Tuesday 27 September 2016

A sparrow - Charcoal sketching on toned paper

Portrait of a sparrow.

Early morning I hear the incessant chirping by a host of sparrows in my balcony. It is fun to watch these beautiful elegant birds actively engaged in their furry movements. They are so full of life. My charcoal sketching as below is inspired by one such morning scene.

A charcoal and white pastel pencil sketch of a sparrow on canson paper by Manju Panchal

Hanging on
Charcoal and white pastel sketching on toned paper
Size 6"X 8"

Before starting the bird sketch I used my i pad to take a few photographs of the sparrows as they came and perched on my balcony grill. I also browsed through several other photographs on the net to get a little understanding of the bird anatomy. The outer form and structure is all carved according to the bones lying underneath. 

I titled this sketch as "Hanging on" to convey the feeling of perseverance and being here for a long time enduring all obstacles. The population of house sparrows is fast dwindling in cities as green space is giving way to high rise buildings. It is a pleasant change to see and hear them every day now.

I will be submitting this work in DPW " The bird challenge ".

Sparrows in my balcony

In December 2014, I created a bird sketch on toned paper from my Coorg reference photograph. In 2014 I was probably beginning to get into these kind of works. It is good to have a blog which is like a "Digital Diary"and it maintains a record of all your past work. Every time I create a work, it reminds me of something done in the past and I browse through my own blog revisiting my older works. It also helps me to analyse and evaluate my past works and then compare it with the present.

A Quote

"The object of art is not to reproduce reality but to create a reality of the same intensity." 
Alberto Giacometti

Thursday 22 September 2016

A soft pastel painting of a morning scene from Coorg ( Madikeri )

Soft pastel painting

If you happen to be at Coorg ( Madikeri ), a beautiful morning scene such as below is a common sight. Coorg is amazing all throughout the year. It is a small hill station close to Mangalore. 

I started this forest landscape in soft pastels during one of my soft pastel workshops and later spent a few more hours working on it adding the finishing touches.

A simple morning walk in nature helps me come across a lot many potential subjects for painting. This scene appealed to me a lot for its "Light and shadow" play on the trees, the foliage and the road. I have used a black coloured Canson Mi Teintes paper for this painting but in future plan to try out other coloured papers too.

An original Soft pastel painting of a landscape from Coorg, Madikeri by Manju Panchal

A morning at Coorg
Soft pastel painting on Canson Mi Teintes paper.
Size 6" X 8"

An inspiring quote

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together." Vincent Van Gogh

Monday 19 September 2016

Thumbnail sketches in soft pastel medium

Creating thumbnail sketches

"Thumbnail sketch" is my preliminary step towards creating my final artwork. It helps me focus on the composition and design elements. It is small in size, loosely done in a short span of time. 

Given below are two of my recently created thumbnail sketches on black coloured Canson Mi Teintes paper. In due course of time, referring to these sketches, I shall be creating an enlarged version of the same painting but with more details in the foreground. 

Working on small sketches saves me from loads of frustration later. A thumbnail sketch helps me plan out my colours, composition, design elements right at the beginning which proves very beneficial later when I am creating the final artwork. 

Thumbnail sketch of Niagara fall using soft pastels by Manju Panchal

Thumbnail sketch of Emerald green waters of Phi Phi island by Manju Panchal

Thumbnail sketches of 
Niagara Falls
and Emerald green waters of Phi Phi island
Size 3.5" X 4.5"

I have been posting regularly about my "Thumbnail sketches" and to view one of them you can CLICK HERE

A Quote

"Painting is a means of self-enlightenment." John Olsen

Friday 16 September 2016

One morning at Vaddi beach in Goa - A soft pastel painting

Painting a seascape

Seascape is my all time favorite subject. I have done a series on them. Painting a beach scene has always been a very relaxing experience.

The soft pastel painting below is a scene from Vaddi beach, Benaulim in South Goa. We were at this beach in monsoon last year. It is a beautiful white sandy beach and the wild creeper as seen on the right appealed to me a lot. I have also created this very scene earlier in water colour medium.

Soft pastel painting of a morning scene at Vaddi beach at Goa, By Manju Panchal

One morning at Vaddi beach
Soft pastel painting on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 6" X 8"

The pastels that I used for this particular painting can be seen as below. I selected these shades right at the beginning and then added more colours as and when required. 

soft pastel palette for creating a seascape , By Manju Panchal

The different soft pastels used for creating
the painting as above.

A Quote

"Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment." Claude Monet

Wednesday 14 September 2016

Working with Cretacolour 8B water soluble graphite pencil

Water soluble graphite pencil

Adding new art stationery has become a norm. It is exciting and challenging at the same time. It adds to a change in the otherwise day today routine work which in my case is "Working with charcoals and pastels". 

I purchased Camlin water soluble sticks in March 2016 and enjoyed creating a few study works using the same. I am a big fan of "Black and white works"  and the art created by using these water soluble sticks gave the feel of water colour painting.

In order to work a little more on this medium, I went ahead and ordered 8 B Cretacolour water soluble graphite pencil from Amazon so that I could use it in combination with Camlin water soluble graphite sticks. These days before ordering stationery online I make it a point to read the reviews about the same. It helps a lot as it saves a lot of disappointment later.

Given below are the six small 4"X 5.5" landscape paintings ( Using water soluble graphite ) which I created in my  new sketch book that I purchased recently. In most of these works I started off with the initial drawing and shading with the 8B Cretacolour pencil and after running the wet brush at places, I let it dry. In the second stage I picked up the dark tone from 8B Camlin stick using a wet brush to apply it at places where I felt needed darker values. I am enjoying these water soluble pencils and am even contemplating buying the DERWENT brand which is available online at a very competitive rate.

Landscape study work using 8B Cretacolour water soluble pencils, By Manju Panchal

Landscape study work using 8B Cretacolour water soluble pencils, By Manju Panchal

Landscape study work using 8B Cretacolour water soluble pencils, By Manju Panchal

Landscape study work using 8B Cretacolour water soluble pencils, By Manju Panchal

Landscape study work using 8B Cretacolour water soluble pencils, By Manju Panchal

Cretacolour 8B watersoluble pencils.

Camlin water soluble
graphite sticks 2B, 4B, 6B.

"In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday 10 September 2016

Clouds in the sky - A soft pastel study work

The soft pastel painting as below is a scene that I came across while we were travelling recently to Pune. As an artist, when I am travelling I have this tendency of observing nature all around to look for something strikingly beautiful so that I can use the scene as a subject for my future painting. This scene had some elegant clouds floating in the sky and since I am into "Cloud study" these days it seemed a perfect choice as a subject for my soft pastel painting. 

"Clouds" study work
Soft pastel painting on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 4.5" X 6.5"

Art quotes inspire and motivate. It is written by great artists and it speaks about their thoughts and experiences in life. As an artist I feel the connection and these quotes speak exactly what you have in mind. 

"If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint." Edward Hopper

Painting and blogging continuously can get a little saturated at times and there are days when I don't know what to do next. On such "Undecided"days I take to reading. I read a lot, be it books or art related subjects on the net. Browsing through meaningful and inspiring quotes revives me instantly and I am back into my "Planning and executing" mode working on my next project. The whole cycle of drawing, sketching and painting resumes once again.

Thanks for browsing through my works.

Wednesday 7 September 2016

Rocky cliffs and reflections at Phi Phi Leh - A soft pastel painting

A soft pastel painting

Phi Phi Leh is nothing short of a paradise. It is a small island close to Phuket in Thailand. The island consists of a ring of steep limestone cliffs surrounding two shallow bays, Maya bay and Loh Samah.

The view out there is stunning and I have already created a few pastel paintings earlier in an attempt to capture the beauty of this heavenly place on paper. The vertical limestone cliffs, the blue waters of the ocean, the reflections and the glittering light at the tip of the waves, all added to the drama in the painting. The colours in the cliff were a mix of warm and blue shades creating a perfect harmony.

I created a thumbnail sketch for this particular scene in the month of June and was waiting to recreate a larger version of this work. It was an interesting composition and the vibrant colours in the scene helped to cheer up the mood. The pastels that I used for this particular artwork are mainly from Koh-I-Noor brand. They are soft and go well on textured surface.

An original soft pastel painting of a scene from Phi Phi Leh ( Thailand ). By Manju Panchal

The cliffs and reflections
Soft pastel painting on Fabriano Tiziano paper
Size 5.5" X 7.5"

For my soft pastel paintings I have more or less settled for Canson Mi Teintes and Fabriano Tiziano paper. Both work good for my technique and style. In future I wish to try out some sanded papers which are presently not available at the art stores near my place. 

Sanded papers can take in multiple layers of pastels without the need to add any fixatives on it. For my kind of work I normally finish my work in two layers and do not feel the need to add fixative if the art work is small in size. If the size is anything bigger than 7" X 9" then I normally spray the Winsor and Newton fixative after the first layer.

Ending the post with another of my favourite quotes

" I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else."  Pablo Picasso

Tuesday 6 September 2016

Sketching a leaf using charcoal and white pastel pencil

I work a lot with Canson Mi Teintes paper. Apart from soft pastels, its surface is ideal for charcoal and white pastel sketching. I buy these sheets in bulk and then cut out the size as required, which leads to lots of leftover pieces in different sizes. Hence I use these "Leftover cutout pieces" for my different experimental and study works. I keep them all safe in a folder so that I can retrieve it as and when required.

Using one such small piece of beige coloured Canson Mi Teintes paper I created a leaf along with its shadow as seen below. It is a simple dry leaf folded and raised at one end. However due to the drying up process it has folds at several places. This leads to dramatic shadow formation at the surface which gives one the opportunity to create the folds within the leaf. It is a small sketch but a great source of learning experience.

Charcoal and pastel sketching of a leaf on Canson Mi Teintes paper. By Manju Panchal

In the shadow
Charcoal and white pastel pencil sketch on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 4.5" X 6"

This is my third sketch in the " Leaf "  series. I created two of them earlier. CLICK HERE to view one of them.

 A beautiful quote.

" There is no greater harm than that of time wasted." Michelangelo

Friday 2 September 2016

Experimenting with water colour medium in my new sketch book

New sketch book.

On my recent visit to "Art Station" the art stationery shop, a new sketch book caught my eye and I decided to purchase it. It has 4" X 5.5" cartridge sheets and is slightly different from my previous sketch book which I have been using all this while. It is in my nature to try out something new. It is very exciting and it brings about a change in the otherwise mundane routine.

Sketch books are fun as I get to experiment and explore while creating small little works in a short period of time. I was not much of a sketch book person earlier. It is only much later that I got inspired by this "Idea" which was being so much talked about by many other artists around the world. As of now I am addicted to scribbling, sketching and creating lot many odd works in my sketchbook. Some days when I am doing nothing I just sit back and relax, browsing through one of my old sketchbooks which stirs beautiful memories related to all the work that I created in the past.

Given below is the image of my new sketch book and a few paintings that I created. Each painting that I chose to do was with a specific purpose in mind ( As mentioned below each work ). The time spent on each of them was anything between fifteen to twenty minutes. I also write a small note underneath each of my work with respect to technique or some new lesson that I learnt while creating it. 

new water colour sketch book by Manju Panchal

New Sketch book.

water colour study work by Manju Panchal

Trying out the painting of a Door

water colour study work by Manju Panchal in a new sketch book

Experimenting with warm sky

water colour study work by Manju Panchal in a new sketch book

Understanding the background ( hazy look )

water colour study work of Pangong lake by Manju Panchal

The mountains and lake

water colour study work of a scene from Karnala Bird Sanctuary by Manju Panchal

Trying out some simple technique
to create a forest scene

water colour study work of a scene from Karnala Bird Sanctuary by Manju Panchal

Understanding the difference between the 
background and the foreground.

The last two study works are created using my photographs which I clicked using my mobile camera while I was at Karnala Bird Sanctuary with my family members. These small studies help me a lot in understanding the steps that I will follow in future to recreate this scene on a large paper. 

I am also posting below an image of my water colour palette which looks real messy but I manage to find all my colours in it. I clean up the bigger pockets before mixing a new colour in it. All colours in the palette are from Camlin artists water colour tubes.

water colour palette as used by Manju Panchal

Water colour palette.

A beautiful quote that I came across recently and really loved it. 

"It took me a few seconds to draw it, but it took me 34 years to learn how to draw it in a few seconds." - Paula Scher