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

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:


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

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.

Some hints on painting various surface materials

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.

Material studies

Material studies

Material studies

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:

Material studies

Head drawing sketches

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:

Head drawing sketches

Sketchbook page- Angel fantasy

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:

Angel fantasy sketch

Angel fantasy sketch

Fantasy illustration sketch

Just doodling around from imagination searching for ideas:

Fantasy illustration sketch
I bought a few books on fantasy illustration recently including a Kindle one by Thomas Kidd “Other worlds: How to imagine, paint and create epic scenes of fantasy”. I haven’t yet gone through them properly but just having them around inspires me tremendously! One is a calligraphy exercise book to practice for when I am not too keen on anything else.

Fantasy illustration books

Sketchbook pages

Here a sketch of a very dear friend of mine, SriLakshmi, liked this pose where she is in a reflective mood having coffee at a café. Didn’t do her any justice, however, she is more beautiful!

Young woman drinking coffee sketch
Sketchbook page window, woman

Finished study

Color study after Morgan Weistling in watercolor

Progress on the study

I have pretty much used the same colors as I did on the last one, the mixes leaning more towards raw umber than towards raw sienna for the hair specially is cooler. I used ultramarine violet too which I forgot to mention for my previous study, very useful for neutralising the yellows effectively. Ultramarine blue is a mistake I guess, it sediments too much giving a texture on the face, but I don’t know what else I can use, its a nice warm blue that neutralises yellows (leaning towards green), cobalt blue does also sediment a bit. I think the tones on this portrait looks more cohesive than my previous attempt, I applied an overall first wash for the face cooler on the forehead, warmer and more saturated in the middle region of cheeks and nose and more neutral in the bottom third of the face. Then added glazes to go darker and add color temp variations instead of looking for variations right from the beginning:

Color study after Morgan Weistling in watercolor

Another sketch..

Prepared another sketch, this one too is after a portrait study by Morgan Weistling, its in low light of a beautiful ,young girl with light coloring and light blond hair:

Portrait sketch

I am going to start on it tomorrow with daylight to paint maybe after changing the sketch or redrawing it ..the portrait looks to be of a younger girl than what I have drawn here, the facial features are clustered more towards the lower half of the face in children.