Monday, 24 October 2016

Mother Teresa - A portrait study work on toned paper

Quotes by Mother Teresa

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." 

" I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples."

Mother Teresa ( 1910 - 1997 ) was a Roman Catholic nun, who devoted her life to serving the poor and destitute around the world. She spent many years in Calcutta, India where she founded the Missionaries of Charity, a religious congregation devoted to helping those in great need. in 1979, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace prize and has become a symbol of charitable selfless work.

Given below is a Portrait study work of "Mother Teresa" which I created using white pastel pencils and a charcoal pencil. In February I created a portrait study work of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore on black Strathmore paper. Working on coloured paper has its own challenges and I am slowly getting used to it.

 Mother Teresa, portrait study on toned paper using charcoal and white pastel pencil. By Manju Panchal

Mother Teresa
Charcoal and white pastel pencil on toned paper
Size 6" X 8"

I recently purchased a "Table top Easel" which is working real good for me. Now I can sketch at eye level which is very convenient and does not strain my neck. I will be posting about it soon.

Thank you all for visiting my blog and do watch my artworks in INSTAGRAM too.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Two landscape study works in charcoal medium

Two study works using the charcoal medium.


Composition, colours and value. They all play a very significant role in creating a good artwork. In order to get a better understanding of a landscape, I generally go for a thumbnail sketch or a study work which I create in different mediums. This time I decided to do a value sketch using willow charcoal, charcoal pencil and charcoal powder. 

Both these sketches are sized 4.5" X 5.5" and will serve as reference when I will recreate these subjects in colours using soft pastels. 

Charcoal study work of a landscape from Coorg by Manju Panchal

Tonal value sketch of a scene from Coorg
A study work

Charcoal study work of a landscape from Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary by Manju Panchal

Tonal value sketch of a scene from Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
A study work


"I sometimes think there is nothing so delightful as drawing."  Vincent Van Gogh

I totally agree with the words as quoted above. Drawing and sketching is the foundation to art. As the drawing gets better so does the painting. I enjoyed creating the charcoal sketches such as above and I may do my future "Thumbnail sketches" too in charcoal medium.

To view my selected artworks you can visit my gallery at DEVIANTART

Friday, 14 October 2016

The cliffs, the water and reflection - A soft pastel painting ( Phi Phi Leh )


"If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere." Vincent Van Gogh

Nature inspires me to paint. The soft pastel painting as below has been inspired by the stunning colours of the water around the limestone cliffs of Phi Phi Leh ( Thailand ). Creating a painting like this refreshes my memory and I relive the happy moments spent in the laps of nature.

Before I start any painting, as a routine I always create a thumbnail sketch of the scene. I created one for this painting too. Click here to view the same.

Soft pastel painting of a scene from Phi Phi Leh, Thailand- By Manju Panchal

Around Phi Phi Leh
A soft pastel painting on Fabriano Tiziano paper
Size 7" X 10"

I love soft pastel medium for its vibrant hues. The more I paint in this medium the more I fall in love with it. Since it is a dry medium my workplace often gets a little messy and dusty but at the end of it, it is all forgotten. All that I remember is a beautiful journey. From start to finish. The pleasure of having completed the painting is a reward in itself.

Thanks for browsing through my works. I do not have a website as of now. Hence I have started uploading some of my works on DEVIANTART. You can browse through my works there. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Small water colour study works on hand made paper


Apart from soft pastels and charcoals, I love the water colour medium and try to take out time for small works, as and when possible. The paintings below are inspired by the beautiful beaches of Goa namely Uttorda beach and Benaulim beach. I visited these beaches in August end last year. Both these beaches are rather unexplored and tranquil beaches. Perfect for relaxation. Through these two works I got to do two different skies.


Benaulim beach, Goa
Water colour study work on hand made paper
Size 4.5" X 5.5"


Uttorda beach, Goa
Water colour study work on hand made paper
Size 4.5" X 5.5"

Hand made paper works really good for the wet on wet technique as it holds the water for a long time and I get to add colours slowly. However it is not an acid free paper. Therefore I am planning to start using the Arches cold pressed paper very soon. It is expensive but one of the best and widely used by water colour artists around the world. 

A beautiful quote on water colour painting - 

"Master water first and then paint." Josh Goldberg. 

Monday, 10 October 2016

Looking up at the cliffs - A soft pastel painting of a scene from Bamboo island ( Thailand )


The soft pastel painting as below has been inspired by the limestone cliffs at Bamboo island in Thailand. It was almost 11 am and the sun was behind the cliffs. The cliffs facing us were almost in shadow. When I looked up at the cliffs against the bright morning sky, the sight was absolutely amazing. I captured this scene in my camera as well as in my mind. Back then I had taken this decision to paint this scene some day.

I created a thumbnail sketch for this painting in the month of June and referring to it I started this painting last week. This scene was a little challenging because of the perspective involved. However it was a great learning experience. I plan to do some more landscape subjects such as these in near future.

A soft pastel painting of limestone cliffs at Bamboo beach, Thailand by Indian artist Manju Panchal

Looking up at the cliffs
Soft pastel painting on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 6" X 8"

A beautiful Quote

"The mission of art is to represent nature, not imitate her." William Morris Hunt

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Canson Mi Teintes - which colour paper to use?


"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong". Joseph Chilton Pearce

Canson Mi Teintes paper is available in many different shades. I love this paper for its textured surface and use it a lot for my charcoal as well as soft pastel works. How do I go about choosing the colour of the paper? .

Being self taught, during my initial stages of pastel studies I went about following what other artists did ( With respect to selecting the colour of the paper ). However with experience I realised that what works for someone else may not always work for me as each one of us follows a different technique and style.

For my landscape works I tried the lighter pastel shades of the paper but was somehow not happy with the results. I had a difficult time getting the dark colours in the forest. Therefore over a period of time I settled for dark brown and black paper. For seascapes I experimented with orange and red colour Canson paper and the effect was pretty satisfactory.

I plan to do a lot many forest scenes in future in soft pastel medium, hence have decided to do a couple of thumbnail sketches to start with. A detailed study after careful observation of colours, values, perspective etc helps in getting the thumbnail sketch right which in turn acts as a reference when the real painting begins.

Given below are the thumbnail sketches of a beautiful scene from Coorg,  created on two different coloured papers. The painting at the top is done on black paper and the lower one is created on Canson twilight paper


Thumbnail study work of a landscape from Coorg using soft pastels. By Manju Panchal

Thumbnail study work of a landscape from Coorg using soft pastels. By Manju Panchal

A scene from Coorg
created on black paper 
and twilight paper.

Size 3.5" X 4.5"

Canson Mi Teintes twilight colour

The colour of the paper used for the soft pastel painting affects the final outcome. I will analyse, evaluate and some time later take a decision regarding which coloured paper to use for my bigger work. 

When I create a thumbnail sketch or the study sketch it is more about my interpretation of the scene and I try not to create a photocopy of the scene. Making creative changes with respect to the position of a few elements so as to get a better composition is the first step that I take even before beginning with the small sketch.

I shall be creating an enlarged version of these paintings soon but in the meantime will continue creating more of thumbnail sketches as a preliminary preparation for my future works.

For all those who are in Mumbai and wish to attend the India Art Festival 2016, can go to Nehru Science Centre, Worli on 7th, 8th and 9th of October when it is open to visitors from 11 am to 6 pm.