Saturday, March 24, 2012

Morning Glory - Oil on Canvas

A4 with palette knives
A palette knife composition done on the spot from Powai Jogger's park, near the lake. I tried to capture an impressionist work of the reflections of IIT Powai, on the lake. These buildings look beautiful , casting long reflections on the pristine lake.

It was an early morning exercise. There were interesting things happening in the park.

There were kids learning some dance classes ( looked like some modern moves), in the garden house there. There were serious walkers and joggers there.
There was a group of chattering ladies, who seemed to have taken a sunday morning off from their husbands, kids and cooking. They looked excited.

Of course after a while, most people stopped whatever they were doing and started joining the group of curious watchers , interested in our painting progress. We painted near an open air ampitheatre today, so there was ample space for them to watch my work in progress.

For all those who came in late to Powai, this park is beautiful, clean, serene and very well maintained. It's worth a morning walk and worth taking some time off for one-self. There were interesting subjects to sketch. One guy was sitting with a bunch of papers and a bottle of water and struck a very sketching friendly pose. But, i stuck on to my oils and knives and finished this work Oil painting en plein air is messy, or I havent Iearnt the right tricks. because I was covered with oils and paints by the time I was done.

Some snaps of WIP:

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Acrylic on Canvas- A4 size

This is an output of a Sunday morning Plein Air session. However, the painting (verb) behind this painting wasn't as tranquil as this painting looks here on this post! I ventured out with some regular plein air water colourists this morning. As oils could be cumbersome for plein air if you didn't have the right equipment, I decided to carry my acrylics with my palette knives. I had carried two brushes for priming the canvas before starting the painting.

The staggering beauty of the lake hit us when we reached the spot from the back end of the lake from near Renaissance Hotel ( from Ambedkar garden). The lake always holds me in awe and I had been wanting to paint these boats with reflection for over a year and was over-excited that I was finally going to do it.

I was mentally brandishing my knives and feeling them sliding over the canvas. But, as I was to discover, the palette knives did not agree with acrylic paints at all. The paints wouldn't get mixed properly, the colours were different and they dried into lumps the minute I put them out on my palette. For the first half an hour, I struggled to find a hold over the paints and then finally decided to resort to the only two brushes I carried, of which I could use only one, as the other was too big for any kind of detailing. So I actually worked out this whole painting with a single brush and finally have this!

I cheated a bit on the colours of the hanging curtains on the sides , as well as the stuff on the boat and the wheels, to bring in colour harmony. This was also to bring in a painterly touch.
Well, I really missed my oils today and my knives of course. "Well", said I to my oils,."Oils, oils! Acrylic was just a practice session, just a short fling, which I used only to understand painting better, so that I can love you more!" I have only come back to my oils with more love, more longing and more gusto! It takes a bit of what is not regular, to understand what is regular!   


Oil painters should stick to oil paints.

Acrylics do not have the versatility for plein air. If you want to work with palette knives, it is better to work on flowers or still life if using acrylics. 

Always carry substitute media ( pencils/sketchbooks) when you go on a paint- out.

Powai lake is beautiful, with the back-drop of the Gorgeous Hiranandani skyline!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Titian Trees

18 x 16 inches
Oil on canvas with palette knife

A palette knife composition started on a boring sunday and completed on a happening weekday. I felt dull that day and wanted to brighten my evening. Autumn was something I was dying to paint. Out came all the Titian colours- vermilions, ambers , lemon yellows and the burnt siennas.This is drawn from imagination and this is the result- a mess of  brights and bolds! Just for those who mayjust think Titian is a hair colour, the association originated from Italian Painter Titian, who was known for his paintings of red haired women.
I was first introduced to this word when I started reading Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene, where the chief protagonist Nancy had Titian hair. Not until very late did I know the origin of the word and thought it to be a colour.