Sunday, 29 January 2017

Two study works of "Trees" in soft pastel medium

"Good drawing forms the 'bones' on which a strong painting hangs." Chris Bingle

 Before I start off with my painting, I like to study the subject so as to get an understanding of the composition, the colours, the values and the techniques that I will apply in order to get the effect that I am visualizing in the mind. My vision of the artwork must meet what I create on paper.

The soft pastel artworks as below are of two majestic trees as seen and photographed at Kaveri river bank, Dubare forest near Coorg. During monsoon the river is overflowing and hence these exposed roots are not visible as they are submerged under water. We visited this place during the month of March when the water flow was bare minimum and I got to photograph some of these old archaic trees

Soft pastel painting, a study work of a tree by Manju Panchal

Soft pastel painting, a study work of a tree by Manju Panchal

Two Soft pastel study works of trees
as seen at Dubare forest, Coorg.
Size 4" X 5.5"

Every tree has its unique character, shape, form and identity. It's a great experience to sketch and paint these graceful elements of nature.

The "study works" as above will guide me in future to create a larger painting if required.

Friday, 27 January 2017

The Shaded Pathway- A Soft pastel painting of a landscape from Coorg

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." Henry David Thoreau

I finally completed the soft pastel painting of a scene from Coorg, ( Madikeri ) which I started in November 2016. After doing the initial layer of blocking in the colours, I had taken a break. I normally intend doing a painting at one go as it is so much more convenient. After an interval when I get back to an older work, it is a lot more struggle to restart it all over again. It is like the momentum is gone and I have to recollect everything about the scene and visualize the steps all over again.

However this is one of my favorite scenes that I came across during one of my morning walks in Madikeri and I did not want to give up on this one. It took me longer than expected to complete, but I was happy that I finally completed it.

Soft pastel painting of a shaded pathway at Coorg by Manju Panchal

The shaded pathway
Soft pastel painting on Fabriano Tiziano paper
Size 7.5" X 10"

For my soft pastels I am mainly working with Canson Mi Teintes and Fabriano Tiziano paper. To read more about the papers that I use CLICK HERE.

Of late I have been spending a lot of my time with my small sketch book. I just created a new one exclusively for my AQUARELLE GRAPHITE works. To create a small work sized 4" X 5.5" all I need is a sketch book, a Cretacolour 8B aquarelle graphite pencil, a brush and water. I am enjoying this new found activity because many a times I just have about an hour to myself which is not sufficient to start with some serious work. At such times I get down to doing my study works of different subjects. It is more of experimenting and exploring and is lot of fun.

If you are passionate about art and want to get started with a particular medium then you can attend one of my TWO DAYS ART WORKSHOP which I conduct on a regular basis. My upcoming workshops are listed in advance, so you can register for the same.

Thanks for all your support and keep browsing.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Willow charcoal drawing and sketching - A demo work

"An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision." James McNeill Whistler

Some time back I created a charcoal demo for the participants who were attending my art workshop.
The initial "BLOCK IN" was done using just "willow charcoal".

Once the values were in place, I used the Camlin pencil to create bold marks to create grass keeping in mind the pressure as I receded in the background. I find willow charcoal extremely useful to create quick charcoal study works.

A charcoal pencil and willow charcoal drawing of a landscape by Manju Panchal

Charcoal study work ( wetlands ) on cartridge sheet
Size 12"X 16"

I am also posting an image of the charcoal drawing in its initial stages when I have used only willow charcoal to set the values in place.

Using willow charcoal to block in the major shapes in a landscape

Willow charcoal work on Cartridge paper

 The willow charcoal as used by me

Every time I create a charcoal landscape, I experiment a little. I try out some new technique. The idea is to get the right effect that I am looking for. It could be texture or background, or a different kind of foliage. It is lot of fun. There is always an excitement about the outcome. Every time I create an artwork, I learn something new. So it is very interesting ie drawing, painting and learning all at the same time.

CLICK HERE to view the tools that I use to create my charcoal drawings.

My Coorg Soft pastel landscape is almost done and I am also starting new pastel works sized 
11"X 15". Will be posting the completed work soon.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

More Pencil drawings in my sketch book

"A true artist is not the one who is inspired, but one who inspires others." Salvador Dali

If you have been following my posts you will know that some time back I started off small pencil drawings in my sketch book, which has forty cartridge sheets in it. In the last few days I managed to add a few more in the same book. Some of these are demo works that I created for two participants who attended my ART WORKSHOP. ( Pencil/Graphite drawing )

Since these are more of study works, I normally decide on spending not more than twenty minutes on each of them but it never really happens this way. Most of the times I get carried away and I want to do just a little more of detailing here and there and then I realise that I am actually spending more than thirty minutes on some of them. But it is fun. I create these when I am done with all my serious artwork and have a few minutes to myself to experiment and explore some new subject. This is also a great way of doing value studies. 

Pencil drawing of seawaves in a sketch book

Pencil drawing of landscape in sketch book

Pencil drawing of landscape in sketch book

Pencil drawing of landscape in sketch book

Pencil drawing of Key monastery in sketch book

Pencil drawing of Coorg landscape in sketch book

Pencil drawing of landscape in sketch book

Pencil drawings in my sketch book
Each sketch is sized 4" X 5.5"

Presently I am working on my Coorg Pastel Landscape which is almost complete. The next step is to photograph it, edit it and then post it. I am also posting my old as well as new works now on

If you like my artworks and techniques please do share it with friends. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Painting a landscape in soft pastel medium

"If I create from the heart; nearly everything works, if from the head, almost nothing." 
Marc Chagall

When I select a subject for my painting, it is almost always because I love the subject and feel connected to it. Nature is so beautiful and inspiring and there are scenes that leave an indelible impression on one's mind. Through my paintings I am making an attempt to keep these memories alive.

While at Karnala Bird Sancturay during the morning hours, the sunlight created magic lighting up the pathway and the foliage at the tips. The scene was so beautiful that it was then and there that I had decided that I will paint it some day. 

It must be an year or so but every time I looked at this photograph on my laptop, I analysed it and then made my calculations regarding the steps that I would follow in order to create it. It looked pretty complicated in the beginning but then I simplified the steps in my mind over a period of time. Then finally one day I made a thumbnail sketch which more or less represented the vision that I had in mind. Referring to my preliminary study and using my Mungyo and Kohinoor Toison Dor soft pastels, I finally created the work as planned. 

Soft pastel painting of a scene from Karnala Bird Sanctuary by Manju Panchal

The Morning Rays
Soft pastel painting on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 7"X 9"

I am back to my pastel paintings but at the same time I am also managing to steal a few moments to create my graphite drawings in my sketch book. Getting addicted to it, I guess. Will be posting a few of them soon.

Thanks for browsing through my works.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Mother Teresa - A charcoal portrait study on toned paper

"Be happy in the moment, that's enough.Each moment is all we need, not more." 
Mother Teresa

A portrait study of "Mother Teresa" created on dark grey handmade paper using charcoal and white pastel pencil. The pencils I normally use on toned paper are Camlin soft charcoal pencil, Cretacolour white pastel pencil and General white pastel pencil.

A Charcoal portrait study work of Mother Teresa on toned paper by Manju Panchal

Mother Teresa
Charcoal and white pastel pencil work on handmade paper
Size 5.5"X 7"

In October 2016, I posted yet another portrait study of "Mother Teresa". I am presently working on a soft pastel landscape work of a scene from Karnala Bird Sanctuary. Will post it soon. My works can now be seen at Instagram.

Thanks for browsing through my works and do write your comments below.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Dalhousie - A soft pastel painting

A beautiful quotation that I came across recently so decided to share it with others. 
"One eye sees, the other feels." Paul Klee

Dalhousie, is a beautiful hill station in Chamba district in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated on five hills and has an elevation of 1970 metres above sea level. The place is blessed with enchanting beauty and is a must visit destination for all nature lovers, artists and photographers.

While in Dalhousie, we stayed in a hotel from where we had a direct view of the majestic snow capped mountains and pine trees. Referring to one of the photographs taken there, I painted this scene in soft pastel medium. 

A soft pastel painting of snow capped mountains at Dalhousie, Himachal by Manju Panchal

At Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh
Soft Pastel painting on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 5" X 7"

I have created a series of paintings on some memorable scenes from Himachal Pradesh. The state is so beautiful that you cannot help falling in love with it. I have visited Himachal on three different occasions and wish to go there many more times. Our last visit was to Spiti valley and back then we had planned to cover Lahaul district as well, but owing to bad weather could not do so. Sometime soon we will plan out a trip there too. 

Blogging is great but if someone wants to see all the paintings in the "Gallery" format it becomes a little difficult and one has to laboriously follow the "Blog Archive" which can be time consuming. Therefore as suggested by friends and my younger art workshop participants I have decided to go one step further and upload my past works on Instagram. It is taking time but eventually I will try and put up all my favourite works together.

When I get time at hand, the first thing that I want to do is paint. However painting at a stretch for long number of hours can exhaust the mind. During such times I take to photographing my art, editing, blogging etc. During my initial years I struggled, as I love painting more than blogging. But with time I have learnt to create a balance between all my activities.

Do you blog on a regular basis? Would love to hear from you through your comments. Do write about your art endeavors, your likes, dislikes etc. 

Thanks for browsing through my blogposts.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Step by Step - Charcoal demo of a landscape during an art workshop

 "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do." Leonardo Da Vinci

During one of my "Two days Charcoal workshop" I created a 12" X 16" quick charcoal sketching on cartridge paper. The reference photograph has been taken from"Geotripper" with prior permission from Garry Hayes ( Geologist ). I love the blog as it has some of the most inspiring photographs of nature and the posts are very very informative.

Charcoal landscape drawing
Demo work on cartridge sheet
Size 12" X 16"

Step 1
Using willow charcoal, blocked in the major shapes.
The sky was kept very light using my blending tool ( Cloth )

Step 2
Blending the willow charcoal
and adding strokes using pencil to show crevices.
Foliage was created using willow charcoal
and pencils.

This kind of a demo takes about forty to forty five minutes. The time is not enough to do the details but the demo helps in understanding the steps involved in creating a charcoal landscape painting and the techniques involved in creating it.

CLICK HERE to read through another post in which I posted about my step by step creating of charcoal art in my sketch book.

You can browse my works on Deviantart, Instagram and Facebook.

Thanks for visiting my blog and would love to read comments from you.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Pencil drawings in my sketch book

"Learning never exhausts the mind." Leonardo da Vinci

My sketch book is my prized possession. It is diary of my preliminary study works. Browsing through it occasionally, inspires me a lot. It speaks to me of my experimental endeavors, my art journey, my mistakes, my learning lessons. I have several of them now, each one dedicated to a particular art or a medium.

When I have time in hand and am not into doing any serious work, I take one of my sketch books and get down to create small study works sized 4" X 5.5". Last month I started one exclusively for my pencil drawings. Posted below are some of my latest additions in this sketch book.  

The pencils that I have used for these works are 
  • 2B Camlin pencil 
  • 10B Camlin pencil
  • 8B Cretacolour pencil

Pencil drawing of landscape in sketch book

Pencil drawing of a foggy day in sketch book

Pencil drawing of a seascape in sketch book

Pencil drawing of a landscape in sketch book

Pencil drawing of a landscape in sketch book

Pencil/Graphite drawings and sketchings
of different landscapes sized 4" X 5.5"
In a Sketch book as shown below

Thanks for browsing through my artworks and for any inquiry related to works available for sale
please mail me at

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Stepping into 2017 - A new year, a new beginning.

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning." Albert Einstein

This is my first post in the year 2017 and a lot has happened in the last year. It is time to recollect some happy memories. 

I started my graphite/pencil drawings in my small sketch book. Drawing plays a very significant role in art and with pencil drawings I am getting to do tonal value study of my subjects. I am loving it and it is going to be a regular affair from now on.

Pencil/graphite drawing travel sketch book

Pencil/graphite drawing travel sketch book
Cartridge sheet size 4" X 5.5"

I experimented and explored the possibilities of using water soluble graphite pencils. So now I have in my collection the Derwent, Creatacolour and Camlin brand. Will make use of these in this year.

water soluble graphite drawings and paintings

Water soluble graphite works
Sized 4" X 5.5"

Used willow charcoal in combination with pencils and powder to develop some new techniques to create landscape art.

Landscape in charcoal medium

Using soft pastel medium worked on landscapes with mountains and cliffs. Posting below my favorite one.

soft pastel painting of Phi Phi Leh by Manju Panchal

A soft pastel painting
Limestone cliffs at Phi Phi Leh

Attempted my first "Waterfall" in May 2016. The iconic Gulfoss or the Golden waterfall from Iceland. From thereon I went on to do many more.

Soft pastel painting of Gulfoss waterfall ( Iceland )

Soft pastel painting of Gulfoss waterfall ( Iceland )

To have a better understanding of the anatomy of seawaves, I went on to create many paintings on this subject. Posting below one of them.

A rocky seashore at Bamboo island

Removed time for my water colour works in the sketch book. Planning to work with this medium on a regular basis.

Small water colour paintings in
my travel sketch book.

At the end of the year I finally purchased my "Table top easel" and now I love working on the easel rather than bending down

Table top easel

My new Table Top Easel

Portrait is a subject which is one of the most challenging. I have got into creating portraits on toned paper and in the year I went on to create a few of them. I am posting one of them below. In the year 2017 I plan to work a lot more on my portrait skills.

Portrait of a woman on toned paper

Portrait of a woman on toned paper

In the year 2016, I got a lot more involved in my "Study works" or "Thumbnail sketches" as they are the preliminary artworks which help me create a better painting. I plan to continue my disciplined working approach to create many more different works in the coming years using the mediums I love.

In conclusion, I am grateful for all that happened in the year 2016 ( and the years before that ). Art workshops, new paintings, experimenting and exploring new mediums, learning, meeting new people and all the support from family and friends around me who encourage and motivate me all the time.
Art keeps me busy and happy and I look forward to a new day, so that I can get to create once again something that I love and admire. 

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into pictures." Henry Ward Beecher

Thanks for browsing through my artworks. Looking forward to reading your comments.