Saturday, 31 May 2014

Barn & Farmhouse

This is my first effort after attending Dhruba Mazumder's watercolour workshop. It is based on a reference photograph of the same name by Irv made available on WetCanvas to participants in the Monthly Pen & Ink Project - May 2014.

I used a Khyati watercolour A4 pad for this. This was the first time that I was using this paper and I found it very different to what I had used during the later stages of the workshop. I found the difference very disconcerting but managed to complete the painting.  

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Dhruba Mazumder's Watercolour Workshop

Towards the end of April 2014 I attended a two day watercolour workshop conducted by Dhruba Mazumder, a very talented and accomplished watercolourist based in Bangalore. The workshop was very well conducted, useful and interesting. Dhruba taught through demos and one-on-one interaction with the attendees while we tried to do what had just been demonstrated to us. These are some of the exercises that we tried out:
This was an exercise in monocolour layering.

An exercise in layering, and value management using several colours.

An exercise in combining layering, and graded washes.

An exercise in brushstrokes.

Putting them all together.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Thappattam Dancers at Lalit Kala Akademi

Recently the Chandra Ilango Art Foundation had arranged for a traditional drummer group to perform at Lalit Kala Akademi, Chennai and had invited many artists to come and make an artwork on location based on this performance.  The event was very well attended and a huge success.

I had gone to the event only to watch and learn and with no intention of sketching. But once I was there, and after seeing so many artists sketching and painting, I too was tempted. Fortunately I had my pocket sketchbook on me and, although I was overwhelmed by the movement and the spectacle, I managed a small static sketch with my gel pen. I then added the colours at home.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Hero of the Park

This is a sketch of a very lovely tree that dominates the Nageswara Rao Park at Luz, in Mylapore, Chennai. I sketched this with a black ink gel pen on location and added the watercolour washes at home.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Portrait Sketching at Nageswara Rao Park

My friends and I decided to meet at Nageswara Rao Park, in Mylapore, Chennai to sketch at an open air morning concert in the park. But we were disappointed to learn that the event was not on that morning. My friends decided to do portrait sketches of some of the park regulars and persuaded some of the to sit for them. I decided to do a sketch of this activity and made an initial sketch in ink and then added the watercolours at home.

Friday, 9 May 2014


A narrow bridge was built in 1967 to connect two fishing communities on either side of the Adyar River in Chennai. The bridge collapsed in 1977 and was never re-built. It is referred to as the Broken Bridge. On a recent visit to this location I noticed this boat dry docked under the bridge. I made a quick sketch in ink in my pocket sketchbook and added the colour at home.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Mandapam Within Chitrakulam

Mylapore, in Chennai, is a very ancient settlement. The old and the new jostle for space here. Chitrakulam is a small temple tank adjacent to the more famous Kapaleeswarar Temple and my sketch shows a mandapam or small pavilion within this tank. Under ideal conditions this tank would be brimming with water and the mandapam would stand like an island in the centre. But the rains have failed so far and the tank is dry. I sketched this with a gel pen in my pocket sketchbook and added the watercolour at home.