Wednesday 30 December 2015

Morning at the beach

Another of my seashore paintings with reference to the beaches at Florida. I added a little warmth to the sands in the foreground before painting the shadows. The sand dunes help in creating a dramatic composition. 

Presently I am continuing to use the Camel artist's colour tubes but have plans to use my old collection of Winsor and Newton cotman colours too as some of them are drying up. Also the plan is to shift to Arches paper as it has more water holding capacity and is an acid free paper.

Water colour painting of a morning scene at a seashore by Manju Panchal

Morning at the beach
Water colour painting on hand made paper
Size 6"X 9"

I somehow feel comfortable painting on a common size such as 6" X 9". This kind of an arrangement helps because in future if I have to frame some of my works then I can go and buy Frames of a common size which adds to the convenience. Moreover this size is very easy to store in a Folder.

Tuesday 29 December 2015

Walk to the beach - A water colour painting

The water colour painting as below is the second in the series of Florida beach paintings. My experimenting and exploring new colour mixing combination continues. In this particular painting I have used wet on wet technique in the sky using crimson, ultramarine blue and cerulean blue colour. I avoided adding clouds and wanted to keep the sky clear so as to keep the eye focused on the walk towards the ocean.

In the foreground I have made use of fan brush as well as the round brush to create the tall grasses on the sand dunes. The sand dunes have many different plants growing on it with extensive root systems.
Since I am painting lot of sand dunes in my present beach series, I decided to read a little more about it. More information about the subject that I am painting helps me to connect with it better.

Dunes play an important role both to the beaches that front them and the land behind them. Dunes act as a sand reserve for beaches. Dune systems act as a buffer between the high energy of the ocean and the land. Dunes provide a barrier to salt intrusion from high tides and storm surges, and it protects the land behind the dunes from erosion.


Water colour painting of a Florida beach by Manju Panchal

Walk to the beach
Water colour painting on hand made paper
Size 6" X  9"

Friday 25 December 2015

The sand dunes at the seashore - A water colour painting

I finally started the Florida seashore painitngs in water colour medium after having done the water colour study worksThe study works help me to follow the same technique as I applied while I was doing the small 4"X 5"painting. Most of the times it works.

The first of my Florida beaches is as below. Creating the grasses was a challenge. I used the round brush sideways dragging the colour upwards. The paint that I lifted from the palette was very dry or else it would have smudged a lot. Later I used the pointed brush to create the long blades of grass. I need to work on the sky and a few more elements and will experiment with some new techniques in my next painting. For the water colour painting below I have used Camel artist quality water colour tubes.

water colour painting of a seashore at Florida By Manju Panchal

Sand dunes at the beach
Water colour painting on Indian hand made paper.
Size 6"X 9"

By December end I will have completed two years of blogging and a whole lot of paintings and sketchings. Blogging has got me more focused towards my art. At times I just browse through my older works and it makes me realise how one step at a time I have slowly moved forward.

I have some resolutions lined up for the coming year and will be posting about it soon
If you wish to see my creative side wherein I design some unique ethnic home decor 
products then please visit my blog

Thursday 24 December 2015

Art Station - for all your art shopping

During my early years of art, I frequently visited town, mostly at HIMALAYA STATIONERY for purchasing my art stationery. It was much later ie few years back when I was introduced to ART STATION by a student, which made me realise that everything that I required was available close to my residence. Now that I know of this shop, I almost pay a weekly visit either to shop or just browse though the new stuff that gets added.  

As the shop is really a boon for all art lovers I decided to blog about it so that people staying close to Andheri west can travel here rather than going all the way to town.

ART STATION, a very popular art stationery shop at Four Bunglows, is an excellent place for all art related shopping be it Indian products or imported ones. The range of products have increased over the past few years. You can find everything under one roof be it canvas, soft pastels, water colours or brushes. They also store exclusive craft materials and are soon going to move into much bigger premises close by.

Given below are few photographs of the shop displaying the wide range of art products.

Art station, an art stationery shop at Andheri west for all your paints, brushes, imported art material

Art station, an art stationery shop at Andheri west for all your paints, brushes, imported art material

Art station at four bunglows, shop for all Indian and imported art materials here

Art station at four bunglows, Andheri west, shop for all Indian and imported art materials here

Contact details of  Art Station : 2226339794, 9967202612

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Florida beaches - water colour study sketches

The white sandy beaches of Florida are just beautiful. For my next study sketches I referred to some beautiful images from Florida and manipulated the photographs a bit by shifting the sand dunes and the grasses so as to create a good composition. In each of them I have tried some different technique or colour combination. I have also experimented with different skies. 

The sky in all the paintings below has been completed in just one wash. I have also used two new colours which are my latest additions in the Camel artists colour tubes collection, namely Rose madder and French ultramarine blue. Over a long period of time we get used to using only a particular set of colours and it reflects in most of our paintings. So I took the decision to try out new colour mixes every time I do a study work. For example  to create a dark shadow I mixed viridian green and rose madder which worked out fine.

In two of paintings as below, I have added raw sienna in the foreground to add a little warmth. For grasses I have tried different brushes like flat brush, round brush and fan brush. An old worn out brush with stiff hair also works fine at times and I realised that with practise the grass creation will get better.

watercolour study sketches of Florida beaches by Manju Panchal

Painting beaches of Florida on cartridge sheet
using water colour medium.

My next project is to use my technique and colours that I applied in the study work and create larger pieces of work. I may not use all four images as above but it all depends on the MOOD and RHYTHM. Many a times I decide to do just one but get so carried away in the flow that I land up doing many more. Then there are times when my study sketches remain in the sketch book and I shift to some different work or medium.

There are no set RULES that I follow. There is no FIXED PLAN or ROUTINE. I take each day as it comes. Painting and sketching what comes to my mind each morning. Fresh ideas keep cropping in my head all the time and it is like a list of work that gets built up like a future PROJECT.

I may not execute all my ideas and projects the very same day and they remain stagnant in some part of the brain but I know for sure that each of the ideas will take shape some day be it a charcoal painting of a tree trunk or a portrait study or whatever else.

Right now my water colour seascapes is a definite yes and I plan to do at least four to five of them.

Monday 21 December 2015

Art Of Watercolor: Milind Mulick. Interview.

Milind Mulick is a renowned water colour artist from Pune ( Maharashtra ) and his works are just amazing. I recently came across his interview and enjoyed reading it and found it very informative.

The interview was taken by Russian artist Konstantin Sterkhov  

Posted below is the link to the interview.

Art Of Watercolor: Millind Mulick. Interview.

Some water colour paintings  by Milind Mulick


water colour painting by Milind Mulick

water colour painting by Milind Mulick

Water colour paintings by Milind Mulick

Friday 18 December 2015

My recent Two days Charcoal workshop

Last few months have been busy with water colour medium. But when I got a call from a group of three who wanted to learn the Basics of Charcoal medium, I could not resist. Charcoal medium is one of my favorites till today and I can sit with my work for hours without getting saturated.

Of course it breaks the rhythm that gets set in with a particular medium, but nevertheless it provides an opportunity for me to meet new people who stay around my area and I know that in future too I will have people with whom I can interact for my art related work. Workshops bring like minded people together. We share the same passion and can discuss art endlessly, our past experience, our goals in future and a lot more. Every art workshop is a surprise package. I teach the techniques but while I teach, I learn too.

The first day of the workshop normally goes in discussing the papers, tools, and techniques used to create the different elements of nature be it rocks, grass, tree or bushes. This is then followed by demonstration of a seascape and a mountainscape. The participants on the first day just about get the hang of using the pencil, creating strokes, blending and scumbling. Then they create two small works on two different papers to know for themselves how charcoal works on each of them. By second day they get pretty used to the medium so I ask them what would they like to create.

This time the unanimous choice was my Coorg forest scene with a pathway. I demonstrated the step by step technique that I follow to create the scene in charcoal. My demonstration work was partly incomplete which I completed later and it can be seen as below.

Charcoal sketching of a Coorg forest landscape by Manju Panchal

The pathway
Charcoal painting on Canson C a grain paper
Size 6" X 8"

The works by the three participants is as given below. I encourage them to create the strokes as comfortable to them. Be it creating the leaves using a kneaded eraser or creating long grass using pencil strokes. By the end of the workshop I make them realise that each work turns out a little different as it is done by a different person and every individual finally has his/her way of doing things. This individual way of creating things will finally make them do their work in their own style. So it is important to learn the basic techniques but with time and practise each person's work should start looking different in the way that it has been created. 

I was happy with all three works and it gives me more pleasure to know that the participants who have never handled charcoal before create a forest scene on the second day and are so charged up to create more works as guided by me. I normally tell everyone in ANY workshop that they attend TO TRY AND CREATE ONE SMALL SKETCHING OR PAINTING EVERYDAY.  It works. It has worked for me and many other artists that I know who have been painting everyday.

Charcoal sketching done by participants during charcoal workshop by Manju panchal

Charcoal sketchings created by participants
during a Two days charcoal workshop
All are sized 6" X 8"

So in all each participant does about three sketchings. Two small ( 5"X 7") 
on the first day and one  ( 6"X 8" ) on the second day. The group is always a small 
number as I am able to then give individual attention to each of them.

Apart from paintings and sketching I also use my creative ideas to create some ethnic home products which can be viewed on my other blog

If you like my works, do share them with friends.

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Portrait study - Charcoal and white pastel sketching

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

My today's post is a portrait drawing on toned paper. The paper that I am using is Canson Mi Teintes. This paper has great texture and works good for me. It comes in many different colours but I love the dark gray a lot for my charcoal and white pastel pencil drawings like the one as given below.

For my present portrait drawing I have used Camlin and Conte A Paris charcoal pencil. For the lighter tones I have made use of General white pastel pencil. 

Portrait study work using charcoal pencil and white pastel pencil by Manju Panchal

Portrait study work
Size 5"X 7"

Portrait drawing is a very challenging subject as compared to landscapes and others, however it is very satisfying experience too. 

Thank you for visiting my blog and you can browse through my works on my INSTAGRAM page too.

Vaddi beach in South Goa - water colour painting

"I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it."
Pablo Picasso

I love painting seascapes be it any medium. I find it very relaxing. The time spent near the seashore hearing the sound of waves crashing at the shore and the tranquil atmosphere kind of rejuvenates the body and soul.  

This year in the month of September we visited many of the pristine beaches of South Goa. I had the opportunity to click many photographs with my new Canon 7D camera. Using these photos as reference I plan to paint some of the beautiful seascapes.

The water colour painting as below is of Vaddi beach which is situated in South Goa. We spent a lot of time at this secluded beach as it is not a prominent tourist spot and therefore it is not too crowded.

I loved this simple composition and enjoyed painting this scene but am still struggling with the greens. In the meantime I am reading a lot about colour mixing so as to get the theory into practice.

water colour painting of Vaddi beach at Soth Goa by Manju Panchal

Vaddi Beach
Water colour painting on Indian hand made paper
Size 10.5"X 14"

Thanks for visiting my blog. You can browse through my works at INSTAGRAM too.

Monday 14 December 2015

From Landscape painting to Portrait studies

Of late I have been very busy with my water colour medium as I am trying to get a better understanding of this challenging medium. However when too saturated, I shift my attention to
doing something else for instance Portrait study works.

Given below are some images of randomly done Portrait study works in the last ten days
 or so, on Canson Mi Teintes grey paper using General white pastel pencil 
and Camel soft charcoal pencil. I have tried Faces at different
 angles in order to get a better understanding of the face anatomy. 

Portrait study work on canson paper by Manju Panchal

Portrait study work on canson paper by Manju Panchal

Portrait study work on canson paper by Manju Panchal

All the above portrait works done on 5"X 7"  Canson Mi Teintes paper 

A Quotation that I find very inspiring.

"The only time I feel alive is when I am painting." Vincent Van Gogh

Thursday 10 December 2015

Preparing for water colour seashore paintings

After having done a few landscape paintings of Himachal where in I got to work on mountains and rocks, I now decided to explore the beaches which is my all time favourite subject.

Therefore I created few water colour study sketches with a difference. Different because I initially created the tonal sketch in my Art Sketch Book using ordinary HB pencil and then later ran my water colour brush over it. So it served twofold purpose. It helped me understand the tonal values as well as the watercolour techniques.

Given below are the images of few of my small works sized 4" X 5". I have also started writing few notes under each completed work regarding the colour scheme or technique used in that particular art work. So later when I browse through my older works, it can be a great reminder of the exploring and experimenting that I did in the past.

water colour study works of seascapes by Manju Panchal

Water colour study works of seascapes
in my cartridge sheet sketch book.

I have randomly selected different scenes so as to handle different elements and have also tried to focus on a good composition. I particularly enjoyed the colour scheme that I experimented with in the first painting with the lighthouse.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

On the way to Dhankar Monastery

"Nature is not a place to visit. It is home."  GARY SNYDER

Dhankar is situated at a high altitude ( 12744 feet ) in Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh . Reaching Dhankar and viewing the world around literally makes you feel at the top of the world. Painted below is a Commission work in watercolour, of a beautiful scene at Dhankar. It is situated between Tabo and Kaza, two beautiful small towns surrounded by deserted, barren land and mountains.

The air is pure, the wind chilly, the clouds so clearly visible in the sky. There are homestays for tourists which we were unaware of when we visited about more than two years back. Had we known, we would have stayed there for may be two full days soaking in the breathtaking views.

Water colour painting of Dhankar Monastery at Himachal Pradesh . By Manju Panchal

Dhankar, Himachal Pradesh
water colour painting on Fabriano paper
Size 14" X 18"
Not available for sale

For this particular painting I have used Fabriano water colour paper. I purchased the Fabriano water colour pad of 24 sheets some months back as it was on a discount. This paper is cold pressed, 300 gsm and fairly good for landscape works. But for wet on wet paintings I would prefer the Arches.

Fabriano water colour paper
Fabriano studio water colour paper pad.

Sunday 6 December 2015

My water colour palette collection

As artists we all have palettes for our water colour/acrylic paintings. I have a collection which I picked up on different occasions. The one below has a history. I picked up this one while I was in Fort area ( Mumbai ) and was browsing through some art stationery materials. I was not into water colour paintings then but when I saw this box palette I fell in love with it. With the intention of using it sometime in future I picked up this one for a small amount of Rs 200, about more than ten years ago.

Finally I am using it for my Camel artists water colour tubes. Its pretty messy as in the image but I manage to find the colours that I want. I made this arrangement of colours as per my convenience. The smaller wells have individual colours all spread out. In some of the bigger wells I have poured two colours simultaneously as I mix them a lot and it saves me the trouble of picking it up from two different wells. For example ultramarine blue and crimson are placed together and so are ultramarine blue and burnt umber.

Water colour palette as used by Manju Panchal

This one below is my second palette which I use when I do not have much of clean space left for some unusual colours to be mixed together. So I clean up the bigger wells to create the mix that is required for the water colour painting.

Water colour palette as used by Manju Panchal

The image below shows how I have mixed four different colours in the bigger empty wells so that while my painting is on I do not have to hurry up and create more colours which tends to be different in consistency and colour and ruins the painting beyond the retrieval point.

Water colour palette as used by Manju Panchal

My Winsor and Newton twelve colour cake set came in a Metallic box container which opens up with its metallic cover having a little depths in it which makes it convenient to be used as a palette. As of now I am using more of Camel artists water colour tubes, so I use this set sparingly. 

Winsor and Newton water colour cakes box with cover used as palette by Manju Panchal

This is another beautiful palette by MIJELLO that I picked up last year from ART LOUNGE.  ( Art stationery shop close to Churchgate station ). I already have a box palette, however I picked up this one to use if for my Winsor and Newton water cotman water colour tubes which I have with me since 2002. I have not used these tubes much as I got into charcoals and pastels later , BUT plan to use it now as I have realised that some of the colours are drying up. So my Mijello palette is now filled with small amounts of Winsor and Newton colours.

water colour palette as used by Manju Panchal

Mijello palette ( open )

Mijello water colour palette

Mijello palette ( Closed )

This last palette is different as it does not have too many big wells as separation. Yet it is kind of helpful in mixing the colours in the large single area and when I cannot find space for creating a new mix, I just wipe off the content using a clear sponge.

For my acrylic paintings I do not use any of these. I create a disposable palette myself and will post about it someday soon.

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Painting tips by John Lovett

John Lovett is a water colour and mixed media artist and I have been following his works for many many years. I was browsing through his site recently and found some interesting tips given by him which I am sharing through my blog.

Water colour paintings by
John Lovett


To produce successful paintings it is important to practice drawing

No matter what you are drawing it is important to first consider how your subject will be placed on the page. Small thumbnail sketches before you start your drawing are good way to work out the composition before you start your drawing.

Start your drawing by mentally reducing the subject to a few simple shapes. Sketch these in lightly and accurately, then proceed to break these up into smaller more detailed shapes. Don't start at one corner of the subject and work your way across to the other.

Your drawing will look better if the most interesting part ( called the centre of interest ) is not placed along either of the pages centre lines. The strongest tonal ( light / dark ) contrast should be placed at the centre of interest. Have some areas of the drawing less detailed than others. Try and keep most of the detail in the area of the centre of interest.

To gain confidence, practice drawing on large sheets of cheap paper with a soft (5B or 6B) pencil, charcoal, or pastel pencil. Stand up, work on a vertical surface (or surface at right angles to your line of vision) and move your arm from the shoulder. Work from large and bold to fine and detailed. Only the final finishing off needs to be done with small, tight hand movements.

Practice - It doesn't matter what you draw - you have to train your eye to accurately judge 
proportion and your hand to accurately convert these judgements to marks on paper. There are no shortcuts here, lots and lots of pencil shavings are the only answer.

ABOVE MATTER : courtesy:

All the tips as given above by John Lovett are really informative and when I am not painting, I take out time to browse through the sites of some of my favourite artists. It encourages and motivates to continue painting with further zest. Hope all you too have enjoyed the content as given above.

Monday 30 November 2015

The cold barren mountains of Spiti

”Beauty is truth, truth beauty”
—-that is all Ye know on earth,
and all ye need to know. ~John Keats

After having done couple of study works I decided it was time to create my second large sized painting. I selected a scene from Himachal Pradesh as it would give me the opportunity to paint the sky, distant mountains and the curved pathway with rocks strewn around. 

I started with wet on wet technique in the first layer using the transparent colours in the distance. After the first layer had dried up, I added more colours in the middle and foreground using wet on dry technique. For this particular painting I felt it was the right choice. The paper I have used is a non expensive hand made paper. Arches paper is definitely a very good choice and I plan to make a transition soon.

Mountains and snow
Water colour painting on handmade paper
Size 10.5"X 14"

Water colour medium is challenging. An error done cannot be easily rectified. So I am learning
to be more patient. I am enjoying this medium a lot and plan to continue doing some more.
I have started a seascape and will be posting the image when it gets completed.

Saturday 28 November 2015

Experimenting with more water colour techniques

Apart from soft pastel and charcoal medium, I love to try out water colour medium as and when I get time. Doing small water colour works in my sketch book helps me to try out new techniques.

Given below are four more recent water colour study works of mainly seascapes and a forest . I have used my photographs taken at Goa as a reference. In each of them I experimented a little. In the forest scene I used a little of spray technique for the foliage. In others I tried out the sky differently. In all it was a great learning experience.

I love painting seascapes and one of these days I will create an enlarged detailed version of one of these paintings.

water colour syudy of seascapes and a forest by Manju Panchal

Water colour study works
on cartridge paper

I recently came across a beautiful quote which feels so true and most artists will agree with it.

"Educate the eye before you educate the hand. The hand will become cunning soon enough when the eye has learned to see, whereas if the hand be educated before the eye one may never see."
Carolus Duran

Wednesday 25 November 2015

New sketch book with cartridge sheets

"One must always draw, draw with the eyes, when one cannot draw with the pencil." Balthus

I recently picked up a sketch book from Art Station, an art stationery shop close to where I stay. It has 4"X 5"cartridge sheets and it seemed perfect for my study works, be it in any medium. To my surprise it worked well for my water colour study sketches. So apart from pencil and charcoal sketches, I am also using it for small water colour paintings.

sketch book for water colour study works

The sketch book 

sketch book for water colour study works

The sketch book with one of my water colour study works

What I love about such sketch books is that 
  • It gives me the freedom to experiment with the medium. 
  • I get to create small landscapes or seascapes selecting subjects which I feel are a little challenging. 
  • I get to try out new techniques. If it does not work it does not bother me because I know I can try something else in the next work. 
  • Each artwork finishes in about 10 to 15 minutes and it gives me a fair idea as to how the bigger painting will look if I were to enlarge the work. 
  • The steps I follow get recorded in my mind like a tape and I can re run it once I am doing the same work on a bigger scale.
  • All my works are stored at one place ie in my sketch book itself so that I can browse it even in future at my convenience.

Given below are some of my recent water colour works done in this sketch book. After completing the work, I also make it a point to make a note underneath regarding something new that I tried on that work be it spray technique for foliage, or a different technique for creating the sky.  

Small water colour study works of landscapes by Manju Panchal

Small water colour landscapes on cartridge paper

When I started with the soft pastel landscapes last year, I had followed a similar approach of getting a better understanding of the medium. I would do these thumbnail sketches on small sized canson paper and later use them as reference to create bigger works. My landscapes can be seen HERE.

Thumbnail sketches of landscapes using soft pastels. By Manju Panchal

Thumbnail sketches of landscapes created using soft pastels

My works can be seen on INSTAGRAM and DEVIANTART.

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Road to Spiti - a water colour painting

After having done couple of small water colour landscapes, I finally decided to take a leap and create a bigger painting.

The subject that I chose is a scene from Himachal, with mountains on either side and a road that curved and vanished in the distance. It was also time to test my new Winsor and Newton mop brush , which I had picked up couple of months back in order to create larger washes on the sky. The other brushes that I use are sable hair brushes from Himalaya Stationery.

water colour painting of a landscape from Spiti by Manju Panchal

Road to Spiti
Water colour painting on handmade paper
Size 10.5"X 14"

As an artist it gets difficult to control one's temptation to buy new art stationery. Everytime I visit an art shop I land up buying more than my CHECK LIST items. On one such occasion I had picked up the Winsor and Newton mop brush and a few other sable hair brushes from Himalaya. I had it in mind to use it some day and when I finally used all these brushes for the above painting it made me happy. Happy because I finally put them to use. Given below is the image of the four main brushes used in the above painting.

The brush at the top is mop brush from Winsor and Newton ( I paid Rs 1000/- for this brush and its worth all the money ) and the remaining brushes are manufactured by
Himalaya Stationery.

Monday 16 November 2015

Experimenting with water colour techniques

Painting with water colour medium is teaching me new lessons everyday. Each day is a new revelation. I am getting more deep into "COLOUR STUDY" as I realise that some colours work and some don't for a particular scene and atmosphere. Then there are transparent and opaque colours, warm and cool colours. Knowledge about these fundamental aspects definitely helps in better painting.

Everytime a painting completes, I evaluate and analyse the artwork looking for areas where I could do a little better next time. Given below are two small study works on hand made paper using camel paints. Both the scenes are from my "TRIP TO HIMACHAL". The scenic beauty of Himachal is unparalleled. Its truly a paradise on earth. Painting scenes from Himachal gives me true happiness.
It revives the beautiful memories of the past. 

Two water colour studies of landscapes
from Himachal on handmade paper.

Joseph Zbukvik  ( Eminent water colour artist from melbourne )said in one of his interview's that "If you succeed everytime, you are not painting properly." 

Read his interview HERE. Courtesy Artist Sterkhov

Friday 13 November 2015

Portrait study on gray hand made paper

"I created a vision of David in my mind and simply carved away everything that was not David." Michelangelo

I am enjoying creating portraits on toned paper. ( I have selected a simple handmade gray toned paper which has cost me about 30 Rs a sheet ). For my present portrait study, I have selected a face at an angle. The pencils used are Camel charcoal pencil and a white pastel pencil

Erasing, which I keep to bare minimum is done using kneaded eraser. Kneaded eraser can be moulded to any shape and it really helps to lift the charcoal and pastel.

A portrait study of a woman from India on gray toned paper, By Indian artist Manju Panchal

Portrait study work
Size 5"X 7"

Thank you for visiting my blog and do browse through my latest works in INSTAGRAM.

Monday 9 November 2015

Trying out a new handmade paper from Himalaya Stationery ( FORT )

As I mentioned in my previous post, I recently came across a handmade paper which I picked up from Himalaya Stationery. Not being too sure about how it will perform, I picked up just one sheet. After trying out three small water colour landscape paintings on them my conclusion is that this paper is a "DEFINITE YES" for me. The cost of each sheet is 35 Rs only and judging it by its thickness, it should be around 180 gsm. This paper holds water well and seems to be working fine with me for the "WET ON WET TECHNIQUE".

Given below are three different water colour paintings on this new handmade paper. I decided to select three different landscapes which could cover the clouds, mountains, sea, land, grassy land, shrubs etc. These are quick studies and I realised how the horizon line has gone haywire in the last two works. Anyways these works were done with the intention of getting the feel of this new paper and I was so very excited.

I have used some of my expensive brushes which I picked up from Himalaya, ie the sable hair brushes. They do make a lot of difference in comparison to the synthetic ones. Will post the images of the brushes that I have used for the present works. In fact I plan to use these brushes for most of my works from here on.

Water colour painting from Himachal pradesh on hand made paper. By Manju Panchal

A scene from Himachal Pradesh

Inspired by Goa beaches

water colour painting of a landscape from coorg by Manju Panchal

As seen in Coorg

My next plan of action is to create a bigger work sized 11" X 16" using water colour medium. But before I embark on a larger sized painting, as a routine I will first create a small thumbnail sketch to have a better understanding as to how the work will look with the technique and colours  that I plan to use. A thumbnail sketch helps me to evaluate my technique and then I can make changes accordingly in the bigger work.

Saturday 7 November 2015

Portrait of a friend - another study work.

The portrait as done below is of a close friend of mine. I clicked her photograph using the camera on my mobile and later the photograph as a reference. The curly hair was created by scumbling technique and I used the Camel charcoal pencil for the same.

I have a miscellaneous collection of charcoal pencils and will write a post on it soon. Each pencil has its own good use. Some are smooth, others are coarse. For toned paper especially the Canson series, the Camel brand goes well for me.

portrait study done using charcoal pencil and white pastel pencil by Manju Panchal

Portrait of a friend
Charcoal and white pastel work in Canson Mi Teintes paoer
Size 5"X 7"

No matter what medium and what subject I do, I get addicted to doing all of it. Art as a passion can make you create things which are sometimes totally unplanned. Along with doing portraits I am also taking out time to continue with my water colour studies in an attempt to zero in on the paper of my choice and to learn the Wet on Wet water colour technique

During my recent visit to town, I paid a visit to Himalaya Stationery and managed to get handmade paper for just Rs 35 a sheet. Surprisingly the paper has turned out pretty well. The wet on wet technique works pretty good on it. I have created two small works on it and am thinking of buying some more of these.

Monday 2 November 2015

Portrait study - Face at an angle

Last few days have been busy with lot of different activities. One of the most significant ones being, I visited Jehangir Art Gallery to view the artworks of Artists Pramod Kurlekar and Nilesh Bharati. I had another artist friend to accompany me and it was a great experience as we got to interact with the artists and got to see their works in person. Will write a post about them soon.

In the meantime my "Portrait sketching" passion continues and this time around I sketched a face at an angle using charcoal pencil and white pastel pencil. Sketching a straight face is a lot more easier and less complicated. However sketching faces at different angles helps in understanding the basic anatomy of the face.

Portrait of a woman sketched using charcoal pencil and white pastel pencil, by Manju Panchal.

Portrait study work
Size 5" X 7"

I have been creating a lot more study sketches and will post the images soon.

Friday 30 October 2015

Drawing and Sketching a tree - Students work

Some tree sketchings done by a student during a ONE DAY WORKSHOP during which the student learnt the use of charcoal pencil and white pastel pencil on grey paper. The works are done on hand made paper and Canson Mi teintes paper

Canson Mi Teintes comes in many different colours and pastel or charcoal pencil work good on it. It is a good exercise for " Tonal value study". This is the third workshop attended by the same student who has previously come for soft pastel and charcoal workshop too.

Tree sketching by a student during an art workshop conducted by Manju Panchal

Tree sketching by a student during an art workshop conducted by Manju Panchal

Two tree trunk sketchings
done by a student during a workshop

Art workshops are fun. I get to interact with people who are passionate about art. I teach the simple techniques which I have learnt myself over a period of time by experimenting and exploring and doing my own kind of research. It has been a journey of rediscovering myself. 

Art workshop brings people of all age groups together and the passion speaks for itself. The work of each participant is different and unique because they think differently, apply the strokes in a unique manner and that is really so important for me. An art workshop infuses new energy in all of us and we all get so motivated and inspired. I teach or rather I should say " When I teach, I learn." The language of ART is universal. I see that in all my workshops where people meet and talk a lot about their work, their passion and share their ideas.

Sometimes I revisit my older posts in my blog. I started on tree sketchings last year in order to understand the tree anatomy better as I was planning to get into landscape paintings.
Given below are the links to my two old works.

Monday 26 October 2015

Portrait study work

Small portrait study work created on hand made paper using Conte a Paris white pastel pencil, General white pastel pencil, and Camel soft charcoal pencil

I am going to create a series of such portraits as and when I get time to get a better understanding of portrait sketching and drawing.

portrait study work using charcoal and white pastel pencil. By Manju Panchal

Portrait study work
Charcoal and white pastel pencil work on grey hand made paper
Size 5" X 7"

When I first did my Portrait study work on a grey paper, it was more of an experiment to see how it will work out and I had no idea that I will get addicted to doing this series. I am already on the next one which I am creating on Canson mi teintes paper which has a great texture on which charcoal and pastel get fixed with great ease. Will post it once it is done. 

Sunday 25 October 2015

Rocks under the water - A charcoal sketching

This is my fourth charcoal sketching of "Rocks under the water". When I did my "First one", it was out of curiosity. Later I did two more as I enjoyed the whole process. The transparent quality of water and to be able to see simple objects like rocks underneath is an amazing experience.

I started this work last week and progressed on it little by little as the rocks underneath in the foreground were placed at different levels and the depth had to be created by adding right amount of values. In all it was a great learning experience.

Nature has always been there around us in its beautiful forms but somewhere down the line we got so busy with our lives and now "Through my art" its like I am rediscovering it.

The rocks below
Charcoal sketching on Strathmore drawing paper.
Size 5" X 7"


"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order."
By John Burroughs

Thursday 22 October 2015

A forest scene - Charcoal sketching

The charcoal sketching below is the muddy pathway of Matheran hill station. I have also created a soft pastel painting of the same scene earlier and posted it recently. 

Matheran is situated on the western ghats and is an eco-sensitive region. It is Asia's only automobile free hill station. The walk around the area with trees lining the path is an absolute pleasure. It is quiet and peaceful and provides a lot of oppurtunities to both artists and photographers as the views from any point are equally amazing.  

Nature truly inspires me. 

Charcoal sketching of a forest scene from Matheran by Manju Panchal

A walk in the shade.
Charcoal sketching on Strathmore drawing paper
Size 6.5" X 8.5"

I have recently joined Indiblogger and am posting some of my works there. It is one of the largest and most active blogging community. Through Indiblogger I am getting to know about people who blog on all different topics like poetry, nature, enviorment etc. When I am not painting and sketching, I spend time reading other interesting blogs which inspires me further to continue blogging.