As part of my efforts to improve I have been copying the works of some master artists. Lucien Freud is one of them. I’m drawn to this self portrait of his. You can see an attempt that I made recently and one made in 2005 side by side. And though they’re nothing compared to the original , inspite of seeing the mistakes, I liked them both when they were made. I guess my mind figures out what I’m capable of at a given point in time and gives me credit accordingly. I’d love to try this piece again after a year.
Jamal Ahmed is a successful Bangladeshi artist with 41 solo exhibitions to date. Pagla has been featuring in his work for many years now. With many artists you see a recurring subject, model or colour something they keep coming back to. Do you have one?
Below I’ve tried a close crop of the digital painting made of Pagla. I’m not sure if it is better or worse.
Jamal 12″ X 18″ charcoal in my sketchbook.
Pagla digitally made using Art Rage 2.
I’d always believed that cows were friendly docile creatures till I got chased down a busy road for patting one on its nose! That velvety nose had been so tempting, I didnt notice the horns till they were pointing in my direction! Quite obviously looks can be deceptive and so can the zillion movies showing docile cows. They’re still at the top of my list of animals to sketch, followed closely by elephants!
We have a saying in Hindi Bhagwan jab deta hai to chappar phad ke deta hai. It means when God gives it is plentiful enough to bring the roof down! It feels that way, at least on the art front, starting with my first sale in August last year.
Shako, a group formed by 9 leading Bangladeshi artists with the aim of promoting women’s art in Bangladesh, has invited my friend, Smita and me to exhibit with them for International Womens Day from 11:00am – 8:00pm on March 7th & 8th, 2008.
Update : March 1, 2008 : Venue: Hse 80, Road 23, Block A, Banani, Dhaka 1212. If you happen to be in town do stop by to have a look.
In December, the Standard Chartered Bank opened an art gallery in its main branch to encourage upcoming artists by showcasing their work. My friend Smita Srivastava and I decided to take advantage of this opportunity. You are invited to our very first exhibition together, “Friends and Faces” from March 16th to 31st at the Standard Chartered Bank, 67, Gulshan Avenue, Dhaka.
For the time being I’ve decided not to offer my work for sale. The tricky question of pricing has been neatly side-stepped temporarily.
The gallery is small and can accommodate about 20 large paintings. The step of selecting the ones to display are over and now 3 are ready, 4 of them are with the framer and the last lot waiting to be signed before being framed. We’ve been talking about an exhibition together for 6 months now and are thrilled to realize it.
Self Portrait : 12″ X 14″ with charcoal on brown paper.
Update : While mentioning to a friend that I looked as though I’d been cleaning a chimney I got the name for this piece. She said that it was a bit early for being a “Santa’s helper”. That is going to be the title for this one then. Santa’s Helper.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.