Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tiger's Nest Monastery in Bhutan

It was a wet sort of day when we went to try and walk up the the Tiger's Nest Monastery during our trip to Bhutan last year. Its an incredible place, carved into the rock, an ancient Buddhist monastery where the monks also maintain a vow of silence. I twisted my ankle just as I got out of the car, so sat at the base while Viveck, Rat and Kanak made the hike up! I marveled at the strength and faith of those ancient monks, who must have laboured for long years to build this. It was amazing how the lights continued to change as the mist crept in and out and I spent an enjoyable few hours, just soaking in the cool and peace of this quiet and tranquil world around me. I thought what an amazing painting it would make, but wasn't sure how I would be able to get all the very dark colours that surrounded the very white stone monastery. I finally decided to take the challenge as the reference picture kept popping up everytime I looked into my album of pictures I have kept as painting references.
I have been painting now for almost 2 years. Its been an amazing experience of learning, sometimes frustrating, sometimes exhilarating....but never dull. Today is a day when I feel I am sailing on a very high wind of sheer joy at having completed a difficult bit of work, and being totally thrilled with what I have produced! I normally paint quickly and use little colour. In this picture I experimented by using both, very little pigment in the misty bits and lots of thick pigment in the dark rock faces! I also surprised myself by taking time to complete the picture slowly, waiting for washes to dry and actually spent time in doing the detail on the monastery.

Friday, March 25, 2011

My red adenium flowered!

I have not been able to do any painting for the last couple of has been hectic and I have been travelling as well! I came home to find that my little adenium was giving out bright red flowers! So I was inspired to do a quick 20 min. challenge. Its interesting to see that my quick sketches are improving and the 20 min challenge has certainly contributed to that. I spend the first few seconds focusing on the main colours and form, do a really quick sketch, and start painting without too much thought! It works. I would have liked to spend time doing a background that would enhance the painting, but couldn't manage that!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I'm quite fascinated by boats and reflections. So I can see a series coming out my ever growing collection of reference pictures! I am also interested in catching reflections in different lights, and the lights itself. This was early in the morning, ah=gain at Arun's farm...and there was a clear light about!  The fisherman was probably getting ready for his day's work, possibly finding a spot from where he could throw in his net for the day's catch!
The next one is of the banyan tree I can look down at, from my kitchen window. I see the tree through all the the moment it's full of new transparent leaves as summer comes along. It was early evening and the sun caught the new leaves making them glow in the light. The sky was pink touched with shades of amber and the whole scene was infused with wonderful warm colours. I rushed and got my journal, and did a quick 20 min sketch, no drawing, just painted straight on to the paper!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


These are 2 pictures I did recently. The first one was done from some sketches of cottages in the mountains. I have signed up for qa few water colour classes and this was how the tutor felt I should do the picture. I had to remember and imagine the colours, decide which side the sun was coming from and put in shadows accordingly!!! It was a really good exercise. However I am not happy with the picture, especially the 2 huts, they are a little too defined a little too stylised! I have also realised that I prefer to work a more loose style, so this picture doesn't really turn me on too much!
The next one is of boats on the river. This is from reference pictures I took during our visit to Arun's farm. It was early morning and there was a thick mist on the river. The fishing boats were all  moored on the river bank, almost ghostly in the mist. The sun was just beginning to rise so there were tiny glints of ochre on the boats, otherwise everything was in shades of grey, all shadowy colours! I did this picture as a practice really, as I want to do a series on boats, and wanted to experiment with making and painting with shades of greys and also to try to catch early morning light. Not sure I have got it quite as I want, but its a beginning.