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.