Archives for category: Oil


After hearing what my husband had to say and few other comments that I received, I realised that I had not expressed my thoughts adequately in the painting above. Not that I am any better with words but I would like to give it a try.

Background: Eleven years of work experience followed by six years of unemployment. Most of these out of choice. I realised that I did not want to go back. Four of the last 6 years has been spent looking for the one thing that would provide enjoyment and a little income. When over 2 years ago I rediscovered my love of drawing I decided that this had potential. Draw, paint and sculpt. Put in a couple of years and see if there was a possibility of earning some money. At least enough to cover the art supplies and book expenses.

It’s been well over two years now and of late this thought has been on my mind. Yesterday I saw it come out as a painting. The painting above started as an illustration for this weeks topic “invention” on Illustration Friday. Normally the drawings made for these challenges are single objects or standalones. Yesterday, I proceeded along the same lines with an idea of a box but I got lost in its making and it took a life of its own. I felt I had more to say and just the box on it own was not enough.

Invention: The black box eats a lot of money and occasionally spits out a painting. Some good, found hanging on my walls, and some bad on the floor. All still with me! And then there is me standing on the right with weighing scales in my hand to show that if I look back on the past two years, a lot of money has gone in for the few pieces that were made.

Wouldnt it be fantastic if the box could take my paintings and spit out some money? More and more, I want this interest of mine to support itself. I will take notice and consider steps to bring the scale to a more balanced level. And if the attempt is unsuccessful, I will look at part time and other options. Notice that there is no talk of giving up on painting ๐Ÿ˜€

Here are a few sites that I’ll be looking to try – CafePress / Zazzle / Etsy and ebay are not amongst these as I’m unsure of the effectiveness of the postal system here.

This piece is digital and has been made with Art Rage 2. Like the “Man with the Pipe“, I would like to make this in acrylic too.

There are just one or two small and very rough sketches of crows in my collection. I seem to have stayed far away from drawing birds and animals with the exception of cows. This one is not from life. It was from a reference found in an article on beating bird flu! There were 4 steps to turning the reference into a finished drawing for a post relating a story of the results of my search on how the turkey got its name for the Illustration Friday topic for this week – Thanksgiving.ย ย  One other advantage of using the digital medium is the ability to carry out various action on the object.ย  Here the bird was flipped over to the other side as I wanted to place the speech bubble to the right.


Made with Art Rage 2 from a photo reference.

uma painter wip 1 uma painter wip 2 uma painter wip 3 Uma

The current tools of choice are the painting software that I have. These WIP images show the progress made on Uma’s digital portrait with Painter IX.5. I’ve downloaded their trial version. It has another 58 days left. Two months is a pretty decent trial period. But Painter is difficult to use especially after using Art Rage. I was not able to blend as easily. Some reading is required to figure out how to do a few basic things.

Back to this post, I need to make a small portrait in oil of my neice Uma. It’ll join the others put up in her room that each member of the family has made. Work started on it a couple of months ago and should’ve finished then. I’ve made this in the interim and it too is incomplete ๐Ÿ˜› My excuse is that there is another project which needs finishing sooner.


I’ve been wanting to make a portrait of Sridhar for quite a while now. This is digital, made with Art Rage II from a photo reference. I do not use the tracing option though I’m taking a fancy to the undo and erase functions ๐Ÿ˜€ I think I must’ve spent about 3 hours on this so far as initially I wasnt able to capture even a hint of him.

I started with sketching an outline of his face. When I was happy with it I added another layer for the oil paints. The different colors were too stark and so I used the palette knife to blend the colors and then merged them to allow me to make changes to both layers simultaneously. Finally settled for the scribbly effect over the first few layers which is the style I have been using lately for the pen & inks.

Now stepping back I can see the changes that I would like to make – like moving his whole mouth to the left :P. The nice thing about the digital medium is that I can easily go ahead and make changes after saving a copy of this attempt. Dont know when that will happen though ๐Ÿ˜›


A digital sketch of my father-in-law made to send to him on his birthday yesterday. Made with Art Rage II using a photo reference.

For this one, i took some of the colors from the original reference. I’m sure Photoshop and Painter have this option too but I wouldnt know where to find it! Here I just had to click on the photograph and I had the selected color on my palette. I would’ve used them for the whole portrait had I remembered in time.

My one crib after having used the reference image feature a couple of times is that the picture when imported becomes so small that it is difficult to see the details to paint and even to pick the colors.

man with yellow background

I have been trying to sketch but not as often as I would’ve liked and none that i intend to put up here. Used Art Rage 2 to make this one. It’s a copy of Modigliani’s Man with a pipe ( Notary of Nice ). I love the background in this one too. I found it easier to use the application today and i’m getting used to using the wacom too.

Got a couple of nice comments for this one on Flickr.

You can view my progress in Project Modigliani in a post on my other blog, draw the line.


He’s tired of only seeing drawings / painting of himself asleep but hasn’t the patience to sit still long enough for me to attempt one when he is awake and so i continue ๐Ÿ˜€

I made the pen & ink first and then had a go with Art Rage when he was lying down and watching TV. This time I used my Wacom Graphire tablet. I’ve had it for 4 years and until now used it mostly as a mouse.

When I first began drawing, I had a problem of leaving too much white area and now I seem to be having the opposite problem by covering it all up! On the one below – maybe cutting off some of the yellow ochre background from the top will improve the composition?


I’ve been delaying using my “studio”. It’s all set up now but some how I haven’t got around to starting something. First I was waiting for our luggage to arrive, then I was away on a long holiday, returned only to set off again on another trip. Now I’m back for a while having turned down my husbands offer to travel again next week. I hope to start using the room on a regular basis soooooon.

Edilma 3 Edilma Pose 2 - 2

I didnt manage to get too much done in week 4. Did some work on the portrait. I think I needed to work further on the highlights. Looking at it now I can see a lot of things that I should’ve kept in mind while trying to paint her face. The forehead looks flat. The left side of her mouth doesnt correspond to the curve on the right.

The second pose is incomplete. I’ve also lost the feel of her sitting down in the chair which was there earlier. I dont know what I was thinking.

I asked Edilma which one she liked and she chose the portrait. I thought that she would like the pen sketch. I think I like the portrait too. ๐Ÿ˜€

I have one more day but it will be with a new pose. I’m thinking of doing some sketches.

Edilma and Mike are the models in class for the next two weeks. This time I had the opportunity to pick a spot where there was a play of light and shadow.
Eldjuma Pen & Ink

I did a pen&ink sketch of Edilma first.

Eldjuma Portrait 1Eldjuma Portrait 2Eldjuma 2 & 1/2 :D

and then started what was supposed to have been a quick oil sketch but i just kept on going as I wasnt happy with it. at the end of day 2 I discovered that the nose was too short. wiped it out along with the lower part of her face but then had to deal with the dark outlines of the earlier drawing of her lips which now fall in the upper lip region. i then made the mistake of trying to wipe just that spot out with turpentine and now there is a distinct patch which has several layers of paint missing and the outline of earlier lip remains visible ๐Ÿ˜€ Keeping up with the moving pony-tail target has been funny. I’m looking forward to see where it is at on Monday.
Mike Pen & Ink

our model came in late on a couple of days and I took the opportunity to do a pen&ink of Mike. this was my second attempt.

Eldjuma Pose 2 - 1

decided to take a break from the earlier painting. this second one is being made on a larger piece of canvas. The chair she is sitting on is the same as that used by Claudia but this one has a lovely green satin cloth draped over it.

1. Claudia Portrait 3

Claudia Portrait 3
This has replaced the blue lady.

2. Black & White? 1 & 2
Claudia B&W 1 Claudia B&W
I wanted to do this one using just two colors – black and white. I dont think I’d taken the nature of the oil paints into account. I kept making changes and soon there was gray. The next day I made a few more changes and then added the two reds. The size is small – approx 8 X 10 and I forced myself to use no. 8 brushes to avoid getting into the details. Wasnt very successful in preventing an attempt at making those details ๐Ÿ˜› I still went ahead and tried to make 1mm sized lips and eyes ๐Ÿ˜€

I think I need to get back to completing the Tonal and Value exercises given by Charles Sovek in Oil Painting : Developing your Natural Abilities.

3. Oil Sketch – Different position / angle
Claudia Sketch
I have been given good advice by Bob Martin to retain the starts so that I can see the progress and changes at the end. I stopped on the above two and started this sketch. It was the last day of this pose and so I chose an empty spot to look at Claudia from a different angle. Next 2 weeks we will be having a new pose.

The post with earlier versions of poses with this model are here. An easier place to check them out side-by-side would be on Flickr here.

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