A day at the Delhi College of Art

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The installation sculpture of the little girls sitting down to study was the first thing that I saw every morning when I entered the college grounds and it really brightened up my day. I then spent half my day with the 2nd year sculpture students and the afternoon with the 2nd year painting students. Friendly, helpful and hardworking was the attitude of the majority, something that I hadnt come across when I went to college 20+ years earlier.

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Ramesh Sleeping


Ramesh Sleeping

Originally uploaded by HughPee.

There was a creativity assignment in the Wet Canvas! Classroom Forum on looking at objects from a different sized view finder. I was too caught up with some other work to do it. While clearing up my papers I found this little bit of torn paper with this sketch.  It is approx 8" X 2" and fits the 4:1 format given in the assignment. This was made a year ago and I still like it. 😀 I used to lurk around trying to find a model and when I tired of drawing my hand or foot I used to sneak up on a sleeping Ramesh to sketch.

This post will be moved to June 12, 2005 soon.

Vijay Mohan, Principal, Delhi College of Art

Study in Brush and Ink based on a photograph taken earlier in class. This one is much better than my effort with a reed pen which came out real wonky and i havent uploaded it “:P”

I did a second one of me from a photograph taken to help me in my stone sculpture. I messed up the shading on the chin big time and it now looks as though i have a beard!! Ramesh also pointed out that i had messed up the angle – I was looking downwards. Just that i hadnt matched it against the reference the next day. The night i did it i was real sleepy and went to bed soon after finishing this one.

Shy

Delhi in winter gets really cold when compared with most other part of India especially the South.  We would sit in the gardens after lunch to catch some sun.  I was then on a mission to learn to take better photographs as well as references of my classmates for future paintings.  Another classmate, Yadvendra took this photograph with my camera.  Vibhuti had covered her head with shawl to protect her face from the midday sun. 

This was made at the tail end of my Pastel phase.   I was doing one every few nights just before sleeping.  I got help from Ramesh on this one.  In fact, I value his opinion and comments a lot.  They help me take a step back. 

Update: June 12, 2006:  just remembered that i have forgotten to add that i really enjoyed using this paper surface.  it's the reverse side of regular mount board and is a shade of dirt brown to start with.  You can see it peeping through but still it isnt as harsh as it would've been had the surface been white to start with.

Copying Van Gogh

van gogh self portrait pastels

There’s something about his self portraits that make you want to try them out. This one was reworked on. I did another one with poster colors which I will add to this post later. I think this one was the better of the two.

I’ve somehow made him look Indian 😀   Reminds me of a character in the movie Monsoon Wedding – P.K.Dubey.  I wonder if we naturally tend to change features to resemble those that we are used to seeing.

I went through a pastel phase and this is one of 9-10 pastel pieces made in the Fab India sketch book. About 6″ by 5″.

I’m now hoping to make one just using his style.

Lucien Freud

from a self portrait by Lucien Freud

The HOD of the Painting department, Abhimanyue introduced me to the work of artists like Freud, Bonnard and Patwardhan. He was very generous and loaned me some books to study. I just fell in love with Lucien Freud’s style and tried copying his self portrait. It was a time when I was drawing directly with the brush and spending about half an hour finishing each piece before falling off to sleep.

This was made with poster colours in a small notebook. The paper in this book is thin and very smooth but I loved it’s bright coloured cover. I was trying to fill it by attempting to make a piece a day. Didnt last very long but I enjoyed the time, painting at night with a breakfast tray full of art supplies. I think I need to dig  that tray out again.

Amma

amma

This photograph was taken while on a barge in the Suez Canal.   I was quite pleased with the effort when it was made in October 2005. Looking at it now…..

The EDM challenge for the week is to draw a picture of your mother.  And here I am in Kolkata visiting her but not able to get her to sit still to do a sketch.  I think I shall resort to using another picture.

I’ve been trying to update this blog with earlier artwork and decided to use this weeks topic as the incentive to put this one up.  I hope to have a more recent one up on the other blog soon.

Stone Sculpture

stone sculpture

One of the very exciting things about being in college was working with mediums that i would never have considered otherwise. We had an option of stone or wood carving for the 2nd years and i think all of us in class chose stone. We were to have 3 X 3 week sessions to work on one or more pieces to finished stage. I hunted high and low for red sandstone but was unable to find any in Delhi in the size that i wanted. I didnt want to buy a truckload! Finally, one of my classmates, Monica, took pity on me and gave me a trianglar piece of sandstone from her collection. She'd found a ready supply near her home.

We spent the first week looking at the shape of our stone and working on ideas to fit within the shape. With my love for faces, how could i see anything but a face? The teacher tried to dissuade me as he didnt want me to be disappointed with my first effort but finally gave up. We acquired a differently shaped hammer and a range of chisels. The drawing was selected and we gave our stone the first tentative tap with the hammer soon realising that it would need more force and also the angle of the chisel was very important if we didnt want the stone to break off in large chunks. It was nice to have a teacher with a lot of patience. The experience was truly exhilarating and I now know that I could look at working on something basic on my own.

This photograph was taken after the first few weeks of carving. I did do a bit more and when I get my hands on it again I shall put up another picture. I think after this picture was taken I managed to lose quite a bit of his nose with the wrong tap! It is still very incomplete. I missed the 3rd session of stone carving as I opted to attend the Life Drawing classes being taken by the Principal instead.

Sleeping Giant

Ramesh

I was quite pleased with Baba, the oil painting that I had completed in my second week at college. It was my first there. Ramesh the teacher had really inspired us with his demos and he asked us to do small pieces at home over the weekend. I got back home in high spirits and decided that the best live model i could find would be Ramesh sleeping. One major advantage or so i had thought was that he’d move less – which did not happen! I really enjoyed the few hours in the afternoon that I got to start this. I had hoped to go back the next afternoon to finish it but it didnt happen so i decided to leave it as is. I still like it very much as is.

Baba – my first painting in art college

Baba

My very first painting at art college. This is my second oil painting. Surprisingly both were on large canvases. I was a little apprehensive when they asked us to get full size sheets to draw in the first week so it wasnt a surprise when we were asked to get a 30″ X 40″ canvas for the painting week. We collectively chose Baba over the other model for this as he would hold his poses better. With no pressure of grades or past performance expectations, I just let myself go and had fun. I had a bit of a problem with his face and asked for help. The nostrils and eye have been worked on by our teacher of that week, Ramesh. I’m very proud of this effort and like the colours and brush strokes. I can see now that I needed to work on defining edges.