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″
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
I did some more studies and I specially like the way the way the last pink floating ball has come out. It is of a matte surface in outdoor light. Matte surfaces absorb light and have a uniform gradation from light side to shadow side. Here, the color gradation is also visible from orangish on the left, sunlight side to a slightly more saturated pinkish salmon tone at the centre and more of a reddish violet on the right top side which is catching the skylight. The bottom shadow side shows a bit of the reflected light of the green grass hitting it from below which also gradates from left(warm) to right(cool).
Reflective surfaces reflect light from light sources as well as other surfaces around them and values on them jump suddenly and donot have a uniform gradation. Highlights are sharp and take on the color of the light source except for metals (gold always keeps a dull yellow highlight, copper an orangish one..regardless of color of light source)
Translucent surfaces allow light to pass through them partially. As the light passes through layers of tissue in a grape, the light becomes more chromatic on the other side as it picks up the color of the material. The shadow is very slight, maybe a sliver across the middle. In semi transparent colored glass (maroon ball) the colored light spills out on the other side and makes for a light reflection in the cast shadow.
Pearls have all kinds of pastel colors bouncing off them, no deep shades. Soft highlights.
Every material has its own way of absorbing and reflecting light which gives it its own unique visual appearance.
Just doing some quick and messy color studies of different materials and textures – trying to see in a broad way and figure out the values – what makes a grape look translucent, a pearl iridescent, surface of a cherry highly reflective, a polished ball (in grey) highly glossy , a matte surface (also in grey) look , well , matte; dull ,relective sheen of an onion, an orange… not that satisfied, will try to do some more:
I thought I would do some color studies on rendering fabric. This skirt I found on pinterest looks very cute and interesting. I first laid on the light and shadow sides of the underlying skirt in the first wash. I used nickel titanate, it is an opaque body color, very light so its not necessary to add a lot of water and make runny washes. Then I added shadows, the polka dots and some highlights which the overlay tulle makes with gouche white. It was a lot of fun, very simple and quick.
I am taking the help of this video which very beautifully explains the logic behind the painting process of John Singer Sargent. I had tried my hand at Lady Agnew’s portrait some time back but am only just beginning to understand it better:
All filled ready made bullet journal:
I have started on a new painting using a close friend of mine as the model. Its just the first few washes, I thought I would show you guys what I have been upto. The light is interesting: warm, direct sunlight with cool reflected light of the sky and sea bouncing into the shadow side on the right:
🌱🥀🦋 Hi friends, I have added new paintings to my Etsy store, please drop by and see if there’s something you like and do share with your friends. Thanks! 🍀⚘🍃 https://www.etsy.com/de/listing/606010857/original-watercolor-painting-of-rose
One is showing the planes of the head from a portrait painting by Frédéric Fiebig and the other from a sculpture, added a bit of landscape around it for fun:
I am exploring ideas for future paintings. I want to do something that touches the fantasy, old Germanic mythologies and spiritual realms. I liked this sketch that’s inspired from an angel statue but I ran out of place before I could develop this idea further, silly me! It’s done in burnt umber and sanguine colored pencils. The other drawings in graphite are of the eye and mouth in perspective from Bargue plates and the woman from a Waterhouse drawing: