Win some. Lose some.

Win some lose some

Not having been successful with resolutions last year, some thought has been put into making some for 2008. Here’s hoping that this year is more successful than the last.

1. reduce the time spent online.

2. exercise regularly

3. lose weight

4. spend time on art and related activities

a. continue to learn

b. art related activity everyday – keep a track

5. try to find a balance – read, listen to music

Discovered last year that it was easy for me to get bogged down if the plan was restrictive. This year I give myself the freedom to choose the medium, try new ones, move on only if ready. Basically, the only constraint is that some art related activity is undertaken everyday and this is something that I can live with happily.

While making this post it became clear that there was need to balance art related activities with others like reading and listening to music which have fallen by the wayside.

In spite of 3 months of 2007 spent out of Dhaka on 5 holidays which were very enjoyable :D, I did do the following:

regular art activity with a group of like minded people

5 weeks of life drawing

4 weeks of creative drawing

tried some new things and many more of an old favourite – two kinds of printmaking activities – linocut and monotypes, digital scratchboards and a lot of pen & inks

Daily blogging through the month of November with Nablopomo

participated in the 4th annual portrait swap at WetCanvas!

two paintings based on imagination here and here

illustration friday – participated quite regularly

A couple of highlights. Sold my first print to a wonderful person and submitted a painting to a juried auction for charity where it raised nearly 3 times the reserve price. I am very pleased with this contribution to the Hurricane Sidr relief fund.

A fair amount of art activity took place and, with it, growth. The plan is to keep up the pace.


Bargue’s Drawing Course

Bargue exercisesBargue exercisesBargue exercisesBargue exercises
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.

KMP 5/100

KMP 5/100

There were lots of shadows on the sand in the background left by the indentations made by people walking on it. I’ve conveniently treated that as details and left them out! I feel this one does have less details and I’m moving towards more poster like starts.


KMP’s are skill building exercises advised by Kevin Macpherson in his book Fill Your Oil Paintings with Light & Color. I started these in 2007 and am continuing with it in 2010. If you want to know more about this set of exercises click here.

KMP 2/100

KMP 2/100

Little less detail on this one.


KMP’s are skill building exercises advised by Kevin Macpherson in his book Fill Your Oil Paintings with Light & Color. I started these in 2007 and am continuing with it in 2010. If you want to know more about this set of exercises click here.

KMP 1/100

KMP 1/100

As a part of my art resolutions for the year I have been studying a few books on art techniques. Kevin Macpherson’s “Fill Your Oil Paintings with Light & Color” is one of them. As recommended, I plan to do a 100 “starts” and this is my first one. I made it last night on a 11″ X 10″ piece of canvas using a photo reference with a limited palette. There is more detail here than was asked for simply because I couldn’t resist.

Update: 14 March 2007: While writing to a friend I realised that I have not been following the instructions! Decided to add a note as an explanation and a reminder.


A “start” is defined as blocking in of the main colours on to your canvas. The finished “start” is supposed to look poster like with bold flat shapes and the advice is to paint the shapes of colours and not things. They’re supposed to look a bit abstract so I definitely am not doing them right. During my month at the Art Student’s League I was asked to do starts. I understood them to be quick sketches and that’s what I tried to do then. I should have asked for an explanation.

The instructions are
to make a small black & white line drawing on paper with a marker and separate the shadows from the light areas by filling it in solid black and then move on to a canvas
1. paint the lightest light
2. paint the darkest dark
3. paint the easiest colour – the one that comes straight from the tube without mixing
4. establish the shadow pattern
5. fill in the lights ( the darkest light has to be brighter than the lightest shadow colour)
6. move on to the next one.

These starts are supposed to be from life but lacking a model and the necessary confidence I plan to do the initial 40-50 from photo references. When i start feeling comfortable with the process I’ll move on to “live” landscapes and after that models. At least that’s the plan. These are on pieces of approx. 10″ X 12″ canvas cut from a roll. I’m continuing with a limited palette of Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Chrome Yellow Deep Hue and Titanium White. Cadmium Yellow Pale had been recommended but I could not find a tube.

Gazing into the Crystal Ball

Art Resolution 2007

This is a bit late but I’ve finally decided what my art resolutions for the year 2007 will be.

There are many gaps in my learning and the paintings should improve with a better understanding of form, techniques, colour etc.. This years art resolution is to work with 4 books that I feel will help me along that path.

1. Oil Painting – Develop your Natural Abilities – Charles Sovek

2. Exploring Color – Nita Leland

3. Fill Your Oil Paintings with Light & Color – Kevin Macpherson

4. The Natural Way to Draw – A working plan for Art study – Kimon Nicolaides

The exercises will be posted to this blog. Some might even make it on to Maya. I still hope to catch up with the EDM challenges, Illustration Friday, WDE at Wetcanvas! etc.