Monday, December 10, 2012

Last post of the year

Hi there. In my last post I shared my last plein air painting for the year. In this post I am sharing a new studio work. The sketch for it was done in a coffee shop (Cafe Coffee Day in Jeevan Beema Nagar) sometime back. I did this bigger piece later in the studio. I hope you like it.

As this probably is my last post of the year I would like to sign off by thanking all of you for all your appreciation, support, critiques, that has made me a better artist today. And I wish I'll continue to enjoy it in years to come too. YOU PEOPLE ARE MY ROCK STARS. :)

And finally wish you all a very happy Christmas.


Coffee @ Day
22 x 15 inch

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The last plein air for 2012

This is my last en plein air painting for 2012 by all probabilities. This year I have sketched and painted outside quiet a few times and it has helped me improve so much. But most importantly I have enjoyed these sessions a lot. And I must thank my group Pencil jammers for making this happen.

Plein air @ Museum Canteen, 02 Dec 2012
11 x 15 inch
Watercolor on paper

Saturday, December 1, 2012

WC sketches/studies

As I promised last time I am back with some more sketches, but this time from my WC sketchbook. Generally all these sketches are done with whatever color is there on my pallet. It is a great fun thing to do and results sometimes are mind boggling. These small pieces actually possess more beauty than the final piece most of the times.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sketchbook time

I have not painted anything after the small sunset painting I posted in my last post. So I thought of sharing a few pages from my sketchbook with you. 

Since a few months I have been using normal notebooks (spiral bound ones) for sketching. Reasons being
1. They come in variety of sizes to choose from
2. They are easier to carry around 
3. They are much cheaper

I am finding these better for sketching, because they are very portable. You can not do WC wash on it, but it works well with pen, pencil, charcoal etc. Most of these sketches are done quickly as they have been done live. Hope you enjoy them. 

In the next post I'll post some WC sketches, which should be more interesting. Till then take care and stay well.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sketches from Gokarna Trip

Last weekend I was at Gokarna with a few of my friends. Gokarna is a small seaside town on the west coast of India. We stayed bang on Kudle beach. It was one of the most peaceful beaches I have seen and hence it was fabulous. We stayed there for the weekend only and I felt it was just too short a stay. While playing beach football, trekking from one beach to other, sea bathing, hogging, visiting famous temples I manged to squeeze some time out and do some sketches. 

On Saturday evening we witnessed a very beautiful sunset. While I was soaking up the amazing sunset I realized I did not have my camera. So I just tried to memorize everything that was creating the mood. The tones, colors, shapes, edges etc. When I got back I did a quick WC sketch of the sunset. 

I have got some photos all right. But still I am posting these sketches for you as I think they tell a better story than my photographs (as my camera is very slow and outdated and I never happen to click a picture at the right moment).

I am posting one picture that I had clicked of two kids playing on the beach and I really liked it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


This is the fifth painting in my Kodaikanal series. After painting 3 water scenes I really did not want to paint water again, though I had already done a study on another lake scene. I chanced upon this picture which was taken by a friend (The human figure was not there in the picture) during our Kodaikanal trip. I really loved the feel of this with lots of mist all around and a general calmness prevailing everywhere. So the water scene has to wait. :)

Last weekend I went for a double concert. Sitar concert by Ustaad Rais Bale Khan and Hafiz Bale Khan, which was then topped by Kathak dance performance by Pandit Rajendra Gagnani. It was pure awesomeness. Especially the Kathak section. It was just mind blowing to watch someone of around 60 years of age dance with that vigor and that grace for about 1 hour. It was also motivating as one could easily realize the amount of practice, discipline and patience that would have gone into making him such a great dancer.

Anyway I'll leave you here. Have a great time till we meet next time. :)

Break (KKNL-V)
22 x 15 inch
Watercolor on paper

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Kodaikanal series continues

Latest 2 paintings from my Kodaikanal series are here. Struggled quiet a bit with these. Painting water can be very daunting at (most) times. Both paintings are of the same location by the way.

Have a great weekend. And Happy Deepavali to all my friends in advance.

Misty Kodai (KKNL III)

Daybreak @ Kodai (KKNL - IV)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Kodaikanal - II

This is the second of the Kodaikanal series (Since I have more than one painting now I can call it a series safely. LOL). We were boating on the lake and the sun was playing hide and seek. There was this one moment during which the lake was under shadow, but the adjoining hill was lit up by sun light. I loved that and wanted to capture that feel here. It was tough. Hopefully I managed to do it.

Hide and Seek - KKNL series II
20 x 26 inch
Watercolor on paper

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Kodaikanal is a small hill station in the south of India. It is a very touristy place. I had been there recently which was off season, but still there were lot of tourists. It was very difficult painting there as the whole place was always covered with clouds and paper would take ages to dry. But I got some pictures from there and planning to do a series on Kodaikanal. This is the first one. 

p.s. In the last session of the workshop which was like general question answer, exchange of thoughts etc one of the participants had taken a few pictures of me. I am posting one of them. The reason of posting this is that you'll probably get a look at all the artwork the participants produced. Aren't they really good. II really loved them.

Another day at Kodai - KKNL Series - I
22 x 15 inch
Watercolor on paper 

All the student artworks with yours truly. :)

Monday, October 22, 2012


Hi there. Thank you all so much for wishing me speedy recovery. I actually did recover just in time for the workshop.

The workshop was a lot of fun. The first day of the workshop was indoors and the focus was on basic watercolor techniques, color theory, composition, design, simplification, sketching etc. Not only did we practice techniques and discussed about concepts we also did a complete painting each. Second day was outdoors. And the place we went to was Ulsoor lake. There was slight drizzle and we thought our plans to paint outdoors may all go awry, but thankfully we found a place with some protection over our heads. And we all really enjoyed ourselves painting in a cool rainy atmosphere by the lake. 

Though it was very tiring I really enjoyed myself. All the students were very enthusiastic and passionate. They really kept me on my toes all the time and I loved that. I hope the they were able to learn a thing or two and most importantly I hope I was able to fuel their sparks within.

Thanks to all the participants and all those at Penciljam studios who made it possible.

Here are some pictures of the workshop.

Church @ Kodaikanal - My demo during the first day of workshop
Size - 15 x 11 inch

The girls in the workshop

And the boys... 

 My demo painting alongside the presentation

Completely engrossed

 Looking at the lake..

From left to right - Thomas, Anand, Sandeep, Yours truly, Lakshmi, Subhashri, Nandita, Shruti, Sahina, Fatima

Monday, October 15, 2012

En plein air

Hi there. Been some time since I posted. The news from my side is that I am down with a bad fever for last few days. Today I am feeling a little better. But I guess it is going to take some time. My workshop is just five days away. I hope I am all right by then.

Posting a couple of my recent outdoor works today. Hope you enjoy them.

Plein air @ Whitefield church
15 x 11 inch

Plein air @ outside NGMA
15 x 11 inch

Monday, October 8, 2012

Upcoming workshop details

Hi there. 

I'll be taking a 1.5 day workshop titled "En plein air: Outdoors with watercolors" on the 20th and 21st of this month. Day one will be indoors which will focus on watercolor techniques and landscape painting fundamentals. Day two will be completely outdoors. We'll be painting in the lap of mother nature, where we'll be applying all our learning from day one. I'll also be sharing a few tricks of outdoor painting which should be helpful when you go painting outdoors. To know more details of the workshop please click here.

Penciljam studios is organizing this workshop. Seats are limited (12 only) and will be reserved on first come first serve basis. To book a seat call 9901293823.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Barista @ The Leela

The Leela palace is a 5 star business hotel close to my place and the coffee shop there is a Barista Lavazza. Its a cosy little place and great for sketching. A few days back I went there for sketching and it was afternoon time. The place was calm as usual, but still there was a soft buzz of people passing by. Mostly business people in their impeccable business suits. After doing some sketches there I came back home and painted this. Hope you enjoy this.

Title : Barista @ The Leela
Size : 22 x 15 incj
Medium : Watercolor on paper

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Moody Bull Temple

My last painting on bull temple was a little not so me. I was just trying out something different. I did another one on bull temple that is more me. Hope you enjoy.

Title : Moody Bull temple
Size : 22 x 14 inch
Medium : Watercolor on paper

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Another plein air story

I think in my last post I made the idea plein air painting sound very bad. Actually it is not. My last post was about one off experience that happened. Otherwise painting outdoors is just as good as it can get.

This painting was done in an afternoon outside a children's park near my house. The park is closed in the afternoon, but opens in the evening. So there were really not many people around. I found a place with a lot of trees to protect me and these garbage trucks parked in front of me in the afternoon light were really looking good. But the best part of that afternoon was this little guy selling freshly toasted peanuts. 

He was waiting for the park to open and really was not doing any business that time. And when he saw me drawing he came in front of me and just stood in the best pose he could. I asked him to move a little to the side as he was blocking my view. He moved, but as little as he could. All he really wanted to be is to be drawn. And he just kept standing in that amazing pose. As soon as I understood that I was drawing his gesture.

Generally doing gesture studies outside is very difficult as people are constantly moving. But this guy was happily posing for me. What more could I ask for. So I did some studies on him and I showed him that. He was really very happy to see that and that made me even happier. And then when it came to the the painting he was was my foreground which really lifted the painting in my opinion. Just look at the way he is toasting the peanuts with a bend of his body and one knee resting on his cart.

Plein air painting is always full of surprises. It is almost like watercolor in nature. You just have to go with the flow. And add to that every experience creates great memories.

Plein air @ Indiranagar childrens park 01st Sep 2012
Size : 11 x 15 inch
Medium : Watercolor on paper

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Painting @ Bull temple

Hi there. How have you all been doing. In my last post I had mentioned about my last plein air painting experience which was anything but pleasant. A summary of what had happened now follows. :)

Bull temple is the temple of Nandi (Also known as Basava), the bull who is associated with Shiva.  It is located atop a tiny hillock in Basavanagudi. Its a lovely place to paint, but it is also a tourist place. This was my first time there and I was all excited about it. As usual after sketching for sometime I had found my composition, which I drew on paper and then I was ready to paint. No sooner than I had setup my easel a crowd had already gathered around me. Well I really dont mind that. I had painted with crowd around me earlier also. But this time the crowd was full of questions and comments and they would just not let me concentrate on my painting. Sample this.

Are you painting the temple? (As if I was painting a Venetian scene !!!!)
Why dont you draw portraits? 
Is this some project work? (Answering no made people very surprised. So after sometime I had started answering yes)
I also used to do this stuff when I was a kid. (Painting is kiddish stuff of course)
Oh this is watercolor.. My niece paints in oils (It was very disappointing for some of them when they found out that it was watercolor).
Can I see the brushes? (Few of my brushes were already in the hands of the kid who asked this question)
Can you please step to the left a little. I want to take a picture.

While all this and more was happening I was also trying to paint. Without any focus on my painting I did not know what I was doing and all this constant commentary and quizzing going on in the background it was getting to me. Finally it was enough and I packed up and came back.

This painting was done in the last two days. And it tells a story which is exactly opposite to what happened. This is only a fantasy. :)

Title: Painting @ Bull temple
Size: 16 x 22 inch
Medium : Watercolor on paper

Monday, September 3, 2012


Hi there. How have you all been doing? I managed to get some inspiration and do a painting last week. I was going through my sketchbook and I found this pencil sketch that I had done of a construction site looking from the terrace from my house. I thought of painting the scene with a backdrop of sky-scrapers that would just tell a story of how the concrete jungle is rapidly spreading in cities. Hope it makes sense to you.

Meanwhile I also went for an outdoor session yesterday and it was one of the most harrowing experiences. More on that some other day perhaps....

Title : Work in progress - II
Size : 15 x 11 inch
Medium : Watercolor on paper

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


The title is not Math as in mathematics as most would think. Math (in Hindi and Odia) generally means a place where holy men (Sadhus) stay. This is a math in my village Bhusandpur in Odisha. The math complex has temples dedicated to different Gods and Godesses. The two temples that you can see in this photo are that of Hanuman and Jagannath.

Anyway coming to the painting, I am not at all happy with it. The villages in India have such a different atmosphere and mood. It is so different from cities. And since I am not so used to that kind of mood it becomes very difficult to paint it. But still I keep trying. One day I hope I'll be able to get that mood on paper successfully.

I have been on a little bit of travel cut off from the internet most of the time. So I have not been really able to paint and post of late. And I have also not been able to visit all your blogs on a regular basis. Looks like it is going to continue like this for some time. Hopefully by October everything will be sorted out.

And yes I'll be taking a workshop in October in Bangalore. Details will soon follow. 

Signing off now. Have a great day.

Title : Hanumant Math
Size : 15 x 22 inch
Medium: Watercolor on paper

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A warm beginning

After the last rainy painting, I thought you may need some sun. :)
This is done from a sketch I had done sometime back for Morning Mood, Bangalore series. Somehow I had forgotten about it. When I saw it recently I had to paint it.

Wishing you all a great weekend. 

Title : A warm beginning (MMB - V)
Size : 15 x 22 inch
Medium : Watercolor on paper

Friday, August 10, 2012

Red Truck @ Empire

The rainy season started a little late here this year. It is raining now a days, but not as much as it should  be raining. But it is enough for a painting I guess. :)

Title : Red Truck @ Empire
Size : 26 x 20 inch
Medium : Watercolor on paper

Friday, August 3, 2012

Morning Dew

90% of the painting was done in a single wash and I loved that. The rest 10% really did not add anything to the final product. I wish I had taken a picture of the first wash.
Anyways can you feel the dew!!!!!!

Title : Morning Dew
Size : 15 x 22 inch
Medium : Watercolor on paper

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sappers at Ulsoor

This is the boat club of Madras Sappers Regiment at Ulsoor lake. Ulsoor lake is one of my favorite places in Bangalore. In a cramped city here one gets to experience a little bit of space. And with greenery and avian life around the lake spending time here always brings peace. This was done from a plein air sketch I had done about 2 months back. Both are posted. 

While the plein air one is crisp, this has a little more subdued feel. It was not planned that way. It just turned out that way. As they say watercolor has its own ways. We'll never know.

And of course the plein air work always has the spontaneity that studio pieces fail to have.

p.s. By the way Superb Sandra's painting has been shortlisted for a competition. Please visit her post (click here) to know about it and if you like her entry dont forget to vote. :)

Title : Sappers @ Ulsoor
Size : 20 x 26 inch
Medium : Watercolor on paper

Plein air sketch @ Ulsoor lake

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Useful.. May be

I realized that I never post anything useful in my blog. This post will try to break that. I thought I'll share one of my working methods with you. And may be you benefit from it.

Now this method is one of my working methods and not the only method I follow. But I thought of sharing this because I thought it may be a little unique, and its just so much fun.

Whenever I work from photographs I don't directly work from it. There is an intermediate stage where I make a sketch using the photo which usually involves moving things here and there, eliminating stuff, adding elements, playing with tonal values etc. The idea is to come up with a composition from the photo which can be painted. Mostly I do this step with pencil. But sometimes a clear idea does not get formed even after trying out a lot of things. Or may be sometimes I want to get a lot more clarity on the idea. Then I do this.

I do a few fun sketches in watercolor itself. This is how I do it.

1. I tape my paper (usually half imperial) to divide it into four parts. Sometimes the parts are equal and sometimes they are not. Really depends on my mood.I picked this paper division thing from Robert Wade.
2. Then I do my drawings.
3. Next I generally put down a note on top of each part mentioning the time of the day/mood that I am aiming to achieve in each part. Not always though.
4. Then using only 3 primaries (generally) I start coloring them simultaneously. This way I don't have to wait for layers to dry in a painting.
5. I try out whatever ideas I have in my mind. This is important because I get a general idea about what will work for that painting. And more importantly what will not work.
6. Remove the tape in the end and again make note of what has and what has not worked.

This way I get a reference for my painting which has a lot of information and lot of clarity of thought while having loads of fun. Sometimes one of these sketches turn out just perfect. A finished painting in its own right.

 Stage 1: Drawings are done. Note about the time/mood has been made.
 Stage 2: A snapshot of simultaneous paintings. Just trying out everything I have in my head

Stage 3: All sketches done. Now its time to reflect and find out what worked and more importantly what did not.

Another older study

Let me know if you enjoyed this post. If you learnt anything from this it will be great. Let me know.