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.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

An Orange - A still life painting

"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." Edgar degas

During a recent water color workshop, I created a still life painting of an orange using wet on wet technique on handmade paper. In the background I sprinkled table salt to get the textured effect. 

My palette for this work was very limited and it comprised of Camlin Artist's water color tubes. 

A water color painting of an orange on handmade paper

An Orange
A water color painting on handmade paper
Size 5" X 7"

Presently I am more into doing portraits and landscapes. But I enjoy doing still life paintings too. Therefore when I have a workshop, I plan out different subjects including "Still life". Moreover the participants who come over to learn the basics have their own likes and dislikes. Therefore as a normal routine we do a still life, a floral and a landscape which covers up a lot of different techniques in the medium. 

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

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Mobor beach, Goa - A water color painting

“You don’t make art. You find it,” Pablo Picasso

The sky takes on beautiful shades of orange during sunset and it is a pleasure to watch the miracle unfold where nature paints the sky right before your eyes.

Today's post is a water color painting that I have created using one of my photographs taken at Mobor beach, Goa. Mobor beach is a white sand beach located at Cavelossim in South Goa. It is not too populated and is an excellent location if you are looking for some quiet moments.

After creating the sky and the sea, I added one fishing vessel in the distance, though there were many seen in the ocean near the horizon. Sometimes to keep the composition simple, I do away with some elements which I feel can distract the eye from the focal point.

The Evening Glow
A water colour painting on Arches CP paper
Size 5” X 7”

Presently I am working on "Portrait drawing on toned paper" which is pretty time consuming. Moreover I have started posting on Instagram regularly, so I am always running short of time. But I love blogging and will continue to do so as and when possible.

After months of experimenting with different water color papers, I have more or less decided to go with Chitrapat handmade paper and Arches cold pressed paper. But when I start with water color portraits, which I intend to do soon, then I will buy Arches hot pressed paper. As of now I am still trying to loosen up my brush strokes in water color medium. Taking one day at a time.

Thanks everyone for being a part of my art journey.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

An Evening at Uttorda beach, Goa

"Even when you paint, you never stop drawing." Igor Babailov

During our last stay in Goa, we happened to visit our friends who occasionally come to stay at their second home in Uttorda. In the evening we went for a stroll at the beach and I got to witness the dramatic shift of light in the evening sky. I decided to recreate this scene using the water colour medium on Arches cold pressed paper. 

Uttorda beach is not a tourist attraction and that makes it perfect for a serene experience. There were few people in the distance and I used my rigger brush to create few gestural strokes representing them.

A water color painting of a sunset scene at Uttorda beach, Goa. By Manju Panchal

Uttorda beach
A water colour painting on Arches cold pressed paper
Size 5” X 7”

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

Friday, 9 March 2018

Albert Einstein - A portrait study

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." Albert Einstein

Posted below is a portrait study of "Albert Einstein" on Strathmore Artagain 400 series paper. Working on a black paper involves getting all the tonal values using shades of white. It is almost like negative painting. I have used Conte a Paris and Cretacolor white pastel pencil and white pastel chalk. It is challenging but with couple of more works of this kind I will slowly get to understand it much better. CLICK HERE to see one of my earlier works created on the same paper.

A portrait study of Albert Einstein on Strathmore Artagain paper using white pastel pencil

Portrait study of Albert Einstein
White pastel drawing on Strathmore Artagain paper
Size 5" X 7"

Albert Einstein's quotes are very meaningful and they have inspired and motivated me a lot in my art journey. Therefore I decided to create his portrait study. Presently I am into both water color paintings and portrait artworks. A portrait drawing takes anything between five to six days as I go very slow on the details. I add the strokes little by little and keep it aside for a day and then come back to it the next day so that I can look at it with fresh eyes and continue working on it.

The Strathmore Artagain paper is now available at Amazon.in. ( I got mine in 2016 from USA )

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

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Working with Strathmore 400 series water color paper

"Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art." Leonardo da Vinci

I have a lot many different kinds of water color papers in my collection and for the past many months I have been exploring all of them in an attempt to zero in on the one that works best for my technique. Today I am posting a small water colour study on Strathmore water color paper. 

This painting has been inspired by a beautiful view that we came across while we were at Langkawi island in Malaysia. The distant mountains, an anchored sail boat and foliage drooping from the upper left was an appealing composition. I have worked exclusively with Winsor and Newton Cotman colors for this work. 

A water color painting of a scene from Langkawi, Malaysia on Strathmore water color paper

Water colour painting on Strathmore water color painting
Size 5"X 7"

Strathmore 400 series water color paper is acid free, 300 gsm and hence a great paper to work with but when compared with Chitrapat handmade paper and Arches, I found it a little difficult to work with wet on wet technique as the paper has the tendency to dry up fast. So I had difficulty in doing the sky and the ocean. However what I loved about this paper is that lifting and scraping color was quite easy. So in future probably for my still life kind of work I may use but for landscapes I have decided to go with Chitrapat and Arches CP paper.

Thank you for browsing through my artworks.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

A soft pastel study on Canson Mi Teintes paper

"Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death." Albert Einstein

Taking a break from my water color medium, I created a small 5" X 7" study of "Waterfall" using my soft pastel collection. This scene had water flowing in different directions and to capture the movement and rhythm with the pastel strokes was challenging. 

Using an orange colored paper for the waterfall added warmth to the painting and I feel it works well for subjects like seascapes and waterfalls. For my forest and other landscapes I prefer using either dark brown or the twilight paper.

In October 2016, I created a post in order to explain regarding how I go about choosing the right colored paper for my pastel paintings depending on the subject and the atmosphere. CLICK HERE to read more about it.

A soft pastel study of waterall on Canson Mi Teintes paper. By Manju Panchala

Soft pastel study of waterfall
on Canson Mi Teintes paper

At the beginning of the year I had taken a decision to continue doing my portrait works on a regular basis and I suddenly realized that I have not really done much since January. Therefore my next plan is to complete a small portrait of "Albert Einstein" which I started last year on Strathmore Artagain 400 series paper using white pastel pencil. It is about eighty percent complete and I need to spend a few more hours on it to add the finishing touches. 

Thank you for visiting my blog and your continuous support in helping me grow as an artist.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Another water colour study on Chitrapat hand made paper

"Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." Albert Einstein

When a paper works for me, it motivates me to create more works on them. As I have already written in my previous posts, Chitrapat hand made paper is new to me but somehow I am loving it. However to understand it better and to connect with it, I plan to work more with it.

Today I am posting a landscape painting that I created mainly to do the cloud study. I have used a mix of warm and cool colours ( Camlin artists water colour tubes ). As can be seen in the image below, I have also started using my Raphael sable hair mop brush. It is very expensive as compared to my other brushes but worth it.

A water colour study on Chitrapat handmade paper using Camlin paints.

Water colour study on Chitrapat hand made paper
Size 7" X 10"

Thanks for visiting my blog and browsing through my artworks. My works can also be seen on INSTAGRAM and if you like them please share. Thanks.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

My second attempt at Chitrapat handmade paper

"There is no greater harm than that of time wasted." Michelangelo

After my last experience with Chitrapat handmade paper, I was excited to try out another one. So I picked up the subject where in I could paint some mountains in the distance with its reflections in the water. 

For a small sized paper such as 5" X 7", I use just about two brushes. Both are from Himalaya Fine Art store at Fort. They have sable hair and are very smooth to use on the water color paper. They almost glide on the surface without disturbing the fibres on the paper surface. They are very economical as compared to the imported sable hair brushes.

A water colour study of mountains and its reflections on Chitrapat handmade paper

Water colour study on Chitrapat handmade paper
Size 5" X 7"

My art workshop "Charcoal and white pastel drawing on toned paper" is coming up on the 25th of February, 2018 at Art Station, Four Bunglows. So this week I will be busy working with the charcoal medium. 

Thank you all for visiting my blog. 

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Using Chitrapat handmade paper

"To draw, you must close your eyes and sing." Pablo Picasso

I love the above quote by Picasso. Painting is an amazing phenomenon. I do not know about singing but yes it does transport me to another world where it's me, my colours and my art. It is a kind of meditation which relaxes me completely. Not painting on a particular day makes me restless and so I look forward to doing some art everyday irrespective of the size and the medium.

Today's post is about Chitrapat handmade paper ( I had been reading great reviews about it since long ) which I recently purchased from Art Station. Unfortunately the stationery store did not have the Matt version so I decided to go with the rough surface pad. 

Normally when I begin my first painting on a new paper I go for a small size. It takes a couple of paintings to get to know and understand the paper. The subject I selected is “An evening sky” and I gave a suggestion of a few houses in the distance. I loved the paper and enjoyed working on it mainly for two reasons. First reason being it is great for wet on wet technique and secondly it is 270 gsm and hence does not buckle much.

A water colour painting of an evening sky on Chitrapat hand made paper. By Indian artist Manju Panchal

An Evening sky
Water colour painting on Chitrapat paper 
Size 5” X 7”

I feel good working with this new paper and sometimes it takes just one painting to feel the connection. I have a feeling that this paper will work for my kind of techniques. Prashant Sarkar, a water color artist has posted several of his videos on youtube and he has used Chitrapat paper for most of his paintings. It is inspiring to watch other artists create beautiful works.

Posting below some images of the Chitrapat Handmade paper pad and information printed on it.

Chitrapat handmade paper pad, 270 gsm, rough textured surface

Chitrapat Handmade paper pad

Close up of rough textured surface of Chitrapat handmade paper

Close up of the rough textured 
Chitrapat handmade paper

Chitrapat handmade paper

Info printed on the Chitrapat handmade paper pad.

When I like a particular paper then I try and include it in my "List of favorite papers" and Chitrapat is definitely going to be one of them. Very soon I shall post another work created on the same paper.

Thanks to everyone who has been visiting my blog on a regular basis. It motivates me to create better paintings each day.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Monsoon sky - A water colour painting

"The reward of art is not fame or success but intoxication." Cyril Conolly

Today’s post is a water colour painting which I created to do a study of “Monsoon sky” using wet on wet technique. I have limited myself to using only four colors namely
  • Raw Sienna
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Alizarin Crimson

A water colour painting of a monsoon sky on handmade paper

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

In this painting after applying the colors to the sky, I used my mini spray bottle to let the paint flow down with gravity and then I shifted the angle of the paper to direct the flow where ever required. Every new painting in water color medium provides me with an opportunity to try out something new and this adds to the fun and excitement. As I am enjoying working with this medium a lot, I plan to explore it more in the coming days.

On the 25th of this month I am conducting a one day workshop on "Using charcoal and white pastel pencil on toned paper." If interested, you can mail me for registration at manjupanchal5@gmail.com

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

La Carte Pastel card by Sennelier

"Great works are performed not by strength but perseverance." Samuel Johnson

As mentioned in my last post I recently purchased a La Carte Pastel card by Sennelier from Dick Blick, an online art stationery store in States. There are a lot of sanded papers available today, like Ampersand, Uart, Colourfix etc, but I decided to go for La Carte pastel card because I tried small study works on this card last year. The card came as a sample piece along with the Sennelier soft pastel set that I purchased through Amazon.

I pretty much liked its toothy surface and am posting my first landscape painting that I created on it recently. It is a 7.5” X 10.5” painting which I have created referring to my photograph that I took at Coorg, a beautiful hill station in Karnataka. It was a quiet morning and as we walked along the road lined up with trees and bushes, we could hear the sound of nature. John Muir's quote says it all. "In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

A soft pastel painting of a forest scene from Coorg on La Carte Pastel card by Sennelier

A Soft pastel painting on La Carte Pastel card by Sennelier
Size 7.5" X 10.5"

Beginning stage of a soft pastel painting on La Carte pastel card

Initial stage of the painting

La Carte Pastel card by Sennelier
La Carte sennelier card pad.

The La Carte pastel pad has come with six different neutral coloured cards. I am more used to the dark coloured papers but will try and select some subjects where in I can use the light neutral shades too. The surface of this pastel card is a lot different from Canson Mi Teintes paper. It is heavyweight, 360 gsm card and has a very toothy surface which can take layers of pastels without the pastel dust falling off. 

Thank you for browsing through my blog and if you have any queries related to any of my artwork or my techniques you can leave a comment below or write to me at manjupanchal5@gmail.com and I shall get back to you as soon as possible.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Waterfall - A study work in pastel medium

“ The only source of knowledge is experience.” Albert Einstein

Before starting any artwork, I do a small study of the same to understand the subject a little better. The waterfall study ( Naga Waterfall ) as below has been created with reference to a photograph, which I took while we were travelling up north in Sikkim. This is an upper view of the fall and the perspective is a bit complicated. The water is flowing from upper left to lower right.

Creating this 4” X 5” artwork on a small Canson MT was an interesting experience.I have limited myself to using very few pastels and pencils to create this 4” X 5” artwork. ( Koh-I-Noor and Mungyo brand )

A small pastel study of waterfall as seen on the way to North Sikkim

Soft pastel study work of a waterfall
from North Sikkim.
Size 4” X 5”

I have been using Canson Mi Teintes paper since last few years and it is a great paper for pastel and charcoal artworks. However I always wanted to try out some other brand sanded paper because when I am painting subjects like “Forest pathways” , I feel the need to apply more than two layers of pastels which becomes a little difficult with Canson paper. 

Therefore I ordered a La Carte pastel card Pad with twelve assorted coloured cards in it. I have already created two works on this card and will be posting them soon.

If you wish to purchase any of my paintings, you can browse through them in gallery format on my Instagram page. For any query regarding any of my works you can mail me at manjupanchal5@gmail.com and I shall get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my blog and supporting me in my art journey.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Water colour study on Vidalon paper by Canson.

"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." Albert Einstein

The above quote is truly inspiring. When it comes to water color paintings, it is a struggle. Being one of the most challenging mediums, it is quite intimidating. It is through regular mistakes that one is forced to think of an alternative technique in order to get things right. 

The most important factor that plays a big role in getting the water color painting right is to plan the step by step process in advance and then confidently get down to the paper. It all happens too fast, especially if you are into wet on wet technique.

Today’s watercolour painting is a 4” X 5.5” study on a sample Vidalon paper by Canson. I picked this paper from Art Lounge. Like Moulin du Roy, this paper too is great with wet on wet technique. I have used the cold pressed paper which works good for landscape paintings. Being a small sized work, I wanted to keep the subject simple and so tried out a simple boat with reflections.

A small water colour study of boat and reflections on Moulin du Roy water colour paper by Canson.

Boat with reflections
Water colour study on Moulin du Roy paper
Size 4" X 5.5"

Water colour is a great medium and the more you work with it, the addiction increases. Presently I am also working with my soft pastels and am having fun with them but have decided to take out time on a regular basis to keep working with my water colors too. Art in any form appeals to me. 

Thanks to everyone who has been visiting my blog and browsing through my works.

My upcoming art workshop 
Charcoal on toned paper
25th of February, 2018 at Art Station, Four Bungalows 
Mail me for further inquiry at manjupanchal5@gmail.com

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Moulin du Roy, Rough textured paper by Canson

"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." Albert Einstein

Today’s water colour painting is a small study work on Moulin du  Roy, rough surfaced water colour paper by Canson. I picked up this sample paper from Art Lounge last year. The subject that I have chosen is a “Cloudy day” at Maldives. The reference photo was provided by a friend and I am grateful to her for the same.

For this work I have used Winsor and Newton Cotman water colour tubes.

A water colour study of a cloudy sky on Moulin du Roy water colour paper by Canson

A cloudy day
Water colour painting on Moulin Du Roy paper
Size 4” X 5.5”

I have used Moulin du Roy, 300 gsm rough paper for the first time and it works good for wet on wet technique. I will create a few more paintings on some more sample papers that I have before deciding on buying the larger sheets. Having a sample paper to create preliminary works helps a lot.

Thank you for browsing through my artworks. To know about my upcoming art workshops CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

A limited palette water colour painting

“Water colour condenses time and consolidates experience.” Frank Marcello

Murud Janjira is a picturesque little fishing village on the lush western coast of Maharashtra, 150 km south of Mumbai. We visited this place during monsoon on one morning we came across this scene which inspired me to create the water color painting as shown below.

The hazy sky, the mist in the air and the distant fort made for a good composition. For this artwork I decided to go with a limited palette. The four colours I used are ( Camlin Artists water colour tubes )

  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Raw Sienna
  • Crimson
  • Burnt Sienna
A water color painting of a morning scene at Murud Janjira, Maharashtra

A Misty Morning
Water Colour painting on handmade paper
Size 7” X 10”

Hand made paper works out good for certain subjects where I need the paper to have a good water holding capacity and so it stays wet for a long time. I enjoyed working on this subject.

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

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

On the way to Uttarey, West Sikkim - A soft pastel painting

"Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and spiritual satisfaction." 
E. O. Wilson

Bordered by Bhutan, Tibet, West Bengal and Nepal, Uttarey is a small village located on the Northern slope of Singalila Range in North Sikkim. We paid a visit to this beautiful place while we were on a holiday to Sikkim last year in May. The road to Uttarey from Hee Bermiok had some stunning views on the way. The abundant greenery, the mountains, the waterfalls mesmerize you.

The soft pastel painting as below is inspired by one such scene that we came across while we were on our way to Uttarey. It feels good to be doing a pastel landscape after a long long time.

A soft pastel landscape painting of a scene from Sikkim by Manju Panchal

On the way to Uttarey, North Sikkim
A soft pastel painting on Canson MT paper
Size 7" X 10"

A few images of the steps leading to the creation of the painting as shown above. I started off by picking up a few pastels and placing them on a small white tray so as to avoid a lot of confusion as the painting progresses. I keep the pastel pencils by the side as I use them to create the small branches and other details where ever necessary.

Initial step to creating a soft pastel painting, a scene from Sikkim

Initial stage of the soft pastel painting.

I wanted to limit myself to a few pastels but as the painting progresses I have practically all my pastels out at my workplace. As seen in the photograph below, I have my Kohinoor and Derwent pastel pencils, Mungyo, Camlin and Sennelier soft pastels all around me as I add more colours to my landscape painting. 

Initial step to creating a soft pastel painting, a scene from Sikkim. By Manju Panchal

My pastel collection
at my workplace.

Thank you for visiting my blog and browsing through my artworks. If you wish to see my other works visit my INSTAGRAM page, where I upload my paintings on a regular basis.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Creating soft pastel thumbnail sketches

"The only source of knowledge is experience."Albert Einstein

Before starting off with the pastel painting, I always do a few thumbnail sketches or study works on small cut outs of Canson Mi Teintes paper. 

It is my way of doing a preliminary study of a complicated subject. By creating these small works using limited palette of pastels, I am able to simplify the scene by understanding the value masses, the composition, the additions and subtractions. If I am happy with the small sketch and if it looks good to me, then I go ahead and follow the same steps when I am recreating the work in a bigger format. Many a times I create more than one thumbnail sketch of the same subject in order to try out different compositions.

Soft Pastel thumbnail sketch/study work by Manju Panchal

Thnumbnail sketch, 3.5" X 5"

Soft Pastel thumbnail sketch/study work by Manju Panchal

Thnumbnail sketch, 4" X 5" 
Dubare Forest, Coorg

Soft Pastel thumbnail sketch/study work by Manju Panchal

Thumbnail sketch, 3" X 4.5"

Thank you for browsing through my artworks and if you are interested in joining me in my upcoming workshops do drop in a mail to me at manjupanchal5@gmail.com.

My upcoming workshop Schedule

26th of January - Charcoal drawing and sketching workshop 
3rd and 4th of February - Water colour painting workshop

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Cleaning and Organising my Soft Pastel Palette

"Drawing is not the same as form; it is a way of seeing form." Edgar Degas

Given below is an image of my "Soft Pastel Palette" with all my pastels put together in different boxes, grouped and segregated as per their hue. Earlier I would clean them up using a jar of old Rice/Semolina, but this time my pastels were not too messy, hence I used a partly moist cloth to roll up individual pastel on it. It worked and I could identify the exact colour of the pastel. CLICK HERE to see my earlier post on cleaning of pastels. 

Pastel palette, collection of different brands of pastels

Pastel Palette ( A mix of different brands )

Over a period of last six years I have purchased many different brands of pastels, experimenting and exploring, in an attempt to find the most suitable one. However I realized that each one them was good in its own way. Some are hard and I use them for initial blocking in of colours. Others are soft and work well to cover up the value masses. I have my favorites from each brand. The broken pastels as seen above in the pastel palette are from the following brands:
  • Mungyo
  • Gallery
  • Koh-I-Noor
  • Camlin
I also have one box of Sennelier pastels ( 24 Landscape colours ) which are very very soft and hence I use them for finishing touches as and when required.

How often do I have to clean my pastels? It is a question which has no definite answer. Sometimes I create a few works and then shift to my charcoal or water colour medium. In that case I keep my pastels well covered, so they remain clean for long. However if I am into pastels for long then after every few paintings, the pastels get jumbled up and dusty and then it becomes mandatory to clean it up or else it gets difficult to distinguish one colour from the other.

Now that my pastels are all organised, I plan to create a few forest paintings on Canson MT paper. I shall try to photograph them in different stages so that I can post the step by step technique that I use to create my soft pastel works.

Thank you for being a part of my art journey. I appreciate your support which means a lot to me. If you wish to see all my paintings together in gallery format, please visit my INSTAGRAM page.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Trying a cloudy sky using water colour medium.

"Avoid illustrating. Express the intangible, the atmosphere, the smell....the sound, the feeling of the place."Alvaro Castagnet 

It is important to know and understand water colour as a medium and reading quotes by master water colorists every once in a while helps. I enjoy reading quotes by Joseph Zbukvik, Alvaro Castagnet and others. I also take out time to watch them doing their paintings. It enlightens me and encourages me to never give up.

Today's post is a painting of a beautiful sun kissed sea and I am sharing a poem which I came across recently while I was browsing through PINTEREST.

The Sun kissed sea

A beauty rare, beyond compare,
is sun kissed sea,
No scene so calm, no scene so fair,
As this to me.
When floods of light dispel the night,
The morning kiss on waves
which sparkle with delight,
Is loveliness.
When ends my day, I trust and pray,
My voyage be
O'er the waters, where some golden ray,
May kiss the sea.

A water colour painting of s seashore in the morning by Indian artist Manju Panchal

The Sun kissed sea
Water colour painting on hand made paper
Size 7"X 10"

With my soft pastel palette, all organised and cleaned up, I am ready to begin with my pastel art. To begin with I shall be doing a few thumbnail sketches or study sketches, which will help me warm up. Small study works are great in order to understand the composition, value masses, colour etc. It helps you visualize the final outcome. If it looks fine in its initial stages then it encourages me to go ahead to create a bigger sized artwork on the same subject.

Are you into doing study sketches too? If yes, do write to me and share your experience. It will be fun to know more about it.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

At Benaulim beach, Goa

"Inspiration comes of working everyday."Charles Boudelaire

Today's post is a small 5"X 7"study work of a scene that I came across while I was at Benaulim beach, Goa some years back. It was this wild clustered growth of  foliage and dry thin branches against the backdrop of the vast ocean that attracted my attention. Another reason was probably I wanted to put my Winsor and Newton Cotman series, rigger brush to use.

Painting greens and foliage is always a challenge and painting such scenes from nature teaches you a lot. Rigger brush was of great help towards the end to pull out the tiniest of random branches which would have otherwise been difficult with the other brushes. I am loving the rigger brush and will write a detailed review about it soon.

A water colour painting of a scene from Benaulim Beach, Goa. By Manju Panchal

At the beach
Water colour painting on handmade paper
Size 5” X 7”

Hand made paper is great for wet on wet technique and is pretty economical too. I am using Petals hand made paper which is easily available in art stationery stores in Mumbai. I would have preferred using the cold pressed or Matt version but unfortunately, it is not easily available so I settled for the rough textured one.

Rough hand made paper

Petals hand made paper

If you are into water colour paintings, I would love to know about the papers that you use. Do leave in a comment.

Thank you for visiting my blog and browsing through my works. It means a lot to me. 

Charcoal drawing and sketching workshop - 26th of January, 2018.
Timings 10 to 1 pm. ( Only six participants )

Monday, 8 January 2018

PIXABAY - Free reference images for painting.

"It is in the silence of nature where one will find true bliss." j.j.c  ( Courtesy: Pinterest )

In December, I created a charcoal drawing of the scene as below to understand its basic tonal value structure.It is a beautiful landscape depicting "Fog and mist". I have referred to a photograph taken by Thomas B, Deutschland.( Courtesy: PIXABAY ) I am grateful to Mr Thomas for uploading this photograph and making it free for commercial use.

This photograph reminded me of my own visits to Mahableshwar and other hill stations during monsoon period when we would encounter such marvels of nature and hence inspired by the foggy lake scene, I created this water colour landscape using very limited colours from Camlin. The dark foliage and the drooping branches on the left pushed the other elements in the distance, creating depth. With this painting, I inaugurated my newly purchased rigger brush and Raphael mop brush. One of these days I shall create a post about the different brushes that I use to create my water colour paintings.

A water colour painting of fog and mist at the distance, by Manju Panchal

Fog and mist at the distance
A water colour painting on hand made paper
Size 7"X 10"

I am working on a few more water colour paintings before I make a switch to soft pastel medium, so keep browsing. Pastels are fun and I am very excited with the thought of getting back to them. 

To know about my upcoming workshops in different mediums CLICK HERE

Thank you everyone for visiting my blog and INSTAGRAM page.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

At Dalhousie - Charcoal landscape on toned paper

"To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles." Mary Davis

Today's charcoal and white pastel drawing on Canson MT paper is inspired by a scene from Dalhousie, a beautiful hill station in Himachal Pradesh. This road was leading us to our hotel and the entire pathway was lined up by tall coniferous trees and variety of other miscellaneous dense growth on either sides. 

Being a resident of a crowded city like Mumbai, I never get to witness such a sight and hence enjoy every moment of it while I am out there. Nature has so much to offer us and the least we can do is to take care of the environment so as to preserve it for posterity. Drawing and painting places that I have visited in the past gives me immense pleasure. It is my way of sharing the beauty and magic of nature with the rest of the people who have either been there or yet to visit.    

Charcoal drawing of scene from Dalhousie on toned paper. By Manju Panchal

Pathway in the woods
Charcoal and white pastel pencil drawing on Canson MT paper
Size 5" X 7"

This is first of my landscape forest paintings on toned paper. I am quite happy with the outcome and may go on to create some more in this series. Today I removed my soft pastel collection and sat cleaning and organizing them so that I can restart some colored works soon. I love charcoal medium too but working with the same medium for too long can lead to saturation and then a little change refreshes the mind. So keep looking for some new works which I shall be posting soon.

Thank you all for the support that you have provided me. My blog has now crossed 78,000 pageviews and it would not have been possible without the support of the viewers. Thank you all for the same. If you like my works and techniques do visit my INSTAGRAM page to view all my works together in Gallery format.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Stepping into 2018, a new beginning.

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow."Albert Einstein


The year 2017 has come to an end and this is my first post of the year. It was an interesting year with respect to my art journey and its time to share some of my favorite works that I managed to create in different mediums.

I am extremely happy that I could devote some of my time for my water colour passion and went on to create several landscapes and seascapes. It has been a struggle, trying to understand all about the different techniques involved in creating a single water colour painting and while doing so I am exploring, experimenting and learning a lot. The learning experience that comes with the process of painting is of utmost significance to me as it helps me grow as an artist.

Water colour paintings by Indian artist and blogger Manju Panchal

Water colour paintings created in 2017

Find below few "Portraits" that I tried out on Strathmore and  Canson MT paper. Both these papers have great textures and I plan to work with them for my future works too.

Portrait drawings by Indian artist and blogger Manju Panchal

Portrait drawings created in 2017

Some of my personal favorites in soft pastel paintings that I created in the beginning months of last year. 

Soft pastel paintings by Indian artist and blogger Manju Panchal

Soft Pastel paintings created in 2017

In conclusion 2017 was a great year and I am grateful to all those who have been supporting me in my journey of art. My family, friends, my art workshop participants, my blog and Instagram followers, a very big THANK YOU to each and everyone of you for appreciating my art and motivating me to further continue working with same enthusiasm.

Thanks a lot for stopping by and browsing through my works. Looking forward to reading your comments.