I used a reference of my niece for this but the people I saw while painting were my two sisters! Even now I see my sister and not her child. Did I exaggerate the features I was familiar with till the likeness changed to resemble another person from another time?
Uma WIP 10″ X 10″ acrylic on canvas. Photo taken by Suporno.
Everyone seems to be discussing Tibet lately. Even my niece, who isn’t quite two, has been taught by her nanny to say “Free Tibet!”.
The reference for this piece is the cover of a recent issue of Time Magazine. 8″ X 10″ Pen & Ink in my sketchbook. I have used a white ink pen to recover from errors. Looking around for a grey pen to be able to use three distinct values in a future attempt.
Brian, a fellow EDMer, had the following to say and it matches how I feel. I was sure I would not be able to express it as well and so I asked him If I could quote him here.
We’re all victims of Hollywood’s romantic way of portraying things. Artists in the movies always seem so confident, like they know exactly what they are doing, what they want, how to achieve it and so on and so forth, in between passionate rolls in the hay with the female lead. In fact, in the movies you seldom see anyone actually working. It’s all glamour and passionate inspiration, and no cursing and throwing of drawing implements.
In real life, we’re caught in a neat little Catch-22. We are never entirely
satisfied with any particular drawing, leading to frustration. But this
dissatisfaction is also the thing that keeps us going, because we keep on
thinking that the perfect drawing is just around the corner. Tantalizingly,
it remains just out of reach.
I think if we ever became perfectly satisfied with our work, it would there
and cease to hold our interest. The frustration would be gone, and so would the incentive to keep at it. So you are either a frustrated artist, or the frustration ends, but with it the art as well.
Brian van der Spuy
Pen & ink in my little sketchbook.
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.
I’ve just finished the second Ashulia portrait and I’m already calling it a series 😀
Oil on a 10″ X 12″ canvas board. Photo reference copyright Anil Advani used with permission.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve been back from my exciting and terrific holiday for over a week now and given myself a 101 reasons for why I wasnt painting as yet.
2 nights ago, armed with all the equipment I’d collected, I decided to take a proof of the Linocut that I’d been working on a while ago. This is one of several that I pulled that night. It still doesnt have the darkness i’m looking for. I tried wetting the paper in my 4th attempt but as I hadnt blotted it well enough it turned out quite messy!
I cant think of what I can do to simplify it further so I’m leaving the linocut as is. One of the things that I am considering is to fix the eye on the right. All suggestions are very welcome. I’ll be taking a few more prints to try and get the print on darker.
Update: July 19, 2007: I like the linocut more than the prints! I think I’ll frame it instead 😀
Update: June 23, 2008 : Got another print using a press. A lot more ink on the print this time but still a bit messed up! Have to say though that I do love the embossed effect 😀
For 3 days I’ve been sitting in front of the computer and procrastinating. Luckily Uma’s birthday was incentive enough to make me stay up late last night to make this. Added a Polaroid Photo frame ( from About.com ) today to make a homemade digital birthday card and sent it on its way.
Used drawing ink – brown, burnt sienna and a bit of black. I wasnt sure when starting out where I was going. The drawing was first made with a pencil and then inked over with a brown ink and a dip pen. All those lines were making the hair look very rough. Decided to paint it in to soften it. Lost some likeness while adding the background along her profile. Gave up when I got too sleepy.
Learning – inks don’t allow you to make changes unlike gouache or watercolour where there is at least a good chance for recovery. Use better paper when you dont know where you are headed.
Drawing inks on very thin, cream coloured 12″ X 18″ paper bought for the Life Drawing sessions.