Sunday, August 28, 2011

I liked the fact that I was able to get the skin tones well, and her leaning figure!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My first figure!

I have some classes to finish in an art course I started a while back. The artist who is teaching specialises in figures and portraits, so I decided to use my remaining 6 classes  to learn to paint figures and maybe even a portrait! My teacher said that the best way to start is to copy pictures painted by other artists. I wasn't sure that this was the best way, but decided to go along anyway. I was pleasantly surprised that this is a technique followed by many people. The paintings I am copying are done by a local Indian artist called Fernandes, sometime in the 60s. This is my first attempt, and it certainly came out better that I expected!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Picture 3 finished!

After a gap, I was finally able to get back to some serious painting and finish the 3rd of my pictures for Fiona's art course. Before I go to the final product, let me share the process. I did a monotone of the picture first, which is lower down in this blog. It was more for me to understand the lessons I had been given in understanding value.
For this picture I decided to do a slightly larger one than my earlier one. It measures 14" X 11" and is painted on Renaissance 200 gsm rough. I started by a drawing of the picture. I didnt put in too many details, just got the main lines.  I had never stretched water colour paper before, so under Ona's guidance, wet and stretched the paper and let it become dry.
Once this was done I chose my palette of colours which were ultramarine blue, paynes grey, light red, burnt umber and burnt and raw sienna. I had decided to make the cottage in the center my primary COI and the snows at the back the second one. Ona said that COI's depended on what you wanted your painting to say She said 'It is always good to have a thought that you want to convey in any painting. Its what brings it to life. yes, you need the technical skills but paintings that really catch the eye are more than this. So what does this photo say to you? or what do you want your painting to say to others? ' I agreed that I wanted to convey the harshness of life in these altitudes.
I started painting from the background to the foreground, so the pictures developed  like this

 We found that the red stone in the painting (although it was there in the photograph) actually took away from my COI, so I removed it the best i could and matched it to the other colours of the wall. Another valuable lesson learnt that one didn't have to copy everything from one's reference picture but interpret it to say what one wants! So the next one looked like this
To finish it I put a few blue washes on the mountain at the back so that it receded and added a little more detail to the walls and the cottage. Ona also suggested I lighten the ridges on the extreme right and this really made a difference!
This is the final product and I am DELIGHTED with it

Monday, August 15, 2011

TMC Karela and Barbatti!

I did a TMC after a really long time and realised I had really missed it! I had taken out the karela, barbatti and a tomato to make up a sabzi for lunch. The sun was shining on them on the kitchen counter, so I did a quick TMC. It really is am amazing tool to strengthen ones painting skills. You have to focus on whats essential, and capture it quickly and can't spoil the picture with too much fiddling! It suits my own style very well indeed!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

More Africa!

We went to Tanzania by road from Nairobi. In fact we did as much of our travel by road as we could. Its the way we like to travel as one gets to see so much of the country! We spent our first night at Lake Manyara, in a wonderful forest lodge. This was the view that greeted me in the morning. We looked down into the lake area with Mount Meru in the background. I painted really quickly as I wanted to catch the colours of the early morning. The pinks, the golds and the overall blues and mauve were wonderful!

As we drove through the vast dry open planes of Serengati we would often see Masai shepherd in the distance, brightly clothed and jewelled adding a spot of colour to an otherwise dry land! I caught sight of these two under a HUGE tree as we drove past on our way to the Ngorongoro crater. The  vegetation had changed here as we drove through forests which were evergreen as now we were at a higher altitude. Came back to the hotel and tried to re create what I had seen!
We stayed on Lake Kibu in Rwanda. This is a view of one of the many islands on the lake, as the light began to fade in the evening.
 In Uganda we visited a tea Estate. While Viveck went to the Factory and the estate, I sat on the veranda trying to capture the hushed serenity of the place.

Sketches form Africa!

I seem to have been travelling for the last 3 months, first St Annes, then Jiandal in Bangalore and finally 3 weeks to absorb the magic of  Africa.
We started off in Mombassa where Viveck was attending the first African Tea Convention. We were put up at an amazing new resort on the beach with a balcony that looked out onto the sea! It is winter in most of East Africa, since its in the southern Hemisphere, so from the heat of Kolkata and Mumbai we arrived to very pleasant and cool weather in Mombassa.
I had hoped to do a lot more sketches than I actually manged to do. Possibly because we were travelling so much and I was really too busy absorbing all the myriad impressions and feelings about Africa! Now that I am back I have a strong urge to paint an Africa series from all the pictures we have taken!
I sat on the beach and sketched the bay opposite! The sea was an aquamarine blue and so calm.
 The resort we stayed in was built around many many palm trees. This was done sitting on my balcony and looking out at the sea. The days were so bright and the light clear!
Nafisa had given me a sketch book so I used it quite a bit and also didn't just stick to water colours. I felt the lack of pencils or crayons, as they are far easier to use when travelling with little time! Anyway I used the black pens she gave me and a 4 b pencil to draw this camel. he sat on the beach, looking totally superior, as camels ted to do, and waiting to take people on rides!
 looking through the stone grill on our balcony!