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.


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.

T’is the season to be jolly….

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Made with Art Rage.

Trying to create transparency

still life with bg

Every once in a while, I try to draw something other than a face. Here’s tonights attempt, the brush holder on my desk. I have been shying away from attempting transparent objects and this time I decided to go for it. It certainly is a step in the right direction.

Added the real background using layers. It’s a bit too cluttered. Somewhere between the two would have applealed to me more.

I should be painting


This has been dated incorrectly. Started this morning. Ever since I’ve stopped working I find it difficult to keep a track of the date. I usually know which day of the week it is but the date eludes me. I thought today was the 10th and dated both drawings incorrectly.

The one on top is of Yadavendra a class mate of mine at the Delhi College of Art. He was one of the class monitors for the year and was extremely helpful. I hope to do a painting of his too. In fact the plan is to do one of each classmate and batchmate. At least for those whom I can drum up decent pictures.

And the one below is of a model for Gianfranco Ferre. The ad appears in The Peak magazine. I’d made one of Marco Mantovani earlier from the same magazine only his photo ref was part of an article. The model looks like he’s got stitches on his cheeks and a really deep stare, these were not artistic liberties just mistakes 😀

gianfranco ferre ad

I hope to start painting again soon. I would also like to make the next few drawings from life.



Started this when I was stuck on the Portrait Project. It’s a portrait of a friend of mine and I’ve attempted her several times in the past two years. I’ve known Sangeeta since I was 7 and she has been the guinea pig so often as she is the most forgiving accepting of the outcomes.   While it still isnt quite there, this is the closest I’ve got to “getting” her and so I’m pleased with it.  I’m going to set it aside for a while and hope to come back to it in a few months.

I’m off to buy some art supplies and starting tomorrow, hope to do the exercises in Charles Sovek, Kevin MacPherson and Nita Leland’s books!

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

Portrait in Pencil

marco mantovani

It had been a while since I last made a drawing and so I pulled out this magazine I had set aside. It had a few photographs that had caught my attention. I had picked up the The Peak while holidaying recently, in Kota Kinabalu, expecting to make some drawings at the airport. I never got around to it then but it came in handy tonight.

In these past 20 years since I left school it was usually a portrait photograph in a magazine that caught my attention and compelled me to sit down and draw it. Or a photograph of a friend. Either the smile or the angle or just because I liked them something would set it off.  This didnt happen often maybe once every 3-4 years.  Off late I use mostly my own photographs to copy because of all the problems associated with using others references.

But without doubt there are some exceptional photographs that tempt you and ones that I’d never be able to take. These I set aside to learn from, to try and take my own photograph from a similar angle or with similar lighting. I have yet to do that though. I’m a pack rat and a very good one at that.  You should see my collection!  However if the urge is strong sometimes I just give in and copy. And  95% or more of what I do is put up either in these blogs or Flickr.

Sadly, this was not one of those exceptional ones though I did like his smile. It was late at night, I was already in bed and determined to draw something anything. That very smile looks a bit manic here but that’s mostly to do with my drawing skills. I’ve noticed that my current favourite is painting and drawing has been put back on the shelf.  I hope I can get back to doing both.

My first swap

A project that I am participating in involves exchanging paintings of portraits. Read more in A Portrait Swap.

Here’s a crop of the beautiful painting of me that’ll be here soon.


And below is the one I’ll be mailing out in a weeks time.  Finished it a short while back and now waiting for it to dry.  It’s 12″ X 12″ oil on canvas.

ppw - final

Black Box Invention – It eats money


After hearing what my husband had to say and few other comments that I received, I realised that I had not expressed my thoughts adequately in the painting above. Not that I am any better with words but I would like to give it a try.

Background: Eleven years of work experience followed by six years of unemployment. Most of these out of choice. I realised that I did not want to go back. Four of the last 6 years has been spent looking for the one thing that would provide enjoyment and a little income. When over 2 years ago I rediscovered my love of drawing I decided that this had potential. Draw, paint and sculpt. Put in a couple of years and see if there was a possibility of earning some money. At least enough to cover the art supplies and book expenses.

It’s been well over two years now and of late this thought has been on my mind. Yesterday I saw it come out as a painting. The painting above started as an illustration for this weeks topic “invention” on Illustration Friday. Normally the drawings made for these challenges are single objects or standalones. Yesterday, I proceeded along the same lines with an idea of a box but I got lost in its making and it took a life of its own. I felt I had more to say and just the box on it own was not enough.

Invention: The black box eats a lot of money and occasionally spits out a painting. Some good, found hanging on my walls, and some bad on the floor. All still with me! And then there is me standing on the right with weighing scales in my hand to show that if I look back on the past two years, a lot of money has gone in for the few pieces that were made.

Wouldnt it be fantastic if the box could take my paintings and spit out some money? More and more, I want this interest of mine to support itself. I will take notice and consider steps to bring the scale to a more balanced level. And if the attempt is unsuccessful, I will look at part time and other options. Notice that there is no talk of giving up on painting 😀

Here are a few sites that I’ll be looking to try – CafePress / Zazzle / Etsy and ebay are not amongst these as I’m unsure of the effectiveness of the postal system here.

This piece is digital and has been made with Art Rage 2. Like the “Man with the Pipe“, I would like to make this in acrylic too.