Jamal Ahmed

It certainly is wonderful to have a friend who is a photographer and who gives you easy access to his collection. This is based on a photograph taken by Anil Advani for his SOFOBOMO project. Jamal Ahmed, also a friend, is very well known and with 41 solo exhibitions, a prolific Bangladeshi Artist.  You can read more about him here.

Jamal Ahmed

Approx 12″ X 18″ charcoal in my sketchbook.


Frida Kahlo

a portrait of kahlo

I’ve been a fan of Frida Kahlo for a while but Diego Riviera’s work appeals to me more – for the subject matter and style.

Frida Kahlo 8″ X 10″ Mixed Media on Illustration board

Copy a Master – more Van Gogh

Copy a Master Copy a Master
Copy a Master Copy a Master

“Head of a Peasant Woman in a White Cap” (1884) / “The Zouave”, Arles, 1888 / “Portrait of Patience Escalier”, Arles, 1888 / “Portrait of Armand Roulin” Arles 1888

Worked on these 4 starting last evening. I love Van Gogh’s work and it felt like a shame to not participate properly in the current MOM especially as it had been extended by a month to the end of March. While these are not the piece I had in mind I had a super time working on them. Surprisingly they took a lot more time to complete than I had planned for leaving me quite exhausted. I’m happy to report that all this practice using acrylics is helping me get (re)familiar with the medium.

These were made for the Van Gogh MOM thread over at Wetcanvas! and for the 30dayartist.

8″ X 10″ acrylics on illustration board.

Annual Portrait Swap at WetCanvas!

Portrait swap

I forgot to add two more commitments for the month of November. Six and Seven. One was accepting an invitation for an exhibition, my first. And a second was helping a friend key in and sort out some text for her brochure.

The first casualty in this list of 7 activities has been 50,000 words for Nanowrimo. When the matter of the exhibition came up it took a backseat. I did write 6519 words and may add more to it when I find the time but it’s unlikely to be in November.

Here’s step one of the portrait for the Annual WetCanvas swap. 10″ X 12″ oil on canvas board.

Variety is the spice of life!

At thirtyAt thirty
At thirty At thirty

Finally, I’ve decided to accept that in art I like to do different things all at the same time. I have not been able to stick with one medium though I tried hard. Instead of wasting energy I am going to allow myself to go with the flow. Though I continue to stay focussed on one subject – people, my experiments with various medium will continue unhindered. Makes me happy just typing it in. 😀

The piece above is 10″ X 12″ oil on canvas and the one below is acrylics on a 20″ X 30″ canvas. One is from an old b&w photograph and the second is my imagination. Both need work. The one above a little and the one below a lot more.


Loosening up

September 16,2007 : The paint was wet on the first painting and I wasn’t ready to go back and finish the Ashulia Lady and so I decided to experiment some more. There was this beautiful, strong B&W photograph,taken by Anil, of a common friend. The thinking was that a monochrome painting would be different from what I’d been working on lately. I started off fine with a limited palette, mixing blacks and greys but one thing led to another and soon I was laying color over the black and white layers. It wasn’t an underpainting as I didn’t wait that long.

Getting a reasonable likeness was an important factor as I planned to gift it if it turned out well. My husband gave me good feedback both on likeness and the style I was employing. I had to stop as I was going out for dinner.


I had initially planned on waiting till I got the colour reference from Anil. When we returned that night I couldnt resist taking a peek at it. The changes that needed to be made were shouting out at me and I couldn’t resist. Jumped right in and it was another very late night. 😀


The first photograph was taken that night and the second yesterday evening. The actual piece is somewhere between the two. Closer to the second photo. I havent worked on it since Thursday. I’m quite happy with where it is now. Need to just fix a few of the features, like the ear, hair etc. and then I’m calling it done.

I would love to hear from you on whether you think this is looser than my earlier paintings? If you havent see any of the others, would you independently consider this to be painterly and “loose”? Whether you like colours to blend smoothly from one to another in a painting or prefer it to look painterly?

Comments and suggestions always welcome. I wanted to put in a poll to make things easier for you to give me some feedback but there doesnt seem to be an easy solution for a wordpress.com blog. If you know of one, do let me know.

Update : September 18, 2007 : I tried to do some major fixing and am now in a soup 😀 I did like it better at stage 2. Lucien Freud has been on my mind for a while and I think you can see his influence. I guess I’ll keep on going. The photographs below are from last night and this afternoon.

BS - wip 3 BS - wip 4

Photo reference copyright Anil Advani used with permission.

Ashulia man 2

Ashulia Man 2Ashulia man 2Ashulia man 2Ashulia man 2
Originally posted : August 20, 2007 : Another man from Ashulia taken that same afternoon. He too is eating paan 😀 but obviously not as much of a regular as the other gentleman as it doesn’t show. I think soon I’ll find that I’m doing a series on people eating paan in Bangladesh! 😀

“Ashulia man 2” wip, oil on a 10″ X 12″Canvas board.

Photo reference from Anil Advani used with permission.

Update: August 26, 2007 : Finally managed to progress this further. phew!! now he looks a lot less like he’s eating. have to fix that next time.

Update: September 2, 2007 : One more layer and I’m going to consider it done. The next one is on my mind. 😀 I’m off in a bit to replenish my stock of yellow ochre both in oil and acrylics.

Update: September 8, 2007 : Finished, signed and posted on Maya.

Drinking tea – WIP



Update: June 3, 2007 : Decided that I needed to convert some WIP’s to finished work. This has been lying on the table for over a week now. Got quite a few pointers from Wetcanvas and worked on sharpening the details and making corrections with Derwent Pastel Pencils. When I reached the stage where I started making things worse I stopped. I can see that there are still some areas that I can add to but for now I’m calling it done!

May 20,2007 : 2 years ago I tried using dry/soft pastels and the results were so disastrous that I stayed away from them since. Lately I’ve seen completed pieces by my friends in the art class and decided that I must give it another go. This still needs a lot of work. There are clear problems with the eyes and the mouth. I decided to take a break and a photo in case I mess it up badly 😀

This is from a photograph that I took of Ramesh while he was in the process of having a sip of tea. I’ll add the reference to the post tomorrow. I plan to post it to wetcanvas for some pointers.

Project Andrew Wyeth

Drawing upside downaw-wip

I’m participating in the next MOM too and they are looking at Andrew Wyeth’s work on WetCanvas for the months of March and April. I havent managed to locate as many references as I would’ve liked. There are a couple of portrait photographs of the artist available online and he makes a very interesting subject himself! The first one has been made by turning the reference upside down. The second one was started yesterday in Art Rage. The photo above shows different points of time when I saved the file. I’ve decided to stop work on it…… for now 😀 This thread will be updated with all further work related to this project and move to the top of the list based on that day.