Back to Art, Suchitra Bhosle-Pramod Kurlekar painting workshop

Been a busy last year and a half. Mommyhood beckoned second time around..and what a joy to be able to devote the time to it, uninterrupted.

Now as the toddler squeaky shoes are out so are my art brushes finally, all dusted and cleaned. A little more time to spare..a few more dreams to dare (sounds corny I know :D)

I had not worked with oil paints for two years, through pregnancy and after childbirth just as a precautionary measure to avoid the turpentine fumes and cadmiums. Luckily charcoal came to the rescue and I was able to focus on my drawing ( More in my previous blog post).

So when the very talented artistic duo of Suchitra Bhosle and Pramod Kurlekar announced a 3 day art workshop in India I jumped at the chance to kickstart my oil painting again.After figuring out the logistics of travelling to an outstation workshop with a mischievous toddler in tow (thanks to my supportive family :), landed in Pune! Yay!

More about the workshop soon. Check back!

Throwback to past commission work

Worked on some custom charcoal portrait commissions in early-mid 2017 for a wonderful art collector. It required multiple visits to the client's house to discuss her requirements (Managing morning sickness with hour long commutes through Bangalore traffic was quite an experience altogether :P). Went through the client’s photo albums to narrow down the ones she wanted turned into drawings. A few that we chose were challenging as they required working from small 5x7in photo prints...but the client gave me complete freedom to experiment and work according to my art aesthetic. In the end the results were completely worth it! 

And a lovely feeling to have my charcoal drawings be part of the main family wall of a fifteen thousand square feet home filled with eclectic, interesting works of artists, new and established. But the moment I like best as always is that initial moment of genuine response when the client first looks at the completed artwork.

A big thank you to Chaitanya and Meera for this wonderful opportunity.

Posting select works below. All works are charcoal & pastel on paper.


Kalanand City Award

Received the Kalanand 2017 City Award with Fellowship for Bangalore city in the Drawing category. It was awarded by the Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation at Chowdiah Memorial Hall. With nearly 4000 contest entries in various art categories the Kalanand competition is one of the biggest national level art contests in India for emerging artists.

Had entered one of my favorite portraits that I've drawn - of my friend 'Megha', which won the award. In this portrait (shown in the background) I had wanted to capture her cheerful and optimistic nature and it came through quite well. A portrait is not just copying features but capturing the essence of the person at the moment that you want to convey. 


My artwork featured in Ideal Home and Garden Magazine.

Excited to be published in the 10th anniversary issue of The Ideal Home and Garden magazine, India (Nov 2016 issue) as one of their unique charcoal artists to watch out for. It feels wonderful to share the space with a talented bunch of designers, artists and women entrepreneurs in this top selling interior design magazine.
Thanks to the team of The Ideal Home and Garden magazine, one of India's leading interior design magazines, for the article.

Note: I did not mention art was mystic! :D

30 Paintings in 30 Days

I will be trying to paint everyday this September along with a community of hundreds of artists across the world for Leslie Saeta's "30 paintings in 30 days challenge"! The goal is to get in the studio and paint everyday... and have fun and paint as many paintings as possible this month.

Read on for more information on my themes, art process and inspirations..

I will be painting from photos I have taken this year.

I have been inspired by many scenes I have wanted to paint on the spot, on location...but when time doesn't permit.. then the next best option..capture it on camera and try to bring out the essence of what I see & feel in a painting at leisure in my studio. I have taken a lot of pictures like that over this year and this is good challenge to get working on them.

For most of the works here I would have used my Cannon Rebel T3 usually on the default creative auto setting or many times even my trusty old Iphone 6 camera :) 

DAY 29

Had a good time painting on many of the days this september. While I couldnt paint towards the end of the month, it was a good challenge to have taken part in overall as I learnt quite a bit in the process. Look forward to the next one :). Check out my website to have a look at all my other artworks.

Day 16


Oil on linen, 5x4

Attempted to paint a flower for the first time, alla prima, and thoroughly enjoyed the process. I realised how something as simple as one flower it so beautiful to try to paint...and by no means simple. The beauty is in capturing all the colors, form and essence of what you paint in as minimal / few brushstrokes as possible. I definitely want to get to that point.

I also realised why so many great artists talk about the joy of painting from life. It is so different from painting from photos. I now do think that it is a must to paint from life ( for those trying to capture stuff in a representational manner that is) to balance painting from photos. It only enhances the process overall.

DAY 13

"Exploring Paint"
5x7, Oil on Pastelbord

Quick work done in about a couple of hours. I like the incomplete, first progression pic a lot for its spontaneity and abstractness. Took the reference pic in Thekkady, (India). Will probably get back to some figurative works for the next few paintings.

30 Paintings in 30 Days - Day 7

A TOUCH OF GOLD - Oil on Pastelbord, 5x4

Extremely hard pressed for time till next week... So will have to detour from the plan of painting from photos and resort to quick under-two-hour studies like this one instead of completed ones. Tried out Ampersand Pastelbord surface for the first time. Liked it a lot.

30 Paintings in 30 Days - Days 3 & 4

TAMASO MA JYOTIRGAMAYA - Oil on canvas, 10x12

Had a challenging time with this one. I was just not able to paint this one continuously for more than 20 min uninterrupted... something or the other that I had to attend to right away... even though I got off to a good start. Ah well! But I figured what type of oil painting brushes work best for me. That was the best part of this challenge. 

Took the reference pic for this on my iphone because I liked the bright yellow orange light contrasting against the blue background. The title 'Tamaso ma Jyotirgamaya' just popped up in my head when I saw the pic. The line is a part of a sanskrit sloka and it means "Lead us from darkness to light".

30 Paintings in 30 Days - Day 2

VERDANT SHOWERS - Oil on Canvas 12x10

Took the reference photo for this painting on the drive to Madurai from Thekkady (India) ! Rolling fields of green with the hills in the background...all fresh from the afternoon showers... Breathtaking! Had to paint that! Captured that on the camera and here it is..

A quick description of my process.

I pretty much know instantly when a picture/ scene will make a good painting (for me that is). I take some pics, choose the one I like & tweak it minimally on computer.. Then I do a quick thumbnail sketch like under a minute to work out composition ( purely based on instinct). Occasionally I may do a quick couple of minutes thumbnail in pastels to work out color schemes. 

I start with a loose color block in on canvas in thinned out oils for the composition and shape placement.( FRAME 1).  I do not make any drawings/outlines on the canvas as for me it makes me loose spontaneity in the work. And slowly build up on the value, color, edges & texture ( FRAMES 2,3) ...Et Voila! The painting is done :) 

Check back everyday to get more updates.