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. : )


Pattern : Illustration Friday

Pattern. Face after face. Follows a pattern, a formula.  Actually it is more like a guideline.  First to learn then to forget. I didn’t get that when I was learning it. How was I supposed to forget? The eyes to be centered from the top of the head to the chin and so on. I’m taking it into account but it’s not such a conscious decision anymore, more a part of the background conversation.   I remember talking to myself while positioning his ears though.

no name - wip

Today, thanks to Ed Terpening, I saw a video demo of  Peggi Kroll-Roberts showing her guidelines for these patterns. It refreshed my memory and I realised that I need to allow for more space below the nose upto the chin :D.

You can see more videos, read about this workshop and see Ed’s beautiful paintings on his blog.

Work in progress 12″ X 16″ Acrylic on Canvas

An offering

I was quite busy during the run up to my first solo exhibition and had stopped painting a couple of weeks before. When I came back home, from the opening on a high, all I could think of doing was to start painting again. I got down to it only a few days later on the 31st. This painting just flowed… upto this point 😀 It was extra special not having a need to finish it quickly! A hectic social calendar, a trip to India and then a photo book project ensured that it still stands incomplete on my easel.

An offering - wip

Almost all my paintings have “names”  and this one is called “An offering”.   Today while doing some research on the flower and it’s properties I found some interesting information.

The Bangla month of Ashar began June 15, but only now has the rainy season truly arrived: the kadam trees have blossomed and, in the streets of Dhaka, boys are selling kadam flowers.

Kadam is also available in India and is a flower associated with Krishna.   Here in Bangladesh it is said to usher in the monsoons.  The flower has a lot of medicinal properties too.

Kadam (Anthocephalus cadamba) is traditionally believed to bring happiness and prosperity.  source.

I’ve resurrected this post which had been in draft mode for a while now.  The flurry of activities that keeps me away from painting continues.  We move to Colombo shortly having spent 3 and half happy years here in Dhaka thanks to wonderful friends.  Today the packers have put away all my paints and brushes.   It’s going to be a while before I’m all set up in a new studio.

I know I’m being overly sentimental but moving does that to me.  Here’s wishing you all happiness and prosperity!

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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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.


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Electricity : Illustration Friday

I’m sort of stuck on this one. Not a new experience at all 😀  I was fiddling around with the image and trying out a few possibilities. The first photo is of where the painting is at now. The second one is a crop that I thought might make it look better as the empty spaces seem too evenly spaced in the first. And the 3rd is based on this weeks Illustration Friday topic “electricity”. I’ve created a kind of spotlight effect on the subjects. I’m leaning towards the 3rd as it fills up the space better but I’m not sure I can paint that effect 😛

What do you think? Any preferences? Any other suggestions?

Hum do Hamare do

Hum do Hamare do



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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.

Mixed Media

When it is finished it’ll qualify for the title given to this post. So far it is in acrylics and today I plan to add oil paints to it. I’ve added a couple of layers of wash to the background and to the two male figures in it to make that part of the painting recede. Looks like a lot more of something is required before that happens. Any suggestions? Plan to add some texture to the woman in the middle to make sure that she is the focus of the painting.


Update : Later in the day 😀 : one more wip. this time the layer with oil and two options using layers in art rage to make the background recede.

P1010477.JPGtesadtesad 2

Update : Feb 7, 2008 : This is the first piece in which I’ve used both acrylics and oil. Though I’d used acrylics to tone the canvas before starting in oil, it had never crossed my mind to make a more complete painting in acrylic and then add oil until Bob Martin suggested it. He helped me immensely by making a demo and posting a step-by-step to illustrate his process. I have to thank him for this piece. You can see the final version here.

Once more with feeling

Portrait swap

Update : November 23, 2007 : Worked some more on the portrait today.  Still very much a limited palette.  Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue ( used by mistake 😛 ) Yellow Ochre, Titanium White and a teeny weeny bit of Sap Green.  And oh I did use and equally tiny amount of cadmium red medium.

Portrait Swap 2 Portrait Swap 2

November 21, 2007 : I am making very slow progress on the WetCanvas Annual Portrait swap project. Incredible portraits have been started, finished and are in the process of being mailed out. If you want a treat go and have a look.

I’m one of the few in the group still stuck in the early stages. The 10″ by 12″ canvas board proved to be too small. I was waiting for my husband to return with some larger canvas boards [ i always have an excuse 😛 ]. Giving it another go on one that is 12″ by 16″.

The first layer was drawn using burnt sienna thinned down with turpentine. Today, I added in some white and burnt umber to separate out the light and dark areas. I’ve managed to shorten the length of the face a bit today but it needs to be shortened some more and the features need to be reworked. Leaving that for tomorrow night. 😀