People watching

waiting for a fare

People watching while waiting for a fare.

10″ X 12″ acrylic on canvas.


Glass Wall

Glass Wall

You can look inside but you cannot be a part of what you see.

“Glass Wall”, 10″ X 8″ acrylic on illustration board.

I can get no satisfaction…..

self portrait

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
on EDM

Pen & ink in my little sketchbook.

Wake up!


I think it is very childish of me but when friends and family nap in the afternoons, after a while I have this urge to go wake them up! 😀 I’m sure I must’ve done it too when I was younger but manage to restrain myself now!  She does look relaxed though doesn’t she?
This painting has been based on a sketch made while visiting my friend Sangeeta earlier this year. I took some photo references then and have used those to make this piece.

My father-in-law 2

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.

Linocut Print

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 😀

Self Portrait

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 😀

Linocut print 3


Shankar WIP 2

Most people are self-conscious when being photographed. I too feel the same especially if the photographer takes time to compose and take his shot. I do however like looking at pictures and would like to see some that include me. This is incentive enough to put up with the process cheerfully.

Some photographers are able to make you comfortable. This often happens when the camera is used often. After a while, people stop feeling conscious, and everyone starts to enjoy the process. Feeling the way I do I try to keep it in mind while photographing people, my favourite subjects.

I have been pretty persistent with my efforts to take pictures, and my family is getting more and more used to it. This picture of Shankar was taken just as he turned around. He held this devilish expression just for a moment before bursting into laughter. I loved the result and immediately put it into my “to paint” folder.

This is my second watercolour portrait. I’m beginning to enjoy adding layers. It had sounded like an awful lot of trouble when I first read about it but it isnt.  A lot more time was spent on the initial drawing based on reading WC threads on the Wetcanvas forums. This was different from the process I’ve followed so far with the other mediums.  I think it made all the difference for this piece.

“Shankar” is pretty small. 6″ X 8″ watercolour on Barbizon Canson paper. My earlier efforts have been with Poster Colours and Goauche. I do like this paper.

Drinking Tea

Drinking tea

Ramesh doesn’t like being photographed at least not when he has just woken up. As you can see I havent let that stop me 😀 I was trying out my father-in-laws new Canon S3 and its 12 X zoom and caught Ramesh in the act of swallowing some tea.

This is my first real attempt at using Pastels and I must say that it has been fun. The first time that I used them 2 years ago I gave up in disgust because of their chalky texture. I was expecting a buttery smooth one based on the marketing spiel I’d read.

For this piece, I’ve used soft pastels initially and then sharpened details and made corrections with Pastel Pencils. I’m finally beginning to understand the meaning of adding layers and that is what has been done here.

Approx 6″ X 8″ Pastels on Paper.

My little niece

my little niece

Some babies smile soon after they are born and some dont or so I learnt when I first met my niece. She was a frowner and we laughed at and loved each little one that she chose to share with us. Here’s one of her asleep and frowning. Though this time she had a good reason to what with her trying to sleep and me giving her a bear hug 😀 I think she has grown out of this stage now and chooses to smile rather than frown. While I wouldnt want her to frown all the time I’m glad we took a bunch of photos capturing those moments.

8″ X 10″, Pen & ink, brown in my sketchbook. Photo ref from my sister.