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.


A Creative Drawing Assignment

Self Portrait

Drawing a portrait using “mechanical” lines is a part of the assignment given after this weeks Creative Drawing and Art Appreciation session with Javed Jalil. I chose a reference that I’ve used last week for a pen & ink. I know I shouldn’t be asking but if you squint you’ll get a better feel of what I was trying to achieve 😀

I’m not sure it meets the given requirements. I shall find out next week 😛 I did enjoy making it this morning. Unlike all the earlier exercises we’ve been allowed to use monochromatic washes for the home assignment this week.

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.

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

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.

Self Portrait in Ink

Self Portrait - Pen & Ink

This is the 3rd piece that I made today.  I’m just thrilled with that and not so much with this drawing!   I used a different pen today (Lamy Joy) and regretted it a bit as the ink in this one seems to collect in a small pool at times!  Makes it difficult to recover from mistakes.   I think I will need to use it a lot more to get used to it.  I have earlier used Rotring Art Pens and the Lamy Safari and prefer those.

8″ X 10″ pen & ink in my sketchbook.

Watercolor Travel Kit & a Self Portrait

A few months back I read Nina Johansson’s post on A messy little watercolor project and became interested in the idea of making my art travel kit better. I was carrying a bunch of pens, pencils and pentel brush pens with black and a brown washes. I wanted to add more color. I had also come across Elizabeth Perry’s notes on her materials which along with excellent tips gives a link to Who likes sketchboxes? on Russ Stutlers Sketching Forum and I fell in love with the altoid box watercolor kit. Lots of excellent posts have also been written on this subject on WetCanvas! and the EDM Yahoo Group. All this made me want a travel sized watercolor kit of my own.

A year and half ago I had picked up a tiny watercolor box thinking that I would add it to my sketch kit. The whole box cost me less than 10cents. These were being sold for putting in bags as party favors. My friend was in the shop picking up things for her boys birthday party and I couldnt resist picking this and a small cardboard kaliedoscope. Both had the same incredible price!

Watercolor travel kit WTK - 12 colors

Soon after, I tried the pans in this little red plastic box (6cms X 9cms) sadly they left a powdery residue and so were put aside. Because of the cuteness factor I couldnt bear to throw it away and I’m glad I didnt. When I read all these post I thought about doing up this little box. 3 weeks back I spotted it amongst my supplies and decided to finish the project.

The art groups that I belong to all advice on using artist quality supplies. My task was simple, I was to replace the cheap paint pans with better quality paints. The pans were pried out with a knife and my choice of 12 tube paints squeezed in. I knew from all the reading that it would take a while to dry and so I put it inside my art supplies cupboard and forgot about it!

We leave on a holiday tomorrow and last night while thinking about what to carry in my kit I remembered this. The colours had dried to the point of cracking. Of course I had to try them out immediately. A quick watercolor sketch from an album on my laptop.

Self Portrait

Self portrait with watercolors on 8″ X 11″ Fabriano Accademia Acid Free paper 200 gsm.

Update : May 31, 2007 : And I found my travel sized watercolour palette masquerading as a pill box! It’s roughly the same size as the wc travel kit but rather fat.

Travel Watercolour PaletteTravel Watercolour PaletteTravel Watercolour Palette

Update: August 29, 2007 : Soon after using it the first time I bust the hinges by dropping it on the ground. It’s being held together by a rubber band. I hope to buy another to replace it when next I visit Kolkata.  There are several other options mentioned on this thread on the forum.

Trying my hand at Pop Art

ujwala warhol ujwala warhol 2

Lifehacker had a post on Make your own Andy Warhol pop art pointing to Melissa Clifton‘s tutorial on Andy-Warhol-Up Your Photographs. I’m waiting for some paint to dry on a portrait that I’m working on and decided to have some fun. And fun I did have. This tutorial is easy to follow and well worth a try. I’m off to try it once more!

Update: Later the same day : Made two of Ramesh too 😀
rj warhol
rj warhol 2

Self Portrait

Picture 115

Originally uploaded by HughPee.

This one was made for the Self Portrait Marathon started by Sparky Donatello of Crackskull Bob's blog.  It's going to go on till the end of June so just check it out and give it a try.  I think that this one is the closest that i've come to getting a likeness when i compare it with the others that i've made from Life. Some more comments about this portrait made here and here.  And you can see all the self-portraits i've uploaded on Flickr here.  Some are from Life and the others from Photo references.  Will update this set with some new ones soon.  Do leave your comments I'd love to get some feedback on this one or any of the others.


self portrait

I've been planning on doing the Illustration Friday topic of the week – Fat – for a few days now. I'd thought that I'd do a slice of bread with a large dollop of butter on it :D.

Last night when I realised that that wasnt happening, I picked up a photograph of mine and made this. In the last two years, I've put on a lot of weight and one of the things, almost at the top of my Things To Do list is to lose some weight. Hopefully it will get actioned and wont just stay on the list.

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