Saturday 28 February 2015

Using off white matt board around the artwork.

Finally started the framing process. Decided to use the off white matt board as it is a neutral colour and it enhances the colours of the painting within. The width of the matt board is two inches all around the painting. The matt board is of superior quality and is acid free in nature. The width of the frame is around half an inch and is made of fibreboard ( lightweight ).

Size of painting is 6" X 9". The photograph is taken after framing and since the framing is protected under glass, you may find some reflections on it.

Framed soft pastel painting of a landscape by Manju Panchal

Framed soft pastel painting of a landscape by Manju Panchal

Two framed paintings.

Thursday 26 February 2015

Shortlisting small artworks for framing.

In the past I did lot of soft pastel landscapes sized 6" X 9" as collectively shown in the image below.
Now I have to take the decision to frame a selected few using an offwhite matt or mountboard around it. All paintings are original and are done using my reference photographs taken on different occasions.

Original soft pastel landscape paintings by Manju Panchal

Soft pastel paintings of Landscapes
All are sized 6" X 9"

Smaller works helped me move faster towards my goal and helped me immensely in my understanding of values, colours, perspective, depth etc. It aided me in overcoming my fear of the "GREENS" as can be seen in any forest with dense foliage. Now I am comfortable doing 
12" X 16", which of course takes a longer duration to complete but I am loving it. It is adding 
to my experience and knowledge.

Rightly said about NATURE

"I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees."

By Henry Thoreau

Inspired by the beauty of nature all around us, I continue to move forward in life painting almost everyday.

Monday 23 February 2015

Framing pastel paintings.

Framing a pastel painting can be tricky. It needs to be protected under glass unlike oils and acrylics. There is a lot more useful information on the net regarding framing and use of spacers which are placed between the Mat board and the pastel painting so that any loose particle of dust falls below instead of ruining the glass or the mat board.

I have not used spacers earlier but shall using it soon as it has lots of advantages. The image below shows the use of spacers between the glass and the pastel painting.

Framing pastel paintings. Using spacers

Image: courtesy

If you are a pastel artist and wish to read more in detail regarding framing of pastels, tips etc you can visit the link as given below which will be very helpful.

Courtesy : Artist Sheila Evans

Sunday 22 February 2015

Soft Pastel painting of a COORG landscape

This soft pastel painting is created from my photograph which was taken at COORG while we were taking a walk on the five acre coffee plantation. The tree trunk which had fallen down, allowed the light to create beautiful shadow underneath. The dried leaves fallen on the floor, the hilly terrain and other elements, it all added to the beauty of the scene. 

I used black coloured Fabriano Tiziano paper for this particular painitng and my usual set of soft pastels. The paper has great tooth and I enjoy doing my pastels on it. I ordered my Fabriano pad with 12" X 16" sheets from FLIPKART a few months ago. 

Soft pastel painting of Coorg Landscape by Manju Panchal

The fallen trunk
Size 8" X 12"
Soft Pastel painting on Fabriano Tiziano paper

Nature inspires me. The colour harmony, the perfection, the beauty in simple forms be it trees, river or mountains, it gives lot of joy. Through my art I am trying to capture the memories on paper. Each photograph, each painting tells a story. Looking at the paintings I relive the happy moments.

All images on this blog are © Manju Panchal. 

Thursday 19 February 2015

Upcoming Exhibition at ART PLAZA near Jehangir Art Gallery.

I have a Solo Exhibition coming up in March ie from 9th March to 14th March at ART PLAZA , near JEHANGIR  Art Gallery. Therefore lot of preparation is keeping me busy.

The medium of my artwork for this Exhibition will be "SOFT PASTELS" .I will be posting more details soon.

In the meantime, I have continued with my selection of future painting subjects ie mostly landscapes
and after having shortlisted them, I have created some more thumbnail sketches. Having done this, I decided to pin them all up on the flannel board so that I can finally start taking decisions as to which one to begin with.

Soft pastel thumbnail sketches of different landscapes by Manju Panchal

As I have mentioned earlier, I spend roughly fifteen to twenty minutes on each thumbnail, trying to work out the technique which works best to get all the elements in the painting right. Since I have done the thumbnail sketch of each painting referring to my photograph, painting the actual artwork which will be a much bigger size, will be a little easier.

Presently I am working on two different soft pastel landscapes simultaneously and will post the image as soon as it gets completed.

Friday 13 February 2015

Thumbnail sketches or study works in soft pastel medium.

 "The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection." Michelangelo

 Making a thumbnail sketch helps me plan my procedure better. The steps I follow in creating a small sketch helps me proceed with the painting in a much easier way. It also helps me to improve on my technique and to tackle issues which otherwise would get complicated.

Given below are three different thumbnail sketches from COORG created using the soft pastel medium. I used leftover cutout pieces of Canson Mi Teintes  paper for the same and avoided spending more than fifteen minutes on each of them. When I finally create a bigger piece of art work referring to these sketches, I would be adding more details.

Soft Pastel Thumbnail sketch of a landscape from COORG by Manju Panchal

Soft Pastel Thumbnail sketch of a landscape from COORG by Manju Panchal

Soft Pastel Thumbnail sketch of a landscape from COORG by Manju Panchal

Three thumbnail sketches from COORG photographs
created on 3" X 4" Canson paper using soft pastels

My works can also be browsed at on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK page.

Getting my pastel palette organised.

I have already made a post earlier on how I go about cleaning my broken pastels in the pastel palette. After a few weeks of use all the pastels gather a whole lot of dust and since they are all
 in the same palette, the sides of each pastel also take up dust from different coloured pastels.
This makes it very difficult to recognize the actual colour. Hence from time to time I drop the
broken pastel pieces in a bowl of old rice and shuffle it thoroughly which cleans up the sides of
each pastel to quite an extent.

Pastel palette to be cleaned up ( Artist Manju Panchal )

Before the clean up

After the clean up, the pastels organised as per their colours.

I use pastels of different brands and I find it a lot convenient to put small pieces of each brand 
together in a small flat tray which is more convenient to use rather than hunting the right colour from the different boxes. The brands I use right now are MUNGYO, GALLERY and KOH-I-NOOR.

Everytime after the cleanup I make a promise to myself that I will lift the pastel and keep it back in its right place but when I get started with my art work all is forgotten and it does not take long for the mess up to repeat. It is very difficult to keep oneself to organised.

Sunday 8 February 2015

Three steps to creating a painting

Under normal circumstances I follow a simple three step procedure to create a painting as I have done for the present soft pastel painting from a Coorg Photograph.

1. I select a photograph from my collection, mainly looking for a good composition.
    For the painting as below I selected a photograph which we took while we were on our
    Coorg holidays ( Karnataka).Then I cropped the photograph as I liked only a part of the
   photograph, ie the vertical section in one corner. This painting will now replace an old
   painting in a ready frame.                

2. Next I create a small thumbnail sketch or study sketch with soft pastels just to get an idea
    as to where I would be putting in my colours and how the painting would eventually look.
    Main purpose is to get the composition right and to get satisfied with the values.
    This takes roughly about five to ten minutes and I do not do any details.

Thumbnail sketching done before creating a painting by Manju Panchal

Thumbnail sketch
Size 3" X 5"

3. When satisfied, I cut out my required sheet which in this case was a dark grey coloured 
    Canson Mi Tentes paper. Then following the photograph I first sketch the painting using
    a white pastel pencil. Then step by step I put in the colours, concentrating on the values. 
    After adding the first layer of colours and a bit of details I normally photgraph it with my 
    mobile and then analyse it for further corrections. Sometimes I just keep it at a distance and 
    view it several times and it helps in doing the finishing touches. But it always happens that 
    after I have framed the painting I feel, " Wish I had added a little green here and so on.....". 

Original soft pastel painting of Coorg landscape with trees, By Manju Panchal

Reaching the skies
Soft pastel painting on Canson paper
Size 8" X 13"

Monday 2 February 2015

Recycling an old frame by changing the painting inside

Frames for paintings don't come cheap. Hence if I am unhappy with some old painting of mine, I simply create another one of the same size and replace it with the old one. The painting below sized 8" X 13" created on Canson Mi Tentes paper will fit in one of my long Frames made of fibreboard.
The frame is made of fibreboard and is lightweight and durable.

The painting below is of a tree view from Matheran, a hill station close to Mumbai. I have done the same tree close up in soft pastels earlier. But this particular photograph with the foliage around it also seemed like a good composition and moreover it was going to fit well in my old frame, so I decided to go ahead with this once again.

Soft pastel painting of Matheran Landscape by Manju Panchal

Size 8" X 13"
Soft Pastel painting on Canson paper

Recycling an old frame by creating a new painting for it. By Manju Panchal

Painting with brown mountboard around it
To be fitted in old frame as shown below

Soft pastel painting of Flowers in vase to be replaced by a new painitng

I normally do the framing myself which is not a very difficult task. Someday I will blog about it.
The "Flowers in vase" painting which I removed from the old frame is stored in safe place as of now and some day I may do a little touch up on it to give it a fresh lease of life.