Friday, July 27, 2018

Oil Painting_ Snow Leopard

I was introduced to oils when I was in my teens and painted quite a few piece in ensuing years.When I moved to the UK I didn't have the studio space anymore as we lived in a rented apartment; and I had to abandon oil painting altogether. In want of a less demanding medium I turned to watercolor and I loved it so much that I worked exclusively in watercolor for next six years; producing a huge body of work.
Since the start of this year I have been itching to do things a bit differently. May be produce some larger pieces with more detail. It took a sometime to gather courage to start painting in oils again. I dipped my toes first by trying out acrylics.Acrylics are nice to work with as they come with no strings attached - you plan, you paint, you varnish and you are done.
Oils, on the other hand are much more demanding.You need to consider the technique,the material, the mediums and, most important- the finishing. On positive side, you paint in oils because they allow you to blend and add detail which is almost impossible with acrylics.They appear richer,too.

So, here goes a painting that I have finished recently.I might have overworked it a bit - which was not the plan but hey, it was a first oil painting after so many years!

Snow Leopard (unnamed  yet)
Oil on Canvas

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

More fun with Acrylics _ Cow Shed

Must confess that the quality of canvas does matter. I painted two similar style paintings on similar sized canvases bought separately. The difference was quite obvious.One had smooth and rounded edge( I bought these online, Quantum Arts /Deep edge) and the finish was definitely superior and luxurious compared to the other...though I don't remember them being priced too far apart. It even felt smoother when painting on it.Recently bought another batch to try with oils. Looks rich, I will post the result very soon.
As for these cows, I decided to use a neutral background. Two of the herd have found a home together; rest are still waiting :)

Curious Cow_Stella
8x8 SOLD

Curious Cow_ Tia
8x8 Available
Acrylic on Canvas, ready to hang

Curious Cow_Gia
8x8 Available
Acrylic on Canvas, ready to hang

Curious Cow _ MArcella
Acrylic on Canvas, ready to hang

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Working with acrylics

 Being a water colorist for many years, its hard to switch over to a medium like acrylic especially when you like so much to work with fluidity. Before I go any further, let me clear- I am not switching over to acrylics, watercolor is still my first love. Its just that you have to challenge yourself and test your limits sometimes.
My first acrylic was a disaster, I hated the medium as it felt so dry! My initial thought was -  'forget it, its not for me'. But after persisting with it some more, (with a few more paintings trashed) I am slowly getting the hang of it. I have now learnt that strokes will start to feel smooth once I have built up initial layers ( the hard part!). An extra layer of gesso should help, too.
I am still struggling with details and fine brushes- it is so much easier just to reach for a big brush or a palette knife- but I am sticking with detail - at least for now- do a few more paintings and see how far can I go.

This is Harold, my last acrylic in canvas. I spent about five to six days to build all those gorgeous lock- but he is so lucky to have found a loving home even before the varnish was dry! He is on his way to Michigan right now, to the home of my childhood buddy whose husband bought it.

12x16 acrylic on canvas

In my newest effort still on easel, I will be trying out acrylics on a surface covered with watercolor ground.Stay tuned to see how it turns out!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Pencil Sketch_ Owl

A few pieces of paper in A6 size had been lying around and I decided to make use of them! Its quite a small size so not many details in this drawing but I am happy with this little guy! I have used mechanical .5 pencil on smooth paper.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Pencil Sketch

Sketching is so therapeutic, I can easily get lost in it.Started this sketch at about 11 pm last night intending it to be a quick study.It ended up a detailed sketch instead as I did not want to stop! This is Sid, a Basingstoke man I met in town last week.He was happy to pose for a picture- it was a transport festival and he was leaning on his blue tractor.I am thinking of converting into a painting later with tractor and all!
B and 2B Pencil on Strathmore paper

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Zebra Art

Some Zebra paintings that I have done in past few weeks, hope you enjoy.

      Becky the Young Zebra
10x14 Available,contact me for details.                         This one has been SOLD already                                                                   

This is Xander, a larger painting  about 24x20 inch
Watercolor on Arches cold pressed paper
Available, contact me for details.   

This one is my attempt at acrylic, took me a long time to create!
KEN acrylic on canvas 20x24 inch 
Available, contact me for details.  

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Roosters in Watercolours

''Sylvie'' 12''x16''
Watercolour on Arches CP Paper

Ms Maran
Some more chickens... still struggling to decide how much detail I need! The top one was painted with a loose hand, wet-in-wet and with salt texture.The chicken at the bottom was a Maran that have a distinctive speckled plumage. I took a different approach with this one and painted with a very fine brush.The result was alright and it was also Sold instantly; but I must say that fine detail is not what I enjoy. Loose and wet is what I prefer.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Elephant in Acrylics

Acrylics are a relatively new medium to me.While watercolour painting allows me to mix my colours on paper, letting them run and find their own space on the surface; painting in acrylic is totally different - a brush mark stays strictly where you put it! I don't fancy painting every hair or every cell of the body-- though I am in awe of those who can do it-- so I really needed to find a way to mix my colours on canvas. This is what I came up with, using brush strokes of different colours to create an impression of colours merging into each other, blurring the boundaries.I think it gives the painting a fragmented look which I sort of like.
Spent too many days on this one, now I am feeling the usual pain in the neck which means I won't be able to paint for a few days.How I wish I could paint 24x7!

Coral King
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

Monday, February 5, 2018

Pheasant Watercolour Painting

Loving these colourful birds.They are not unlike roosters to me as far as painting goes; wild colours, lovely tails and  brilliant colour in neck.Here is another one
Watercolour on Paper

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


''Patrick Blue''  / SOLD
This was the first one I painted after a long gap due to a bad case of flu.
Someone actually asked me to paint a pheasant after viewing a previous Pheasant painting-which was sold out. They had a pheasant visiting their backyard whom they had named 'Patrick'! Intrigued by the story, I painted this one on the night of 15th.Next day I put it up for sale on Art Finder and sent a message to the person that another 'Patrick' was available. Unfortunately for them the new 'Patrick' was quickly lapped up again by another buyer even before that mail was read! 
Lesson - Pheasants do fly quickly :D

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

My new year has started on a rather uninspiring note. First to go down with Flu was my other half; then it was my turn and even before I could recover- my son caught it too. It feels like ages since I have accomplish anything, other than dragging myself out of bed everyday. Wish every one a safe, happy and healthy beginning. Hoping to get better and start painting soon !

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Wet in wet Watercolour Panda Painting Part 1

After a few failed attempts and a lot of time spent on getting it right; here is my first video of my painting process. I use many painting techniques but 'wet in wet' is something I really like-with colours running on paper to find their own space. This painting was done on Arches cold pressed paper (300 gsm) using Daniel Smith paints AND a lot of water!
I have been having issues with dark and cloudy days for past week; the lamp just wan't working for me; producing a flickering effect in the video. Fortunately the sun came out for a couple of hours this morning allowing me to record this painting. The video is not technically perfect- I still need time to polish my editing skills- but I hope its useful for some people. I have broken the recording down to a few clips. This is the first one with some more to follow.
I am not saying this is the way it should be done, this is just the way I like to paint my Pandas! Enjoy.

Any questions are welcome.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New Beginings

Christmas and New Year is not a very productive time for us artists.Family commitments and festivities take up all our time, leaving very little scope for painting or even blogging. Still, I have not been completely off grid- I have been spending my spare time on things that are equally important but get pushed back usually in favour of painting! I am talking about things like website management, communication, setting up emails and newsfeed; plus all important- learning to make videos of my process. Videos have been on my mind for a long time. People have asked me again and again if I did tutorials and I always said 'not yet, but may be in future...'! It seemed a bit intimidating and frankly speaking, I did not know how was I going to record myself ! Recently I decided to take the plunge and bought myself a tripod.Only then I realised that recording myself was actually the easiest part! Now I needed to figure out which software was easiest to use for editing, and how to obtain it.Most free software come with hideous watermarks - you only realise it after you have downloaded the damn thing and gone through the setup. After doing this step multiple times I finally was able to zero in on Videopad .Then there were compatibility issues, compression issues, optimisation and of course, learning to use the tools to do actual editing.
I have now spent countless hours on this and still haven't come up with anything that is even remotely presentable. I will keep working on it till I get it right but I wonder if any of you do it and have any tips for me.
The daylight is quite poor these days and this might be affecting the quality.My daylight lamp gives out a strange flickering light when I watch the footage on screen. I think I need to put off the recording until there is decent daylight.

In between these tasks I managed to sneak in this little giraffe last evening .It was very spontaneous- I let my hand takeover  my mind, working without thinking about it. Very light and breezy, lots and lots of water and very few colours.Hope you enjoy this.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Happy Holidays

Not much painting happening for last few days. My 'To do' list is getting longer and longer, there is so much stuff still left to be done.This snow dog was done a while back but he looks perfect on a Holiday card. This is just wish every one of my blogger friends a great Holiday Season and a very happy, joyous, prosperous and successful New Year. Hope you all are having a great time with your families..have fun! xx

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Online Art Galleries_ Yay or Nay

As another year comes to an end, I can't help but think about if could I have done any better. It has been a good year for me as an artist; (though not so good health wise) but of course I could have pushed a bit harder.I realise that I have been slacking off, relying too much on the online galleries for sales.The galleries do give us artists much needed exposure but they also take a huge chunk out of our profits. Plus, we don't get to connect with the buyers as we would like to. Art is about that connection, isn't it. I would love to be able to talk to my buyers freely, without the 'Big Brother' watching!
There is a gallery that I am a member of; which has given me some sales but I don't get to know anything about the buyer other than their name and address.They can't write to me, neither am I supposed to communicate with them. I have absolutely no idea if they liked their painting or not. Doesn't give me a good feeling. Also, we are not allowed to price our art any lower on other sites including our own websites so that there goes our chance to sell direct!
On the other hand in last two weeks I had emails from two different buyers who came through my personal website.One wanted to see the art in person and eventually we managed a viewing at my place.He ended up buying four paintings! Second buyer commissioned one but bought two when he came to visit and had a look at my work in person.
This brings me to a conclusion that its alright to start with online galleries, but we must be ready to spread out our wings eventually. Keeping our personal websites upto date and building a rapport with past buyers is time well spent. Sending cards and emails occasionally might help keeping their memories fresh. I must admit I have been quite lazy in this regard so far. The task seems so daunting and so time consuming that I have been putting it off. But deep down I know I should be trying harder. So this year's resolution is to change my ways, do things differently.
Hope you all have a very Happy and Successful New Year xx

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Pastel Portrait_ Woman in Lemon Shawl

I saw this woman in Rishikesh on my last trip to India earlier this year.She was one among many who flock the banks of river Ganga, seeking peace and embracing spirituality. She was not beautiful in a traditional sense but I liked her weather beaten face and world weary expression.

Woman in Lemon Shawl
Pastel on Pastel Mat 48x34 cm
About a week and a lot of effort was spent on this portrait. I used layer upon layer of pastel pencils to create smooth skin textures. The goal was to create a life like portrait. It was a disappointing moment when I learned that it was rejected by Federation of British Artists for their upcoming Pastel Painters exhibition in London.I was in fact quite hopeful for it.
This is my second rejection from this body and now I don't feel like entering anymore.May be I don't have what they are looking for. A friend suggested that I visit the exhibition to see what kind of work gets selected; but I have my doubts - should I be painting what the judges like to see, or should I follow my heart? I don't know.

Sunday, October 22, 2017


This one was my favourite, labour of love - you could say.There was a lot f dry brushing over the initial looser layer but the end result was satisfactory.Glad to say that it has found a home now!
Reference picture was courtesy Alexandra from Pixabay.
Watercolor on Arches Cold Pressed paper

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Birds of Different Feathers

painted on 24/08/2017
Watercolor on Paper

Sharon the owl in pastels
Painted on 16/09/2017
Two owls in different styles and mediums ..first is my usual watercolor with a white background while the second one is on a dark colored Pastelmat .I had been experimenting more lately. just trying to find out what works best for me. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Blue Crab Acrylic Painting

Blue European Crab
Acrylics on ampersand board
This is something new and unusual for me.Acrylics look lovely and vibrant but its a struggle trying to blend them;they dry too quickly.I tried an Ampersand board this time and it worked far better than a canvas.It was not a pain working on this crab at all- and I quite like the outcome.Hopefully, more to follow!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Olga _Tawny Owl in Watercolor/ White Horse

Olga the Tawny Owl
Watercolor on paper /25/07/2017
This one was painted in an expressive style ,but with some detail in its face. Texture,spills and spatters add energy and drama to the painting.

Watercolor On Paper/26/07/2017
A watercolor sketch of a white horse with wispy hair and the loveliest of faces. Very loosely painted on best quality Arches paper; this portrait has a dream like feel to it.