Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Portrait drawing on Canson Mi Teintes paper

"Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation." Henri Cartier

While having a holiday in Sikkim, we happened to stay in a homestay in Hee Bermiok, which being high up in the mountains was an adventure in itself. Today’s portrait is of beautiful woman, Deomaya Chettri, the mother of the homestay owner.

 I watched her morning till night, as she got busy in different day today activities. One morning she was busy drying the freshly dug out onions in the sun. With her permission I photographed her so that I could do her portrait. It was such a memorable experience, meeting people in these pristine valleys and being a part of their life for a few moments.

I have used a mix of graphite and charcoal pencils along with white pastel pencil to complete this portrait. The charcoal pencil by "General" is of great help to achieve the darkest tonal values in the drawing.


Charcoal drawing of a portrait of a woman from Sikkim on Canson Mi Teintes paper

"The Smile"
A Charcoal Portrait drawing on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 5” X 7”

Canson Mi Teintes paper works great for portrait drawing. This paper has a rough textured surface on one side and a smooth one on the other. I personally prefer to use the smooth surface for both my “Portrait” and “Landscape” works. 

I have been posting my regular day today works on INSTAGRAM and you can browse through my feed to know what I am doing these days. My blogging has taken a backseat but I wish to revive it soon by posting regularly and sharing my thoughts and techniques on art.

Thank you for browsing through my artworks and supporting me in my art journey.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

About Fabriano Aquarello water color paper

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.” Leonardo Da Vinci

I have not posted anything in my blog for a long time now. However I have been painting and uploading my works regularly on my INSTAGRAM page, which takes a little less time and is fairly simple. Moreover it also helps me keep a record of my paintings, papers and paints I use etc.

Today’s post is a Still life painting of “A slice of Apple” on Fabriano Aquarello 200 gsm paper. I placed this cut apple near my kitchen window in the direction of sunlight, to get the desired composition.

I have been using Fabriano Aquarello 200 gsm paper for a quite some time now. I find this paper very good for the following reasons:
  • It is acid free
  • The colors stay bright on the surface
  • It is made of 25% cotton, is a student grade paper but a high quality paper to begin with.
  • Very economical compared to many other similar papers.

 This is my personal evaluation and from artist to artist the opinion always differs. I purchased my Fabriano Aquarello pad from Amazon.in , however there are many different online art stationery stores which sell this paper today and it can be 

Still life, water color painting of a slice of apple by Indian artist Manju Panchal

A Slice of Apple
A water colour painting on Fabriano Aquarello 200gsm paper
Size 5” X 7”

The paints used for the above still life painting are Winsor And Newton Cotman tubes and find them really good for the price that I have paid for it. I purchased individual tubes of those colors which I use predominantly in most of my paintings. 

Thank you for browsing through my artworks and do go through my INSTAGRAM feed to view some of my latest works and techniques.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Watercolor Still Life painting of "A Slice of Apple"

"The only time I feel alive is when I am painting." Vincent Van Gogh

The above quote is so very motivating. Anyone who is passionate about painting will connect with it immediately. I try to paint a little every day and it drives up my spirit instantly. I always look forward to painting a new subject everyday, be it still life or landscape.

Today's post is a still life painting of "A Slice of Apple", which when placed near my kitchen window in the direction of the sunlight, cast beautiful long shadow across the table. I wanted to capture this moment using watercolor medium. I created this artwork on Arches cold pressed paper,
which is a great acid free, high quality paper and I plan to use it a lot in the future.

Still life, water color painting of a slice of apple on Arches Cold pressed paper, By Manju Panchal

The Light and Shadow
Water color painting on Arches Cold Pressed paper 300 gsm
Size 4" X 5.5"

I love working with still life objects as it gives me the freedom to experiment and explore. It provides me with unparalleled learning opportunities be it design and composition, mixing colors or understanding more about depth and perception. When I get saturated with my "Landscape" and other works, I take a break to do a still life painting and it immediately refreshes me.

Thanks for browsing through my artworks. To see all my artworks, visit my INSTAGRAM profile.

Monday, 1 July 2019

Dramatic sky at the beach - A water color painting

"Smell the sea and feel the sky, let your soul and spirits fly.” Van Morrison

There are days when you get to witness the dramatic sky at the seashore. The diffused sunlight through the clouds, reflecting on the waters below made for a good composition. Inspired by this scene ( Photo reference: minera13/Pixabay ) I created this watercolor painting on Fabriano Acquarello watercolor paper.

I got more involved with watercolor quite recently and before getting into this medium, I went on to purchase many different brands of watercolor papers. Fabriano Acquarello happens to be one of them. So in the past few months I have tried all the papers at hand, and got to know so much about each one of them. ( Check My INSTAGRAM account  ). Now that I have resumed my blogging I will try and post a little about each one of them.

Fabriano Aquarello ( 200 gsm ) is a student grade watercolor paper, however in this category I find it pretty good to use. It is a professional grade, acid free paper and economical too.

A water colorA water color painting of a dramatic sky at the beach on Fabriano paper, By Indian artist Manju Panchal

Dramatic sky at the beach
A watercolor painting on Fabriano Aquarello paper
Size 5” X 7”

In the above painting, I used both Camlin and Winsor and Newton cotman tubes. My palette consisted of very few colors and I like it that way. It helps in simplifying my painting procedure. I enjoyed working on the sky. 

As I already mentioned, I am presently totally involved in watercolor medium but soon plan to get back to my charcoals and pastels.

Thank you for visiting my blog and browsing through my artworks.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

A watercolor painting on Chitrapat handmade paper

“Our deep respect for the land and it’s harvest is the legacy of generation of farmers who put food on our tables, preserved our landscape and inspired us with a powerful work ethic.” James H Douglas Jr

Today’s post is a water colour painting of a morning scene at Charkhi Dadri, a small town 120 kms away from Delhi. These farms belong to our family friend and I am grateful to him for sending this reference photograph, which inspired me to create the painting as seen below.

This painting is a gratitude to all the farmers in the world who are involved in this noble profession. We get food on our tables, because someone, somewhere is working in the fields to produce it. I have once again used Chitrapat handmade paper for this painting.

water color painting on chitrapat handmade paper, by Indian artist Manju Panchal

Field of Crops
A water colour painting on Chitrapat handmade paper
Size 6” X 8.5”

The sky in this painting has a mix of warm and cool colours and I used wet on wet wash technique to complete the sky. I have used Camlin Artists watercolor tubes

Thank you for browsing through my artworks. To view my works in other mediums as well you can visit my INSTAGRAM profile.

Monday, 8 April 2019

Banana - A still life water colour painting

“Art is making something out of nothing.” Frank Zappa

Today’s post is a still life water color painting of "A Banana " that I created some time back on Chitrapat handmade paper. I get plenty of sunlight at my place in the mornings and keeping the object in its direction helps me in getting the desired composition before beginning the artwork.

As I have been writing in my earlier posts too, over a period of time and after repeatedly using this paper I have taken a liking to it. It somehow seems to work for me. I can also say the same for Arches cold pressed paper, however Chitrapat paper is far more cheaper than Arches and is a great paper for both beginners and professional artists. Hence depending on what the budget is, one can go for either of the papers.

A still life, water color painting of banana by Indian artist Manju Panchal

A Banana
Water color painting on Chitrapat handmade paper
Size 5” X 7”

I have not been doing serious artworks in charcoal and pastel medium for a long time now. There is no plan as of now. All I know is that presently I am enjoying the water colour medium and will continue to do so for some more time.

Thank you for all your support in my art journey and do browse through my INSTAGRAM feed to see all my works in gallery format. If you wish to purchase any of my paintings you can mail me at manjupanchal5@gmail.com and I shall get back to you as soon as possible.

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Step by step - A watercolor painting of a beach scene

“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.” Neil Garman

I recently completed one of my watercolor paintings on Canson Moulin du Roy paper and fortunately remembered to photograph the stages. It was an early morning scene, when we were at Colva beach and it was not crowded. The stretch of sand far across, and the misty look in the distance motivated me a lot and I decided then and there that I shall paint this scene one day. The actual painting starts in the mind, the moment you set your eyes on the place that you love.

The choice of paper is often decided by the technique that I plan to use for that particular painting. For the painting as below, I needed the misty look in the distance and hence was going to use the graded wash technique on wet paper, for which I think Canson Moulin du Roy works good for me. I used a mix of both Camlin and Winsor and Newton Cotman colours.


Water colour painting of a beachscene by Indian artist Manju Panchal

A Misty Morning at Colva beach
A watercolor painting on Canson Moulin du Roy paper
Size 5.5” X 8”

Step 1. Created the sky using a mix of warm and cool colours, and added the distant foliage on the left. Used wet on wet technique as I did not want to have hard edges in the distance.

Step by step water color painting of a misty morning scene at a beach in Goa


Step 2. Created the bushes on the left ( Camlin Artists water color tubes ), the sandy seashore and the ocean. At this stage I have not added details anywhere.

Step by step water color painting of a misty morning scene at a beach in Goa


Step 3. Added layers of colours to the bushes on the left to create the form and shadow, and flat wash of colour on the sandy seashore. Added details to the figures on the beach.


Step by step water color painting of a misty morning scene at a beach in Goa


Thank you for browsing through my artworks. To browse through my artworks in all the different mediums that I have been working with since long, visit my INSTAGRAM page.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Fishermen returning home - A watercolour painting on Arches cold pressed paper

“Dance with the waves, move with the sea, let the rhythm of the water, set your soul free”. C A Martine

Today's post is a water color painting of a scene that I came across while I was at a seashore in Goa. Through this painting I wanted to capture the monsoon atmosphere, a cloudy evening sky and its lovely reflections at the beach. The fishermen are returning home after their day out at sea. The painting is also intended to tell their story. For painting the small figures in the distance, I made use of my rigger brush.

I have used Arches Cold pressed water color paper for this painting which is made of 100% cotton fiber content, acid free, pH neutral and air dried. I am loving this paper as it stays wet for long and helps me to add more colors slowly to increase the tonal values. I have used very few colours in this painting and it is almost a limited palette painting.

A water colour painting of a beach on Arches paper by Indian artist Manju Panchal

Returning home
A water colour painting on Arches CP paper
Size 5” X 7”

I take workshops in different mediums from time to time and if you are interested in learning my techniques drop me a mail at manjupanchal5@gmail.com or DM me at INSTAGRAM account.

Thank you for stopping by and for browsing through my works.

Monday, 11 March 2019

A slice of watermelon - A still life water colour painting

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” Albert Einstein 

Sometimes simple objects at home are a great source of inspiration to artist. A few days back I kept a slice of watermelon in the direction of sunlight in my kitchen, and I moved it at different angles to get the right composition that I was looking for. The light and shadow play in the composition helps to get the variation in tonal values. 

Once I was sure of the placement of the object in focus, I decided to go ahead and use my Camlin and Winsor and Newton paints to create this still life painting on Fabriano Aquarello paper. 

For a student grade paper, Fabriano Aquarello paper is pretty good. ( I have used the 200 gsm Cold pressed paper for the present artwork ). 


water color painting of slice of watermelon on Fabriano water color paper by Manju Panchal

A slice of watermelon 
Water colour painting on Fabriano Aquarello CP paper.
Size 4.5” X 5.5”

In the last few years I have tried all different subjects, be it still life, landscape or a portrait. It is very difficult to say what I like painting most. For me, every subject is a whole in itself and I enjoy doing each and every work of mine. In fact I started my original works with still life paintings, picking on each and every object that I could lay my hand on in my home. In all it has been a very great learning experience and I plan to keep on painting for ever.

My paintings in the gallery format can be viewed on my INSTAGRAM feed where I have been posting regularly since last two years. 

Thank you for browsing through my artworks. It motivates me to continue my painting journey.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Two Lemons - A water color painting on Chitrapat handmade paper

“Because watercolor actually moves on the paper, it is the most active of all mediums, almost a performance art.” Nita Engle 

The quote is worded so well and it describes the medium perfectly. I am a big fan of Nita Engle’s artworks. To check out some of her works CLICK HERE

I created today’s water colour paintingTwo Lemons” on Chitrapat handmade paper ( Rough ) while I was at my friends place, who herself is a passionate artist. When we meet, which happens once in two months or so, we spend hours together discussing and painting art. The last “Meet up” was to spend time with watercolor medium which has been my latest fascination after charcoal and pastels.

For this particular painting I needed to create a hazy background for which wet on wet technique seemed to be a very appropriate choice, hence I decided to go with “Chitrapat” paper. This paper is 270 gsm and stays wet for quite some time which helps in dropping more paint slowly at the desired areas. I am quite happy with this paper and would definitely recommend it to other artists as well.

A still life painting of two lemons on Chitrapat handmade paper by Manju Panchal

Two Lemons 
A water colour painting on Chitrapat handmade paper 
Size 5” X 7”

I have used the Camlin Artists water colour tubes to complete the above artwork. Apart from Camlin, I have also started using my Winsor and Newton Cotman tubes which are in my possession since a very long time and I am worried that if they are not put to use, they will eventually dry up. I have also added some new tubes of the same brand in my collection and I shall write more about it soon. 

In you wish to see my latest water colour paintings you can visit my INSTAGRAM feed and if you happen to like my works, please share. Thank you for all your support in my art journey.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Sand dunes at the seashore

"At the beach life is different, 
Time doesn't move hour to hour
But mood to moment.
We live by the currents, 
Plan by the tides
And follow the sun."
Sandy Gingers

I am posting today after a very long time and I must say that I have missed my blogging sessions. However I have been very active at Instagram where I have been posting my watercolor studies and paintings on a regular basis. Blogging is different in its own unique way. In my blog, can share my ideas, my thoughts, my techniques and can write in more detail about my “Art Experiments on day today basis.” So I am glad that I am back to blogging and will try and share a lot about things that I have done in the past few months.

To begin with, I am posting a watercolor painting of a seashore today that I created on Arches Cold pressed paper ( 300 gsm ), using my old collection of Winsor and Newton cotman watercolortubes. The sand dunes and the sea oats at the beach inspired me to create this painting. Sea. oats are miraculous little plants with a massive root system capable of holding soil and sand in place during extreme weather. They may look like weeds but are vital part of the ecosystem.

Water color painting of sand dunes and sea oats at the beach, by Indian artist Manju Panchal

Sand dunes and Sea oats
A water colour painting on Arches CP paper 
Size 6” X 8”

Seascapes is one of my favorite subjects and I can never get tired of painting them. For the sea oats on the dunes, I used my flat brush and rigger brush. In the past few months I have tried out many different water color papers and will be writing more in detail about them very soon. In the meantime you can also browse through my works on INSTAGRAM, where in I try and remember to mention the paper and the colors used to create a painting.

Thank you very much for all your support and I shall try to be more regular at my blogging so that I can share my art journey with all of you.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Bon Voyage - A water colour painting on Canson Moulin Du Roy paper

"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." Pablo Picasso

I am posting today after a very very long time. It has been a long break but I have been active on Instagram. Instagram is great for artists and other professionals as well, however I have been missing my blogging a lot and hence have decided to take out time to get started once again with my blog.

Blogging helps me to write a lot more and share my experience as I continue to paint and explore different mediums. Of late, I have been addicted to water colour medium and am creating small works on different subjects which include seascapes, mountainscapes and other landscapes as well. I intend doing cityscapes too but after a while when I get more comfortable with my brushes and palette.

Today I am posting a water colour painting that I created a while ago on Canson Moulin Du Roy paper referring to a photograph taken by my husband. The focal point in the painting is the Cargo vessel which has just sailed out from the port towards its new destination, which can take a long number of days. I used wet on wet technique for the sky as well as the mountains.

Canson Moulin Du Roy is a fairly new paper to me and I am beginning to like it. I shall write a little review about it in one of my upcoming posts. It is available on Amazon.in but I got my 9' X 12" pad from Spain through a very good friend of mine.

A water color painting on Canson Moulin du roy water color paper by Indian artist and blogger Manju Panchal

Bon Voyage
Water colour painting on Canson Moulin Du Roy CP paper
Size 5.5" X 8"

It takes a whole lot of paintings, to understand and feel the connection with a particular paper. I am definitely enjoying working with Canson Moulin Du Roy cold pressed paper and since I have a few sample pieces of hot pressed version of the same paper, will try out that too. 

I am planning a two days water colour workshop on the 17th and 18th of November and if you are interested in registering for the same, you can mail me or send a DM on my Instagram page.

Thank you for browsing through my artworks and being a part of my art journey.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Nikola Tesla - Charcoal portrait on toned paper


"Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born." Nikola Tesla

Today's charcoal portrait drawing is a tribute to Nikola Tesla, who was a Serbian American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist and futurist who is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system.

Albert Einstein was once asked how it felt to be the smartest man alive. Einstein's reply was " I don't know, you'll have to ask Nikola Tesla."

I have used Strathmore toned tan paper and a miscellaneous collection of pencils to create this portrait study. Drawing and sketching is always a welcome change. I have busy with my water color studies for last few months as can be seen from my INSTAGRAM page.


Nikola Tesla
Charcoal and white pastel drawing on Strathmore toned paper
Size 6" X 8"

Strathmore toned paper is a great paper to create portrait drawings using just two different pencils, a charcoal and a white pastel pencil. Few other tools that I commonly use are blending tool, eraser, charcoal powder etc.

I have not blogged much for the last many months and it feels good to be back at it again. My plan is to be a little more consistent from now on. I am also planning a few workshops in the next coming months and I shall be writing more about it in my "ART WORKSHOP" page.

Thank you for visiting my blog and browsing through my artworks.  

Monday, 26 March 2018

Portrait study

"Drawing keeps the eye fresh, the mind alive and the intuition nimble." Timothy Nero

In 2017, I did not work a lot on my portraits and one of my resolutions this year was to devote time to create a few of them. When I initially got into portrait drawings, it was mostly charcoal on white paper. It’s only a few years back that I discovered the beauty of working on toned paper. The different toned papers that I have experimented with in the last couple of years are
  • Handmade textured paper
  • Canson Mi Teintes paper
  • Fabriano Elle Erre
  • Strathmore toned paper

Apart from the ones mentioned above, every once in a while I try out a portrait study on any ordinary textured paper too like the one below. I created the portrait study below on an ordinary grey textured paper that I came across in a stationery shop. It is definitely not as good as Strathmore or Canson Mi Teintes paper, but for the price that I paid for this paper ( Rs 20/- ) it is value for money.

After creating the portrait and capturing the emotions, I decided to darken the background using charcoal powder. The charcoal powder that I normally use in my charcoal drawings is a local make and pretty good. It is easily available in stationery stores. To know more about the charcoal tools that I use for my drawings CLICK HERE.

Portrait drawing on Strathmore toned paper by Manju Panchal

In Silence
Portrait study on grey toned paper
Size 6" X 8"

When I was in Sikkim during my last holidays, I stayed in a homestay high up in the mountains at Hee Bermiok in West Sikkim. While I was there I got to interact with the local people and I photographed some of them with their permission. I am now using these photographs as a reference to create a few portrait drawings in the series "FACES OF INDIA". Keep browsing to see some of them soon.

Thank you for visiting my blog. Presently I am busy with my art work and other commitments, but will soon start my "Art Workshops"in different mediums. You can also know about them through my INSTAGRAM account.