. Imagining that I had managed to press the rewind button somehow and meet my younger self, knowing everything I already know today.

Many people will valiantly say that they would not change a thing, because everything that happened made them who they are today. I would agree to some extent, but as long as we’re in wishful thinking mode here…

There are a lot of things I would want to tell my teenage self, actually; that I should try to make more friends and to exert more effort in keeping them, that I won’t always feel lonely and misunderstood, that I should pick a different major in college, that I should continue drawing and writing, that things will get better someday. However, if it really, really, has to be just one thing I can tell myself, I would tell the younger me that both my parents will die soon.

Nobody really thinks about their parents’ death. Not until they’re very old. When they’re just in their early 50’s and you haven’t even found your bearings in life yet, you take for granted that you’ll have them with you until you yourself have turned just a little older. It’s quite difficult when you’re still an immature young person when your parents die. You reach different milestones in your life, become a better-adjusted individual, become more successful in your career, and you end up wishing (quite often) that you were a better daughter or son while your parents were still around.

At almost 38 years old now, I still miss my parents so much. So if I can tell my younger self about just one thing, I would tell myself that my parents will die sooner than I was emotionally prepared for. I wish I can tell myself that it will almost break me, but that I will survive it. That I should spend as much time as I can with them, and to love them as fiercely as I am capable of, with everything that I have. That I should listen to everything they said. That I should treasure every moment because they’re going home soon.

I never indulge myself in such train of thoughts for too long, of course. One can never really know what could have been. The road not taken is completely gone and lost to us forever. One may formulate a million and one theories about what could have been had I only known what I know now, but one will never be completely sure.