Thursday 30 November 2017

Trying out "Cloudy sky" in water colour medium

"Every painting is a voyage into a sacred harbour." Giotto di Bondone

Some months back a friend of mine visited Maldives for a holiday and sent me a few photographs from her visit. The place is beautiful with stunning beaches and I have already painted one scene earlier. My today's water colour painting is yet another scene from Maldives and I selected this scene in order to get a better understanding of painting clouds, its shapes and shadows.

As I wanted the sky to be the main focus of the painting, I avoided painting too many boats in the foreground, keeping just two boats at the distance on the left. For this painting I have used a very limited palette of colours such as Ultramarine blue, Cerulean blue, Crimson, Indian red and Burnt Sienna.

A water colour painting of a cloudy sky at Maldives on hand made paper

Water colour study of Cloudy sky
on hand made paper.
Size 5"X 7"

When it comes to water colour medium I am still on the experimental stage and am busy doing the "Seascapes" and "Mountainscapes". It is a challenging medium and there is so much more to learn, be it colour mixing or the different techniques like wet in wet, wet on dry etc. I believe in taking it slow, one step at a time. I am keen on doing forests too but have not got started with that subject as yet but plan to do so very soon.

Thank you for visiting my blog and browsing through my artworks.

Sunday 26 November 2017

Working on an unfinished portrait drawing

"I invent nothing. I rediscover." Auguste Rodin

Hand made paper is not my my preferred choice of toned paper for portrait drawing. The two papers that I would love to use today are "Canson Mi Teintes" and "Strathmore toned paper". However the portrait drawing that I am posting today is a work that I started quite some time back on hand made paper and for some reason it was left a little incomplete. Therefore I spent some time working on it and finally completed it.

I do not have much of this hand made paper ( 300gsm ) left with me and after working with Strathmore and Canson paper I realised that the texture and quality of the paper matters a lot when it comes to drawing and sketching. I have also ordered a new Strathmore book of Toned warm tan papers and would be using one of the sheets soon.

Portrait drawing on Canson Mi Teintes paper

A portrait study
Charcoal and white pastel pencil drawing on hand made paper
Size 5"X 7"

During my earlier years of drawing I exclusively worked with charcoal on white paper. Its much later that I discovered the beauty of working on toned paper. So these days I try out both the options ie charcoal on white paper as well as toned paper. 

Thank you for visiting my blog and to browse through my works in Gallery format you can visit my INSTAGRAM page.

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Patong beach, Phuket

"The flow of water and paint can be uncontrollable and crazy, but it is also freedom, an escape, a therapy, joy, and, oh yes, very sensuous!" Angela Lynch

The above quote says it all. Water colour medium is challenging and the outcome so unpredictable. Yet you cannot help but fall in love with it.

Today's water colour painting is a scene from Patong beach, Phuket. This beach was right across our hotel and at around ten in the morning, the water level had receded a bit, which made the distant rocks and trees clearly visible. I have used a mix of Camlin and Winsor and Newton paints to create this artwork.

An original water colour painting of Patong beach, at Phuket on Fabriano water colour paper. By Manju Panchal

At Patong beach, Phuket
A water colour painting on Fabriano paper
Size 7" X 9"

Painting a beach scene such as above gives me the opportunity to try out many different elements such as the water, the sky, the rocks, the foliage and reflections. 

Thank you for visiting my blog and browsing through my paintings.

Tuesday 14 November 2017

Sunset at the beach - A watercolour painting

"Watercolour is probably the most satisfying of all mediums. Although difficult in the beginning, after practice its mysteries will unfold, providing the utmost pleasure for the dedicated." Robert Lovett

Painting a sunset scene has been on my mind since long, therefore I decided to create one on handmade paper. I chose handmade paper since it stays wet for long and I can keep dropping in colours which blend smoothly into the background. If the paper does not have water holding capacity then I it starts drying up quickly and that leads to some unwanted hard edges.

The sky in this particular painting has a mix of warm and cool colours, so I mixed up enough colour in the palette before beginning the painting. In water colour painting, I have realised that I need to have a definite plan in my head regarding the steps that I am going to follow or else the painting gets ruined. For the sea weeds I picked up dry paint from the palette and used my coarse flat brush sideways and to create the tall grass blades I have made use of a rigger brush. It was fun creating this work using Camlin Artists water colour tubes.

A water colour painting of sunset at the beach. By Manju Panchal

Sunset at the beach
Created on handmade paper
Size 5"X 7"

Hand made paper is great, however it is important to know if it is acid free or else over a period of years the paper colour turns a pale yellow. I have some old papers in my collection and since they are not acid free I use them for my study works. The paper that I have used for my above work seems to be acid free and I have purchased it from Himalaya Stationery at Fort.

To know more about my upcoming Art Workshops CLICK HERE and thank you for visiting my BLOG.

Sunday 12 November 2017

Pastel painting on Fabriano Tiziano paper

"Sometimes you got to create what you want to be a part of." Geri Weitzman

The above quote speaks my heart. I stay in a crowded metro city in India and long to be amidst nature. Travelling takes me to places where nature is in its pristine form. Being in nature helps me relate to it better and I feel so connected with the surroundings.

The soft pastel painting as below is a scene that I came across while we were climbing uphill on the mountain slopes at Hee Bermiok in order to get a better view of the snow covered Kanchenjunga mountains. The dense greenery around kept the muddy pathway in shadows. It was a cold and breezy day and the I was attracted to the distant light in the composition. It seemed to add a little warmth in the atmosphere.

A soft pastel painting of a landscape as seen at West Sikkim.A painting by Manju Panchal

Distant light
A soft pastel painting on Fabriano Tiziano paper.
Size 6.5" X 8.5"

For most of my pastel works I use the Mungyo pastels in the beginning to block in the major shapes and later I use the Koh-I-Noor and Gallery pastels. During my final touch up I make use of my recently purchased Sennelier pastels.  

I have selected a black coloured Fabriano Tiziano paper for my present painting. The colours come out very vibrant on a dark coloured paper, however the disadvantage is that it gets difficult to cover up the black at areas where you want subtle shades. Too much smudging dulls the colours. Therefore for my next work I have decided to go with the mid tone paper. CLICK HERE , if you wish to know about the papers I use for my soft pastel paintings.

Thanks for visiting my blog and browsing through my artworks. My blog has crossed 75,000 page views and I am grateful to all the people who have been constantly supporting me in my art journey. It encourages and motivates me to continue painting and to share my ideas, thoughts and techniques with everyone.

Friday 10 November 2017

Johnathan Harris - An artist from USA

"Colors speak all languages." Joseph Addison

My today's post is about an artist from USA, Johnathan Harris. I recently came across his stunning vibrant artworks in INSTAGRAM as well as FINE ART AMERICA. The landscape paintings by Johnathan Harris are visually stunning, unique and very inspiring. He has his unique original style and I am fascinated by his landscape interpretations. His color palette has a great appeal and you get naturally drawn towards all his works.

In his Artist's statement Johnathan Harris says" Creating artwork is my passion, a refuge from the modern world, a time for me to reflect and express; an absolute necessity for me to feel complete. I try to give the viewer a window into a perception of a reality in which I find solace. I prefer to focus on Southwestern landscapes and European landscapes not only for the naturally beautiful compositions, the colors and endless inspiration but also because of the effect of the seasonal changes and variations due to light in those magical parts of the world."
( COURTESY: Johnathan Harris )

Posted below are some of the artworks by Johnathan Harris which are my personal favorites and to view all his works you can visit his website 

A painting by Johnathan Harris

A landscape painting by Johnathan Harris, an artist from Canada

A landscape painting by Johnathan Harris, an artist from Canada

A landscape painting by Johnathan Harris, an artist from Canada

A landscape painting by Johnathan Harris, an artist from Canada

A landscape painting by Johnathan Harris, an artist from Canada

A landscape painting by Johnathan Harris, an artist from Canada

A landscape painting by Johnathan Harris, an artist from Canada

Through his landscape paintings, Johnathan says, he has tried to capture the sensations and revelations that he experiences when he is in the in the midst of nature. His works are greatly influenced by his love for nature.

I am grateful today for being able to do what I love doing most. ie "Drawing and Painting". I am also grateful to interact with other artists around the world whose works inspire and motivate me to continue my passion. Having a blog is helping me to share the works of artists whose works I admire and I am looking forward to creating more of such posts.

Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you too have enjoyed the beautiful works by Johnathan Harris. 

Wednesday 8 November 2017

Portrait drawing

"To draw, you must close your eyes and sing." Pablo Picasso

Quotes are beautiful. I find them very inspiring. No matter how passionate or self motivated, there are days when nothing seems to work. Quotes speak the right words at these moments.  

My today's post is a portrait drawing of a beautiful old woman with great features. I met her in Hee Bermiok, Sikkim while I was holidaying there in a traditional homestay high up in the mountains. She came up to our homestay, climbing all by herself and her agility, enthusiasm and bubbly nature inspired me. I had the pleasure of interacting with her and I got to know a lot about her way of life. It is so peaceful out there and I consider her fortunate to be able to enjoy pristine nature.

I have already created a side profile drawing  of this beautiful woman and posted it earlier in August. This time I decided to sketch her front face in order to capture her expression, emotions and feelings. Her curled up scarf over her head, which left a few braided hangings accentuated her looks. I also loved her traditionally designed nose ring which I found was pretty unique. 

A portrait drawing of an old woman on Strathmore gray toned paper By Manju Panchal

In Quiet Moments
Charcoal and white pastel pencil drawing on
Strathmore gray toned paper.
Size 5" X 7"

As an artist I love doing both "Landscapes" as well as "Portraits". Portrait drawing takes much longer time than a landscape painting. Therefore I do it in stages by taking frequent breaks. The portrait such as above took me about a week to complete but once completed, it gives me immense satisfaction. The feeling cannot be described in words. It motivates me further to create more works such as these. 

Thank you for browsing through my artworks. 
To know about my upcoming workshops CLICK HERE.

Sunday 5 November 2017

Painting a forest scene in soft pastel medium

"The artist is always beginning. Any work of art which is not a beginning, an invention, a discovery is of little worth." Ezra Pound ( Courtesy: )

The paper that I use most often for my soft pastel works is "Canson Mi Teintes" which fortunately comes in assorted colours. This works as an advantage because choosing the right colour for the subject makes a lot of difference. To know more about the different shades and its specific names you can visit the site DICKBLICK. I normally use Twilight, Tobacco, Sand and Moonstone but I am open to experimenting and exploring with the other colours as well.

For my today's soft pastel painting I decided to go with black Canson MT paper as I wanted the foreground and part of the middle ground to be dark and in shadows. This is a beautiful scene from Karnala Bird Sanctuary and I love this place as I get to walk through different muddy pathways. It is densely populated with trees and in the morning hours I get the perfect light and shadow scenes. 

I have titled this painting "A walk through the shadows" as it reminds me of those beautiful moments in the tranquil nature. 

A soft pastel painting of a forest landscape by Indian artist Manju Panchal

A walk through the shadows
A soft pastel painting on Canson MT paper
Size 5"X 7"

The soft pastel painting as above progressed in stages and the images can be seen as below. The broken pastels that can be seen around are from Mungyo, Gallery, Camlin and Koh-I-Noor. I also have a set of 24 dark Sennelier pastels which I use towards the end as they are very very soft.

Step by step, a soft pastel painting of a landscape

Step 1. Creating the basic outline of the main elements
using white soft pastel pencil and blocking in the colours
of the winding pathway and the distant foliage.

Step by step, a soft pastel painting of a landscape

Step 2. Blocking in the major shapes with respective colours
keeping in mind the source of light and atmospheric perspective.

In the final stages, I redo the layering of colours, making changes where ever required. All the detailing happens in the end.

Before I begin any painting, I create small "Thumbnail sketches" or "Tonal value studies" which help me understand the subject well and these little ten minute works enable me to decide on the best composition. Two of the small quick art studies can be seen below. The black and white study has been done using a single Staedtler 8B pencil. I have started using this pencil quite recently and am enjoying it. Both are sized 2" X 3".

Tonal value sketch and study sketch of a forest landscape

Tonal value sketch & Thumbnail sketch
of a landscape.

Thank you all for visiting my blog. If you are into soft pastel medium I would love to know about the papers you use. Do leave in a comment. Browse through my other artworks on my INSTAGRAM page.

Thursday 2 November 2017

A Cloudy sky

"You don't make art. You find it." Pablo Picasso

On my recent visit to Malshej Ghats, I came across some dramatic skies. Being monsoon season the weather was a bit dull and there was not enough light to capture the scene well in the camera. At such times I have to observe and store the information in my memory so that I can retrieve the information at a later time when I actually get down to painting the scene.

The soft pastel painting below is one such scene from Malshej Ghats that made an impact on me and I wanted to create a study work of the same. I call it "Study work" as I have not painted many "Cloudy Landscapes" in the past and am yet to get a full understanding of the shapes, perspective and the colours in the clouds. When handling a new subject, it is more of experimenting and exploring which in turn slowly leads to a great learning experience.

Apart from the dense scattered clouds,what I also loved about this scene in particular is the diffused light that filtered through the clouds and illuminated the water covered fields below.

A soft pastel study work of a cloudy landscape from Malshej Ghats in Maharashtra.

The Cloudy sky ( A study work )
A soft pastel painting on Canson MT paper
Size 5"X 7"

Painting clouds is new to me and I find it very challenging. I remember as kids when we drew a landscape, there always used to be a few common elements in it namely mountains in the distance, a small house, a river and fields. The sky was almost similarly drawn by everyone in a beautiful uniform blue and few fluffy white clouds floating around. Those drawing days were fun. 

Now when I look at the clouds closely I realise that there are so many different colours in each cloud other than gray and blue. I am planning to do a little more deep study of this interesting element. In fact it is more like doing "Cloud Anatomy".

Thanks for visiting my blog and browsing through my works.