Memories : Illustration Friday

At thirty

Some childhood memories are based on experience and others are imagined.  Looking at this picture of my mother holding me makes me feel that I remember the moment.  An unlikely event as I was less than a year old.  Even knowing this rationally does not make it seem any less real.


Check out many more interpretations on


Sculpture update

6 hrs6 hrs

Last Saturday I forgot to take photographs when I finished for the day. Remembered to take it first thing in the morning this Saturday. Two things are clear. The face is too narrow, especially the top of her head. And the gap between the edge of her eyes and the beginning of the ear too wide.

For the sculpture session the chair that the model sits on is placed on a base which revolves like a lazy susan and is rotated periodically. Our busts are on stands with wheels and we rotate them to match the angle the model is currently at and work on what we see on that particular side.

I kept correcting my mistakes by adding more clay and ended up with the head becoming almost twice the size of the model. And while from the front view there was a likeness it was all messed up from the profile views. Barney Hodes is a good teacher and makes you see where you are going wrong. His advice was to align the bust with the model and sit across the room and look at both of them to see what areas needed work.  He also pointed out the profile error which I needed to fix.

I had grown quite attached to the front of the face and it took me a few minutes before I could get myself to take off large chunks from the front to sort out the profile problem. The two photographs below were taken a bit before the correction stage had started. Was too exhausted at the end of the day and didnt take photo updates.

The next session is going to be the last one. I hope I manage to get the bust to a more finished stage. This time too all I will have left of this bust is photographs. I’m going to make sure the next time I get left with a more substantial memento like maybe a mask for my wall either in plaster or terracotta.

12 hrs12 hrs

Trading ATC’s

my first atc

My first portrait swaps were for the Annual Portrait Exchange over at WetCanvas! and I learned from and enjoyed the experience. Then there was The Portrait Party blog where I found the quick exchanges exciting and refreshing. Recently I joined Bearuh girl’s Monday Artday ATC exchange network and decided to combine the two 😀 And Mellanie agreed to both. This is my first ATC and you can also see the swap at the Portrait Party blog.

Acrylics were used because of the earlier experience of painting the Altoid tin cover. Problems of painting in that size had been forgotten and secondly getting a likeness had not been important then. It was quite difficult to control the brush in the 2.5″ X 3.5″ space. And getting a likeness successfully evaded me. Several smaller sized brushes should’ve been kept handy or at least that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! I have a new respect for all those artists who made miniatures!! Mellanie has been very sporting and has accepted the results. Cant wait to get a hold of the beautiful one I will get in exchange. Here’s a preview and you can read more about it on Mellanie’s blog, See.Draw.Share.

A couple of facts about these tiny art cards. ATC is the name used when they are traded and ACEO when they are put up for sale. These cards can be of at least 3 varieties – originals, limited edition prints and prints. The ones we are exchanging are original ATC’s. It’s been a great experience. Mellanie has started trading in earnest and I’m sure I’ll be trying out more soon.

Monday Artday ATC is a place for Artists to trade cards. Do visit to see what it’s all about.

Fierce : Illustration Friday

Fierce or menacing? You choose.

pen & ink

pen & ink (ballpoint) in my sketchbook.

photo ref copyright Anil Advani. used with permission.


Check out many more interpretations on        

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.

Portrait Swap with Lindsay

It was great doing a swap with Lindsay for the Portrait Party blog. Once I’d seen the fun photos that she’d sent, I felt I had to match them with at least an equivalent one. “Regal Nostrils” as Lindsay laughingly named it has been made using once such. I’m glad she picked that ref and I’m delighted with the result.

Lindsay’s portrait of me for the swap

A friends daughter had earlier examined the photograph carefully and proclaimed that there weren’t any boogers! And I can tell you I was very relieved as the thought of checking hadn’t crossed my mind when it was uploaded.


4″ X 6″ Pen & Ink sketch

This sketch made of Lindsay started off as a trial attempt at the back of an envelope. It turned out ok and was quickly mailed out to her before I could change my mind. You can read more about this swap on Straight Lines Out and on the Portrait Party blog.

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.

Not there yet

P1050099 P1050097

Going through my usual settling back in period. A fun photo shoot helped me start the first one and the second happened when I got stuck on the first. Both are at the “ugly” stage but I’m just happy to have started.

The first is based on a photo reference taken at Jama Masjid 3 years ago. The second is loosely based on my recollection of a photograph that I’d seen a few days back. I have not used the reference for this one as I’m attempting to move away from relying completely on photographs.

Update : May 8, 2008 : you can see the finished piece here.

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.