Faces of Cebu People and Ideas

FACES OF CEBU: Ruel Rosello, 50, photographer/artist


Ruel Rosello, an ex-photo journalist, is now more known as a painter than a photographer.

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Ruel Rosello visualizes Cebu’s vibrant landscape through his lens or canvas. 

But the 50-year-old ex-photo journalist is now more known as a painter than a photographer. 

Rosello, who worked as a photojournalist with a local daily for 17 years, said that his experience with his previous work has helped him create unique and visually stunning angles for his artworks.

He follows the modern and contemporary genre in painting.

His signature way of painting is the Filipino traditional way of life while incorporating with it the Sr. Sto. Niño. and depicting the cartoony “bulging eyes” and “crooked teeth.” 

“My mentor, the highly-respected Celso Pepito, told me to create my signature or trademark way of painting my artworks instead of following other artists’ genre,” Rosello said. 

As an artist, Rosello has already come a long way. 

One of the works of Rosello.

He already has an exhibit in partnership with the Cebu Parklane International Hotel every Sinulog Festival since 2019.

“I was already using my signature bulging eyes and crooked teeth in my sketches during my coverages as a photojournalist. So I started to incorporate them with my paintings and pair them with festive colors and fun-filled themes until Celso Pepito noticed my trademark and told me to stick with it because of its uniqueness and the positivity it brings with my paintings,” said Rosello, a member of the Cebu Artists Inc. (CAI) since 2013. 

“As a photo journalist, it helped me find better angles in painting my artwork. I incorporated different photography techniques which makes my style of painting out of the ordinary. I know how to properly place my subjects and other elements of the artwork properly and at the same time I know how to balance the colors,” added Rosello. 

Rosello has already been painting and sketching before he worked as a photojournalist. At first, he had a hard time incorporating his photography skills with his passion for art. But he persevered and eventually created something that he can be proud of. 

“Being a photographer and a painter works hand-in-hand. Being an artist helped me improve my photography skills and vice versa,” added Rosello. 

Rosello is currently working as Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella’s official photographer. During his free time, Rosello sketches his friends and co-workers. He gives them their sketches as gifts

His masterpieces are seen with several art collectors in Cebu and on a mural wall in a plush resort and hotel in Bohol. 

During weekends, Rosello is busy completing his commissioned paintings at home in Barangay Pulangbato. He also holds free art workshop for kids.


READ MORE: FACES OF CEBU: Val Vincent Vergara, 31, ‘aquascaper’

TAGS: Celso Pepito, Ruel Rosello
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