Archives for category: 2007


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.

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

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.

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


For 3 days I’ve been sitting in front of the computer and procrastinating. Luckily Uma’s birthday was incentive enough to make me stay up late last night to make this. Added a Polaroid Photo frame ( from ) today to make a homemade digital birthday card and sent it on its way.

Used drawing ink – brown, burnt sienna and a bit of black. I wasnt sure when starting out where I was going. The drawing was first made with a pencil and then inked over with a brown ink and a dip pen. All those lines were making the hair look very rough. Decided to paint it in to soften it. Lost some likeness while adding the background along her profile. Gave up when I got too sleepy.

Learning – inks don’t allow you to make changes unlike gouache or watercolour where there is at least a good chance for recovery. Use better paper when you dont know where you are headed.

Drawing inks on very thin, cream coloured 12″ X 18″ paper bought for the Life Drawing sessions.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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