Learning to photograph paintings to look close to what they are in life is something I’m working on.
Take this painting for example. I took a close-up (below) first, less that a foot away and a second one (above) from a distance of around 3 ft. I found that the close-up shot had focused on surface details which you dont see while viewing even if you go up close to peer at it. In the second one the surface details have disappeared almost completely. The actual piece is closer to the image on top – you can see a bit more colour on top than is visible here.
Keeping a distance from the source and later zooming in and cropping give a more faithful copy of the original.
I don’t normally post incomplete work here but I’m away on a longish holiday (back in Sep) starting today. Posts here might be irregular. Wanted to put up something that I’m excited about in case it is a longer break in between posts than usual. Hoping to finish this and do a few more in this series when I return. Will write more about “Running with the Bulls” with the post on the finished piece.
36″ X 30″ acrylic on canvas. This is based on one of the inspiring photo refs taken by Oochappan. Used with permission.
Update: Image updated with finished piece.
People watching while waiting for a fare.
10″ X 12″ acrylic on canvas.
When there is a heavy load to bear and you find that there’s no company, sometimes you need to walk on alone.
Inspired and named after Tagore’s beautiful, nationalistic poem, “Ekla cholo re”. It is an exhortation to follow your heart, alone if necessary.
“Ekla cholo re”, 24″ X 36″ acrylic on canvas.
with apologies to Tagore
If they do not answer to your call, walk alone.
If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
open your mind and speak out alone.
If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,
trample those thorns under your tread,
and along the bloodied track travel alone.
If they do not hold up the light on that stormy night,
with the flame of pain ignite your heart
and let it shine alone.
“unfortunate” – as indeed you are the opposite if you follow your heart
You can look inside but you cannot be a part of what you see.
“Glass Wall”, 10″ X 8″ acrylic on illustration board.
The teasing, taunting and sometimes worse that women have to endure while on the roads is a reality in quite a few cities in our world today. Many are the excuses that are given as if to say that in the saying it makes it alright. That she was dressed inappropriately, that she walked suggestively, she looked too pretty, she shouldn’t be walking alone , that men are hunters etc. etc. Makes my blood boil.
While, like this woman, you might feel like taking a stand, it would make better sense to ignore and move on. I blame cinema and violence for this increase of harassment in our country. Cinema because most of them show that a girl while initially resisting actually enjoys and falls in love with the youth who chose to accost her. And violence, as in the past, if a situation on the road went a bit out of hand you would have passers-by willing to help you. Now they too fear retaliation and violence from these goons.
The thought that ran through my mind while I was painting this was predators. In reality the lady was turning back to reply to her companions who were right behind her. They were taunting / teasing her too but it was as you would with friends and not strangers.
I have a great selection of references to work with from that one afternoon in Ashulia thanks to Anil‘s photography skills and generosity. And having been there, seen these people, interacted with some of them has made it interesting to capture them with paint. This is the 4th completed painting in the Ashulia series which is being renamed “On the road to Ashulia”.
18″ X 30″ Mixed Media (acrylic + oil) on stretched canvas.
I was delighted to receive an invitation from Nahid Osman of Art Club Bangladesh, to participate in the Annual UNWA Exhibition which will be held on the 7th of December 2007 at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, in Dhaka.
Here are the two pieces that I have entered. The photos and my resume have been submitted to the gallery and the paintings handed over to the framer earlier this evening. The Portrait is for sale at the exhibition and the two men heading to the field for a days work is the entry for the Fundraiser.
Acrylic on Illustration board, 8″ X10″ – Exhibition
Acrylic on canvas, 14″ X14″ – Fundraiser
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
One more from the exciting references provided by Anil after our road trip to Ashulia. He’s been a gem and has allowed me to use any of them for my art. The paper has been provided by another friend, Kuhu, who is a well known figurative artist and designer, in Bangladesh. This is the largest portrait that I’ve worked on to date.
I’m planning to work on my art resolutions for the year and anticipate longer gaps between posts here. However, posts on my other blog draw the line should go up dramatically 😀
Mixed Media (charcoal and acrylics) on 30″ X 36″ toned paper.
Update: August 6, 2007: I couldnt leave it alone 😦 Wanted to tone down the charcoal in some areas but it came off completely. Tried adding some back but the remaining charcoal sticks didnt match the colour or texture of the original and left dark scratches on the paper. Finally found the charcoal sticks – Pebeo’s Charcoal Sticks superior-extra smooth and it is!! Just not as black as the others. I cant even remember where these were picked up and now only 3 remain in the box of 5. Here’s where I’ve stopped for the moment. Find that I liked the earlier version more as it was spontaneous. Cant go back to it so i’m going to try some more.
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?