New painting – Sacred fig tree


                     My next painting is based on this photo of a peepal tree from our neighbourhood. Its trunk is just amazing.



                The leaves I plan to mark with masking fluid directly.

peepal tree

The Wedding







Progress on the painting

Parvathi devi


¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Ooops! I forgot to complete the ear……

New painting – The wedding




              This is a scene before the actual ceremony and its the last one that I am doing in this series.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† The charm of the loose style painting lies in that, it leaves room for the viewers’ mind to wander and make things up, there’s a flexibility and freedom of movement that isn’t there in the realistic approach. I had been trying to combine these two styles so that it results in a painting that captures the viewer, at the same time conveys everything that I wish it to convey.¬†I have just drawn in the focus area, Parvathi devi and left the rest of the paper blank so that I don’t go into it with too much detail. However, I did make up a picture on a separate sheet of paper as a guideline.

Finished painting


¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Here’s the finished painting and a close-up, it ‘s taking me less and less time to¬†finish them …

 Austerities - Autumn/Winter



¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Here’s a progress photo:

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† I had layed in a diluted wash of cobalt blue tone + translucent orange as a base tone for the skin. So these are the highlight areas. For the rest of the washes the colors are cobalt blue tone, translucent orange and deep red. Same for the background except there’s also pthalo blue and hookers green. The scene is mostly from imagination.



  The next one will be on a happier note, I promise.

New painting – Austerities- Autumn and Winter


         I have done only the sketch for now:



          Its a cold scene in the forest in moonlight.

Austerities – Summer


¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Here’s the finished painting and a close up:




               The dress has deep red in addition to the previous colors. The background was done wet in wet with the addition of hookers green in the ground area. I kept working on it till it was dry to get in all the details starting with the brown grey for smoke, indian yellow at the core of the flames, orange in the area around that and deep red in places.

step a

step b

Portrait of an Indian woman


             Good morning! It feels good to hold a paint brush, to watch the colors flow. I finished this part of the painting yesterday.

Austerities in Summer 

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†These are the colors I have used for the skin tones – Schminke’s indian yellow,¬†permanent karmin, pthalo blue, a bit of translucent orange (centre and bottom right).¬†[The indian yellow is warmer,¬†orangish not like the true primary (neither warm or cool) that you see in the photo.] Mixing the three primaries so that they cancel out each other equally gives a grey or black if not diluted too much. (not in equal quantities because blue and red are stronger valued than yellow and you would need less of them) If¬†this mixture is pushed more towards the blue and red, it gives a violet grey. If it is more towards the yellow and red, it gives a brown (just a bit more red and blue gives a dark brown) A very diluted mixture of yellow, a bit of red and very little of blue is what I¬†start out with for skin tones. If you don’t use blue,¬†it will look very vivid – like a sunburnt skin.¬†[Avoid pushing the mix towards the blue and yellow which will give a greenish grey]¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

Continue reading

Austerities – Summer



                     With most of the festivities of the wedding over, I hope to get out my paints and brushes tommorrow. But I have started some work on my next painting. I took this photo with the self timer function, to use as reference.



                  A little bit of shading on the face while working out the sketch helps to see better if the features are rightly placed and also gives a rough idea of the light source, hightlight and shadow areas.  


Finished painting


¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Hi friends, here’s ‘Beginning of Parvathi’s austerities’ completed.




                 The poinciana flowers were first painted wet in wet with translucent orange/deep red in the highlight areas and translucent orange+deep red+a little pthalo blue in the shadow areas. Details were added with the same colors while it was still moist and also after it had dried. The leaves are aureolin yellow, pthalo blue, a little orange or red. The back ground colors are the same. Also added hookers green for some variety in the trees.

Beginning of Parvathi’s Austerities



¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Good morning everyone, here is where I have reached in my next painting. This is the one that I had at first wanted to do, with lots of trees, flowers and a slight hint of a figure; then I let myself be persuaded to do the whole story. The dress is made of bark; so it looks a bit stiff; one or two more washes to go to make it a dark brown. The skin tones are from indian yellow, permanent karmin and pthalo blue. The mother deer also has translucent orange and burnt sienna in addition but the main color is burnt sienna. (There’s a cute little baby deer beside her if you can see)The dress is of the same colors.¬†I find that applying a base coat of translucent orange makes¬†an area look a little opaque (as I did for the dress). (Schminke’s) Translucent orange is also great to brighten up shadow colors. [Lukas burnt sienna is sedimentary and worked great for this deer]

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† I didn’t take any progress shots this time.¬† Too many things happening with/in and around me; more than usual. And we have a¬†wedding in the family soon (actually 3 in the next few weeks! its the wedding season), so I wont be posting¬†so much¬†for some time. My son is busy showing my grandma, who’s¬†here visiting,¬†how things work around here!¬†yelling ‘thathamma.. thathamma’,¬†a brand new word for him.

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