Monday 30 June 2014

Two small sketches using General charcoal pencil

Charcoal and white pastel pencil sketches 

I have had General's soft charcoal pencil since long. Wanted to give it a try in my latest charcoal works.

general's charcoal pencil

Charcoal pencil by GENERAL

I never get tired of sketching new still life subjects. Drawing and sketching , I personally feel play a key role in the growth of an artist. This time I have used the grey rough surface of ordinary chart paper to create charcoal and soft pastel work. In some of my earlier works I have made constant use of CONTE charcoal pencil, however in these two sketches I finally tried out the GENERAL charcoal pencil and I loved its smoothness and rendering. The whites in the sketch are created using white chalk and white pastel pencil.

Two charcoal sketchings using general charcoal pencil by Manju Panchal

1.Lime and steel bowl
2. Two tea cups

Two small still life sketches using
General's soft charcoal pencil
and white pastel chalk and pencil.

Most of my still life paintings are done by referring to the simple day today objects which are lying
 around us in the house. The light that falls on them creates beautiful shadows and the composition when set right can help create beautiful pieces of art.

Still Life Glass sketching by Manju Panchal

Sketching a glass to capture its transparency

Always wanted to paint glass. Finally did it on black chart paper using white soft MUNGYO pastel chalk and CRETACOLOUR soft white pastel pencil.  The size of the paper I used for this sketching is 4" X 5".
I wish to do a lot more of them soon. It is very interesting to get the light and reflections which gives the shape to the glass.

still life charcoal sketching of a glass by Manju Panchal

White pastel sketching of glass on black chart paper.

Saturday 28 June 2014

Pears all the way - done in white soft pastels by Manju Panchal

White Soft pastel painting on black paper

Had so many pears of different shapes and sizes, could not resist sketching some of them. Placed each of them in a different position so as to get all different perspectives. All the sketches are done using white cretacolour soft pastel pencil and Mungyo white pastel chalk. The paper I have used is black ordinary chart paper which has a little rough surface.

white soft pastel sketching of pears on black paper by Manju Panchal

White soft pastel on black paper.

Small still life water colour art works by Manju Panchal

Still life water colour paintings

A slice of papaya and garlic done in water colours using Camel water colour tubes. The garlic is done on ordinary cartridge sheet and papaya is done on Fabriano paper ( 200gsm). Both works are small works.

As I wrote in my earlier posts, I do small sketches and paintings on a regular basis especially during times when I am busy with my workshops or some other personal work. Creating an original work no matter what the subject is can be a very satisfying experience.   

Garlic and slice of papaya done in watercolours by Manju Panchal

Two small water colour paintings.

Friday 27 June 2014

Looking back - Rural home in water colours by Manju Panchal

Water colour paintings done in the past

Looking back at some of my old water colour paintings, reminded me of the wet on dry technique that
I used to create my water colour works. It was more like layers of glazing done. Both the water colour paintings are done using a reference photograph. 

Even in those days ie about fourteen to fifteen years back I had this strong desire to create wet on wet water colour works but had no idea where to begin with. But now I am doing only wet on wet technique as can be seen in my Leh Ladakh paintings. The pleasure in doing wet on wet is really great but at the same time one needs to be prepared for frequent disappointments which happens when one is not quick to place the right colours at the right places and the values go all wrong. Once done it cannot be easily rectified. Nevertheless it is a great medium and a lovely technique.

water colour paintings of rural homes by Manju Panchal

 Rural Homes
Water colour paintings on acid free paper.

For any inquiries pertaining to sale of my ORIGINAL PAINTINGS or otherwise write to me at or call me at 0091-22-9820683983 ( Mumbai - India )

Thursday 26 June 2014

Another tree sketching in charcoal and white pastel - by Manju Panchal

Using coloured sheet of CANSON MI TENTES paper, created another charcoal sketching of a tree using CONTE charcoal pencil and white pastel pencil and chalk.

Charcoal sketching of a tree by Manju Panchal

Branching out
Charcoal and white pastel work on Canson paper

Other details regarding the tools used can be found on my earlier post wherein I have posted an
image of pencils and pastels used in creating a similar work.

Tuesday 24 June 2014

From water colour to pastels - A seascape by Manju Panchal

Originally a water colour painting, gone wrong for many different reasons. It happens when one is experimenting with new paper, new medium, and many other factors.

Thankfully I work in many different mediums, hence I kept this aside for a few days and then one fine day
used my pastels to set it right. So now it is a seascape painting with a layer of water colours underneath and another layer of soft pastels as a final coating . I have not applied fixative to this art work so as to retain the luminosity of the colours. The paper I was trying is CAMPAP , and the pastels I have used are a mix of MUNGYO and KOH I NOOR brands.

watercolour and soft pastel painting of seascape by Manju Panchal

Rocks at the shore
Watercolour and soft pastel painting on CAMPAP paper

Tree sketching on Fabriano Academia sheet - by Manju Panchal

Another tree sketching on a different paper

After having done three tree sketches on Canson paper, I decided to do the next one on Fabriano Academia white sheet. This paper too like Canson has a very good texture and I have earlier tried
charcoal on it with fairly good results.

For creating this particular sketch I have used willow charcoal, Conte soft charcoal pencil and kneaded eraser. Since the paper used is white hence I did not require the white pastel pencil for highlights. ie the lightest value had to be the white of paper itself.

charcoal sketching of a tree on Fabriano Academia sheet by Manju Panchal

A Tree Sketch
Charcoal sketching on Fabriano Academia paper.

Posting the image of the Sketch pad with 50 sheets in it. ( 120 gsm, white colour )

Fabriano Academia pad with 50 sheets

The Fabriano sketch pad with 50 sheets in it.

Monday 23 June 2014

Another tree sketching in charcoal by Manju Panchal

Sketched another tree using reference photograph. The paper used for creating this work is the smooth side of beige coloured Canson Mi Tentes paper.

Posting an image of the tools used in creating the charcoal sketching.

Charcoal pencils, soft pastels etc used in creating a charcoal sketching of a tree by Manju Panchal

A . CONTE A PARIS soft charcoal pencil
B. CRETACOLOUR soft white pastel pencil
C. MUNGYO white pastel chalk
D. Kneaded eraser to create highlights.

Charcoal sketching of a tree by Manju Panchal

The Resolute one
Charcoal and soft white pastel on CANSON MI TENTES paper

Sunday 22 June 2014

Charcoal Sketching of a tree - by Manju Panchal

Sketching a tree using Charcoal pencil  and soft pastel

I tried out the sketching of a tree some time back CANSON paper and quite liked the effect . Canson Mi Tentes paper has different textures on both its sides. One side is a bit rough with granular texture and the other side is smooth. My present charcoal sketching has been created on the smoother side.

I have used CONTE charcoal pencil, blending tools, white CRETACOLOUR pastel pencil and MUNGYO white pastel chalk to create the sketching as given below using beige coloured Canson paper. 

Charcoal and soft pastel sketching of a tree on CANSON MI TENTES paper by Manju Panchal

Reaching out
Charcoal and pastel sketching of a tree on Canson paper.
Size 7.5" X 10" ( Including frame size )

Presently I am trying out another tree sketch on FABRIANO Academia sheet and am using willow charcoal in the background. Will be posting the image once it gets completed.

Friday 20 June 2014

Thumbnail sketch of Statue of Liberty in soft pastels and charcoal by Manju Panchal

Statue of Liberty

Flipping through my album I came across my thumbnail sketch of Statue of Liberty which I had done
in soft pastels about ten months back. I quite liked it and hence decided to do one in charcoal too. In
both these sketches I have not really spent time on any kind of detail. I just wanted to get the feel of it.
I wanted to capture the beauty of the magnificent Structure at night.   

I remember the time when I did it earlier, the whole intention was to try out night scenes and hence
randomly I had selected different cities and landscapes. My album is full of many such thumbnail sketches and I do take out time once in a way to go through them. 

Thumbnail sketch of Statue of Liberty using soft pastels and charcoal by Manju Panchal

Size of each of them is 3.5" X 5"

The upper thumbnail sketch is done on ordinary coloured chart paper using MUNGYO soft pastels
The lower thumbnail sketch is done on TK sheet ( white smooth sheet ) using CONTE  charcoal pencil
and blending tools

Creating a Thumbnail sketch from Leh Ladakh photograph by Manju Panchal

From photograph to thumbnail sketch

Given below is the photograph of the road leading to Ladakh, as taken by my friend Preeti Jhaveri.
Before creating a painting I normally follow the procedure of creating a rough sketch and colouring it.
I do it cause it saves me a lot of trouble later on. It helps because if the thumbnail sketch looks spent time deciding on the colours that I want in background, foreground and the shadows etc 

Ladakh photograph used as reference to create thumbnail sketch by Manju Panchal

Using the above photograph I decided on the few changes that I wanted and then I did a rough
sketch of the beautiful landscape and then using Camel artists quality water colours created the 
thumbnail sketch as given below. I once again created a wet road with reflections and I am loving it.

Thumbnail sketch of Road to Ladakh done using water colours by Manju Panchal

Thumbnail sketch of Road to Ladakh using water colours.
Size 4" X 5.5"

Now if I feel the need to create a bigger painting I just have to refer to my thumbnail sketch rather than referring to the photograph as I have created the work as I wanted it to be. We paint what we see. 
The above water colour painting of thumbnail sketch has been done on ordinary cartridge sheet.

Regarding the colours used in creating the above painting, I suddenly realised that I have used 
just four colours ie ultramarine blue, light red, burnt siena and crimson which makes this a
limited palette painting. A painting where only a very few colours are used.

Thursday 19 June 2014

Leh -Ladakh painting - from a reference photograph.

From photograph to Painting

My 5th water colour painting in the Leh Ladakh series. 
As I mentioned in my earlier post I am referring to photographs given by my friend who visited Leh Ladakh a few years back. For my present painting For my present painting referred to the photograph as given below. 

Leh Ladakh photograph for painting reference

But I wanted to make a few changes in the colour and composition. So I decided to keep just  one 
vehicle, give the road a wet effect and add the reflections of red light . Never painted or sketched a
vehicle before . The paper I used for this particular painting is FABRIANO AQUARELLA cold pressed
200gsm paper. 

Leh Ladakh painting from a reference photo by Manju Panchal

On the Road
Water colour painting on Fabriano paper
Size 9" X 11" ( Including the size of mountboard )

The better quality paper in Fabriano for water colour painting is 300gsm, ARTISTICO cold pressed.
Right now I have the 200gsm pad since I purchased it in one of he sale sessions but I plan to buy the 300gsm paper soon. Most other papers tend to buckle with application of water especially when we 
are doing wet on wet technique where lot of water is applied right at the beginning.

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Water colour painting of garlic - Campap paper

Water colour painting on CAMPAP paper from Malaysia (200 gsm )

I have painted garlic as a subject before but this time I wanted to change the composition by giving it
a red background and placing the two cloves of garlic in different positions so as to try out new angles
of perspective.

 Moreover I have been using the handmade paper for long so wanted to try out CAMPAP
paper which I recently purchased during sale. ( Have posted the image of the pad with 12 papers
in it ). The colours used are the usual Camel brand artists quality tubes.

Water colour painting of garlic with red background by Manju Panchal

Size 6" X 8" ( Including mountboard )
Water colour painting on Campap paper 200gsm

I will be doing few more water colour paintings on Campap paper to know more about its water retaining
capacity and other advantages over my regular Indian hand made paper that I am using ( which turns out pretty economical ). 
The right kind of brushes also play a very important role in water colour paintings. Presently I am using the normal Camel brand as is available in most art stores but wish to buy some better quality brushes soon from FLIPKART, which is selling Daler and Rowney brush sets at a good discount.

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Graphite sketching of a tree by Manju Panchal

Anatomy of a tree - sketching in graphite and white pastel pencil

Always wanted to sketch a tree using graphite pencil and finally did it. It stands tall just outside my local Bank. Everytime I passed it I would spend a few moments appreciating the light and shadow playing on the tree trunk and branches. Last week I captured it on my mobile and today usiing normal graphite
pencil ( Camel  10 B ) and white pastel pencil created my FIRST tree sketch.

As I have begun doing landscapes, and trees being essential element in the composition, I feel the need
to understand the anatomy of a tree. What better way than to create live sketches of some beautiful
trees around us.

Graphite and white pastel sketching of a tree by Manju Panchal

Graphite and pastel sketching on Canson Mi Tentes paper
Size 7" X 9" ( Including mountboard )

Planning to do my next tree sketching using charcoal and white pastel chalk. 

Monday 16 June 2014

Water colour Paintings on cartridge paper by Manju Panchal

Two small water colour works.

Created two small water colour paintings using wet on wet techniques on ordinary cartridge sheets.
Forest with wet road and the reflections of the trees and foliage, followed by an apple on a folded 
fabric. Since these are study works for me, I normally use inexpensive paper like cartridge paper.

Some time later I may use it as a reference to create a larger piece of work.

Water colour paintings ( cartridge paper )

Mountains and slopes - painting in watercolours - by Manju Panchal

KALPA - Himachal Pradesh

This painting shows the view as seen from the high hills of KALPA, ( small town in kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh ). Created from a reference photograph, ( our holidays June 2014 )
Walking along the road soaking in the beauty around us, the chilled atmosphere, the quiet surrounding, it felt so much like heaven on Earth.

The paper used for this water colour painting is FABRIANO ( 200 gsm ) and the 
colours used are Camel artists quality water colours. I have added a hint of pastels though, on the road.

Water colour painting created from personal reference photograph of KALPA, beautiful town in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh.

View from Kalpa
Water colour painting on Fabriano paper
Available for sale

We also visited NAKO, TABO, KAZA......and went up right till KUMZUN PASS. I will be creating
more paintings referring to photographs of these beautiful places.
For more information on unique places to go for holidays
visit the site
A site with a whole lot of information for all nature lovers.

Saturday 14 June 2014

My palette for water colour paintings

The Folding Palette 

Years back I had picked up this folding palette which i did not put to use earlier as I had got into charcoals, pastels and other mediums. Hence recently when I began using it I realised how convenient it is. It is made from lightweight plastic, so you can hold it steady for as long as you wish to paint. It has a  hinged thumb hole which is deep enough to hold short-handled brushes and small paint tubes. 

The small rectangular depths are perfect to put in the different colours from tubes. The bigger rectangular depths are perfect for creating the mixed colours that are required.

The palette in folded state

The open palette with colours in it.

Over a period of time I have realised that I use certain mixed colour schemes a lot. So more or less my
each rectangular space is fixed for a particular colour. The violets, the greys, the dark greens and so on.
It saves me a lot of time and once done with the painting, I fold the palette and keep it aside.

Friday 13 June 2014

Thumbnail sketches done in water colours - by Manju Panchal

Loosely done water colour sketches

The five paintings done below have been done on different occasions on cartridge sheet using Camel artists water colours. They are more or less like study sketches or thumbnail sketches where I have used the brush
strokes very freely ( wet on wet technique ) just to get an overall idea about the results or what it would like
if I were to create it in a bigger size. 

There is a landscape, a foilage created using spray technique, a wet street scene, 
a slice of melon ( as placed on my dining table ) and the last one is done out of imagination. A wet road
with reflections. 

Thumbnail sketches of forest, slice of melon, wet street scene, foliage in water colours by Manju Panchal

I have used the App PicCollage to put together these five different sketches together.

Thursday 12 June 2014

Carol Marine - An artist with great still life works

An artist I admire - Carol Marine

During one of my browsing sessions I came across a you tube video of Fine Artist Carol Marine.
She has a very different style of creating the still life works and her paintings are amazing.
I follow her works even now. She is from Texas, USA

Do watch her video as given below. ( COURTESY : YOUTUBE )

A Demo session by Fine Artist  CAROL MARINE

New Header for my Blog

Creating a NEW HEADER for my BLOG

After almost six months of regular blogging , I felt the need to change the header. Putting together
some of my paintings in App PicCollage I went about creating a new one, adding my signature to the
extreme right. Feels good to see the new Header.

Collection of charcoal, pastel and water colour paintings on header of the blog by Manju Panchal

Creating a BLOG has helped in the following ways
  • I have a personal space where I can put up all my works
  • My paintings are getting a better exposure
  • It gives me an opportunity to review all my works under one roof
  • Gets me connected to more people who are so much into art like me.

Water colour painting - The greens by Manju Panchal

After the seascapes and the still life water colour paintings, it is time to do landscapes with trees. The greens can be very intimidating with so many different hues. Especially when one cannot get the colour that one
desperately needs. Lot of mixing of colours and most important PATIENCE. 

I almost ran out of patience but the best thing that happened is that I completed it. Both the paintings as shown below have been done on Indian hand made paper and I have used Camel artists quality water colour tubes.  

Water colour painting of forest, tree done using camel artists quality water colour tubes. By Manju Panchal

Water colour painting of forest and a single tree.

Sunday 8 June 2014

Water colour painting of Colva beach in Goa by Manju Panchal

Water Colour Painting - wet on wet technique

Using Camel Artist's quality water colour paints I have created this watercolour painting of a stormy sky using wet on wet technique. To create this painting I have referred to my Goa holiday photographs. ( COLVA BEACH

Had come to watch the ocean , got caught up in the sky. The beautiful evening sunrays gently falling
on the surface of the seawaves, it was a an enriching moment.

water colour painting of seashore created using wet on wet technique by manju Panchal

Colva beach, Goa
Water colour painting on Indian handmade paper
Size 9" X 11" ( Including mountboard )

Creating a painting from my own photograph is like bringing to life the beautiful moments of past and then reliving them.

I recently browsed through the water colour paintings of Indian artist Milind Mulick and found them
absolutely amazing. He resides in Pune and has years of experience with water colour medium
and it shows through his works.

Saturday 7 June 2014

Water colour paintings with a touch of soft pastels by Manju Panchal

Water colour paintings - A little experiment

It is not always that a painting turns out as desired. Many a times things go wrong and it is precisely in these moments when one is forced to think of an alternate solution. During such moments one experiments wtih inovative techniques. If it works, then it works. If it does not, then at least there is this satisfaction that one tried instead of giving up.

Below are two different seascapes in which I was trying out complicated skies using wet on wet technique and things did not go quite the way I wanted. So I kept it aside and later decided to experiment with my soft pastel collection. The soft pastels worked well on the Indian handmade paper as it is a bit rough
and the pastels got fixed on it. My two paintings almost got a second life. Some day I would love to try a mixed media painting using both water colours and soft pastels on it.

water colour paintings with a touch of soft pastels by Manju Panchal

Two Seascapes
Water colour and soft pastels on Indian hand made paper

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Still life oil paintings put together - by Manju Panchal

Arrangement of small oil paintings on the wall 

I have made several 6" X 6" small still life paintings on canvas and posted them individually 
on my blog. In order to get an idea as to what will it look like when put together as a collection on the wall
I used PicCollage App and AVIARY App for editing to create this collage as shown below.

This is one way of putting them together. I will be posting more different ways in which three or
two long art works can be placed together. The way paintings are framed and put up
in the right way on the wall makes a big diference in enhancing the looks of the house.

arrangement of small 6" X 6" canvas oil paintings of fruits and vegetables by manju Panchal

This arrangement when placed in kitchen area or dining area adds a lot of colour
to the surroundings.

You can also check out for Art Arrangement at this site
I found it helpful.

Charcoal paiinting of clouds above - by Manju Panchal

Charcoal Painting on Scholar drawing paper

Last week when I was down in my residential complex waiting for a friend to arrive, I looked up at
the sky and the composition of the clouds in the sky looked very appealing. The very dark clouds were
so low and the setting sun was reflecting light on the clouds above.So I clicked a photograph
using my mobile. The photo was not very clear but I wanted to use it as my next subject to create
a charcoal painting on Scholar drawing paper.

I used SCHOLAR drawing paper quite some time back when I was doing my portraits in charcoal. 
When I started the initial drawing and shading it looked simple but as I began the shading and blending
I realised that I had to take care of perspective and all the different layers of shadows. Nevertheless I enjoyed doing it. I used CHUNKY CHARCOAL from CRETACOLOUR and CONTE charcoal pencil. Since it is more of a study work for me I did it on a small sized paper. 

Charcoal painting of clouds in the evening sky by Manju Panchal

The clouds above
Charcoal Painting on Scholar drawing paper
Size 5" X 7" ( excluding the mountboard )

Monday 2 June 2014

White soft pastel painting - still life composition by Manju Panchal

This White soft pastel painting on black paper is done in a loose manner, more of study work, to get an idea of the folds of a cloth and the shading involved in creating the depth. 

Moreover I wanted to check out the white pastel work on FABRIANO ELLE ERRE paper. This paper is rough on one side and has horizontal in built lines on the other side which gives a textured effect on the art works created on it.

I created this composition by placing the metallic container and the cloth on top of a tall wooden 
shoe rack and then I let the light from my living room window fall on it. it is great fun to create a 
painting from a live subject in front of you.

The folds
Soft pastel on Fabriano elle erre paper

The Fabriano Elle Erre paper is available in many different colours and are quite good
to work on if you are into soft pastels.

Water colour painting - demo work by Manju Panchal

Water colour painting WORKSHOP - Demo work

Created this water colour painting as a quick demo work, avoiding too many details. 
Since the technique used is wet on wet, the painting gets completed in about fifteen to twenty minutes
but to get things right one has to have real control over the water and colours in the brush.
once the colours are rendered it is difficult to erase the mistakes as in other mediums.

This water colour painting of a beautiful landscape with the evening sky is done on a small sized Indian handmade paper using Camel artists quality water colours.

The painting got completed in two layers. In the second layer glazing was done, and even wet on dry
technique was used.

water colour painting of a landscape done as a demo work by Manju panchal

The Evening Sky
Water colour painting on Indian handmade paper

Sunday 1 June 2014

Water colour painting of Leh Ladakh landscape by Manju Panchal

This is my fourth water colour painting in the Leh Ladakh series from a reference photograph.
I selected the photograph because I liked the composition very much but photographs always do not capture
the natural lights and shadows well. The photograph was a bit dull with lots of greys in the foreground.
Hence I added a few colours to add warmth to the painting.

For me it is very important that I do a realistic work. The work when complete should make me feel the atmosphere as the PAINTING is depicting. There should be this " FEEL GOOD " factor. AND most important aspect of my day today painting and drawing experience is that " I LEARN ALMOST EVERYDAY". I learn because I make mistakes and that makes me rethink my strategy to overcome
the problem. It makes me put in more efforts and the efforts always have a positive outcome.

Water colour painting of Leh ladakh mountains on indian hand made paper by Manju Panchal

The Road Ahead
Water Colour painting on Indian Hand made paper
Size 9" X 11" ( Including Mountboard )