Wednesday 30 September 2015

Watercolour study of clouds

Having fun with watercolours. Inspired from the photographs taken at Goa, created two small water colour paintings of clouds in the sky as seen in the monsoon period. For both these paintings I have tried out Strathmore water colour paper ( 300 gsm ).

water colour painting of clouds on strathmore paper by Indian artist Manju Panchal

Water colour paintings
Cloud study on
Strathmore paper
Quotation by Einstein
"Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Submerged rocks - a charcoal sketching

The charcoal sketching done as below has been done by referring to a beautiful photograph sent by a friend who visited Manori beach recently. The water gently hitting the rocks at the shore and the transparency allowing the rocks underneath to be visible made for a good composition. Since the view of the rocks is from above, there is a lot of perspective involved in the initial drawing. It was a good learning experience.

Presently I am using my Strathmore sketch pad for my charcoal drawings . Getting used to a new paper.

Rocks under the water
Charcoal sketching on Strathmore paper
Size 4.5" X 4.5"
For the above work I have mainly used my Camel soft charcoal pencil. It works well on this paper. 

Monday 28 September 2015

Checking out the Strathmore Artagain paper 400 series

In my last post I wrote about Strathmore drawing paper which turned out quite good for charcoal work. Therefore I decided to use some other books by Strathmore as well.

This time I have created a small sketching of tree trunk on the Artagain 400 series , drawing paper by Strathmore ( black coloured sheets ). This is a pad of 24 sheets sized 12" X 18". ( Available on Amazon )

Artagain 400 series ,drawing paper by Strathmore ( black coloured sheets
 Image: Courtesy Google

White pastel pencil sketching on black strathmore paper. By Manju Panchal
White pencil sketching on black Strathmore paper
Size 5.5" X 7"
My fascination for drawing/sketching tree continues. The above sketching has been done on Artagain Strathmore paper using Conte and General white pastel pencil. I enjoyed using this paper which is 160 gsm and feels smooth on the surface but the pastel pencil works good on it and fixes pretty well.

Saturday 19 September 2015

Strathmore 200 series drawing paper

One of my close artist friends has used the Strathmore series for her art work and she recommended me to use some of the papers created by this brand.

Therefore I started with a small charcoal painting on the Strathmore 200 series drawing paper.
It is a pad with 40 acid free white sheets in it.

Strathmore 200 series drawing paper.

Strathmore 200 series drawing paper

The subject I selected is a beautiful, quiet morning scene from Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary which we visited some years back. The still waters with reflections of the trees and bushes made for a great composition. Before starting on the charcoal painting, I cropped the photograph that I used in order to get a better composition. In this particular photo the horizon line was running through the centre. So I decided to keep more of the sky with the trees on either side.

Charcoal sketching/painting of a landscape from Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary by Manju Panchal. Fine artist from India

Charcoal sketching on Strathmore paper.
Size 5.5" X 7"

After having used Canson c a grain and Fabriano Academia, I was quite settled for my choice of paper. However after using Strathmore, I am quite positive about using it in future too. This paper has a very smooth texture and the charcoal fixes pretty easily on to the paper. The blending and scumbling too was quite a pleasure. In all I find this paper very satisfying.

My signature can be seen on the extreme right bottom. 

Thursday 17 September 2015

Three water colour study works on cartridge paper

Be it "Thumbnail sketches" OR "Study works", I believe in working this way to have a better understanding of the medium. With more experience in handling the medium, the confidence to create bigger works comes easily.

Given below is three images water colour paintings of randomly selected landscapes. I have tried the wet on wet technique in most of them. The last of the images is of the view in front of the Coorg Homestay, early morning. The far off land was covered with fog and everything was hazy. Tried to capture the atmosphere in the paintings.

Small water colour paintings on cartridge paper by Manju Panchal

Three small water colour works on 
Cartridge paper.
Each one is sized 4" X 5"

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The landscape belongs to the person who looks at it."

Monday 14 September 2015

Three steps to creating a charcoal study work ( Travel sketch book )

As mentioned in my earlier posts I am regularly creating small study sketches in
charcoal medium. This time around I decided to share it on my blog. I have put three images
of my charcoal sketch which were taken as the sketching progressed.

The size is 4" X 5", paper used is Canson c a grain and the subject chosen is my all time favourite "Tree Trunk"

Three steps to creating a small charcoal study work on canson paper by Manju Panchal

Three steps to creating a Charcoal study work

In the first image I have rubbed the willow charcoal by laying it flat on the paper and then using my finger I spread it uniformly all over to create a mid tone grey value. Then using a Camel soft charcoal pencil I created faint outline of the basic shape of the tree trunk.

In the second image, I added shadows on the tree trunk and lifted charcoal from certain areas to create highlights. I also used the kneaded eraser to create few leaves.

In the final image I added a few details on the tree trunk and added more foliage on the tree using scumbling effect as created by Camel pencil. The leaves receiving the light from left, were created by lifting out the charcoal using kneaded eraser.

The tools used to create the above sketching.

How to use the kneaded eraser? Watch the VIDEO
Courtesy : Youtube

Sunday 13 September 2015

My favourite water colour works in my Travel sketch book.

I created my first Travel sketch book using hand made paper in order to create small water colour paintings while away from home. It has about forty small papers spirally bound together. Last month I finally used up the last three pages that were left blank.

Given below is a collage of four of my personal favorites ( Landscape paintings ) out of the forty small water colour paintings. All of them have been created using Camel Artists water colour tubes.

Four small water colour paintings created on hand made paper by Manju Panchal

Water colour study works
Sized 3.5" X 5"

The top two paintings are from Himachal and Kharghar ( Monsoon time )
The lower two landscape paintings were done in order to get a better understanding
of the foggy atmosphere. 

Water colour medium is a very challenging medium and I enjoy it a lot as it gets done quickly, although it can be very frustating as there is not much scope for corrections and a if work gets ruined, then you have to just let go.

I get so inspired by artists like Joseph Zbukvic, a master water colorist from Australia. Recently I also came across works of Nita Engle, an American water colour artist and her works too are amazing.

My paintings can also be seen on my FACEBOOK page and if you like my works please share.

Saturday 12 September 2015

Plein air sketching - Cloudscapes

"Plein air sketching" or in other words "Painting on location" can be a very enriching experience. I tried my hands at painting clouds as seen on a clear day just outside our Coorg Homestay. All three works as given below are Graphite works ( 3B and 4B pencils ), small in size and are done in my Travel sketch book.

What I enjoyed the most was that I could very clearly see the values, the shapes and I agree with all Plein air artists when they say that painting on location is so much better than painting from a photograph. A photograph never captures the details and colours as eyes can see personally. However if plein air is not possible then a combination of both works well with me as of now but I do plan to do more of Plein air sketches and paintings.

Since clouds were shifting every two minutes and were changing their shapes and shadows as well, I had to be quick to get the basic shape and shading in less than five minutes and I took another ten minutes to complete the shading based on my observation.

Plein air sketching of
Size 4" x 5"

All the cloudscapes as done above are either in early morning or just before sunset. Some time later I could make use of these study sketches in creating water colour paintings or I could use it in one of my pastel landscapes. 

Thursday 10 September 2015

The twenty minute sketchings in my Travel sketch book

When I created my Travel sketch book it was with the intention of doing small study works without getting into too many details. However it so happens that as an artist one easily gets carried away to work out all the details. Hence I decided to time my study works so as to spend just about twenty to twenty five minutes on each of them.

It gets difficult though as there is always something to be erased or added. Nevertheless timing each work did help and given below are few of my Twenty minute sketches done in pencil and charcoal.

Three twenty minute study sketches created in Travel sketch book by Manju Panchal

Three study sketches
created on Canson c a grain paper

The subjects chosen for sketching are random as I want to try out everything be it still life, nature or portrait.The first sketching is of a leaf which I picked up from some field and the sketching has been done using both graphite and charcoal pencil.

The next sketching is of a simple Forest scene where I have used willow charcoal in the background and then moved on to using Camel charcoal pencil in the next layer.

In the third sketching of the tree trunk I have used a black ball point pen initially to create the outline and the dark tones and later I have used both willow charcoal and Camel charcoal pencil to complete the work.

Diane Wright a graphite artist writes on Importance of sketching

"Sketching is the fundamental building block for an artist. It is used to develop a personal visual vocabulary. Sketches are visual exercises in problem solving." 

Wednesday 9 September 2015

My new travel sketch book for Pencil and Charcoal sketchings

When I am travelling, I make it a point to carry my ART TRAVEL KIT which includes a small sketch book and bare minimum art materials which can help me create few study sketches or paintings. Last year I created this small water colour "Travel sketch book" as shown below which has small hand made papers bound together.

You can read more about this sketch book in my earlier POST wherein I have written in detail about it. When I am away from home I prefer not to carry my pastels as it is a very messy affair. Later some day I may organise my stuff and start on that too.

Water colour travel sketch book by Manju Panchal

Travel sketch book with 40 hand made sheets
size 3.5" X 5"

For my August trip to Madikeri and Goa, I decided to create yet another sketch book for my charcoal and pencil works. For charcoal and pencil works I just need to carry a few of my favourite pencils, kneaded putty and eraser. These materials easily fit into a pencil box and very convenient to carry in case on wants to do PLEIN AIR painting.

To create my charcoal TRAVEL SKETCH BOOK, I made use of Canson c a grain paper which has slight texture on one side. I cut them into uniform size of 4" X 5" and got it spirally bound at a stationery shop. However since charcoal and pencil sketches smudge easily, I have used butter paper ( glassine ) between the sheets so as to preserve the work for longer duration.

Travel sketch book created using canson paper and butter paper. By Manju Panchal

Travel sketch book for creating
charcoal and pencil sketches

Travel sketch book created using canson paper and butter paper. By Manju Panchal

A.  Canson c a grain paper
B. Butter paper

While I am away from home, I am unable to do a large sized art work. Therefore these travel sketch books with small sized papers, enable me to explore and experiment. At times I am relaxed and I have the time to create a small study work on location but there are moments when I want to but due to various factors am unable to create my work outdoors. Hence I make it a point to capture the magical moments on camera so that I can refer to them and use either water colour or my pencils to create small study works.

The biggest advantage of carrying these small sketch books is that I get to do so many different subjects and each of them takes not more than twenty to twenty five minutes. Moreover the work is done in a very loose and free manner, in a fun way so there is no hesitation at any point. I will soon be posting a few small works created in this book.

Monday 7 September 2015

The pristine beaches of Goa - Photographs taken by Canon 7D

" Nature never hurries. Atom by atom, little by little she achieves her work."  

Nature inspires me to create my artworks. I have a big collection of my personal photographs, yet I am always looking forward to click more and the month of August was a month of travelling. I visited Madikeri, Udupi and the beautiful beaches of South Goa.

This time around I made use of my Canon 7D DSLR Camera to click photographs in Auto Focus Mode. Before embarking on this trip I created a small travel sketch book for my pencil and charcoal sketches. I will be posting about it soon along with the study sketches that I created in them.

Given below are photographs of some beautiful pristine beaches in the South of Goa which have been clicked using Canon 7D Camera. The long stretch of white sandy beaches, the transparent blue green waters, the ever changing colours of the sky makes it an ideal destination for all nature lovers.

I visited nine different beaches in South Goa spending some peaceful moments watching the waves hitting the shore. In all it was a very rewarding experience as an artist as I could capture some beautiful seascape scenes which I plan to paint soon.

Photograph of Sunset at Mobor beach in South Goa by Manju panchal

Sunset at Mobor beach, Goa

Photograph of Early morning scene at Vaddi beach in South Goa by Manju panchal

Early morning at vaddi beach, South Goa

Photograph of Early morning scene at Varca beach in South Goa by Manju panchal

Varca beach, South Goa