Portraits : Pencil and Pen & Ink

yet another attempt

Normally for my pen & inks I use the pen lightly to make a rough drawing before going in further to add the shading and edges.  While it is relatively easy to recover from the minor errors, others will have you wanting to start afresh.  After reading a few books on drawing with ink, I have been wanting to try a different method – by forming a faint, bare outline with a pencil as a foundation before proceeding to complete the drawing in ink.   With the plan that this outline can later be erased.  

Bearing that in mind I started the drawing below in pencil.  I was not happy with the initial outline and kept using the eraser to correct.   The new lines that I made didnt make me any happier and I realised that I needed to fill in a bit more to be sure that the initial drawing was correct.   When I reached that point I was half way there and would have had to erase a lot to get back to the outline stage.   Also wasnt sure whether all that erasing would’nt make the ink bleed.  I gave up and continued with the pencil.

pencil sketch

New methods and experiments also teach me about my way of working.  Here I have learnt that my method is such that I correct along the way and that I prefer the pen to the pencil.  An option which also allows the secret voice in my head to say that had it been with a pencil it would’ve been perfect!  A point that has been proved wrong here and I briefly wondered what the voice would say the next time  😛

I went back to my usual method of sketching with a pen last evening and I must say that I’m more pleased with this result.  The small voice still had the same message.  It just refused to acknowledge the presence of the drawing and said that the pen & ink would’ve been perfect had I used a pencil and that for a quick sketch this was perfect : )  Btw I spent a couple of hours on this pen & ink too!

yet another attempt

appologies for the photographs.  the support used for both are the same. it is actually a shade of  cream.  a bit more yellow than the first photo and lot less than the second.


Opinion : Illustration Friday


In my opinion there’s a bit of George Bush, Alfred E Newman and traces of a beard in this sketch.  All not wanted and unintentional.


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Shubha Mudgal Concert

Shubha Mudgal

Shubha Mudgal burst into the Indi Pop scene in the late 1990’s and was a big, big hit.  The albums Ab ke Sawan and Pyar ke Geet are still amongst my faves.  I heard her first as an Indi Pop artiste and later learnt that she is a very good classical singer.  I’ve missed two of her concerts in the last five years.   Third time lucky I guess.  Got in by the early evening flight yesterday and made it in time to watch Shubha Mudgal perform at The Tolly.  What a voice!  What a fabulous treat!  And if you havent heard her sing before you can hear a bit of the song “Seekho Na” by clicking on the video below.

The pen & ink sketch above is supposed to be of her.  Didnt get much of a likeness though.

Update : It was pleasure to see Shubha Mudgal interact and connect with her audience and see another side to the artist during the show.  She is very articulate and has a good sense of humour.  She has been blogging for a while and you’ll enjoy the posts.  I only wish there were more!

Pretend : Illustration Friday


Pretend you’re happy when you’re blue
It isn’t very hard to do
And you’ll find happiness without an end
Whenever you pretend

Remember anyone can dream
And nothing’s bad as it may seem
The little things you haven’t got
Could be a lot if you pretend

And if you sing this melody
You’ll be pretending just like me
The world is mine, it can be yours, my friend
So why don’t you pretend?


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Vacant : Illustration Friday

Shades of Grey

Positions Vacant?  Unfortunately, this coming year this is going to be a well thumbed section in the newspapers.

The piece is titled “Shades of Grey” – don’t believe everything that you read in the newspapers.  As the first thought that came to mind when I saw the topic for the week was vacancies I couldnt resist using this.  : )

36″ X 30″ acrylic on canvas. Photo refs copyright Anil Advani.  Used with permission.


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Repair : Illustration Friday

Montype Expt 1
Monotype Expt 2

Results of a monotype experiment.  Problems caused by paper shake and then by some fast drying acrylic paint! : )  I have saved both thinking that I might try and repair them one day.


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Diego Rivera

diego rivera sketch  copy of diego self portrait

Back from a weeks break.  As in all holidays I couldnt resist and picked up some art supplies and a book. A Taschen basic art series book on Diego Rivera.  I’m a fan of his work especially the ones focussed on rural people.  In the coming days I hope to copy one such work.  These were two little sketches made during the holiday to warm up.  Actually I was itching to use the oil pastels I’d picked up : )

Learning to look

value sketch

I’m enjoying making these sketches in my tiny lined notebook.  Notes in front and sketches at the back of the book.  Looks like I’ll reach the halfway mark with the sketches long before i get there with my notes on the Munsell Color Set book!

The first three are from my recent trip to Rangamati.  I’ve been using the images from the LCD panel on my camera.   And the last one a prep sketch for a painting from a ref taken in Karwan Bazaar.

pen & ink  


 value sketch

Routine : Illustration Friday

market- wip

Friends and readers of this blog know that I’ve been trying to build painting into my daily routine for a while now.   The time I spend on the computer every day has prevented me from succeeding so far.  There’s an interesting article in NY Times “Wake Up. Wash Face. Do Routine. Now Paint.” about artists and their routines.  The Artists Way by Julia Cameron once helped me jumpstart daily art activity.  Then, it was in addition to attending art college and my class work.  I’m hoping that the book by Carol Lloyd, Creating a Life Worth Living and delaying the acquisition of a MacBook (currently in the process of selling my PowerBook) will help me achieve my objective.

Started this earlier today.  30″ X 36″ Acrylic on Canvas. WIP.  Photo ref copyright Manu.  Used with permission.  You can see the earlier smaller piece made using the same ref here.


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