Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Three days

I rarely finish a piece in one day, even more rare is that I produce one piece for several days in a row. Last week, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, when I'm absolutely exhausted and destroyed after work, I produced these three pieces, one each day, respectively.
The three of them involve a Bic pen and paper, for the third one, I also used colored pencils. There is some sort of progression to them: The first one is abstract; the second one, involves an eye and mostly abstract; the third one is human figure and fantasy art.
I'd been having some sort of urgency, a couple of days prior, to take that drawing book and just take some sort of black medium and cover an entire page with something/nothing in particular and, on Friday, "Mandala" happened. If you click on them you get a bigger version.

"Mandala" is not a mandala by definition, but the word was all I thought of whilst drawing it and it was all I could think of when I saw/see it, so that's it title.
The mandala definitely had some meditativeness to it, whilst making it. All the lines and the flow there is to it, are sure to get me into a pensive mood.

This second one has no title and I'm almost certain it has some influence from a sketch that Andi Soto posted

And this last one is titled "Demons get all the girls", the Fantasy Art peeks it's head from time to time and, on Sunday, this dude just happened.
The demon, with his sly, careless and sharp face, really makes me smile, when I look at him.

I quite clearly see a progression in the drawings, each one if more complex than the next, it goes from no human figure, to some human figure, to human figure entirely.
So, yes, this happened over the end of last week.

Also, I'm participating in this collective, end of the year art exhibit by Casa Cultural Huellas (one of the organizers of the residency that I did this year): Celebra.Ciones. It opens on Saturday, 1st of December at two in the afternoon and it will be open to the public for a month. You should go and buy some of my work or the work of my colleagues, because we're extremely cool people.
And remember that I've got a Facebook page that you should like, it's the best place in which to keep up to date with my work and whatever I'm involved in artistically: Gabriela Handal Arte

Thanks a lot for reading and see you next time!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Water Nymph Ondine

I did some pictures at the end of last year in collaboration with Grace Solarte (the makeup artists) and Sofía Rodriguez Riba. They have this very cool project of reproducing a piece of whichever local artist they like, with the artists somehow involved in the picture.
I'm the first and, so far, the only one they've done. They chose my drawing "Water Nymph - Ondine) and we reproduced my drawing and the story of Ondine. I'm going to show off here the drawing itself and the the pictures that I liked the most of the photoshoot.
So this is the drawing, I used pencil, colored pencils and watercolor over paper

I seriously liked all the pictures, but these four are some of my favorites. I think Sofía used a Minotla camera, I honestly don't know, but it's a manual camera, where you have to manually gauge and judge by the lighting and all this shit that I think it one of the things really gives a photographer his/her validity and talent. So these pictures have such richness, and they're flat, but I feel like I could reach out and touch everything in each scene.
I think my favorite picture (although I'd like to emphasize again that I really liked them all and I love looking at them and their gorgeous green and blue predominance and richness), is the pregnant one. When a nymph becomes pregnant by a human, she loses her immortality and begins to age at a very rapid rate. I LOVE the facial expression in that picture, the protective gesture of her hands and arms on her bloated stomach, it is so palpable to me that she's very aware of her choice, there is some fear maybe, but there is so much determination and pride in her facial expression.
I've linked the pictures so that you click on them and you see a bigger version

So, yes. I've been meaning to do an entry about this for a while. Please, remember to like my Facebook page, as that's where I do updates on my stuff the most often: Gabriela Handal Arte
Thank you very much for reading.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I met Andi Soto at the restaurant where I work.
It went that I tended to her and then she wrote to me in Facebook, which I loved, and we talked, she saw my work and I saw her work; and I progressively liked this broad more. The day she'd gone to the restaurant, she'd gone to collaborate with another gorgeous artist, Camila Bernal.
This is what their collaboration looked like:

Andi has this super clean and neat work, clean, confident lines. The little dolls stare out of the paper with big eyes, they seem somehow innocent and childlike; but it's like those creatures in the movies or in manga and anime, their mouth starts opening more and more and the creature happens to be a crazy and horrifying predator. It's what I see, anyway.
So, I suggested faster than a speeding bullet that we should mothafuckin' collaborate and we did and it was too cool.
Here are two shots of the two of us working on it and the end result:
And the end result:

So, I've linked up there to her page in Facebook and Camila's, because both their work is very much worth seeing. And here is a link to my page in Facebook, because you ain't forgettin' 'bout me: Gabriela Handal Arte

Thursday, September 20, 2012


I'm a pretty big fan of Milla Jovovich, but I've not drawn her very often, I think it's been twice, including the drawing that I'm going to show off now.

This is my reference:

This is the end result:

I used two pencils, a mystery pencil and a 3B Faber Castell pencil. The mystery pencil, is a mystery pencil, because it has no information about what it is on it, it's yellow like a Mongol 2, but the graphite feels silkier and I also had no issue drawing over it with the 3B, like it has happened with the Mongol.
It was also considerably dark, when I applied pressure, it was rather nice. So nice, that I considered finishing the drawing with the mystery pencil. HOWEVER, I only have that one mystery pencil and I have no idea what it is, for me to get another one, so that was stressing me out a little bit lol!

Since my reference leaves out a fourth of her head, I decided to leave that part really sketchy and have the face and part of the hair real proper detailed, 'cuz I thought it would be cool and fun and it turned out very cool! =D

I drew on a Strathmore drawing book, smooth surface, 80lbs paper, 11 x 14 inches.

ALSO, I mentioned Milla at some point, with a progress shot of the drawing AND SHE REPLIED TO ME and that's how she made my entire month/year/probably life. So I screencapped that shit, posted in everywhere, retweeted it and then I exploded. So here's the screencap, because it's related.

I also mentioned her with a picture of the finished drawing, but she didn't reply to that one. I can't imagine how many times she gets mentioned lol

So now that I've shown that off, remember my Facebook page, which you should seriously like and share with your friends if you haven't yet: Gabriela Handal Arte

Thank you for reading, guys!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Somebody that I used to know

I heard this song and saw the video for the first time two days ago and I was immediately reminded of an ex-lover. Specially, the part where he says that she now treats him like a stranger and how she's now somebody that he used to know.
Break ups are seldom easy, and a person that you were amazingly close to at some point, becomes precisely a stranger. I like to think that when there is a break up for genuine reasons, there is no right or wrong, either party has the right to feel however way they might feel. The song shows both perspectives of a breakup, neither one is right or wrong, they just are.
Now I'm going to try to talk/write about what I like in this video and song, which is difficult, because I absolutely fucking LOVE every single thing about the video and the song. The song in general is mellow, but it manages to be really intense.
I'm not one to claim that I *know* what art is, so this might be an iffy statement, but I love how ARTISTIC this video is. What with the body painting, the merging with the background wall, the painting of the background wall itself, the fact that I feel that both singers are doing a performance and an installation, rather than just performing the song. The colors, the stop motion of the painting, the presence of degradation of color.
I LOVE what a good job both singers do at conveying the emotions and feelings of the song. The guy, very genuinely hurt, serious, raising his eyebrows, staring sincerely into the camera, with crazy huge, beautiful eyes. When he raises his voice to sing, the frown in between the eyebrows, he opens his mouth wide, maybe in desperation, channeling the need to scream out the sadness. I love his teeth, I love his fucked up teeth and how they just take over his face, when he opens his mouth to sing, but only peek through shyly, when he doesn't open it much, how the huge canines push through to give his mouth that shape.
Kimbra does an amazing job, what I like the most of what she does is when she gets close to him and she's done singing and does the vocalizations with a frustrated face, she knows he doesn't understand and isn't willing to try. She opens her mouth wide, almost clenches her teeth afterwards with frustration, looks down. Also at the end of the video, when she's slowly unpainted, I guess, that's when she stops being somebody he knew, she's different now.
I like how truthful it is to the break up situation. The way they look at each other at the end of the video, with resignation.
I've done you and myself the favor of screencapping a couple of shots of this dude's crazy gorgeous face and a screencap of his awesome teeth.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Warning: This entry is kind of longwinded. Sry.
I'm pretty enamored with Nine Inch Nails (and Trent Reznor, as well, no doubt) lately and I've been channeling that in different ways. One of the ways, was the "Closer" drawing, for example.
It's difficult not to idolize him and the music, but I guess it's also easy to do, when you don't know jackshit about somebody. But that's completely besides the point, this isn't about my thoughts on NIN, it's about the most recent channel.
The most recent channel, was a mental image that I had of "Sunspots", which is a ridiculously sexy song, in my opinion. The song, as I've read here and there, is about heroin, like "With Teeth", and it's referred to as a seductive woman. This is because Trent was a junk addict for a good while.
I think one of the oldest memories I have that refer to heroin, is a documentary that I saw, where I very clearly remember this dude injecting some shit that looked like tar right into his neck. So, heroin's always been some kind of tar substance for me and after looking up the appearance of heroin, there is a kind of heroin called "black tar heroin". Which works perfect for what I had in mind.
Also, according to what little I've read about heroin and what I learned about it from "Trainspotting", the high from heroin is absolute pleasure, a kind of orgasmic, sexual pleasure. So I guess it makes sense for it to be thought of as a sexual and seductive woman, if you're a dude or just somebody that likes women in general.
The lines from the song "She turns me on/she makes it real/I have to apologize/For the way I feel", kind of stand out, even though my favorite line from the song probably is "peel off our skin we're going to burn what we were to the ground/Fuck in the fire and we'll spread all the ashes around". So these pictures revolve around the four lines from the chorus and correspond kind of as the title for each of the four pictures.
My mental image is a jet-black woman/creature type, and the pictures are a progression: The moment when you see her passive, the moment when she sees you, the moment when she's seducing you and the moment when there's some sort of inexplicable pleasure.
She's not meant to be necessarily beautiful, she's meant to be a strange and intimidating personification of heroin. There is also a progression in the poses in the pictures, she starts by looking down and her head progressively looks up, up to the last picture. I wanted the pictures to be as symmetric as possible, but for the last two, I didn't like how it looked with the face being full front. It was much nicer to look at with a 3/4 angle.
So it can be said, in a way that this is what "Sunspots" looks like to me, kind of my interpretation of the song. My personal interpretation, which could be wrong, but that doesn't matter to me.

The photographer is Jose Esteban, that's a link to his Facebook page, where you can see more of his really cool work. He offered to collaborate with me in this idea and was super great to work with.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Conexión Drácula

Last night was the opening of the art exhibit that shows the pieces produced at the artistic residency Conexión Drácula. There was a total of eight visual artists, a photographer and a writer/poet. Each one produced two pieces and we all participated in the production of a third collective piece.
I'm to show you my two pieces and explain how the process went.
For the first challenge/piece, we were shown the Dracula Chimera orchid, which is a pretty strange flower. It's hairy, it's lanky, and just not the kind of daintiness that you expect to see in a flower I guess.
We were all sitting in a living room and we were asked to provide with adjectives of the impression the flower gave us, a list was made and once there were enough adjectives, we were the assigned an adjective at random.
I got "venenosa" -> "poisonous" and I wanted to portray it in the Poison Ivy way. So this is what I produced:

We were meant to keep our word to ourselves until the end.
For the second challenge, we were assigned the finished piece of a fellow artist at random and I got Luz Eliana Tabares's piece.
Her piece made me feel some kind of uneasiness, it reminds me of a furry beast, she painted an iris right above the labellum of the flower; which by the way is set horizontally, because she didn't want it to so obviously look like the orchid. It's some sort of animal at a very aggressive moment, which was precisely the word she got: animal.
So I wanted to retain the animal/beast/chimera/eye, but I made the piece vertical and a creature that is in a calm and passive, maybe observant, moment. After painting for a while, I started getting the feeling that they were both creatures that belonged in a bestiary from the Middle Ages.
Here they are both together and a closeup of mine:

The residency was a really memorable experience <3
That's all for today, I hope you enjoyed it and don't forget my Facebook page: Gabriela Handal Arte
See you next time!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Burns like incense

This piece was relatively quick, it took maybe two or three days. It would have been one day, if I didn't faff about so much.
I used pencil, colored pencil and acrylic over a Strathmore 18 x 24 inches and 80lbs drawing pad.
I have to say that it came out almost exactly as I had her in mind, I'm aware that there's some sensuality/sexuality to her facial expression and the entire piece itself; but it's really more about passion, and they're not necessarily together by default.
I see some comic in her, some illustration and still some art. It's one of the few times where the use of acrylic is essential in the piece, rather than compliment, as I use it normally.
The burning of the edges of the paper, also to do with the whole theme of the piece, I think is a nice addition.
Here's two pictures, one of mid-process and finished.
Also, I participated for the first time in an artistic residency, the only one so far here in Panama; it was a crazy great experience. I'm refraining from showing pictures of the pieces themselves, for now, so that they can be seen in all their glory in the art exhibit.
The opening will be on July 18th, 7:30pm at the Edificio de la Gobernación and after that, it'll be open for a week. The pieces are definitely for sale and you are more than welcome to go and take all of your friends to the opening or the art exhibit itself. Here is a link to the Facebook event: Conexión Drácula 2012
Here is a link to the residency's page: Residencia de Artistas Conexión Drácula. The residency is once a year, for now. This time around, they put out the open call and they chose eight visual artists, a photographer and a writer.
It really was an incredible experience and you shouldn't hesitate to apply next time they put the open call out again.

And last, but not least, remember my Facebook page: Gabriela Handal Arte. You should like it and share it with your friends.
Thank you for everything and see you next time =D

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I finished this drawing yesterday, she's titled "Decadence", it's 3B pencil over paper and 18 x 24 inches. It's probably one of the biggest drawings I've made willingly so far. That I can remember, anyway. I've definitely been wanting to make bigger drawings, the 18 x 24 inch drawing book is the biggest one I have right now. Here she is:
Here's a couple of close up pictures.
So that's "Decadence", I really like how she turned out. The only thing is that I used some stupid Mongol pencil for the sketching part and I don't know what it is about that pencil that was having some kind of issue with the Faber Castell carbon, it was kind of a pain in the ass. That's all for today. Please remember to like my page in Facebook, that's where I put updates of things much more often, here's a link: Gabriela Handal Arte Thanks a lot for reading <3

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Flared dragon scales on my skin

This drawing started with a phrase in my head: "Dragon scales on my skin". WHERE the phrase came from is a mystery I'm not even going to bother with.
I could say the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, because I saw it more than a month ago and it's still reverberating and rippling inside; but I know it's not from there.
I don't particularly care for dragons, I don't identify with them like a lot of people do, I'm not fascinated by them in particular, I think I can count with one hand the amount of times that I've drawn a dragon.

The phrase then became: "Flared dragon scales on my skin", like when a cat's hairs stand on end when they're angry. I had the specific pose in mind, and I knew that I didn't want her to be entirely covered with scales, I just wanted her to have a patch of them on her back, like some kind of carapace or shield. I also didn't want to use watercolor or acrylic, like I usually do when I do colored drawings, I wanted it only to be pencil and colored pencil.
For the scales, I used the colored pencils and then on top of that, I shaded some more with the pencil. Which was a 3B.

So here she is:

Do like my page in Facebook: Gabriela Handal Arte

Thank you for reading <3

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


This is one of my most recent drawings that isn't commissioned work and it's based off of the two women that are joined by the hair in the "Closer" video by Nine Inch Nails.
I've always found it curious (several of the images in the video, but yeah) and you don't really find images of those two specifically in the internet. Maybe I wasn't patient enough in looking for them, but you definitely find gifs of a lot of other parts of the video.
EITHER WAY, I took the time to screencap a ton of things in the video, the two women included, because I wanted to draw something very similar to them.

There's also two women joined by their hair/head in the "Push It" video by Garbage and I can say there's a little bit of those in this drawing, too, I did want part of the hair section in the middle to be kind of like wrinkled, wet fabric. Like the girls in the Garbage video.

So here you have the finished drawing and close ups of both of the girls.

So, that's all for today. Remember my page in Facebook: Gabriela Handal Arte, remember to like it and share it with your friends!
Thank you for everything <3

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Today, I finished this drawing after a long time of it being stalled. I was very intimidated by the background and kind of by the entire drawing itself, as I don't really do scene type of things. Or architecture, like at all.

So today, I don't know what might have come over me, I decided to throw down the really sketchy stuff that you see here. Really fast, sketchy, impressionistic maybe, and I liked the end result, so here she is! =D

That's going to be all for today. I link you again to my page in Facebook, because you should seriously like it if you haven't and you should also share it with your friends: Gabriela Handal Arte

Thank you for everything and see you next time! =D

Friday, February 24, 2012


I finished this drawing yesterday night, she's titled "insect". General, eyes like hers with the black scleras, make me think of insects. Like an ant.

I used a 3B pencil and some acrylic on her hair, all this over paper.

I don't know what else to say about her, really, except that I really like how it turned out and that she looks almost exactly as I wanted her to look. She's just so strange and eerie.

If you haven't liked my Facebook page, you really should and you should also share it with your friends =D Here's the link: Gabriela Handal Arte

Thank you for reading and see you next time! =D

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Succubus" and the sea tattoo design.

I decided to retouch "Succubus"'s background, because it was much too monotonous for my taste, too flat and boring. But I was also afraid that whatever I might do would overwhelm her and she would disappear.
Today I finished what I decided to do, which is kind of what I usually do to represent fire.

I like that she looks like she's in front of the wall of fire and I like that the fire seems to be in front of the darker background I drew to the sides. I also like the degradation on the fire itself, that the fire directly behind her is darker than the one farther out.

I've also advanced a bit more on the sea-themed tattoo design and I really like how it's looking. My favorite parts are the water in the background and the nautilus. The picture does not show how good the nautilus is looking, but I'll put a better quality picture when it's finished.
The quote says "if not now, when?", the future owner is an Incubus fan lol
This design is going to be a half sleeve.

I hope you like today's entry, thanks a lot for reading. Don't forget my page in Facebook, which gets pretty frequent updates on what I'm working on, here's the link: Gabriela Handal Arte
Like it and share it with your friends, yeah? =D

See you next time <3

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Tattoo Design

This sea themed tattoo design is what I've worked on today. It involves a nautilus, a star fish, a sea shell and that other device, which I don't know what is called.
I've so far used pencil, colored pencils and watercolors.

I've become really fond of making tattoo designs, even though a lot of the times the theme doesn't involve anything that I usually do. Such as this case.
I don't know what it is about tattoo designs. I've done text, plants, animals; things that I never do in my personal work.
One thing, though, that I really like is that the moment that the tattoo artist does his work on the person's skin and kind of translates what I did on paper, it's like joint artwork =D

My page in Facebook is up to 1,383 likes, I'm so proud of it! Remember to like it yourself, if you haven't and share it with all of your friends. Here's the link: Gabriela Handal Arte

Thanks for reading and see you next time =D