Hello! I am Lino Reynaldo De Leon, known as “Toteng” to my colleagues (follow me on Instagram!). I am a self-taught artist from Makati City, Philippines. Painting and sketching has been a passion since I was a kid. As early as seven years old, drawing and illustration has been a great buddy that brought pride every time I brought home awards from on-the-spot art contests.
Life’s circumstances after high school temporarily halted my passion on painting. But, the desire keeps on coming back. So, in early 90’s I found my way back and began using oil and soft pastel as my main medium.
This year, as inspired by Filipino contemporary artists from various exhibits visited, I tried cubism on oil pastel, acrylic, and watercolor. After series of works done, it brought me to a realization that watercolor is indeed the medium for me due to its transparency and loose strokes that fit my style. I am into landscapes now, as bringing the light and shadow effects to life is very challenging aside from the fact that the medium itself is hard to handle – once it drips and flows, that’s it.
I prefer Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith water color brands for my works. For oil pastel and acrylic I use any brands commercially available. I do not have any particular style yet. I paint as I feel, as it serves as my stress reliever and source of peace.
Like most watercolor artists, I start by sketching my subject using an HB grade pencil for light and easy control. To establish my background, I soak the paper with water and let the color drip freely for a natural blend. This procedure gives unique color combinations that bring excitement, satisfaction, and sometimes frustration when the desired outcome is not obtained.
Watercolor medium is indeed challenging as it easily dries out and paper tends to drench and wear out easily. Thus, retouching and layering like in oil, acrylic, and pastel is not possible. For the white highlights, I seldom use frisket or masking fluid. I prefer to just leave the portion untouched for a smooth-edged result.
Most of my works end up as gift to friends and relatives. I find pride and feel appreciated when I see my works hanging on their walls. I’m looking forward to someday use this talent for charity works, as I know God gave me this gift not to keep it just for myself. I know he has a purpose. I just don’t know what exactly it is yet. As Pablo Picasso said “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”
Currently, I am honored to be considered part of various art groups on Facebook, like the “Let’s Paint Group” in which we just finished a group exhibit last October. I keep inspired by the people behind and activities done by these groups. I am planning to soon diversify also to contemporary and modern art in watercolor.
Painting is not my source of living, but still I paint – not to be famous, but simply to express and inspire.
Lino Reynaldo De Leon