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 ( 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.