Portrait swap with Arindam


Swap with Arindam for the Portrait Party blog. These quick sketches like participating in Illustration Friday are low pressure 🙂 There was no hesitation when Arindam wrote asking for a swap. I need to make sure though that the pens have various levels of ink. With this new refill I was unable to get additional values that I had managed with the same pen just the day before when it was running out of ink! Nor have I learnt the various cross hatching methods to get these variations. I dont intend to either as these undisciplined lines appeal to me more.


Photos or Life – which do you prefer and why?

self portrait self portrait

I prefer using photographs for my work as they capture moments and locales which are not easy to replicate in a studio setting or using a model. I do believe it to be very important to learn to draw from Life but would not like to limit myself to just that for my paintings. Take the examples above. If I were to do my self portraits only for life (top right) I would scare the pants of everybody! I find the second one has a more reasonable expression.

Would love to hear how you feel about it. Do leave me a comment if you have a moment.

Self Portrait : charcoal from life, pen & ink from photo ref

Theory : Illustration Friday

Pen & Ink

I’m a firm believer of the theory that copying from the Masters will help in learning to draw and paint better. I’m participating in the Jan/Feb Van Gogh MOM over at WetCanvas! This is a copy of Van Gogh’s pen & ink “A Portrait of the Postman Joseph Roulin”


Check out many more interpretations on

3 recent pen & inks and some thoughts

Self PortraitYakubPen 'n Ink

Recently saw the work of an Indian printmaker, Anupam Sud. Her figurative etchings are very inspiring. It also opened up the possibility of trying out my drawings in a different medium. I’m now looking at finding ways to get hold of some plates to try an intaglio (?) I’ve done it once before in college but that as you can see below was very basic. The wide range of possibilities had not sunk in. Mostly due to a lack of studying or research, on my part, before the classes started. Also I had not settled into this style of drawing then.

Kali Ma
“Kali Ma” my first etching not numbered or signed as I still hoped to do more work on the plate. The goddess Kali symbolizes birth, life, death and the seeds of creation. The complete cycle.

Experimented once with Lino too but couldn’t get the fineness i was looking for and also used the wrong paper to take a print!

If you’re interested in printmaking check out Amie Roman‘s exceptional resource list on squidoo and you can see her wonderful work on her blog. Source : Who’s made a mark this week?. Amie also posts her step-by-steps making it easier for you to understand the printmaking process. There is also an active forum of printmakers on WetCanvas!



Recently I asked an old friend to provide me with a reference for the photograph used in his profile. The photograph is stunning and I wanted to have a go at it. This is my first attempt. I plan to have another go drawing or painting it soon.

Pen & Ink, 4″ X 6″ in my pocket sized sketchbook on handmade paper.

Creative Drawing & Art Appreciation – 2

Hard at work

Todays lesson was about expressing emotions using line and then using spontaneity in making an “action” painting.

sorrow   rage
Spontaneity and action

Homework is to do more of these with a title for each piece and an analysis of what we see in the results.

We found the small coffee table restrictive and by the time the second exercise came around the chairs were deserted for the floor.

Unusual Birthday Party and the Portrait once more

Unusual Birthday Party

An unusual birthday party where we all left with goodie bags that we might have taken home when we were ten or less. We all donned our crazy hats, blew the whistles, wore cardboard sunglasses and got pictures taken. Luckily we were in a private room at the restaurant as we were bringing the house down. It was a wonderful idea and everyone enjoyed regressing a bit.

A day which began with me singing a few lines of a song from Jungle Book … It’s a doobie dee do, it’s a doobie dee day. I think Baloo sings it when he’s having a happy carefree day. Morning in a book shop. A wonderful Birthday Party in the afternoon with an exciting Korean meal. Fried Pakodas for dinner.

All this had me wanting to the give that photo ref another shot. I got a bit carried away and used the copic marker that I had recently acquried and Rotring with brown ink. I even tried erasing some lines using a knife. It got messed up a bit but I like it better than yesterdays effort.

Self Portrait

The Borat DVD has been sitting at home for months and has been slotted for tonight. I hope it isnt awful as I enjoyed watching Kurosawa’s the “The Seven Samurai” last night.

Portrait in a hurry

Self Portrait

Today I was determined to put up something that I had made. Originally I had planned to post the paintings that I have submitted for an exhibition but realised later that I wanted that on my main blog. This one was done in a hurry to meet the midnight deadline of nablopomo. For once I’m really happy that I signed up as I might otherwise have just decided to call it a day.

It’s been a tiring day. Mostly because I had to do a bit of running around for the exhibition to meet todays deadline.  First was to write out my resume. I had a friend pitching in to polish it up. Surprisingly it wasnt as tough as I’d anticipated. I then had to take photographs of my paintings, send them out for printing, deposit all the information with the gallery and hand over the paintings to my framer. Phew!

Since I had the photographs for the post I felt I could relax for a few hours.  Started watching The Seven Samurai.  Halfway through realisation made me scuttle to my desk to draw and write these posts. Did do a cup of tea in between 😀

Made with pen & ink, from a photo reference, in my tiny pocket sized sketchbook.  I had wanted to add in colour but ran out of time.

On the 5th day of ….. Nablopomo :D


This quick sketch has been based on a photograph, taken by Zahedul I Khan, that appeared on the cover of last weeks Daily Star weekend magazine.

Pen & ink wash in my 8″X 12″ sketchbook.

I know it is a bit early for Christmas songs but this (sent to me a few weeks ago by a friend on Facebook) reminded me of 30 days of Nablopomo and I thought that I’d share it with you here.