Casey and about trading portraits


I’ve been wanting to trade portraits for a while. What got me started was a portrait swap that I did over at WetCanvas! and I have this lovely painting to show for it. Then six months later I read about digital swaps at Rama Hughes blog “The Portrait Party“. It gave me a reason to consider approaching fellow group members for a swap. And I asked Jana and later Casey.

They both agreed at different times but coincidentally I received their photo references on the same day 😀 And then while I was looking , admiring and deciding which reference to use and what medium to work with, the first drawing was on my screen! Casey’d emailed her drawing of me. Wow! It was beautiful and she had been so quick. I was expecting at least a week or two to pass by before getting to see the results.

Feeling the pressure, I sat down yesterday with Casey’s photograph and drew with a Derwent “light wash” pencil that I’d been meaning to try out. This is the result after adding strokes with the “dark wash” pencil and then water over parts of the drawing this evening.

Casey has always been very encouraging and supportive and I really appreciate it as I’m sure do many other edm’ers. Thank you Casey!

Update : October 1, 2007 : Rama has put this swap up over at the Portrait Party blog.

Pencil on 10″ X 15″ Canson Barbizon paper


Bargue’s Drawing Course

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A course followed by Van Gogh. I was definitely intrigued. The Art Students League Library had a copy and I had quick look once before class. But there were no copies available at the usual stores and the ones that were were at exorbitant rates. I stumbled across the Dahesh museum store (while surfing :P) which had only a few left and managed to get my sister to pick it up for me. It was for my birthday this year. 😀 I had to wait till I met her in June but I didnt care. When she confirmed she’d picked it up I was thrilled.

I was waiting to do them perfectly and spent a month just thinking about them! Decided to make an attempt now instead of waiting for perfection from the get go. I could always repeat them later. Started late last month and have gone through almost 4 plates. I’ll keep adding the ones I complete to this post.

If you’d like to see someone who is doing the same course methodically and with interesting and articulate thoughts and posts, have a look at Learning to see. He’s even put up a review of the book and you can see the first five plates and his copies on the site. In fact bookmark the blog. You wont regret it, there’s lots to learn from his posts.

And I’ve just discovered while putting the links together from this post that I’m doing it all wrong!! I’m going to read that chapter carefully in the morning. I too had barely glanced at it as I was impatient to get started. A quality that got a mention in all my school reports as a quality to be curbed but it looks like after 40+ years its still very much there!

The museum store is out of stock but a reprint is planned and if you’re interested, you could send them an email at to be informed when it becomes available again.

WIP’s in July

wip 4

These are the two pieces I’ve been working on. The one above is in oil and was started sometime in April this year. It has has gone through many iterations and will go through some more. 30″ X 40″ oil on canvas.

The one below was started 10 days ago and is still being worked on. Luckily, I had learnt from previous experience that the work goes through several stages of the uglies before it gets to some place reasonable. Approx 8″ X 10″ soft pastels on illustration board.

My creation

Drawing at Kuhu’s

Still Life at Kuhu's

I was telling a friend earlier in the evening that for the longest time I had thought that Still Life was boring and couldnt understand the need to do them. Recently, after struggling with values and tones I have come to understand the need for learning to draw simple shapes and Still Life as 3D objects.

Kuhu is a good teacher and a few instructions helped me “see” the values. I like this one more than one that I had done earlier in the week. We moved on to figure drawing and short poses. I used my Sanguine Conte for the first time and am quite pleased with the result.  I also need to set the newsprint aside for drawing exercises and stop using them for the life drawing sessions.

LD at Kuhu'sLD at Kuhu'sLD at Kuhu's

5 minute pose

5 minute pose

The Monday Art Group will now meet on Sunday mornings instead. I’m really happy that they’re starting up once more.  We started a 5 minute pose as a warm up exercise and then each of us took turns to model and we spent the whole morning doing just that.  Not much to look at but we had fun.

Crash : Illustration Friday

Ramesh Sleeping

I’m late and so cant post this on the Illustration Friday site. I’d thought of this for the topic and so decided to put it up here anyway.

Crash, the slang for sleeping over and has now expanded to include sleep of any kind, at least here in India. Ramesh catches up on his sleep by crashing whenever he can over the weekend and he is really good at it. His head hits the pillow and he is out like a light but not so sound asleep as to not notice that I’m trying to sketch him. I’ve slowed down on using him as a model as he then has a disturbed nap. Doing any work when he is awake is out of the question. He is too conscious and fidgety. He is my strongest supporter and so I forgive him this quirk 😀

I have put together a set of my attempts at sketching / drawing ‘n painting him sleeping. More of these are in my journals and scraps of paper. I’ll be adding to this set as and when I locate and photograph them.

This particular piece was made in August ’05 and is the 3rd oil painting I’d ever made. It is still amongst my top 3 favourites from amongst all the work that I’ve ever done.

Check out many more interpretations on

Ears Challenge – EDM #79

Ears EDM Challenge

It’s been too long since I did a challenge and many have gone by that I was simply dying to do. one that comes to mind is the recipe one and i still intend to do that one and all the others 😀

all these are of my left ear. i wasnt able to keep my head still 😀 long enough to finish the drawing. the angle was changing just marginally as i’d try to lean forward to have a proper look. for the last one i decided to wait, look, wait some more and then started to draw. the one thing that i’d messed up for all the earlier ones was the angle at which it is attached to the side of my face. even in this last one while getting in the black of the hair at the base of the ear i’ve taken it a few mm in and it looks as though the ear is sticking out. shall fix that in my sketch book. and i’m not even going to discuss the shading.

but surprise surprise – i enjoyed making them and still like them inspite of all the faults. they are of my ear after all!

I have three new additions to my pen collection – A Lamy Safari Fine – gift from my dad, and a LAMY Joy Calligraphy 1.5 and a Rotring Art Pen 1.1 from my brother-in-law. Tried them all out on this one. including a different colored ink. I’ve always been like a kid with a new toy as far as stationery is concerned but now it applies to all art supplies 😀

Update: I decided to draw my husbands ear for further practice.

I like the one on the right and he the left!

Sticky for Rain and Dance – Illustration Friday

Sticky reminder for Rain & Dance

I’ve been on holiday from June 22nd and havent got my act together in terms of doing, taking photographs and posting. I made this 3 in one on the 2nd but couldnt transfer it to the computer.

When I saw the topic for the 2nd week and having missed the first one, I thought I would do a combined one for Rain Dance. It’s an event where the local clubs organize a party and one of the main features are the water sprinklers which are hung up over the dance floor and then turned on with the revellers hoping to bring in the rain for the season with their dancing! It’s usually really hot by this time and people enjoy the man made shower. And then I saw that the idea was already taken. And so mine was to do a 3 in one. But that didnt work out and so I’ve just put all 3 on one piece of paper 😛
The first is rain falling against my bedroom window in my sisters house. I’m enjoying the rain as I’m mostly indoors when it comes pouring down and every shower cools the city down.

The second is my hand making a mudra, a hand gesture. These are used in yoga and in Indian dance forms. In the dance forms they explain the idea behind the piece or tell a story. The mudra that I’ve made is called Sadumsho and you can see a list of photographs of the dance mudras here.

The sticky was to remind me to draw and post before I missed the 3rd deadline.

As it is

I think I’m going to be last on the list!

Self Portrait Marathon 4 and many more…

These 2 are from earlier. They were made in early Feb this year while on holiday looking for tigers in Ranthambore. They’re a bit scary and ugly.

This one was made last night. Dont know why i’m looking so sorry for myself. That certainly wasnt the way I was feeling.

I’ve put together all the self portraits that I have made in a little over a year in a set on Flickr.

Sports Challenge – EDM #71

Sports Challenge EDM #71

I am by no means a football fan.  Thought long and hard but couldnt come up with any sports that I am currently inclined to be a fan of.  But my husband has been torn between watching football, cricket and general tv.  So football which is everywhere I turn (Bangladesh is a football crazy nation too) has been the subject for this challenge.  This Saudi player was a part of one of the several football photographs which appeared in yesterdays Daily Star, Dhaka.