Stop or else!

Stop or else!

Tentative. Uncertainty. Fear.

Each of us has a boiling point and when we were younger we got there faster. Experience hadn’t taught us the lessons of self preservation, forbearance, good sense, patience as yet and we were not ready to listen to it from those who were wiser. Hot headed, hot blooded and extremely loyal, our actions took us to the point of no return and we made a stand for better or worse.

Was there fear, uncertainty – of course! And what did we have in our arsenal to fight with – words? Would it have made sense to deal harshly with us then? It seems not having had to take a stand on tough issues made us luckier that some of the youth before us and since. We got away lightly for whatever little misdemeanors we committed. I feel bad when i read about tasers, lathi charges, rubber bullets and what-nots. Seems too inhumane and unfair.

24″ X 30″ Acrylic on canvas


My first Sale!

Mother and child

Earlier last month I was left a comment on one of my posts indicating an interest in purchasing the drawing “Mother and Child” or a print. Initially, I wasnt sure whether it was a spam comment and while I was trying to make up my mind I was contacted again. I decided to write back and found a wonderful person at the other end who loved this particular piece of work. Living in Bangladesh makes it difficult for me to ship things out and so I opted for selling a print. And he was happy to own the print. His words and attitude have made my first sale very memorable.

The artwork was scanned at 300 dpi and uploaded to my gallery on the print on demand service, ImageKind. After the sale was made, unsure of how it would turn out, I waited with bated breath. It was only when I heard that the print had been delivered and looked good, did I relax.

This has been a wonderful experience. And while what I earned is a fraction of what I used to earn when I was on a regular job it gave me much much more pleasure.

My father-in-law 2

Father-in-law 2 Final

I’ve made several sketches of my father-in-law from life but those haven’t been posted (as yet). He’s a real sport and will hold a pose patiently. He’s good at drawing too and great at encouraging.  And he doesn’t mind if his nose is drawn a bit too long or chin too wide. I have to say that my Dad is the same. My first attempt at drawing him using a reference was digital and you can see it here.

During my last to last visit to Chennai he had acquired one of those extra zoom digital cameras and I got to test it by taking portraits of the family. I’m sure he’ll admit to the fact that they all heaved a collective sigh of relief when I was ready to hand it back. I got quite a few decent ones though. Those of my husband and his brother have been used already. This is the 3rd from that set.

Here he was watching me read the manual (yes, i’m a bit nerdy :D) and take photos at different settings. In this piece, his left eye still needs fixing and I will attend to it soon. The initial drawing took about half an hour but then I spent a couple of days making minor changes and it still isnt finished!!

Charcoal on 10″ x 12″ handmade paper.

Nothing comes from nothing…

Nothing comes from nothing...

Nothing ever could…. or so I firmly believed. Actually, that is a bit of an exaggeration. I felt that I needed to learn a lot more before I could just sit in front of a blank canvas and start to paint.

I was given two challenges by my friend Sangeeta during my recent visit. One was to make an abstract piece and the second was to paint something without a reference. This started out as my attempt at making an abstract piece and then before I knew it it had turned into a face or at least what I thought resembled a face 😀

Acrylic on canvas. Made the background first with a largish bristle brush and the face with a palette knife. Roughly 18″ X 12″.

Update: Aug 1, 2007 : Decided to get adventurous while framing my first painting. Lesson learned – tried and tested ways may be better 😛 I need to find a way to subdue the colour of the inner frame either with a rough coat of paint or with a mat insert. What do you think?

First framed work

Taking a Nap

Picture 339

Started drawing Surpina first this morning but left it incomplete as we were going out visiting art galleries.  Saw quite a few interesting paintings by upcoming artists from India. We plan to cover a few more over the next few days.  Returned and convinced Sangeeta to let me draw her while she was taking a nap.  I used some nice, soft buttery charcoal from Sangeeta’s big box of Derwent’s Sketching Collection.   Pencil and Charcoal on 30 X 22 Indian handmade paper.

Fake Dane’s Portrait

fake dane.jpg

Read about Fake Dane’s request to Jana to make his portrait on the Every Day Matters Yahoo Group and off I went to Jana’s to check it out. She’d mentioned that there was an invite to join in. It looked tough and I thought that I’d give it a miss. But the thing about digests is that when the next person jumps on board you get to read about it again and then the next. I went and checked out the photo references on his blog. This time I decided to give it a go. Here’s my version. 😀 I’m writing asking for one in return and I hope he will oblige. Shall update this post when I hear from him.

Update: Mar 28, 2007 : I heard from Fake Dane earlier today and he liked my version too. 😀 Here’s the link to the post on his blog. He dabbles in photography, film and not drawing as so has decided to give making mine a miss 😀 He’s looking out for more so if you’re interested download one of his photo references from the links above and give it a go.

Quite a few people have asked me about these “digital scratchboards”.   I’ve put down my process below. I have to admit that I haven’t used a scratchboard IRL as I haven’t located one in the art shops here.

1. I’ve used Art Rage 2 to make this and the earlier digital scratchboards.

2. The first step was to create a template for the background. I used the roller tool set at 34%.   Black paint was applied with horizontal strokes overlapping slightly followed by similar vertical strokes.  This is the process I follow for applying gesso on canvas.

3. With this one I made a slight variation. After saving a copy with a new name I added another layer and made a rough sketch with a red marker tool.  This stood out very well against the black background and also would not interfere with the white lines I was going to erase.

4. I then went back to the original layer and used the eraser tool at 1% width to erase using the red lines as reference.

5. mistakes were filled in with the roller tool set at 1%.  the only problem was that it looked darker than the shade made with the larger roller tool.

6. for the background the eraser tool was changed to 8%.  In retrospect i think I would’ve liked the lines to be spaced out more.

Few thoughts for the next attempt.

to check out some scratchboard samples on the web to see how shading negatively is handled.

to draw out a value scale of 3 or 5 prior to starting the drawing.  this area could certainly take a lot of improving 😀

to add another layer for making the background.

If you have any other suggestions or advice please do leave me a comment.

Another Scratchboard

Ashulia boy.jpg

Sujata, a friend from Delhi, has sent me some lino boards, cutters and ink and I’m thrilled.  Hoping to try out some print making soon.  Until then I’ve saved a digital template of a prepped scratchboard.   This was made from a photograph that I took yesterday.  And while it is incomplete, I like the effect – lines and all.

Yesterday, at around three in the afternoon, two friends and I drove along the road from Dhaka to Ashulia to look for our subjects.  We spent and enjoyable hour taking many photographs of quite an enthusiastic bunch of people.   We were surrounded at each spot fairly quickly.  Some even came forward and asked us to take their pictures.  They were all thrilled when they saw the results on our digital panels.  We made several stops.  You can see some of the photographs here and here.

Restating Lines

pen&ink, watercolour pencils, wcp,

It was after reading Danny Gregory‘s website that I took to restating lines with a pen without a care and have now grown to like them. Soon after, I joined Every Day Matters (EDM) the group started by him. Without doubt this is one of the best groups that I belong to. The members are knowledgeable, helpful and encouraging. I have learnt a lot from them and the exchanges that take place. Some of it has got absorbed and is now a part of the way I draw and paint and the rest is on its way to being assimilated.

This pen & ink wash of the boy holding a flag is from a fabulous reference taken by one of my favourite photographers on Flickr, Ashit Parikh. I know that it bears little resemblance but I have now reached the point where I’m not fixated on getting a likeness at least that’s how I feel today!

Rotring : Brown ink : Watercolour Pencils : sketchbook : 8″ X 10″

Some quotes that I’ve fished out on Perfection from Robert Genn’s The Painter’s Key website

It’s always necessary to seek for perfection. Obviously, for us, this word no longer has the same meaning. To me, it means: from one canvas to the next, always go further, further… (Pablo Picasso)

No one is perfect. It’s not interesting to be perfect. (Lindsay Lohan)

Exactitude is not truth. (Henri Matisse)

Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it. (Salvador Dali)

The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing. (Eugene Delacroix)

Being happy doesn’t mean everything’s perfect. It means you’ve decided to see beyond the imperfections. (unknown)

sorry for going overboard but here’s a last one

Perfectionism is the enemy of creation. (John Updike)

Digital Scratchboard

dig scratchboard

Had some time on hand and did not want to do the painting exercise I’m meant to 😛 Decided to try out something new digitally. Made a scratchboard and erased out a friends portrait. Need to do a few more before I get the hang of reversing the lines.

Along with my art resolutions I’ve made a personal one to lose some weight.  I’m hoping to start walking a couple of times a week starting today. Wish me luck!

Street Vendor

Cigarette Vendor

We were stuck in a traffic jam in Dhaka a while ago and we have plenty of those :D. I looked around and took a few photographs of cart pullers, rickshaws and street vendors. This cigarette vendor was on the pavement a few cars away waiting for his next customer. Smoking is fairly popular here in Bangladesh and on just a short stretch you’ll find several such cigarette vendors.  They have a couple of empty soft drink cartons stacked and a glass box to hold the stock and display it.

The number of photographs I’m taking of the streets and the people has dwindled to zero 😦 As of this morning my husbands camera (it’s smaller) has been appropriated and I intend to take many more.

I’ve noticed that in almost all my drawings and painting the focus is on either a face or a person and the background is completely ignored. For this one I decided to add the background. It got overworked and I’ll be trying it out again.