First Exhibition

self portrait

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.


My first Sale!

Mother and child

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.


LD at Kuhu's 5

I enjoyed this mornings Life Drawing class at Kuhu’s. My last class for a while as I’ll be away on holiday starting Friday. Of the 3 models who have posed for us recently, this one holds her poses well and has a lot of patience.

Today I laid down some proportions before adding detail to the face. I still haven’t managed to curb my enthusiasm for adding lines whilst not looking at the model or when she is away! I must say that I’m much better now than before : P I would’ve liked to have spent more time on this one.

I’m thinking of making a checklist to stick on my drawing board

  • Decide on composition before starting
  • Measure relative to one feature eg. eye, length of nose
  • Place features relative to others
  • Draw the negative spaces
  • Squint before shading

Here’s a grid made in a 3 week marathon session of figure and portrait life drawing in college. This one shows the proportions to consider while drawing a portrait in profile. We drew the grids on our paper but had to mentally project them on the model and that took some getting used to!  Eventually the measurements were to have become second nature to us and the need for drawing grids would disappear but the mental practice of measuring, dropping lines etc. would stay.

I need to study and practice it once more but then I think I’ll need to go back to college for the discipline that is required.  Will add the ones showing the front of the face and one of the figure, to this post, when I locate them.

Planes and projections

24″X36″ Pencil (my favourite Tombow Mono 6B) on creamy textured paper.

Learning to use charcoal

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

Life drawing at Kuhu’s – 3

LD3 at Kuhu's

I was disappointed with my work at last weeks life drawing session and havent got around to taking photos to put it up.  Todays class went well in the end.

We were supposed to do several small sketches to improve our compositional skills.  I misunderstood.  Initially, I got carried away and spent the larger part of the morning concentrating on the model sitting on the sofa and planned on adding just her face to the right eventually.   Then after a clarification I was sure that we’d been asked to put several faces together to make one composition!

Luckily both Kuhu and I are quite pleased with this outcome.  I’ll be making a painting out of this at a later stage.  I’ve even got a name for it – “Haunted” and spent the ride back home thinking of the colours I’d use.

Now that the penny has dropped  ~ finally ~ I plan to draw several smaller sketches next week 😀   Kuhu makes a great teacher.

Life drawing at Kuhu’s

LD at Kuhu's

I went for my first lesson at Kuhu’s today. We started with a still life and moved on to figure drawing with short duration poses. This was the last one made and since I had run out of newsprint by then 😀 it is smaller in size and on drawing paper. There is something in it that appeals to me. The rest of todays output you’ll find here. Used the Sanguine Conte Pencil for the first time on a 12 X 14 Canson drawing paper.

Ramesh sleeping 2

Ramesh Sleeping

This time I tried to be clever and sketch Ramesh from behind. But I think he has a sixth sense that alerts him to the fact that I’m trying to sketch him! After sleeping like a log he shifted positions when I was a few minutes into my sketch and then i had to use my imagination to complete the pattern, shadow effect and I dont have a very good one.

The paper seems to have been affected by the wash that i’d laid on the page above it. It blotted and spread more than usual. I also need to work on perspective. I always manage to mess that up. The headboard and the books all look skewed. I need to do that Betty Edwards exercise of drawing on perspex before putting it down on paper. It helps you see better. I last used it in 2004 and a review is overdue.

I have a whole series of Ramesh sleeping and a couple of earlier posts here and here. I’ve put together a few on Flickr and will add to the set as I locate them in old sketchbooks.

Taking a Nap

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.

Mother and Child

mother and child

Inspite of the problem areas there is something about this sketch that appeals to me more than all the others i did over the holidays.   I think the main reason is that it brings back the moment I was trying to capture.  This holiday was the second time that I got to spend with my niece since her birth earlier in the year.   It was great to see my sister being a mother.  Right now Mama is Top of the Pops for the baby and that’s nice to see and enjoy too.



This was this morning’s efforts whilst with the art group. I had forgotten to carry my brushes and so spent the first hour flicking through a couple of books on art techniques that i’d carried along. Finally decided that Shereen, who was sitting quite still while making her drawing , would make a good subject for a sketch. Was not very pleased with the sketch. Borrowed a brush from Crystal to add in some color and I had hoped to  add shading and create some values but my subject left for home early 😀