Some more journal covers

I thought I would show some more journal covers that I had decorated this and the previous year

This one is from the beginning of this year, I had divided into sections with some beautiful patterned papers I had purchased from Coppenrath; for – lines and textures, shapes and forms, abstract and graphics, decoration, notan and value plans, comps and color notes, ideas and designs and notes. A page from this book:

It’s almost over, I have another one now which I am intimidated to start even after keeping so many sketchbooks , this one I am hoping will be more put together, with my thoughts and ideas more synthesised, that’s why the name ‘network’..

Another one is a Leuchturm diary, a day a page, it’s huge , some 400 pages A4 master (the others are of 234), I love it, I do whatever I feel like first thing in the morning, journal, draw, sketch, take notes, color notes of the changing light in the day etc., it’s only 100gsm but it takes markers and pens well, practically no bleedthrough at all. These past two years have been tough for me and I am glad I could channel some of my energies this way, by journalling. The cover which is inspired from butterflies and moths and two pages from this book, I like the second one, it looks complex but I haven’t ‘thought’ about it, it just came about: particularly the past year I think I have become a lot better at compositions:

The one above, is inspired from a piece of beautiful Arabic calligraphy, I use for writing, analysis of master artist’s works , a project list , what works I want to paint and how etc

This one (above , cover is impromptou) was also good, one from the previous year, just jotting down random ideas, inspirations, meditations see what I am really excited about and what I want to really, really paint and do, we have only so many years to live!

The beginning of last year, part diary part notes, part sketches and ideas.

This year I got two paperblank calender weeklies, I am using one as a tracker , the other one which has a vertical layout I don’t like so much. For the last two years I found I didn’t like the unstructurality of the bullet journal for routine tasks.

Also, I have a couple of smaller moleskine A5 size ones , collage sketchbook, I will post a few pages from those and the above ones in the coming few weeks. Hope you like them!

How do you like my new journal cover?

Painted the cover of my new Leuchtturm blanko ; love this Edding gold pen with a calligraphy tip, got two of them, the other one with an extra fine tip:

Journal cover
Journal cover

Moleskine Sketchbook page : Toucan and Orchid

Moleskine Sketchbook pages -Leopard

sketchbook page - leopard - jungle

Got some moleskine sketchbooks the other day, love the pages! Here is my first entry, felt inspired to make some textures to get the look of a jungle. This is with a pigma brush pen, love the fuzzy edges it makes.

Journaling page

Sketchbook Journaling page

Journaling pages

Horse chestnut tree in early summer

Here are some of my journal pages, I write in a Leuchtturm 1917 A4 size book with a Lamy fountain pen, I love the feel of the pages a lot.

Horse chestnut tree sketch

On these pages I took some notes from

Sketchbook pages- succlucents garden

Tried to make a pleasing arrangement of various succlucents:

Plants sketches

Sketchbook page

Sketchbook pages

Sketchbook pages

Sketchbook pages

More sketches and forms

Today’s sketches, hope you like them:

Sketchbook page

Foliage dappled light

I was doing yoga when I saw this pattern of light and shade made by the tree on the wooden floor. As I was staring at it there started to appear the most beautiful glittering colors in the light areas. I ran to get my sketchbook and some faber castell metallic pens, here’s the result:

Foliage dappled light

New sketches

Today I tried to make some new forms, hope you lile them:


Finished painting – Adventure of the Soul

Birthday present for my 12 year old son, Aryaman, showing his Natal chart and a few inspiring lines from Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri:

Part of what the Soul of Savitri says to Savitri:
☀️I guide man to the path of the Divine
And guard him from the red Wolf and the Snake.
I set in his mortal hand my heavenly sword
And put on him the breastplate of the gods.
I break the ignorant pride of human mind
And lead the thought to the wideness of the Truth;
I rend man’s narrow and successful life
And force his sorrowful eyes to gaze at the sun
That he may die to earth and live in his soul.
I know the goal, I know the secret route;
I have studied the map of the invisible worlds;
I am the battle’s head, the journey’s star.☀️

Watercolor and pen on paper

Painting Size: 22″×15″

Zodiac signs


World map illustration

The earth and the stars..

Have not been able to do much on the painting, yesterday was my son’s birthday and I had been busy baking muffins; so.. I am late with his present, I hope to finish it within this week. The compass I want to do in antique chrome, add gold accents whereever I can for his natal chart, some nice calligraphy and strengthen these first washes and get a good feel of an old, worn and lost mysterious map:

World map

Sketch for ‘Adventure of the Soul’

Lines are from the epic poem ‘Savitri’ written by yogi Sri Aurobindo which I read every night. It deals with the transendence of man and the emergence of a gnostic immortal superman race upon earth explained through a sweet myth about how the heroine conquers Death in order to save her husband and bring him back to life. I opened it at random with thoughts of my son, and it opened to this page with the lines “I know the goal, I know the secret route; I have studied the map of the invisible worlds; I am the battle’s head, the journey’s star.” They are said by the Soul of Savitri (the heroine) to Savitri. It fits in seamlessly with the theme which I have envisioned and I have included them here.

World map illustration

World map illustration

Home is where the heart is

A quick sketch from the painting on my coffee tray, its a print from one of the golden age illustrators, I am not exactly sure who though:

Home is where the heart is

Concept for my new painting – Adventure of the soul

I am thinking of doing a painting as a gift for my child whose 12th birthday is coming up. I am so proud of him. I made some thumbnails, I think I am going to integrate his natal chart too into the design somehow:

Thumbnail sketches

Color study – morning rays

I did a color study of a distant mountain range catching the rays of a rising sun. I treated it very simply, separating the light side from the shadow side. The color of the shadows are in the violet range, complementary to the warm, golden light on the light side. There are two tones both in the light side and shadow side, that of the light snow and the darker mountains.

Distant mountains in morning sun

‘Color Strings’ and More studies – Diamant und antik Messing

I have done a few more – of a diamond, a lamp casting light on the ground and of an antique brass sphere. Cut diamonds have sharp planes, this is the only material in which I felt comfortable using the wet on dry method. The squares in the middle of the page are dry brush, the rest are in the wet in wet technique which gives soft edges. The pool of light gradates from light and warm in the inside to darker and cooler outwards. The brass has mixes of raw sienna gradated from cool on the top with ultramarine blue which gives the texture to warm on the bottom side with a bit of hansa yellow medium and winsor orange to neutral on the right hand side. All the mixes have a warm neutral tone mixed into them which I have already premixed on my palette recently. I have tones and darks (both opaques and transparents) leaning towards yellow, red, pink, violet, blue, cyan and green!! I have seen oil painters use premixed colors called ‘strings’ to make painting easier and quicker. It’s not possible to mix values beforehand in watercolor but I have thought of this version, and it works! I am very pleased with myself for thinking of it, it avoids a lot of hassle makes it pain free to gradate from warm to cool.


Material studies.jpg

Material studies

My color palette

My Color Palette

Check out this link here to learn more about ‘color strings’ :

I was quite fascinated when I saw images like this in google search. I think Frank Reilly invented this system.