Author Archive

Oil painting

Thursday, February 25th, 2010 | Author:

Oil painting exists since the 13th century. Today, this medium is become so popular that a student must learn and appreciate this wonderful technique of art. Oil paints do not dry easily as water paints do with the help of evaporation. They dry with the help of a process called oxidative reaction. The blend of colors and the natural sheen that oil painting gives makes this medium a beautiful way to express yourself! 


Oil Painting is yet another fascinating journey in visual art medium. Oil paints are oil based and are usually prepared by blending colored pigments into linseed oil, poppy seed oil or walnut oil.  Oil paints are yellowish and take a considerable time to dry. To paint with oil paints is indeed a thrill and a joy especially for people who are amateurs. The effect that oil painting gives you is something that entices all art lovers!  To do an oil painting the following are the tools that are required: 


Depending on your subject of drawing you can buy the number of different colored oil paint tubes that you want. Usually these tubes are available in 20ml, 30 ml and 60 ml tubes. 50 ml bottle of Linseed oil, poppy seed oil or walnut oil is also required. However, the most commonly used oil is the linseed oil. A 250 or 500 ml. bottle of Turpentine which is used to mixed along with the paint to thin it. Paint brushes of various numbers (which includes thick and thin brushes). A palette and a dipper holder, canvas board and other materials will include pencil, eraser, cotton cloth, brush holders, jars and tracing paper.


There are no set categories and types of oil painting but it is said that oil paintings that are used to portray scenery are very appealing. You can explore the media just as you like. You can even paint surreal and imaginary paintings with this medium. Whether to use a thin based oil painting or a dense oil painting will depend on the picture you paint and the paint style you use.


Oil paints dry very slowly. Hence once your painting is done; make sure you keep it at a safe place where they can be kept for drying. Also, if you want to clean a layer of your oil paint, you can use alcohol. This will clean your layer of paint because alcohol is a powerful solvent! 


Watercolor Painting

Sunday, February 14th, 2010 | Author:

Watercolor painting technique is extremely old. It has been here since ages. Watercolors were used to paint the cave walls! When art flourished during the Renaissance period, watercolor panting as a technique became famous too!

It is the paper that can make or break your painting because different watercolors will have different effect on your paper. You can also try watercolor painting on light colored papers such as light pink and yellow! There are three types of papers that are used for watercolor painting: Hot pressed, moderate and rough. Hot pressed has a very smooth texture and can be used for painting with a lot of detailing. Moderate just as the name suggest, has a moderate texture and this is recommended for beginners whereas rough paper has a coarse texture and is used for specific effects. Thickness is also important while selecting paper for watercolor painting. However, as a beginner, you may use a usual 300gsm paper.

There are a lot of techniques that artists use in watercolor painting. Art is something where you can let lose yourself and explore. The most common technique is the flat wash technique. It is done by first wetting the area of paper to be covered by the wash, then mixing sufficient colors to fill the entire area. Most of the amateur painters fear this medium simply because it is difficult to make changes or correction once you have put your brush stroke on the canvas. However, practice is what will make you perfect here.

Some of these basic techniques are: The Simple Wash: Just mix up a lot of water with watercolor paint and with a thick brush, wash your canvas. Another technique is using the tip of your paint brush to dip it slightly in the water and then dipping it in the color you want to paint in and using strokes to paint on the canvas. This is especially used to paint branches of a tree. Erasing the paint is yet another technique used commonly in watercolor painting and this is achieved by using a thick hard brush, dipping it only in water and then slowing applying it to the canvas. Tinting is also another technique that is very easy to do but difficult to control. For example you want your painting to have more yellow in it, to be brighter. What you do is take some very thin yellow paint by using a lot of water, and carefully going over the dried portion of the painting that you wish to tint. However, there is no stopping from inventing your own technique of watercolor painting.

How to do a Madhubani painting

Friday, January 15th, 2010 | Author:

vinitajhawomenworkredIn our previous posts, we have shared about what Madhubani paintings are and where do they emerge from and what are the common themes in such paintings. Also, off late I have been reading a lot about Madhubani paintings and thought I too should try my hand at it too. To do a Madhubani painting here is all that you would need:

  • Cloth/Handmade paper
  • Trace paper
  • Fabric colours(for cloth)
  • Poster colours (for paper)
  • Black outliner
  • Carbon sheet
  • Indian inks (green, blue, red, orange, black)
  • Madhubani Pen or a Black ball point pen

paper_craft_pt41_lDecide on a theme. Trace the design of Madhubani using a carbon sheet on the handmade paper. If you do not trace it well, then later while outlining the painting you may face trouble. In case you want to make changes, you can make improvements in designs. Draw the outline using the Madhubani pen, dipping the pen in black Indian ink and removing the excess ink and drawing thin outline on the entire painting, or using a black ball point pen and outlining the design. People who are comfortable can also use a 000 point brush.

Now fill in the designs with Indian inks that come in various colors. Most people use green and red in Madhubani. However, you can use other colours too. Now allow it to dry and frame it. Madhubani paintings can be done on fabric too, however you then need to use fabric paints instead of Indian ink.



Sunday, December 20th, 2009 | Author:

amitava6aw1016d3pf_bigWorking with a variety of mediums such as watercolours, oils, and pastels, Amitava has painted his thoughts yet camouflaging something which makes the spectator want to dig deeper in the canvas.


Amitava’s earlier works saw gentleness and acquiescence however; his recent paintings depict the violence and apathy of modern times. He has portrayed his thoughts and feelings evoked by his observations of the life around him. The artist feels that his paintings are a way that he gets a chance to express his thoughts. He says “The basic concept of my work is life around me. Throughout my life, I have been an urbanite and have reacted to anything that has happened – either political or cultural. But obviously, my paintings are my thoughts and I think through them. Painting to me has become a kind of a language.”




amitava_97cm7030rw_bigBorn in 1947 in Delhi, Amitava graduated from the Delhi College of Art. He experimented with a few styles of painting and sketching. What is remarkable is the fact that through all his paintings, there is one common striking quality that comes through – stress on background and the layers of colours laid on the surface through which the images emerge. Amitava feels that it is through details that he defines his space in the painting. His work is based on situations where man is both the creator and the destroyer. Amitava creates a world that is natural and man made at the same time. It is way he uses different elements to create an environment that intrigues the spectators. With keen observation and sympathetic approach, Amitava highlights the inner struggle of humans. Off late, his work portrays aggression as Amitava feels how man has been isolating himself in this materialistic world. 

K. Laxma Goud

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 | Author:

laxma_912cc1111oy_bigGoud has a rustic charm of his own. He is versatile and experiments with a lot of different mediums in which he has been successful. Goud has used various mediums such as watercolours, pastels, gouache, glass painting, and even sculpturing in bronze and terracotta. Laxma Goud, using the simple art of sketching also creates wonders. He feels that possibilities are immense once you know the correct use of a particular medium.


Looking at Goud’s work, one feels that it is highly raw and rustic. Each portrait be it a man or a woman has a strong expression on their face. Also, his work has a strong Indian base that represents Indian ethos. Each character be it a sculpture or a painting has a powerful individual existence and the aspect of male and female sexuality is also highlighted. Goud’s strokes are highly casual and rough. This gives the canvas a very raw appeal which is quite exuberant in its own way. Goud’s work demonstrates the south Indian rural element of the country especially the way the woman is wearing her bindi. Sometimes it feels that Goud is recreating paintings from his childhood as if they are frozen in his mind.


Born in 1940 in Nizampur, Andhra Pradesh, K. Laxma Goud completed his diploma in drawing and painting from the Government School of Art and Architecture, Hyderabad, in 1963. He then went on to study Mural Painting and Printmaking at the Faculty of Fine Arts at M.S. University, Baroda, from 1963 to 1965. Today, the artist lives and works on his own in Hyderabad. Recently, Goud has worked on a series of landscapes in vivid colors with the theme of his youth spent in rural Andhra Pradesh. Like most of the artist’s work, these are generally executed in a miniature format this is probably because the viewer can connect directly with the work.

Haren Vakil

Monday, November 30th, 2009 | Author:

Born in Mumbai in 1940, Haren Vakil is one of the upcoming Indian contemporary artists. The artist has had many solo shows in Canada as well as in India. Haren holds a degree in Architecture as well as a post graduate diploma from the Victoria College of Art, Canada. Haren worked as an architect and urban designer in India and the Netherlands.


Harn Vakil’s work is something that is surrealistic and striking. In fact in one of the interviews he has stated “My intent is to produce images which evoke wonder, surprise and amusement.” His art work takes you into a world that is full of fantasy. What is particularly interesting about this artistic personality is the way in which he intertwines reality and dream like situations. There are a lot many situations where you can see the artist’s interest especially in music painted on the canvas. Haren is particularly passionate about jazz and this can be seen in his work. In fact, he admits that he is influenced by his background in architecture and his experiences of various cultures.


Vakil’s work is pleasant and he takes us through images that are out of context. He uses certain objects and places them in situations one wouldn’t think of.  He uses bold bright colours with expressions on objects that leave you in amusement. Most of the images use monochromatic colours that are multicultural with diverse meanings.


Haren’s recent exhibitions include one held at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 2005; ‘Figure it Out’ at Fran Willis Gallery, Victoria, in 2003; and at Gallery 1248, Victoria, in 2001, 2000 and 1999.


Ancient Indian art

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 | Author:

Art in ancient India began with rock paintings especially in caves where men and women in the primitive time lived. The ancient Indian art showed that the people who actually created this art were highly accomplished and artistically oriented which developed a rich culture. One could see aesthetic sense and skilled craftsmanship in the architecture and artifacts found during excavations on these sites. This ancient Indian art also revealed a detailed understanding of human and animal anatomy on deep study. Ancient Indian temple architecture, murals, sculptures depict the nature of ancient Indian art. Each phase was unique in the field of architecture, painting, literature and art. Different influences both external and internal drove the evolution of Indian art from time to time and place to place. Hindus, Buddhists, Mughals and the British, all ruled over India in different phases and influenced its art.  In ancient Indian art, symbolism is of great value. Indian art is also unique in terms of its varied metaphors, symbols of Gods, Goddesses, philosophies and visual imagery. 


Each period in India was characterized by special features in painting and architecture. Indian artists were primarily concerned with the philosophical aspect of their visual expression. Ancient Indian art is full of creativity and cultural expression. Symbols were used as tools of artistic expression to visualize abstract ideas and diverse philosophy.


Ancient India laid a great foundation for art to flourish and develop in the country. Ancient Indian religion also played an important role in visual philosophy which also helped the art to develop and flourish in a diverse pattern.


Seema Kohli

Sunday, October 18th, 2009 | Author:

seema_40h_largeOf recently I have been observing an upcoming contemporary Indian artist’s works and I must say that I am completely mesmerized by the intriguing feminine designs that leave you with some thought provoking questions and strokes and lines that only want me to know more of her – Seema Kohli. . Seema has recently been facilitated by Lalit Kala Akademi for being an achiever as a woman in Contemporary Indian Art.


seema_41x_largeHer work seems to bring into the limelight a woman’s world – not just an outer world but a woman’s inner thoughts, dreams, ideas and her reflection. You will find a beautiful mélange of colors so very sumptuously woven that all you want to do is say kudos to the celebration of beauty, individuality and intimacy of a woman.


Seema Kohli’s recent paintings explore certain mantras from the Yajur Veda which talks about the beauty of procreation. Her work is not spiritual but yet it has deep philosophical meanings that stay with you like certain verses.



seema_48k_largeHer series, ‘The Golden Womb’ is a journey through which she depicts a woman’s life and how she procreates and keeps the world going. Her work evokes deep sense of the thought processes that germinate inside a woman and these are portrayed as a serene picture with the colors that she has used from her palette. Kohli has worked with different mediums in the past eighteen years and has created paintings that seem to find answers to the eternal quest…


Learning to sketch for beginners on the block…

Thursday, October 08th, 2009 | Author:

A sketch is almost like a beautiful poetry put together. It is magically how a few strokes of lines make such a splendid image! If we were to define a sketch, it would be called a drawing that is executed through the use of strokes and lines. A sketch is one art that can be easily acquired with practice and patience. It is the basics of visual art medium. So let us see what it takes to make a sketch… 


There is no clear cut classification but broadly these are the different categories of sketching that one can think of:  


Based on the tool: 

·     Pencil Sketching

·     Pen Sketching

·     Charcoal Sketching

·     Sketches with brushes and paint


Based on the picture

·     Human Face sketching

·     Human body sketching

·     Landscape sketching

·     Object Sketching/Still life

·     Design Sketching

·     Abstract Sketching

·     Any other


You require minimum tools to make a sketch. Sketching is indeed an inexpensive art and not just that it allows the creativity in you to flow like a river!  


Beginners usually start from what is called the ‘pencil sketching’. Just as the name suggests, all you need to start with is paper and pencils and erasers too. However you need special pencils of varying degree but they are easily available. These pencils are called the following: HB, 2B, 4B and 6B. HB is the usual pencil that most of us use. 2B, 4B and 6B are pencils that get darker as the number increases i.e. 6B is the darkest pencil that is used for dark strokes. As far as the paper is concerned, you need an A3 or an A4 size drawing book paper. But there is no compulsion here. For all you care, you can even sketch on a tissue paper!


Bhupen Khakhar

Saturday, September 26th, 2009 | Author:

How many of art aficionados have heard of Bhupen Khakhar? Thos who have must also have noticed his inadequacies in his works. But that is where the fascinating saga of this talented artist began. Yes, from his so called lack of formal training. He, in fact made a point to highlight his deficiencies to harp upon the art works he had created. Khakhar was never really much bothered about his lack of formal training in art and made it a point to highlight this fact in his works. Born in 1934, he was a self-taught artist who reveled in his uniqueness. His style of art was entirely self created and no wonder such confidence did result in beautiful works of art. By profession, he was a qualified chartered accountant but his passion for arts saw him moving to Baroda and join the Art Criticism course at the Faculty of Fine Arts.

Since then, it remained a memorable journey until he breathed his last. Soon after completing his course, he started to paint as a full time passion and organized his first exhibition within next three years. His initial works did invite lot of curiosity and criticism because of the experiments he made like painting over images of deities. That was first of its kind in Indian art circle. He remained obsessed about unconventional mans of painting.

Bhupen Khakhar never hesitated in expressing his innermost feelings though it also invited ire of established critics in the art circle. He tried experimenting with hybrid art cultures and traditions. He was quite expressive about duality of Indian society in his paintings. His compositions were always edgy and this kind of separated him from rest of the artists. Bhupen Khakhar dies in August 2003 aged 69.