Archives for category: Chalk

Pen 'n Ink

Mannat is one of the few people we know here in Dhaka who is below 40. Waaaay below 40, at 8 going on 9.  She is a willing model for many of her fathers photography experiments.  And I get some great references to work with.

5″ X 7″ Pen & Ink on hand made paper. Brown ink, black ink and white chalk.


Photo reference copyright Anil Advani. Used with permission.

.. been a long time,
Been a long lonely, lonely,
lonely, lonely, lonely time.
Rock & Roll, Led Zeppelin

Portrait Swap

Vacations seem to unsettle me. Now, dont get me wrong I love them like everyone else. The problem is that well before they start and for a long while after I cant get started on painting.  I’m on my way to starting again and the next vacation is a few weeks away. Have to find a way to tackle this. If you have any ideas please leave me a comment. I’m willing to try most things 😀 but not stop holidaying!

8″ X 10″ Pen & Ink and white chalk in my sketchbook.

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.


Recently, a friend told me that my charcoal pieces looked good. That was all the encouragement I needed to use the medium again. This portrait of Manish is one more for my College of Art Portraits series. I’ve inadvertently made his eyes look a bit like Sylvester Stallone’s 😛 and I hope he wont mind.

Charcoal on 12″ X 10″ off-white handmade paper.

Aaliyah 1

Full of enthusiasm after this mornings session at Kuhu’s, I got back home and tried another portrait, from Life, using Sudha crayons ( Indian equivalent for Conte Crayons ). Its overworked but if i dont do some of these how will I learn? I’m thinking of making the background darker hoping that it will help the face come up a bit.

Aaliya – 12″ X 18″ approx – sudha crayons on cream coloured light weight paper

The one below is the one I liked most in this mornings session. Made with different kinds of charcoal sticks with brown drawing ink. Both have been made on a slightly creamish light weight paper.

LD at Kuhu's 4

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.

Abhimanue - Take 2

This is my second attempt at drawing Abhimanue. He was the first person I met on my first day in college.  I had been apprehensive and talking to him calmed me down.  Abhimanue had an open door policy and always made time for the students.  However trivial our queries may have been he answered them patiently with sound and useful advice. He also let me take this photograph 😀 You can see my earlier attempt at drawing him here.

I’m mighty pleased to have found an art group with a teacher. I showed him my recent pen & ink work and some pencil sketches from life and asked for his help in making different tones. He showed me how with a pencil and charcoal stick. I was supposed to fill in the other half but didnt want to mess up the beautiful work that he’d already put down. It was a pleasure to see him at work. Watching the freedom of his strokes I realised that I need to start doing my drawing exercises again.

I havent managed to save enough white space but was still quite pleased with this attempt. Also I tried out 3 different charcoal sticks and there was huge difference in the black marks they made both in terms of the colour as well as the smoothness with which they went on.

I’m having a problem with the portrait that I’m painting for a Portrait Swap. Went to WetCanvas! to look around and found the November Challenges thread in Painters Alley (digital forum). Here’s my attempt at drawing one of the references provided – the Man with a Cap.

man in cap

There is a problem with likeness and I seem to make everybody without exception look much older than they are!! I know now that harsh and dark lines are the main reason and I’m trying to keep that in mind while drawing. I’m also trying to be concious of the the 3Dness of the subject so that makes one more addition to my list – practice shading to give an object form.

Digital.  Made with Corel Painter IX.5.  I’ve used various shades of Conte crayons.


I’m hoping to make another attempt at painting and this is a preliminary sketch to see if the next one will be and improvement on the last.

I used General’s Carbon Pencil for the first time on this sketch and fell in love with it. Runs on smoothly almost like a crayon and has the “black” of a stick of charcoal without the mess. 8″ X 10″ in my sketchbook.

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