Needless to say, my favourite medium has been pen and ink. Almost five years ago, that whimsical morning led to a handmade paper and a fountain pen. And I have been trying to experiment with various styles- few successfully and others not. One of the first was this hatching and cross hatching rendered still life study. I didn’t do it from real life but from a photo reference in a book that I was referring at that point to learn the basics of drawing. Clearly, I have a long way to go.
A couple of years gone by and I started attending an illustration course during which I again gravitated towards pen and ink. I started looking up reference images and came across an artist’s work that I thought I could copy and learn the basics from. And I did learn a lot about finer detailing by copying her style and her work.
This drawing of a boat was done on one of the days when I was over stressed with work and an upcoming conference and pretty much sleep deprived. I woke up few hours earlier than my usual time and ended up drawing this. Lines, hatching, crosshatching and scribbles…. I experimented pretty much everything in this piece.
After lines and scribbles, the obvious one to try was dots and that led to stippling. I started the weaver bird with lines and finished it with dots. Weaver bird because they take me back to my childhood. At my grandparents’ house, there were enough of them building nests and breeding in the garden. Surprisingly I never thought of drawing anything then despite the variety of birds visiting the house but now – 20 years later I want to ink all of them.
Hoping to go back to pen and ink for more and more drawings and exploring more styles than just stippling.
Started on a whim, my love for stippling work has grown much deeper. I loved the outcome of the first piece (Bob Marley) and gave the tiger a shot. I didn’t understand the most important thing about stippling – patience and concentration. Those days I couldn’t focus on a single thing until the end because I had to multitask. The job demanded it then. But as and when I started working on different pieces, my attention span increased and I was loving the end results. That doesn’t mean I haven’t had moments where I wanted to give up half way through a sketch. And I realised later that if I let a sketch be without completion, I found it difficult to go back to it. I hope someday I finish the half done sketches that are lying on the side.
A friend who got back from her three months long work on turtles in the beaches of Costa Rica, couldn’t stop raving about the beautiful sunrises and sunsets and the colourful wildlife there. Among them were hummingbirds. These tiny birds travel far off in their lifetime and are known to have the fastest metabolism in the animal kingdom. My introduction to Hummingbirds was through an article I read three years ago. It sounded like a species from another world.
The fact that somebody I know has traveled to that part of the world and seen this species, only makes me want to go and see it myself. But for the time being, a sketch of the bird has to satisfy the urge.
A trip to the eastern coastal town, Pondicherry, added handmade paper to my stationery hoard. One of the evenings I pulled out my handmade paper stock wanting to do something with it, but wasn’t sure what. Like most evenings, the radio was playing in the background and there came the ‘Redemption song’. That led me to Bob Marley’s picture. I wasn’t sure how pencils or charcoal would behave on such a hard-ridged paper. So I picked up my fountain pen that I use for writing and experimented a stippled piece of art.
Its hard to believe but all of this happened by chance and I fell in love with stippling. By the early hours of the morning, I had Bob Marley looking at me out of a postcard sized handmade paper.
This is not the first time that I am taking a resolution with a whole-hearted intention of sticking to it. Though as always, I am sceptical. How long can I fight the temptations of giving up and slouching back into the lazy corner? We shall see…
A decade ago I started drawing, not because I have always wanted to, but thanks to the art supply store that I used to go by everyday on my way to the university. As a stationery hoarder, this store was nothing short of heaven. I didn’t know much about the kind of paper that works for specific medium. I picked up few pieces of charcoal, a whole set of staedler pencils and a sketchbook. That is how I decided that I had to start drawing so I could keep going back to the store.
At this time of the year, one’s heart straddles the world of past and future. Nostalgia tugs at your heart yet the beginning of a year fills you up with hope of better days. That’s where resolution wants to take the limelight. I started this blog so that I show up and write/sketch every week without being slack about the resolution.
This year shall see more of art irrespective of the medium- pencils, charcoal, colour pencils, watercolour or my present favourite pens. Pencil and charcoal had been my go to tools until recently and I hope to do more of it this year.