Back to school again!

It feel good to be back in “school” again.  Signed up for a 15 week programme at the Vibhavi Academy of Fine Arts (VAFA) and enjoying every minute of it.  Chandraguptha Thenuwara is a great teacher, simple, easy to understand explanations and gives access to great depth of knowledge freely.  The effort below is from my first class where I was making an attempt at capturing a still life setting.  An understanding of perspective, foreshortening is amongst the things that I’d hoped I’d pick up on my own over the last two years but I guess this is the easier way!   Plus a class will ensure that I measure instead of just eyeballing the distances, angles and sizes cause that’s one place where I’m messing up! : )

s1 at vafa

The Life Drawing sessions at Sapumal continue and i hope these Sunday drawings will see some progress based on the inputs I’m getting in the Saturday class.

12 (17) - ld at sapumal

SoFoBoMo – The last day!

Well the day has arrived and I’ve just finished uploading the book – Life on Water! Last minute dash but I don’t think I’d have operated differently had I had more time! The idea, the photographs, the book all have changed from when I first signed up but I was determined to see this to the finish this year. Have to confess that I had lots of help from Ramesh and Anil without which it would never have got to finish! Do have a look and let me know what you think.

Life on Water

The photographs were taken during a recent holiday to Bangkok, Siem Reap and Hong Kong. At our first stop we visited the Floating Market a little outside Bangkok. That planted the seed of a theme relating to water. Discovered that at our next stop I would have access to a Floating Village about an hours drive from Siem Reap. Then there was no stopping me and a supportive husband ensured that I visited Sai Kung in Hong Kong for more water related pics.

This selection leans more towards photographs taken in the Floating Market due to the brighter colors that appeal to me. We were also lucky to have visited the Floating Village at a time when some parts of it were not “floating”. And since the water levels were low, the path where it normally flows was being used as a road and we got to see one of the house on stilts under construction! There were children lurking in the water with catapults to catch rats! And in the village we even got to see a pig sty on stilts!

Much to my dismay I’ve had to leave out the temples, rickshaw pullers, fish, street photographs, snake charmers, wooden sculptures and portrait format pics as they wouldn’t fit in with my theme!! !@#$%^^& and of course I’m going to pretend that those were the brilliant pics! : ) I hope to revisit this book to add some titles for the photographs and to rearrange them a bit.

Click here to see the book Life on Water online and just in case : ) you want to read about the one from year before last click here or just see it on issuu.

It’s been great fun and no pressure as SoFoBoMo sets no benchmarks for quality of photographs selected or the design of the book.  I hope seeing my efforts will encourage you to join me for this project next year!!

SoFoBoMo is short for Solo Photo Book Month – a group event where a bunch of photographers all make solo photo books start to finish in 31 days. SoFoBoMo 2011 is running from 1st July to 31st August. 31 days, 35 photos, 1 pdf

Looking for 35 Photos

Floating Market

I missed making a book for SoFoBoMo last year and am determined to put one together this year even if it wont be of the topic I first chose. I have the minimum 3 days of picture taking and now have to come up with a theme, a name and find 35 decent pics for my book!

P1280273 - Version 2

SoFoBoMo is short for Solo Photo Book Month – a group event where a bunch of photographers all make solo photo books start to finish in 31 days.  SoFoBoMo 2011 is running from 1st July to 31st August.  31 days, 35 photos, 1 pdf

Short Poses

7 (9) - LD @ Sapumal July 31, 2011

Life is hurtling along at top speed! I look over my shoulder and I havent a clue where the time went. Net net I haven’t any to paint. Luckily I’m continuing with the Life Drawing Sessions.

7 (9) - LD @ Sapumal July 31, 2011

I missed two traveling and at the last one the model was a no show. Thanks to another participants insistence we took time to pose for each other. Mostly short poses of 1, 5 and 10 minutes. Turned out to be good fun.

7 (9) - LD @ Sapumal July 31, 2011

Life Drawing & Drawing Day

Drawing Day 4

We had our second drawing session with a model at Sapumal earlier today.  It’s been over a month since the last time we met but it looks like the pace will pick up now.  It will be a more regular event and I’m truly looking forward to that.  Took me 5-6 poses to get comfortable again and it was time to leave!  The image above is from the last pose and it’s also the one I like the most.

I was so pleased that today’s session coincided with Drawing Day 2011 as I could participate with these drawings for that too. For all those who missed their reminders online, scribble, sketch and/or draw and put them up for Drawing Day 2011.  It ends tonight.  And for those artists who live in Colombo and are interested in joining our Life Drawing group, get in touch by leaving me a comment here.

My Drypoint in “The Moth”

drypoint features in the latest issue of the moth : )

I was delighted when I heard from the editor of the arts and literature magazine, The Moth asking to include one of my images in the March issue.  I, of course, said yes!!   Several blogs have used my work to date and one piece even features on the cover of a digital book on Dissociative Identity Disorder but this is the first one in print.  Thank you Rebecca!  The piece accompanies a poem by Tishani Doshi titled Lesson 6: Saying Goodbye to Love in Butoh Class.

And below are two stages of an incomplete portrait of my nephew started a few weeks back.  Took the opportunity to try out a different crop from the rectangular one in the actual painting while uploading the image for this post and discovered that this clearly appeals to me more.  Very grateful for all the digital tools available to us.

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Unfinished business

ashu wip 2

This month has been very busy with a flu bug, birthday, visiting friends and now I’m leaving town for ten days.   All that makes this join my stock pile of wip’s.  I wasn’t planning on working on this sketch for much more.  Just a few darks to define jawline better and of course a few highlights.   Still, I do like it enough as it is to want to post it. : )

You can’t hurry love

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And just in case you’re wondering what the scribble has to do with the song – nothing!  It’s what I found myself humming lately when I thought it’s taking me too long to get back to painting.  The last year and half was meant to be spent acquiring skills that I knew I was lacking but in the end I didnt.   Now it’s a new year and there are new resolutions. I picked up A Painter’s Guide to Design and Composition a couple of days back to make a dent on acquiring one such skill.  I wasn’t expecting much and was pleasantly surprised to find it very useful and simple to follow unlike some others that I have come across on the subject. It’s all very well to draw a cross and say use it as a structure and another to show by words and painted examples clearly what is meant by that.

Taking shape

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I’m looking forward to 2011.   One of the things that I missed since we moved from Dhaka are the art groups that I was a part of.   Having said that on not finding one here, I did little to start one of my own.  Recently when I heard of a group starting up with plans of meeting for Life Drawing sessions, I jumped right in.  We’ve met a few times already to sketch and chat and I hope we continue in the new year.

The sketch above was made at the Barefoot Café from a brass bust and the one below is from a photograph that I plan to use as a reference for a painting.  As always I was reminded of the fact that it takes just a few weeks to get rusty as far as sketching/drawing from Life is concerned.

I also attended one of the Pencil Jammer events at Lalbagh in Bangalore.  Was so excited to meet up with like minded folks that I forgot to sketch!!

Happy New Year!

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3rd Portrait Swap at WetCanvas

7th Annual Portrait Swap is underway over at WetCanvas.   The deadline for signing up was the end of October.  And once that passed, the admins paired up folks randomly and you got a partner to exchange photo references, paint and swap portraits with.  The work this year and feedback has been of a high standard.  This link will take you to the fabulous work in their various stages on display in this thread.

My partner on this adventure is Max and you can see his take on me on his blog, Silver and the Birds.  He’s done a fabulous job and soon it will be winging its way to sunny Colombo!

Here’s where I’m at today on his portrait.   I had great refs to work with.

wip 6

And I’m almost done.  I’ll put in some more work on the hair, sweatshirt and background over the next few days.  Below are some progress shots so that you can see what it went through to get here.

KMP 55/100wip 2
wip 3wip 4