Finished Painting


¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Hi everyone, I’ve finished my painting today, the background washes are quite simple, so it went quickly. I took the photos at dusk, so had to set the auto contrast. The painting in real life has more of a reddish tinge compared to this which is bluer…

Parvathi offering flowers to Lord Shiva



                      It was a real pleasure to paint these small bael leaves and marigolds after so many days of not painting nature. aureolin yellow, pthalo blue and translucent orange for the shadows. 

bael leaves


                       I used ultramarine blue here and what a granulating effect it showed! I was very pleased with how the foreground turned out though the effect is not so visible here..     

background 1


                          For the walls of the cave (second wash), I used burnt umber (along with the other colors -UB, orange, permanent karmin) which also showed this effect noticeably. I used the salt technique in the sky for snow but it was too pale and I went over it with a darker/grayer wash. (pthalo blue)  

background 2


Nutana Samvatsara Subhakanshalu

Ugadi pachadi    

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† I wish all my readers a¬†fruitful year filled with riches. Today is Ugadi, it marks the beginning of a new year in the Hindu Lunar calendar, with the change in the moons orbit. It heralds the season of spring, of flame of the forest, jasmine, neem¬†flowers and mangoes spreading their clean and pure fragrances in the sweet air.¬†The entrance of the house is decorated with garlands made of fresh mango leaves. Ugadi pachadi (chutney) is¬†made¬†with raw mango, coconut, banana slices, neem flowers, new jaggery and tamarind. This contains all the 6 tastes (sweet, sour,salty, pungent, astringent and bitter) to remind us that life is a mixture of all rasas,¬†pain and pleasure, failure and success, tears and joy…..¬†¬†and that¬†all experiences have to be savoured equally¬†and be accepted with good grace. It actually tastes quite delicious, given that the jaggery (sweet) taste is¬†put more than the bitter(neem flowers) and the pungent(chilli) taste is completely omitted these days!¬†


Flame of forest flowers ‚Äď Beginning of Realisation

Mango flowers – Nature’s Hope for Realisation

Jasmine ‚Äď Purity


Realisation is … when something for which you are aspiring becomes real to you; e.g. you have the idea of the Divine in all, but it is only an idea, a belief; when you feel or see the Divine in all, it becomes a realisation.



In a more deep and spiritual sense a concrete realisation is that which makes the thing realised more real, dynamic, intimately present to the consciousness than any physical thing can be.




¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Well, the new year started out with me buying a new camera battery charger…. coming to the conclusion after several days of search that my son put it in the garbage when not looking..

                    This is what I have painted these two days. The orange yellow mango color is my favourite color (blue being my least favourite) its a mix of indian yellow and translucent orange. The indian yellow of the chunni which is actually quite vivid appears pale compared to the orange yellow. The shadow colors are the same as the ones in the previous mixtures.



step a

step b

step c

step d

step e

the leopard skin…


¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†Hallo!¬† I think I’m almost done with this part of the picture…… I’m quite satisfied with it… maybe a little more confidence and it would have showed but that will surely come as I go on.

Lord Shiva


                  Continuing from the steps in the previous post, some more fine glazes on the arms, so that some veins are visible.   

more work on the hands - step d


¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†This part was real fun, I¬†first layed in a thin wash of indian yellow+ raw sienna wet on wet.¬†I mixed a shadow color of indian yellow+ raw sienna + pthalo blue¬†+ translucent orange + permanent karmin + burnt sienna (which somehow didn’t turn into mud!) and brushed it into the still shiny wash. After this was dry, I¬†stroked in a stronger mix of this shadow color into the¬†darker areas (the same as how they are on the skin in the photo)¬†. This wash had started to lose its shine before I was ready with the leopard spot colors (black mixed with the basic yellow+ red + blue), so I let it dry completely and then wet it again, stroked in some darker shadows (with a little black) and just as it was losing its sheen, I¬†put in the black spots with fine strokes. Also put in some very fine strokes of the leopard skin colors.¬†

leopard skin step a

leopard skin step b

leopard skin step c

Shiva the ascetic


¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Hi everyone, here’s where I have reached. Just the basic colors – indian yellow, permanent karmin and pthalo blue with a touch of translucent orange and lukas burnt sienna here and there.



  Very pale washes conserving the highlights on the right side. yellow+red+ a tiny bit of blue.

step a

step b

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Highlights on the eyes to make them look rounded but the left eye’s highlight is muted¬†a bit as it is in shadow. Added the shadows and the details.

step c


The whole of the hair I painted with a grey blue as the highlights wont be completely white on dark hair. Then painted in the darkest sections of the hair. After it was dry, I added a mid tone of brown black. Hope this helps Rajalekshmy, you said painting hair was difficult for you, its just three steps. This is matted hair but for softer hair, you can add in more fine details.   

hair step a

hair step b


              The neck and shoulders are painted in the same way as the face, with many thin glazes drying in between with a hair dryer. 

hands step a

 hands step b

hands step c

Parvathi offering flowers to Lord Shiva


¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Hi everyone, ¬†this is a crop of the drawing for my next painting. I hope I didn’t spoil the paper too much, I worked and reworked on the face, and¬†what looked like 5 or 6 simple folds¬†on the dress in the photo somehow¬†kept multiplying themselves as I was drawing them…¬†Have to put in flowers and more details but I am anxious to start painting…

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† There are a lot of symbols associated with Shiva but I don’t think I will include all of them as¬†they tend to sometimes hinder perception more than aid it.


Finished Painting


¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Here’s the finished painting, and one without light rays hitting on it directly and some close ups.






the flowers…


               Here, I painted the path and the flower bushes wet in wet with the mixtures that I already had from the previous steps. For the white hydrangeas, I wet the flowers and dropped in some green or yellow and grey blue on the opposite side to get the roundness. After they were dry, I painted in some small florets with the same colors and a dark mix here and there. After this had dried, I painted around the flowers with a light yellowish green mix and negative painted on it with a stronger green to get the leaf shapes. Some shadows on the leaves later. The pink flowers are a little further away and they have a little less detail and the furthest bushes I left them with just a hint of brush strokes.             

first washes

some negative painting for the leaves

developing the pink flowers

the pine trees..

Right side of the painting


¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† For the pines, I first marked the highlight areas roughly with a light mix of sap green and raw umber. For some trees, its sap green and ruby red. I also used prussian green (looks quite blue) which I hadn’t worked with before. very light mix of sap green + ruby red + prussian green. I used a little of prussian green in the stream too which I had forgotten to mention in that post. This time I wrote the colors down as I was working.

            Once these areas were dry, I painted around them quickly with a dark mix of pthalo blue + sap green + raw umber and dropped in an even more darker mix of pthalo blue + sap green+ ruby red before it had dried. I will work on the tiny shapes a little more later.




¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Some indian yellow to the mixes for the yellowish highlights.¬†I took these snaps indoors, there are some shadows on them…..¬†¬†¬†¬†highlight areas

shadow areas



               Now that I have finished the most difficult part of the painting, I can continue with the rest of it in a more relaxed manner. I put some more layers of very pale tones on the skin and changed the angle of the right eye a little. For the mountains the light is falling from the right, so I worked on the girl keeping this in mind; the shadow on the neck is towards the left (tiny bit of pthalo blue and burnt sienna added to the skin tone mix). For the folds on the chunni, I wet the area and stroked in curves of a dark mix of the dress color following the contours of the body.  After the layers of the dress were completely dry, I brushed on a mix of silver and the pink mix and added some random strokes for the design on it. Some more random strokes of gold, silver, yellow green, pink and a dark brown for the jewellery.



The mountains and the stream/waterfalls


¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Hi everyone. I have started on this painting with a sky wash to¬†see how the colors would move around in¬†my new Arches HP paper. I used PB+UB for the topmost area and PB a little downwards. The¬†area behind the mountains has a touch of ruby red along with the blues as do the slight wisp of clouds¬†in the mg. Well, the paper doesn’t dry as quickly as my previous one but more importantly it doesnt leave ugly marks and streaks and hard edges so I don’t have to watch out for every stroke I put on the paper.¬†I can paint quicker and more easily. Plus, it doesnt have bumps so the smaller details go only where I want them to go. I’m happy!¬†

                 I started with the stream by laying in a very light graduated wash of PB+UB+ a little dark red (to tone it down) starting from the horizon paling it completely towards the bottom. This is to make the stream look like it is receding, going away from the viewer. I let this dry completely. The stream has the following elements to it: the rocks which are completely above ground (dark brown; very dark where they are wet); the rocks which have water flowing over them (light brown); the rocky ground is also visible in some places; the white foam of the water and the pale bluish green shadows in the water. I made a brown with translucent orange, dark red and both the blues. More of the orange and diluting it gives light brown. Omiting the red gives a greyish green. I used burnt umber mixed with blue for the shadows and crevices of the rocks. Both the browns might look the same but the BU being opaque dries darker than the other brown. I started at the top wet on dry then later changed to wet on wet being careful to leave the whites for the water.

stream (a)

stream (b)

sky wash

stream (c) 

                 I used ruby red, aureolin yellow for the skin tones. For the hair, I started with the blackest sections first. When this was dry I used a mid valued brown for the rest of the hair and then lifted out some highlights and toned them with a bit of blue.

face and hair

              For rocks which are more rounded, I wet the area slightly, dropped in a light brown and added a darker brown before it dried to form the shape. After this was dry I added darker shadows and some hard edged crevices. 

stream (d)

face and hair (b)


                 Here, I added greyish blue shadows in the water. I have to see what is left to be done on this after I do the vegetation surrounding this. For the mountains, I used the same colors. But first I layed in a wash of bluish grey for the ones at the back and a wash of diluted indian yellow for the mountain in front. I didnt blur the edges. They are looking as though they were quite near because, well, she is living in the Himalayas.



          The dress is a mix of ruby red, magenta and translucent orange. A little pthalo blue to this mixture for the bit of fabric showing behind at the bottom. I put in a mid tone first rather than a light wash because it is easy to lift color for the highlights on this paper. I have yet to sketch in what goes in the area surrounding her. I waited till I knew what color I wanted for her dress to choose the flowers.

dress (a)

The story of Shiva Parvathi


¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† My next few few paintings will¬†be about the religious fable of Shiva Parvathi. The great¬†Indian Poet Kalidasa has¬†narrated it in his unfinished epic poem called ‘Kumarasambhava’ or ‘The birth of the war god’ with¬†exquisite detail. Sri aurobindo has translated one of seven or eight cantos available in Sanskrit into English. Here’s a link of it if you are interested.                     

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† I’ve been learning ¬†to draw human figures lately and this sketch¬†is my final effort for Parvathi.¬†¬†¬†(the lines are all straight, the photo is not completely horizontal)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†



                    The sketch of the setting, I had done a while back:



¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† I transferred the two drawings onto a half sheet of Arches 300gsm HP but can’t post it as the lines are too faint. It transferred well and¬†I didn’t have to redraw the lines as the paper was so smooth.

                 The main reference photo is the stream here contributed by Olga to the RIL of The view of the Himalayas in the bg is also from the RIL. I made up the rest with details from old travel photos etc.



¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I also wanted to share this with you. My aunt came here for a family function and she gave me this sandalwood piece and some paste made out of it with water. Because the paste is fresh, it¬†just smells¬†so delightful… earthy and woody along with that unique sandal scent, nothing like what you get in the market. They found the tree in their backyard and got it cut down by officials because it is illegal to own sandalwood trees… but they got to keep some chunks.