Friday 26 September 2014

Water colour painting of a tree on handmade paper

Using my personal reference photograph created this water colour painting. ( This tree stands in one of the silent and less crowded lanes near my complex and I carried my camera to photograph a few of them. )

The first layer was created using wet on wet technique, blocking in the values. Once it dried up used wet on dry technique to complete the painting. 

For the first layer I used my usual camel water colour tubes. For the second layer I decided to add Winsor and Newton water colours which are pretty bright and dark colours.

Barks and Boughs
Water colour painting on Indian hand made paper

Creating mixed media works for my ETHNIKHOMEDECOR blog

Past few days,I have been busy creating a few mixed media works on canvas using textures and acrylic paints. My mixed media and other ethnic works can be viewed in blog

6" X 6" mixed media canvas paintings
Representing trees and forests.

These works when put together in groups of two, three or more add lots of colour and life to the room.

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Charcoal painting of Rocks, water and reflections ( Langkawi Island )

While on a KILIM Geoforest Tour  ( Langkawi Island ) we were taken to this beautiful isolated beach which had these beautiful huge rocks , some tree growths around and a little ripple in the waves. The water was clear and transparent exposing the submerged rocks.The entire scene was mesmerising. 

Presently I have done this painting using charcoal on Fabriano Academia paper but later I wish to do the same painting using soft pastels as I feel the need to capture the beauty in colours too. Charcoal painting takes me a lot more number of hours as compared to other mediums but I love this medium a lot and do not want to ever give up on it. 

Charcoal painting of rocks, water and reflections by Manju Panchal

Rocks, water and reflections
Charcoal painting on Fabriano Academia paper.
Available for sale

"One paints as one draws - Ingres"

I came across this quotation in one of the floral painting books which is a part of my ART BOOKS collection. There is an entire chapter devoted on "how drawing and sketching play an important role in day to day painting". Over a period of time and with whatever experience I have had so far I too feel that drawing and sketching play a KEY role in painting process. Hence I devote a lot of time to my sketchings even today. 

If you like mixed media and textured art works then please visit my blog
to view my ethnic and mixed media art works. My second blog was inactive for a very long time but I have started adding works there. If you have any inquiry pertaining to sale of my works please write to me at
or contact me at 0091-22-9820683983

Thursday 18 September 2014

Putting together some of the works done during CHARCOAL WORKSHOP

Images of few charcoal paintings done by participants who attended my recently held Charcoal Workshop. It has been TWO FUN FILLED days. 

Everytime there is a workshop I look forward to meeting new people. The bonding is instant as art has no language. I get to meet people of all age groups and it feels real good to see everyone doing a subject in such a different way. The individual technique evolves slowly. I show my way, but eventually each participant tries out in his/her way and the works then look different and IT SHOULD.

Those who are really passionate about art, stay connected even after the workshop is over and by regularly discussing art and ideas become a source of motivation for one another.

charcoal paintings done during a two days CHARCOAL WORKSHOP conducted by Manju Panchal

Collection of charcoal paintings done during 
Charcoal workshop

The charcoal workshop basically introduces the participants to the WORLD of charcoal paintings. They learn about the tools and papers used for charcoal sketchings. They get to see the demo works and then later themselves  four different painting on different subjects like rocks, mountains, seascape, still life etc.This way they get the feel of the medium. From here on all that they need to move on further is a lot of practice, patience and dedication.

"One painting a day would just do fine."

Adding life to an old water colour floral painting

Came across an old floral painting done in watercolours in one of my folders. It makes me feel good to see my earlier works. It looked slightly off coloured at the bottom so decided to play around with a little colours.

water colour painting of flowers done by Manju Panchal

Using my Winsor and Newton cake set added a layer of glazing here and there.

Winsor and Newton cake set ( 12 colours )

Purple delight ( After a brief touch up )
Water colour painting

Sometimes the painting on a whole looks appealing to me and at that moment I feel like ignoring minute errors here and there. One can't erase and redo the elements in watercolours. Whats there is there. Accept it and move on.

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Busy and enjoying the CHARCOAL WORKSHOP

Art Workshops are fun. It forces me to take a break from my regular routine of creating my kind of works. I get to interact with new people, discover so much about their involvement with art and in general the atmosphere gets so charged up. 

This time I decided to choose some very different subject. A simple rock with different textures on it ( Was part of my balcony flower pot as a decoration piece until now when I decided to put it to paper using charcoals ) and a seashell which I had picked up from seashore some time back. As artists we have this habit of picking up objects which can later be part of a still life creation.

Posting below the images of my demo works using Conte charcoal pencil, blending tools, camel charcoal pencil and Chunky charcoal. The works of the participants will be put together after the workshop is over.

Demo works done during a charcoal workshop by Manju Panchal

Two small charcoal works done anson
during the charcoal workshop on
Canson C a grain paper 
Fabriano Academia paper

Since both the above works are demo works I have not spent more than forty five minutes on each of them. Just worked on the values, the light and shadow effects, the depth and did not get into each and every detail. At times one has to take the decision to "STOP". If not the detailing and shading can go on and on for a pretty long time and overdoing can sometimes take the essence away.

Monday 15 September 2014

Back to soft pastels

After a few water colours, I am back to my soft pastels and my all time favourite series of "Painitng Trees". It all started as a study work so as to enhance my knowledge about tree anatomy but of late I have realised that it has become a passion. I am loving it. In fact where ever I go my eyes are unconsciously hunting for some great looking tree with beautiful, different structure, textured barks, long spread out branches. I do not miss out the opportunity of taking a photograph, which later gets edited using my Apps on Computer.

The tree as painted below is from a reference photograph which I took in one of the less-traffic lanes and is lined up with beautiful trees. 

soft pastel painting of a tree trunk by Manju Panchal

Tree Trunk
Soft pastel painting on Fabriano Tiziano

Having done a couple of soft pastel paintings on the Fabriano tiziano paper it is now quite evident that it has great quality. Hence apart from using Canson Mi tentes paper, I would love add this to my collection. I have already ordered my set of FABRIANO TIZIANO ( black ) pad from FLIPKART which shall be arriving soon.

Sunday 14 September 2014

Three more mini water colour paintings in my water colour sketch book.

Three more mini water colour paintings added to my water colour sketchbook. My sketch book has a total of 40 pages, so another 18 more to go. 

All three are done on different days. These small water colour paintings take anywhere between fifteen minutes to half an hour depending on how simple or how complicated it is. Everytime I do a different subject I come across some situation where in I have to apply some new technique to set things right. These small efforts help in big way. Every painting, be it small or big is a new learning lesson.

Three mini water colour paintings
( Part of my water colour sketch book )

Saturday 13 September 2014

Water colour painting of Kunzum Pass ( Himachal Pradesh )

Kunzum Pass (TibetanKunzum La, (el. 4,590 m or 15,060 ft), is a high mountain pass on the eastern Kunzum Range of the Himalayas some 122 km (76 mi) from Manali. It connects the Kullu Valley and Lahaul Valley with the Spiti Valley of Himachal PradeshIndia. It is on the route to Kaza the subdivisional headquarters of Spiti. There is also a 9 km trek to the Moon Lake of the Chandratal from the Kunzum Pass. ( COURTESY: WIKIPEDIA ) 

I purchased Fabriano cold pressed 300gsm paper some time back and finally used it today for the first time to do a water colour painting of  KUNZUM PASS as shown below. I have created a mini painting from my same reference photo earlier. Everytime I change the paper, it takes a little time to get used to it. This is a 300gsm paper so is quite thick and can soak in a lot of water without buckling.
After a few more paintings I will get the feel of it.

water colour painting of KUNZUM PASS on fabriano cold pressed paper by Manju Panchal

Water colour painting on Fabriano cold pressed paper

We as a family have already been to Himachal Pradesh on three different occasions and I still feel there is so much to see and explore. During our last trip we had planned to continue our journey to Lahaul district but due to bad weather could not proceed further form KUNZUM PASS. So our next trip to LAHAUL is pending and will happen some day soon. 

Coming week I am having two workshops ie Charcoal as well as Soft Pastels. If you are interested in learning the basics of both these mediums you can register your names by either sending a mail to me at OR simply calling me at my mob no 9820683983 ( Mumbai )

Peepal tree done in soft pastels

The image below is a soft pastel painting of PEEPAL tree OR scientific name Ficus religiosa. This painting is done from a reference photo which I took at CHURCHGATE, where I had gone some time back for my art shopping ie at ART LOUNGE. A look at it and I felt the need to use it as my next subject in the TREE series. Being in the heart of the city the background of the tree was teeming with cars and people but I wanted to focus on JUST THE TREE. Hence freely and boldly I went ahead and coloured it my way.

I have used a BEIGE coloured Canson Mi tentes paper for creating this painting. I initially wanted to avoid painting the bunch of leaves sprouting from the trunk but later decided to include it as it cast good shadow underneath and it was fun doing this work.

soft pastel painting of a Peepal tree by Manju Panchal

The Sacred One
Soft Pastel Painting on Canson Mi Tentes paper

Ficus religiosa or sacred fig is a species of fig native to NepalIndiaBangladeshMyanmarPakistanSri Lanka, south-west China andIndochina. It belongs to the Moraceae, the fig or mulberry family. It is also known as the Bo-Tree (from the Sanskrit Bodhi: "wisdom", "enlightened", and as a Sinhalization of this the Sinhala Bo

Thursday 11 September 2014

Charcoal painting of Matheran landscape

Recently posted the image of my soft pastel painting of FOGGY DAY IN MATHERAN. 
Tried out the same in charcoals. Every medium has its own charm. The colours speak a different language but at the same time BLACK and WHITE has its own appeal. 

Charcoal painting of Foggy day in Matheran by Manju Panchal

Fog in the woods
Charcoal painting on white textured paper
Available for sale  is my second blog which I created along with my present blog. However over a period of time I got very busy with my Paintings and workshops. As a result ETHNIKHOMEDECOR blog got totally neglected and has remained inactive for a long time now. BUT I have plans to create a few mixed media paintings and innovative nameplates soon. Therefore keep browsing and thanks to each and everyone who has at some time or another visited my blog and appreciated my works. It is very motivating.

Tuesday 9 September 2014

A day spent in creating water colour paintings

After working for days in soft pastels, finally decided to do a few water colour paintings for my sketch book. ( 18th and 19th painting )

Selected  two different subjects. An apple as a still life painting, which I created without any reference. The second painting is from my reference photograph of KUNZUM PASS. ( Altitude 4,551 m ) from our Himachal holiday trip last year. We had gone on a tour of  LAHAUL and SPITI valley but could not cross further as the Glacier ahead had not melted and the weather was not favourable.  

The view at KUNZUM PASS was absolutely stunning with snow capped mountains, clouds above and its shadows falling on the mountain peaks below. We spent few hours soaking in the tranquil atmosphere. It was so very quiet and we were the only tourists around. Beauty of such places just cannot be described in few words. One has to be there to feel it all.

 Having done a mini painting I plan to do a bigger art work using a similar photograph and a better quality paper.

Mini water colour paintings of an apple and kunzum Pass by Manju Panchal

Two mini water colour paintings
An apple

Sunday 7 September 2014

Foggy day in Matheran - soft pastel painting

After my last attempt at doing a soft pastel painting of a foggy landscape, I could not control my temptation on trying out another one. Therefore, once again choosing my Matheran holiday photograph as reference, I went on to create another landscape but this time I decided to use my new paper which I recently purchased ie FABRIANO TIZIANO paper ( black colour ).

Somehow, after a couple of art works on it, I am beginning to like this paper. For this particular painting which I did in two particular layers, I did not feel the need to spray a fixative. Also I did not stick to the original photograph. Instead I made a few changes with respect to trees and the colours in the distance.

Soft pastel painting of one foggy day in Matheran by Manju Panchal

The forest Trail
Soft pastel painting on Fabriano Tiziano paper.

For this particular painting, apart from my usual set of 48 pastels from KOH-I-NOOR, I also decided to use the 64 half pastels from my MUNGYO set and it did help as it has a very different collection of greens and blues which really come in use. Posting an image below of a brand new set of MUNGYO half pastels. The ones which I am using presently are in a very disorganised state and needs a serious cleanup.

Some day I plan to begin with my canvas landscapes in acrylic. However I am in no hurry. The experience I am gaining by doing landscapes in soft pastels will be of  great help. It will make my acrylic painting procedure a bit easier.

Painting a foggy landscape for the first time - Matheran in monsoon

Painted a foggy landscape using soft pastels. Red muddy forest trails in Matheran during monsoons.
We have been to Matheran and Mahableshwar so many times in the last twenty years that I have lost count of it. Both the hill stations are beautiful with lush green forests and the best part is that they are very close to mumbai city. An easy getaway during weekends for citydwellers. I am slowly digging into my old photographs and looking for some great subjects to convert into paintings. 

Soft pastel painting of foggy landscape of Matheran by Manju Panchal

Leading into fog.
Soft pastel painting on ordinary black rough textured paper.

Since I was trying out a foggy landscape for the first time, I did not want to use my expensive paper.
I enjoyed doing the above painting, which I altered almost three times BUT finally when it completed I was happy with the outcome.

Thursday 4 September 2014

Storing of water colour and charcoal paintings - My way

Considering the fact that I paint almost every day, I am always thinking of new ways of storing my miscellaneous works. Miscellaneous because some are study works, others are thumbnail sketches. Then there are small pastel paintings, mini water colour paintings and finally my BIGGER serious works which I have been creating with an intention of selling them.

Mini Water colour paintings

My mini water colour works are fortunately all stored in the sketch book created by me. So thats a big relief. This book created by me has forty handmade papers in it. Once I complete my forty paintings, I might probably create another one as this is a very convenient way of pursuing one's water colour painting passion.

Water colour sketch book created by Manju Panchal

Bigger water colour painitngs ( Size 4" X 7"  or 7" X 9" )

Taking advantage of the fact that water colour paintings do no smudge I conveniently put them all together in a plastic folder making sure that it is placed in a safe and dry place.

plastic folder with water colour paintings stored in it.

Small Charcoal paintings

Since I regularly take two days workshop in different mediums, I also have a collection of small charcoal works. Charcoal paintings, I have realised , do not smudge as much as pastel paintings, hence I have purchased a big number of self sealing polythene sheets and I carefully slide my small charcoal painting inside the packet. ( sealing from other side ). If at all there is a need to frame any of my works, I would probably remove it and do a little touch up. I never spray a fixative on my charcoal painting as I do not feel the need to do so. The paper I use is good enough for the charcoal to get fixed on.

self sealing polythene packet

self sealing polythene packet
A. point where there is a small strip which can be pulled out to seal the packet
by pulling it over to the other side.

Charcoal paintings as protected in self sealing packets.

Plastic folder for storing with small charcoal paintings

Plastic folder to store small charcoal paintings which are individually
placed in self sealing polythene packets.

Regarding art works that are much bigger and done in different mediums, I shall be writing a post soon.
Keep browsing and thanks for visiting my blog.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Finally, new header for my BLOG

Completed almost eight months of blogging and I am enjoying every moment of it. Decided to Change the header  by including some of my latest works, which includes trees and landscapes.

My old header as shown below.

old header of blog created by Manju Panchal

Created the new header as shown below using PicCollage. Individual images edited using Aviary App.

New header created using PicCollage for blog by Manju Panchal

Forest landscape in soft pastels

Selected another forest photograph for reference to create a soft pastel painting as shown below. For this particular painting I decided to use a beige coloured Canson Mi Tentes paper as I was finding it pretty difficult to get light sky on black paper. Using beige coloured paper finally did help me as it was a lot easier to get the right colour of the sky. In future therefor I will use black coloured paper for those landscapes where the background needs to be a pretty dark.

Forest landscape in soft pastels by Manju Panchal

Deep into the forest
Soft pastel painting on Canson Mi Tentes paper

Monday 1 September 2014

Another landscape in soft pastels by Manju Panchal

Created my second landscape on FABRIANO TIZIANO paper. After the initial layer using Koh-I-noor TOISON DOR soft pastels, I sprayed Winsor and Newton fixative before adding the consecutive layers.
In addition to soft pastels I have used Conte charcoal pencil to create a few branches in the background.

soft pastel painting of landscape by Manju Panchal

The Flow
Soft pastel painting on black Fabriano Tiziano paper
Size 7" X 9" ( Excluding frame )