Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Finally. Yes Finally it is.. After a lot of coaxing by many of you I have finally managed to capture the WIP pictures of one of my works. And I am very happy to be sharing my process with you. When I say process it does not mean I follow the same process for every painting. Every painting is different and hence how it will be reached will be different. So the process that I am sharing applies to this painting only. 
This is the picture of the place. A quiet place with an imposing structure of a Hindu temple. A lovely atmosphere to paint in.

I usually do a few thumbnails and quick tonal studies before doing a painting. Here I just did sketching for about 10-15 minutes to get a feel of the place. I did not do any tonal studies as the idea was more or less clear in my head.

In the first age after initial drawing I went in for a warm under wash. Saw hints of  blues and reds in the foreground . So let some blues and reds mingle in in the foreground yellow ochre wash. I also distorted the perspective of the temple quiet a bit. This was done because I was predicting stiffness in the final outcome. So decided to play with the structure a little. Gave it a little 'gesture'.

In the second and most important stage I did a tonal block in of the major shapes. Transparent washes were used to block in. Note that I have made the color spire of the temple similar to the color of the temple. Otherwise I thought it would cause an unnecessary creation of a shape and clutter the painting. I wanted the temple to be a single shape. 

Now details on the wall of the temple have been done with dry brush technique. Note that there is much less detail in the back walls of the structure. 

Here figures have been added to complete the painting.

Back at home when I evaluated it I thought the figure was of same tone as the temple. So I darkened the figure. Also added the background tree on the top left corner. This foliage along with the figure maintains the green color throughout the painting, hence causing balance. The green color also compensates for the red of the temple as green and red are complementary to each other.

Plein air at Gada Khorda - 21 Dec 2013
10 x 14 inch

Thank you for viewing. I hope this is useful to some of you.

Have a happy Christmas and a great 2015.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

An acrylic triad

Last time I was in Kolkata I was enchanted by the beauty of the city. I was seeing paintings everywhere. The city has a personality and it reflects even in the non-living things out there. Specially in the buildings. Both old and ancient. Sometime they look like gaunt old men, sometime like a lady twisting her body and sometimes like children playing hide and seek. I was not sure how I would do this in watercolor. So I used acrylics, which allowed me to explore end experiment while painting. And a little experimentation with perspective distortion did seem to help the cause. I hope you enjoy these.

Personality City - I : YELLOW
20x14 inch

Personality City - II : RED
20x14 inch

Personality City - III : BLUE
20x14 inch

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Not the usual stuff

This time I am posting something that I do not do so often. Figurative work and a few charcoal works. The figurative work demanded a controlled approach as opposed to my free flowing approach in landscapes. But the end result was satisfying.

In the charcoal ones I tried to play around with the perspectives to make things interesting. I hope it interests you. :)

And All That You Leave Behind
21 x 13 inch

Kolkata - I

Kolkata - II

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Puri Series

Puri is a beach town near Bhubaneswar. Puri is know ln for its annual Rath Jatra (Car Festival) and Jagannath temple. Puri is also famous for its sweets. If you got a sweet tooth then Puri is a heaven for you. Khaja is one of the most loved sweets of Puri. Here is my attempt to give you a taste of Puri.

21x14 inch

Mother and the Market

20 x 28 inch

Sunday, October 5, 2014

A few snaps of the monsoon

In Bhubaneswar it does not rain. It pours. Monsoons is of great importance in Odisha. First, it controls the unbearable heat. It replenishes the water bodies and gives life back to plants and trees. Sometimes it also causes devastation in the form of floods. Whatever the case, it is eagerly awaited every year the rains have always been watercolorist's delight. Here are a few works from my monsoon inspiration this year. Hope you like them.

Rain and the City - V
15 x 21 inch

Rain and the City - IV
Cats and Dogs
18 x 22 inch

Rain and the City - I
Rain Riders
21 x 14 inch

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Long Gap and Website

Hmmm. I guess I have run out of reasons now. But yes, the gap was a tad too long. I promise to keep the next gap shorter. :)

Anyway posting something different this time. Just discovered the joys of charcoal and hence excited to share this with you.

Btw my website is also up. I did put in quiet a bit of effort in getting this together. So please have a look and share your feedback with me. I would love to hear from you.

Portrait of a Saadhu
19x13 inch

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Big Change

Some of you must be wondering about my absence for such a long time. Its been more than three months I guess since I last posted. Thats because there has been a big change on my side.

After spending almost eleven years in Bangalore in the south of India I have now moved back to my hometown Bhubaneswar in the eastern coast of India. Its great to be back home. But I do miss all my artists friends from Bangalore, plein air sessions and never ending discussions on art and life with them.

I have taken some time to settle down here. My home studio is up. Its not as spacious as my Bangalore home studio, but its more organized now. I have started going out on outdoor sessions since a fews days too. So after a settling time of a couple of months I am finally back doing what I love most.

I have also been out of touch with all of you. Looking forward to catch up with what my fellow artists bloggers have been up to all this while. I just cant wait.

Plein air @ Kalinga Nagar, Bhubaneswar - 27 Jul 2014
14 x 19 inch

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Last of the Hampi series

I had to paint those temples if I was painting Hampi. I did a triptych (Officially my first one). I should have used warmer hues to stay true to the colors of the stones at Hampi. But I decided to go for the mood, which I could achieve in grays only. I had a choice between story telling and being true the physical appearance. As usual I chose the former.

I hope you enjoy these.


Triptych - Elements of Hampi : Earth I, II and III
24 x 12 inch each

Monday, May 5, 2014

Back to Hampi

Its back to Hampi again.

There were a few places and time in Hampi where I just got disconnected completely from my present world and was lost in the mysterious beauty of Hampi. I wanted to get that feeling in the paintings. So I deviated a little from my representational style and went more into a fantasy kind of style to see what can happen. And this is what happened. I hope you enjoy these.

Surreal Hampi I - Fields
10 x 14 inch

Surreal Hampi II - Vertigo
10 x 14 inch

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mysore Trip Post - VI

Date - 31st March 2014
Time - 4:30 PM

Mysore trip had ended. We were on our way back. I really did not want it to end. But all good things come to end anyway. Well thats what we thought. We took a detour to Bangalore University campus (which is about 15kms odd from Bangalore CBD) for a small break. And as the campus was nice we thought we could end our trip by sketching a little. As we were searching for a spot this coconut seller with his stack of coconuts caught my eye. I really loved the way light was creating a nice atmosphere around them. So immediately my paper and brushes were out.

We did not have much time as it was soon going to be dark. I was painting as fast as I could with leftover colors mostly and this was completed in 20 minutes only. And incidentally I liked it. 

So finally the trip ended with a piece that I liked. Waiting for the next trip now..

Plein air @ Bangalore University
10 x 14 inch

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Mysore Trip Post - V

Date - 31st March
Time - 09 : 00 AM

It was our last day at Mysore and we were going to Chamundi hills to paint. The previous day evening we had made a quick trip to Chamundi hills to find a spot, where we could paint the next day as we did not want to waste time searching for a spot. And I had also managed to make a quick sketch, though most of it was done in dark as the sun seems to set too quickly on a hill.

When we reached Chamundi hills our spot was not quiet as good as it was the day before. The reason being the previous day we had seen the spot in afternoon sun light and today it was the morning sun. So now again we had to find a new place. After drving around for sometime we decided to settle down at this place, where we got a little shade and a decent enough view.

I usually paint quarter sheets outdoors, but Madhu encouraged me to go for half sheet and he passed a Langton half sheet to me. the scene was complex. the sun was rising fast. Not to mention the wind and on top of that half sheet. It was going to be difficult and it was. I struggled quiet a bit and soon the sun was beating down hard. We planned to return with unfinished works. Later in the studio I completed it. 

We were back in the hotel and after a little freshening up we were on our way back to Bangalore. Mysore trip had ended, but not with a satisfactory work.

To be continued............

En Plein Air at Chamundi Hills, Mysore 31st March 2014
14 x 21 inch

The sketch done in dark

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mysore Trip Post - IV

Date - 30 March
Time - 12:00 PM

After painting at St Philomena's Church the plan was to go to the most famous landmark in Mysore; Mysore Palace. At the gate we were informed that we need permission to paint inside the palace campus. So we went to the palace management office to get permission. After obtaining permission from the palace management office and security officer we finally found a spot and settled down to paint. And it was already mid day and pretty hot. Thankfully we found a well shaded place from where we could paint.

But the challenge of painting at this heritage location was far from over. What a difficult subject it was. It was just not getting simplified for a watercolor. Little thumbnails were also not helping. Nevertheless I decided to go ahead and paint and this is what I ended up with.

As a stand alone piece this is not really great. But considering the massive subject I had in front of me I think it is still a success in its own way.

En Plein Air at Mysore Palace
10 x 14 inch

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mysore Trip Post - III

Date - 30 March 2014
Time - 8:30 AM (approx)

So after a much eventful day 1 at Mysore our day 2 morning itinerary was decided. The plan was to paint at St Philomena's Church in the morning followed by Mysore Palace. In fact we had also decided the place where we would be sitting, so that we are in shade with a good view of the church. Its always good to explore a place a little to get an idea of which place will be good to paint from. It does save a lot of time and helps in painting peacefully.

As decided we landed up at St Philomena's church in the morning and settled down quickly. The sun light was perfect, the view was amazing and I enjoyed painting this.

The next place was Mysore palace. There were initial hiccups before we could paint there and it was one of the toughest subjects yet. But more on that in the next post. Have a great weekend.

En Plein Air at St Philomena's church, Mysore
14 x 10 inch

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mysore Trip - Post II

Date - 29 March 2014
Time - 5:30 PM

After a paint over at Srirangapatna we headed to Mysore. It took us sometime to find a decent hotel at reasonable price. By the time we checked in and got ready for our Mysore adventure it was around 4:00 PM. Our hotel was close to the Mysore palace and many of the landmark and historic buildings were just a walk away from there. So we just decided to explore a little. What we did not realize was that in our excitement we had failed to notice the heat. After an hour of exploration we stopped near the palace. Madhu was very exhausted and had a head ache. I was quite tired too. So we decided to just sit there and sketch a little.

As I was sketching the famous horse carts of Mysore the market area in front of me was catching my eye time and again. But as the sun was about to set I decided not to paint it as it would take some time. But then in a rush of blood I just decided to go with it. I painted this scene without stepping back even once to look at it. It was painted in flat 30 mins and I was delighted with the outcome.

The sun had already set by that time and I returned to the hotel energized all over again.

To be continued...

Plein Air @ Mysore 29 March 2014
10 x 14 inch

Carts. The scene I painted was towards the left of this place.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mysore Trip - Post I

The first post from much hyped Mysore trip is here.:)
More posts will follow soon.

Date - 29 March 2014
Time - 11:30 (approx)

Though we had planned to start for Mysore early in the morning, we could start only by 8:00. By 11:00 AM we had reached Srirangapatna, which is around 20 kms before Mysore. As it is a historic city we decided to stop there and check if we could paint there. The sun was already very harsh and after cooling ourselves with some tender coconut water (which was really very sweet and refreshing) we found this arch, which is actually the entrance to Srirangapatna city. We took shelter below a tree and decided to paint there.

The subject was great and both of us were really excited to paint. It all went well till we started putting paint on paper. The heat was so powerful, that by the time we went back to a wash with more paint, it would already be dry. It was a huge challenge to paint that way. To add to our woes the sun had gone around the tree and hence the shade also was gone. So we decided to move with unfinished works.

After I was back, I looked at the painting, evaluated it and then completed it as the memory was still fresh in my mind and I had already got the major shapes in place in the painting. Hopefully you'll be able to feel some of the sunlight through this work.

Have a great week ahead. Will be back with the next post in a few days time.

Plein air @ Srirangapatna 29 March 2014
14 x 10 inch

This is what I had managed at the location.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

One more post before Mysore posts

I know I should be posting works from Mysore trip. I have created so much hype about it already. LOL. But I guess you'll have to bear with me for just one more post. I am analyzing those works, correcting them and in some cases completing them as they could not be completed on the spot. I'll post them real soon. Till then here are two more plein air works, which I painted on 16 March at RMZ Infinity Food court.

I'll be back really soon with works from Mysore trip.

Plein Air @ RMZ Infinity 16 March 2014 - II
14 x 10 inch

Plein Air @ RMZ Infinity 16 March 2014 - III
10 x 14 inch

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Back from Mysore Trip

I made a trip to the heritage city of Mysore last weekend with fellow artist Madhu Kumar. Mysore is at a distance of 140 kms from Bangalore. We started very early on Saturday and were back in Bangalore on Monday evening. Mysore is a very beautiful city. Mysore is known for monuments like the Mysore palace, Chamundi Hills, KRS Dam and Vrindavan Gardens etc. But the artist's eye sees much more than that. Mysore was simply stunning. We were surely spoilt for choices, when we started painting. I felt like a greedy child who was left to swim in a ocean of candies, and he did not know where to start from.

The only let down was the weather. It was too hot and in the afternoon we had to stay indoors and could not paint during that time. But otherwise it was a great trip for learning and exploring my creative side further.

One thing that I learnt was that such trips with fellow artists are a great time to learn and share. As painting is the only thing that everyone has on their minds, it creates great energy, focus and intensity. It surely brings out certain aspect of an artist which otherwise may have been laying dormant. And moreover the discussions, critiques etc by other artists is a great value add to one's learning. I am really looking forward to more such trips in future.

And couple of days and half was no way good to be in Mysore for. One needs at least a couple of weeks to do some justice to the beauty of Mysore.

I'll be posting the works in the coming weeks, when I photograph them. Till then I'll leave you with a study from my trip and another plein air work that I had done a couple of weeks ago.

Plein air at RMZ Infinity 23 march 2014 - I
12 x 9 inch

Study at Srirangapatna (20 kms from Mysore)

Thats me painting on Chamundi Hills

Compilation of Madu and my works at the end of the trip

Friday, March 28, 2014

Memories from Ramnagar

Two months back I went for a sketching day to Ramnagar (about 60 kms from Bangalore) with two of my sketching buddies. We spent the entire day travelling, sketching and enjoying the beauty of rural India. The divided sheet is one of the things I brought back from Ramnagar. It is fun to paint on a divided sheet.

Later I decided to do a big one for one of them, which is posted here. I am going for a 3 day sketching trip to Mysore, which is a heritage city. I hope to soak myself in the beauty of Mysore and hopefully bring back something worthwhile from there too.

Wish you all a very happy weekend.

Smoky Morning at Ramnagar
18 x 24 inch

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hampi series continues

I have to blame it on Facebook. It is so much easier. It makes me lazy to come here and post. But I am not giving up. Though not as frequent as earlier, I have made it a point to come and post here. So many of my friends are not on FB and also many of my artist friends do not post on FB. So I am not going to miss out on the art work here for sure. :)

So my Hampi series continues and these are the next three in the water series. I guess I'll put a full stop to the water series and move on to something else. Till then I hope you enjoy these.

Elements of Hampi Series: Water - IV
10x14 inch

Elements of Hampi Series: Water - III
21x14 inch

Elements of Hampi Series: Water - II
14x21 inch

Saturday, March 8, 2014

After a long break

Its been long. Really long. Almost two and half months. A lot happened during this time. I had to move out of my old place. So I had to search for a new place, move in there, setup my new studio and do all that stuff which end up taking too much time. 
Anyway now that I am back, hope to catch up with everything that is happening in blogosphere. And the updates from my side is that another book just got published for which I did the cover. Its available in stores now. Here is the flipkart link.

Cover Illustration for "She Was"

I have started my new next series. And this series will be on Hampi, where I had been about six months back. This is the first one of the series. Hope you enjoy this..

Elements of Hampi Series: Water - I
Title - Still
Size - 10x14 inch

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Excited will be an understatement

I really dont remember the day of the week and the time when Malgudi Days used to be aired on National TV. All I remember was I always watched Swamy and his friends with a lot of fascination and would wait the entire week for the show. That was the magic of R.K Narayan on whose book the series was based. Ordinary stories about everyday people in everyday settings is what RKN wrote about. But his characters and stories never failed to evoke thoughts in the reader. It never failed to touch. Probably because of the simplicity of the characters. Or may be because of the profundity of the ideas that his stories expressed.

RKN's works have touched the lives of many around the world. I have been a great admirer of his work. And in my wildest of dreams also I had never thought that I would be so fortunate as to have my painting as a book cover of an RKN collection of stories. I am deeply humbled. I got my copy of the book from the publisher today and I was still in disbelief, though only about a month back I had done this painting and sent it to them.

Here is the book available on flipkart.

I could not have got a better gift at the start of my new year. Thank you Universe.