Wednesday 25 October 2017

From photograph to charcoal drawing

"While drawing, I discover what I really want to say."Dario Fo

As an artist I am always looking for meaningful quotes as they speak my thoughts and keep me inspired. The above quote holds true, I guess for most of us. It is through our art that we slowly discover what we are trying to convey to the viewers. 

Malshej Ghat is a mountain pass in the Western Ghats range in the Thane-Pune district of Maharashtra, India.The site is nestled in the lofty rugged hills of the Western Ghats. The road journey to this place will take you through winding roads, lush greenery on either sides, thick dense fog and countless number of waterfalls touching the highway. 

We visited this place in the monsoon season this year and I found some perfect subjects that I was looking to paint.. My today's post is a charcoal drawing of one such scene from Malshej Ghats wherein the majestic mountain slopes can be seen fading off in the distance. This drawing was not planned but while browsing through my stationery I came across a white sheet of Canson Mi Teintes which initiated the idea of experimenting with this paper out for my charcoal drawing?. 

I love to experiment with new papers all the time. I have created a post regarding the "Papers I use for my charcoal drawings". After using Canson Mi Teintes, I am quite convinced that it will be an added paper in my list for charcoal drawings. It has this beautiful sanded smooth surface ( which I also use for my pastel drawings ) which takes on the charcoal pretty well.

Sometimes it takes just one drawing to come to a conclusion and there are times when you want to check a paper/paint again and again and you are not really sure if it is going to work for you. 

Charcoal drawing and sketching of a scene from Malshej Ghat, Maharashtra by Manju Panchal

Monsoon at Malshej Ghats
Charcoal drawing on Canson MT paper.
Size 5.5" X 7"

Initial stage of a charcoal drawing, a scene from Malshej ghat

Initial stage of charcoal drawing

The above image shows the initial stages of the charcoal drawing wherein I have "Blocked In" the different elements in the scene, namely the sky, the mountains slopes etc using charcoal powder and my other blending tools.  The distant mountain slopes are kept light and without any details to create atmospheric depth.

In the subsequent layers I use the pencils and the kneaded eraser to create the highlights and shadows

A monsoon scene from Malshej Ghat, Maharashtra

The photograph from Malshej Ghats
which inspired me to create the charcoal
drawing such as above.

While on location, I try and take a few different photographs with different compositions and later after a little editing I use the image that looks good to to be converted into a painting. I also do a few quick "Thumbnail sketches" using my charcoal pencil and sketch book to roughly block in the value scale in the scene. It always helps. 

Follow my latest works and techniques on INSTAGRAM , where in I post my latest artworks regularly. 

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