Saturday, September 24, 2011

practice using reference pictures

Ona has been encouraging me to practice using reference pictures, before I go onto the next exercise of understanding light source!
I chose this picture of the Takshang Goemba or the Tiger Nest Monastery in Bhutan which was built in the
15th Century. It is such a dramatic view! The view for me reiterates the strength of the human spirit, that very spirit that makes the impossible, possible!!! I kept thinking how resilient and devoted the monks, who built it, must have been to build something so amazing. The space has been carved out of the sheer cliff primarily made up of rock!

In my picture I wanted to capture the  drama of the scene, the immense rocky face of the mountains, the wonderful colours, and the monastery nestling in it, totally protected from the elements! I thought about this for a bit and decided I would leave out the trees and focus on the rocks and the monastery. I decided to do a small picture 10"X7". I did my first sketch concentrating on detailing the monastery and just marking the most prominent lines in the rocks.

I next chose my palette which had ultramarine blue, burnt umber, raw sienna, paynes grey, sap green,  hookers green, lime yellow and red. I started by finishing the mountains, working quickly and in washes! Something Ona has encouraged and ensures my picture remains transparent. Some negative painting also helped. I wanted to give an impression of the green shrubs midst the rocks and not have too many details.
Finally I finished the picture giving detail to the monastery. I have deliberately left a white edging to the picture, as I feel it adds  to the general effect and drama!


  1. Very nice abstraction Brinda. I thought leave out the trees too when I saw your reference photo. This painting says happiness in rough terrain. I wonder if the monks who lived there felt their isolation was a state of happiness or dedication or both?

  2. What a gorgeous place and a difficult reference photo, but you have done it proud Brinda, lovely painting.