Monday, 22 June 2015

Old no.73 2nd main road

Title: Old no.73
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Size: 24 in x 30 in
Year: 2015
Thought I'd give you access to 'Behind the scenes' of this latest painting of mine :)

What began as an experiment in Tromp de l'oeil, ended up being an entire set of memories captured within this two-dimensional space.

Initially I wanted to fill the entire canvas with droplets. However, when I started working on the background, I loved the feel it gave; that of an old worn out wall. Then, my ant inevitably crept in.

It is highly imperative for an old wall to have a crack. I introduced cracks here and there. Nothing was pre-planned. I reacted to the canvas. Just follow your heart!

I felt that the painting needed an antique element added to it. With my fascination for unlocking ideas and thoughts, I introduced a key.

Subconsciously, I love a neutral colour palette, that of browns mostly. So, I was consciously trying to introduce brighter colours through the addition of moss and worn out paint effect.

I reached a plateau. I knew something was missing but did not know what. So, I put away my painting in the store room for days. Today, when I took a look at it, it made me feel nostalgic about something from childhood which was lost. After several hours of just sitting and staring at it trying to decipher it, I finally found the missing element. The memories from 73 2nd main road! My Dad's paternal house.

The house has been demolished and re-built into an apartment complex and pretty much put a full stop to those times. I have no connection to what it is now and hence the question mark.

The Tamil abbreviation stands for 'Palaiya en' or 'Old number'. Therefore, I aptly call this work 'Old no.73'.

The key is a tool used to tap into your memories. There is no actual door visible as that house no longer exists.

The painting finally settled! It was time to put the finishing touch to it.

I present to you my latest painting, 'Old no. 73'.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Behind the scenes...From an idea to Finishing a painting

Detail of a painting of mine, which I will explain from before conception
till execution.
I thought I'd give an insight into what happens behind the scenes, inside my mind. Please note, each artist has a different thought process.

So, I am at the moment in between series. I am brainstorming. Basically using a chopstick to pick through my brains!

Inevitably, that is what I look like while doing so! Often mistaken to be a grouch! However, how else am I supposed to look like while finding a needle in a haystack??

The problem with ideas is that they show up at unexpected times. Here are a few examples:

  1. in the loo
  2. while drifting off to sleep
  3. while jogging
  4. during a movie
  5. during a conversation
  6. while cooking 
I have pathetic memory! Therefore, ideas don't last long. If an idea pops up, I need to jot it down ASAP. These days, I have a memo app on my phone and just jot down ideas in it. Yes, I take my phone with me EVERYWHERE. :D

I have watched many a horror movie and when I'm alone and hear a strange noise, surprisingly I remember every single scene in every single movie! I see the mirror, I think of Candyman! Not to mention that scene from Grudge 2 where the kid is clicking the picture of the spirit's reflection inching towards him! *shudder*

However, one such moment I decided to not make the mirror out to be a gateway towards evil but a gateway away from negativity. Horror movies always disturb my sleep just as many unnecessary thoughts from day to day life do for most human beings. This got me to the idea of broken sleep. 

This was what my preliminary sketch looked like. 

Used a EE Staedtler pencil, dry pastels and black gel pen.
Never start a painting to replicate your sketch. This will hinder your free flow of thoughts. As my mentor, AV Ilango, always said, do not consciously create something, let your subconscious creativity take over. However, consciously keep away your negative thoughts which might stop your positive flow of thoughts. (it was something along those lines).

When I started painting, initially I replicated the sketch to some extent. Then, felt the mirror need not show the existing reflection. What if, the existing environment is not real? What if reality is what is shown in the mirror, if you chose to see it? What if a different world existed beyond the mirror? 

With these questions in my mind, I added a couple of more elements to my painting. It now looks like this.

Broken Sleep
Acrylic on canvas
30 in x 36 in

Detail of the slippers

Detail of the cactus
My thoughts work differently in different situations. Each painting is a new process. So, see what you are comfortable with and enjoy what you do! 

Until next time...

Friday, 8 May 2015

Back after hibernation...

Good Morning to all!

I know I've disappeared for almost two months! Been travelling and have had visitors.

I've been surfing (online obviously... I have no sense of balance whatsoever!) So, this morning I came across a post that a friend of mine liked on facebook. It was an image of a painting by the artist Logan  Hicks. I am sharing the picture here.

I did not ask permission from the artist though. (Sorry! But full credits to you Mr Hicks and I am sharing the link to your website as well :) ) 
I thought this work was FANTABULOUS! So, I googled his images and came across several where he is using cardboard stencils. Now all of us would have tried stenciling at one point or another. For those who have not. Here is the definition of what it means:

Stencil : a thin sheet of card, plastic, or metal with a pattern or letters cut out of it, used to produce the cut design on the surface below by the application of ink or paint through the holes.

Next, I googled about his technique and found the following link:

From the above link, I found out that there is something called 'Stencil Revolution'! WOW! I wonder what rock I have been living under to have not heard of them before! Shame on me! Bottomline, I did not want to keep this treasure that I found all to myself. Thought I'd share it with you guys!   This site has tutorials which you can try out :)

So, one other thing I noticed in the link is a movie called 'Rash'. A 2005 documentary on Australian street artists (FYI street artists use a lot of stenciling, check out Banksy, one of the most famous of them all!)

By the way Logan Hicks' works can be found at the following site:

What a wonderful way to start the day!

PS As a hindsight I decided to let the artist know. I should have just asked for permission before writing this blog. Oh well, for future 'borrows' from here and there I shall ask first before posting ;)

So here is the permission request, FYI.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Week 4 Day 3 - One point perspective revisited - Let's draw a kitchen!

Today we are going to draw a kitchen. Not necessarily the pic below. But, if you observe the pic below, you notice that the eye level is somewhat a wee bit above the center of the pic and the vanishing point is a bit towards the left of the center of the pic. Depending on where you stand and where you look, the vanishing point will seem different and accordingly the percentage of object that you can see will vary.
We are going to draw ourselves an imaginary kitchen, using one point perspective. Today, is going to be a bit lengthy but just follow the steps and you should be fine!

Draw two rectangles, one inside the other. Next, I am going to begin with a cupboard on the left, so we will first draw a rectangle!
Next, draw diagonals from the corner of the rectangles to the center of the inner rectangle. This will be your vanishing point.
Draw a vertical line up from where the bottom diagonal touches the inner rectangle.
Now draw a horizontal from the top of the vertical line, touching the diagonal to its left.
You just created one cabinet in the kitchen! We are going to add a cupboard to the top! Again, begin with a rectangle.
Do the diagonals, just like you did for the cabinet.
Now we need to draw the width of the cupboard, so draw a vertical line to indicate how wide you want your cupboard to be and then add a horizontal line to indicate the base of the cupboard.
Next, we will be adding a fridge to the right side corner. So, we need another rectangle, however, this has to be tall, unless you want a tiny fridge. Vary the rectangle accordingly.

Connect the diagonals to the VP.

Indicate with a diagonal, the right wall of the kitchen. Connect a line from the bottom right of inner rectangle with bottom right of outer rectangle. 
The distance marked as x is what we will take the width of the tiles to be. (If you want a smaller tile, you can draw a separate diagonal). Along the back wall, we divide it equally to mark 'x'. Then draw diagonals from the VP through the tiles which you just marked, reaching the outer rectangle. Next draw a parallel line to the bottom of the inner rectangle. This will be your first set of tiles!
Draw a diagonal, from the bottom left of the inner rectangle, through the midpoint, reaching the right corner of the floor.
I will explain why we do this procedure, in detail, tomorrow. 
Draw a horizontal line from the intersection of the diagonal with the bottom of the right wall. Repeat the above two steps until you finish drawing all the horizontal tile lines. 

Denote the ceiling line, by drawing another diagonal from the top right of the inner rectangle to the top right of the outer rectangle. 
I have erased all the guiding lines (and a bit of the fridge oops!). Now you can see clearly what you have drawn so far.

If you want to add details on the door of the cupboard, fridge, add a window to the back wall or a painting, go ahead. We will deal with detailing later when we start drawing objects without guidelines. With practice, you don't need to mark the VP or the horizon line or the diagonals. Visually, you will be able to judge how much a line tapers or doesn't taper.

As mentioned earlier, I will explain why we used the midpoint to draw the tiles in detail tomorrow. Until then, happy sketching!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Week 4 - Day 2 - Perspective continued

Now that you know what the eye level, vanishing point, horizon line are, let us move on to the next step of trying to draw with two vanishing points, ie 2-point perspective.

What you will be capable of, at the end of the blog, is to create any 3D object in space such as the pic below.

We need to start with the same horizon line, like yesterday.

Now instead of adding one vanishing point (VP), add two of them. One on the left and one on the right, VP1 and VP2.

Next, draw a Vertical line, which is perpendicular to the bottom of the paper. 
Perpendicular : at an angle of 90° to a given line, plane, or surface or to the ground. In this case, perpendicular to the bottom of your paper.

Next what you need to do is, connect the top and bottom of the vertical lines to the Vanishing points. 

In the triangles that you get on either sides of the Vertical line, I want you to draw two more vertical lines, one on the left and one on the right, touching the sides of the triangle.

Now, you will connect the top of the new lines with the VP which is furthest from it. So, VP1 will connect to the top of the line on the right and VP2 will connect to the top of the line on the left.

Do you notice the box that you have created?? Isn't it perfect in perspective? Now, we can further work on the box, to create whatever object we desire by adding more and more vertical lines, connecting to the VPs! 

Let me erase all the diagonals and give some colour to the table, so you can see clearly.

Tomorrow we will get into a more complex drawing, using 1 point perspective. If you have forgotten about it, no worries! Just read up on the previous blog and refresh your memory. You will enjoy what you will be sketching tomorrow!

Until next time, keep scribbling!