April 30, 2008
Among other things, my website is also getting updated with images of these cards. You can locate them under 'Miniatures'. And I guess you would have already noticed the change in my blog layout and color scheme. A reader had suggested long back that I could have a painting as a backdrop, and I felt I could have it only in the header. Finally got around to doing it only now. Let me hear your feedback on the new color scheme, if it is pleasing to the eye.
Postcard #1 - Yellow bird & Cactus plants
Underpainting in Watercolor pencils
I am getting back to colored pencils after a while, and the best way to get back in touch is to work small. Since colored pencil is a medium I was investing so much on even before doing anything worthwhile, I have too many sets of pencils, most of them watercolor pencils. It took me a while to actually realize that people generally don't work with the watercolor pencils to get the pure CP effect. Now I possess a set of pure CPs also, but my watercolor pencils will remain idle if I don't use them, so I use them to do underpaintings. And it works wonders, I should say.
Colored Pencils on paper, 4 * 6 inches
The method is simple - I first do a cross hatching with watercolor pencils which is very rough and the strokes will be haphazard. This is okay, because they will be evened out when I do a wash with a wet brush. It will give a lovely smooth look to the background, especially useful when the background lacks detail and all the focus is on the object in the foreground. After washing with the brush, the color would brighten up a lot too. I then complete the painting with the normal colored pencils on top of the watercolor pencils.
Ideally I should not be posting this in public before my recipient gets the card, but I don't think any of the participants even know about my blog, so it is okay :-)
April 29, 2008
Now I have got back to the painting, and I gave up on acrylics as my skills were very limited, and decided to proceed with oils. I must say its been more of a relief than anything else. Relief because of two reasons - one is I am able to see some redemption for this painting, which I so dearly loved. I love the image that I have in my mind and I am striving to get it down, and I am relieved that I don't have to ditch it. Secondly, my oil painting abilities are as good as they were and I am absolutely at ease with them even though I am getting back to oils after almost 5 years! Its almost like a love affair, I could just take off where I left. I hope to strike a balance between oil and acrylics henceforth and not totally concentrate on one forgetting the other. I love oils for its flexibility and ease of painting. And I like acrylics for their quickness. And I would like to do a bit of both, going forward.
My focal point is the lady, coz this painting is very 'personal' in a lot of ways. Monet being one of my all time favorites, this painting is how I would feel if I were at his gardens. It is like cumulative inspiration, one from the gardens themselves, and even more from the art that was generated from the gardens. And what inspires more, Nature or the Art! The woman obviously represents me, though I don't look like that :-) I have got some great suggestions from WetCanvas to take this forward, and I hope to bring this to completion soon.
April 28, 2008
In the Acrylics forum of WetCanvas, a new Old Masters Study project has been initiated, where we would study the works of an old master for a month or two, and then produce our piece of art based on that. It could be a replica of one of his works, or a new painting based on his techniques. The technique and style is more important than the actual content. And the first old master that we have taken up is Pierre Auguste Renoir, one of the famous impressionist painters. I am very happy to take this up because I am a big fan of Impressionism as a movement. I love the distinct brush strokes that characterize impressionist paintings.
Auguste Renoir painted a lot of figures, mostly women. He had women is picturesque surroundings, even his nudes were mostly in idyllic settings. They had very interesting light colored flesh tones that made them very charming. My observation is he did not use too much of darks to bring contrast into his works. They did not have the striking light and dark contrasts as say the Dutch painters’ works have. There is a dominance of cool shades; even the backdrops of his figure paintings feature ochre, greens and blues a lot. The shadows have a lot of violet and blues in them.
When choosing a painting of Renoir to replicate, there were too many good ones to choose from. I went through the entire gallery of paintings and finally zeroed in on 'Woman in a rocking chair'.
Why this interested me is because there is no colored version available. All that is there is only a sketch, and I loved the idea of adding color, and more importantly light to it. It is an outline by Renoir but it will essentially be my original painting. I did not want to be influenced by the existing colors and stick to them, so safely chose a b/w image.
I have just done a rough sketch of the painting, somewhat decided on the background. The painting will be 16 * 24, acrylics on canvas.
Some interesting links that I have come across:
- A website dedicated to Renoir, full of interesting info and pictures.
- Pierre Auguste Renoir - A biography
- A virtual museum of Renoir - link from WetCanvas
- One of his famous paintings - Umbrellas - the Umbrellas is not entirely an Impressionist work. It is said to span over different styles - part of the painting is impressionistic, and the other half is more realistic. The link provides some really interesting information, have a look. I love how he has used blues so extensively in the painting.
- My favorite painting of Renoir - The Swing - See the beautiful depiction of light with some dapples of color here and there, in the ground, in her gown etc. I love this painting and hope to do a similar depiction of light in my painting.
- Woman on a rocking chair -sketch that will be a reference for my painting.
- Renoir gallery - A lot of paintings listed in alphabetical order.
Times like these reaffirm to me that this is what I love doing, and this is what I should be doing full time. I love what I do in my job as well, but that’s besides the point. Every time I get to paint extensively, my gut feeling urges me to take it up full time. But then somewhere deep down, there is a little apprehension. If I am forced to do Art and not do it on my own, would it still invoke so much passion from me, I am not sure. And it is too huge a risk to take! Sigh! So many things to ponder!
One great thing that comes out of a weekend like this is ample subject matter to blog about. So even if I did not do a single painting for the next one month, I have stuff to blog every day. Ain’t it cool?! So here we go, before actually looking at any art, a first look at my so called studio. It is amazing when you have no one around that your entire house is your studio to play.
So this is how I exist when I have no one to supervise me. And this is a sneak preview of all the artwork to come in the following days, most of them. I wanted to get some work done on the Postcard exchange project that I started off. I am lagging behind awfully! And also experiment with doing some still lifes, besides getting back in touch with my pencils. Will post some more works over the next couple of days.
April 12, 2008
At the entrance of Lal Bagh
A quick sketch of couple engrossed in themselves amidst the rich greenery, and I was almost intruding into their privacy!
The touring car at Lal Bagh waiting for visitors to get in. This pencil outline doesnt do justice to the myriad hues of green over there, with everything from the car to the shed to the backdrop in some shade of green.
A family sitting in the shade of a tree and chatting among themselves. A quiet family outing on a Sunday.
A fruit seller selling stuff on his cycle
We then moved to a cafe for a quick grub and then I called it a day from there, coz I realized sketching was far more tiring than I thought it would be and I had no energy to continue! Also, the rains played spoilsport and we had to return.
Most of the sketches here would be converted to paintings, as I have taken some snaps and some notes on the lighting and color. I hope I am able to regularly participate in the sketchcrawls in future, and hope to interact with many more interesting artists around.