Sunday, 27 September 2015

Art - The beach

Hi Everyone,

    Hope you all enjoyed the weekend. Today I invested 5 hours on a digital painting created using Procreate app for iPad. I have worked on this app few times before, but just for practice. This is the first time I created a complete scenery. Have a look at the below.

    I haven't put in all the details. I just created it leisurely. What I feel good about digital art is that it is quick, keeps your hands clean and you can experiment easily. You need not care about colour mixing as you get the whole colour palette ready. Its good tool for practice. It provides a kind of freedom to artist to use canvas of any size. Also, one never runs out of digital Canvas!

   I hope you all liked the art. Stay tuned for more!

-    N K Sran   

Friday, 25 September 2015

Art - Portrait of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji

Hello Everyone!

     Hope this post finds you in high spirits.  Today I am sharing my latest piece of art, next in the series, Portrait of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Guru of the Sikhs. Till now, this has been the fifth portrait of the the holy saint that I sketched or painted over last 10 years . It has been a delightful experience all the times.

      I have captured the development of the portrait from a simple rough sketch to the finished one in 4 photographs. Have a look at these:

             The first step is to draw a basic outline which extends an idea about the placement of various features and objects. This must be done with loose hand as it can be required to modify at any step. Not much precision is needed, but the strokes get better and natural with practice. The overall shape, the identifiable squares, circles and triangles can help here. One can move on to next step once satisfied by the rough sketch. I would advise a pencil with hard lead here, as the strokes need to be light, but not very hard, as it may restrict the flow of hand or destroy the paper surface. I have used 2 H and 2B pencil here.

            Now that our outline is finalised, we may pay attention to the tones. I like to block the darker shades first, then go for lights. This gives me a fair idea of the contrast to be created. But if anyone finds it easy, they may start with lighter area and gradually advancing towards the darker ones. I have used General's charcoal pencils, 2B, 4B and 6B, for outlining and filling in darker areas. 

              Now coming to the lighter tones, I have used H and B series pencils, Daler Rowney Willow Charcoal and Staedtler mechanical pencil (for detailing). For blending in the skin and other tones, I have used Cretacolour paper stumps, cotton buds and clothe piece. 

               Once the blending is complete, the highlights can be created by eraser or white charcoal pencil. I did the same for eyes, nose. palms and the background. Once again the dark shades are confirmed, and we get the finished portrait. Quite happy after completing it in 10 hours distributed over 3 days.

                I hope you enjoyed the post. Keep tuned for more!

-   N K Sran     

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Photography - In the backyard garden

Hi Everyone!

     Today I am sharing a few photographs captured from petit garden in the backyard. It has serenity and tranquillity to offer to its visitors. Decaying and dying rotten leaves giving way to lush green leaf buds are apt representatives of the cycle of life on the Earth.

The fragrance of fresh lemons fill the air with freshness and delight.

This chamomile flower imparted happiness and grace to the atmosphere.

             And the old abandoned pots, covered by living verde covering, symbolise the old and forsaken, yet beautiful, who bore many seasons of life. 

          A green tender budding leaf seems to have urge to seek skies, unlike the ones grown and tattered, attached to the same stem.

- N K Sran      

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Art - Portrait of Madame Marie Curie

Hello to all,

     I am sharing this time, the last portrait I completed, about 2 months ago. It is a charcoal on paper. This one happened to be of Nobel laureate Madame Marie Curie. She would always be remembered as an intelligent and diligent women who discovered Radium along with her husband Pierre Curie.

        It took about 3 hours at a stretch from beginning till end. It was a bit difficult initially to work without any measurement or scale, but I was happy to find my eyes have been trained enough to do so. This one has been the fastest ever that I sketched.

       Practice has been going on since then. Next Portrait planned would be a charcoal on paper too. I am taking time before I shift to oil on canvas. I will try to post steps to drawing for next portrait. Keep tuned for more!
- N K Sran    

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Article - The Rock Garden at Chandigarh, A Photographer's Paradise!

Hello Everyone,

      I hope you all are having a great weekend. Today I am posting about the Rock Garden, an eighteen-acre sculpture garden, at Chandigarh, India. Its a treat to the eyes of Art and Photography lovers.

      Frame after frame, shot after shot, the expressions of the stone visages, penetrated deep into my thoughts inciting some inspiration. How much creativity and patience might have been invested by its creator - Late Mr. Nek Chand to turn beautiful strands of imagery into reality. He took recycling altogether to another level. Initially he started collecting the waste materials from buildings undergoing demolition and created his own sculpture kingdom secretly at forest near Sukhna Lake. Later on, his kingdom was given recognition by Government as 'Rock Garden' because of support from public. Let me take you to a quick tour through stills from my lens.

          As we enter, taking steps through wavy path guarded by high walls on both the side, we see lined up army of terracotte, made up of earthen pots sitting over one another with smallest one on the top. Various patterns engrossed and the black fungal film, the gift of rain and time together, intensifies the beauty of otherwise not so appreciated as pieces of craft but as daily utility items.

          Moving further, enjoying the beautiful walls and pathways, the above setting captured my attention. The steps seemed to be depicting progress and the green plants settled into pots of various shapes, provided an imagery of life and vividness in contrast to the concrete in shades of grey that supported these and keep them upstanding.

          With pathways getting wider and the walls higher, we get to witness serene waterfall, with green tint of algae adding to its beauty, residing below the queue of pillars and the domes, that act as a window to the era of palaces.

       These structures are set up so high that human seems so timid in comparison. Tall trees with branches spread in all directions, host numerous species of birds, their  chirrups adding a new hue to our auditory senses.

       The domes and huts provide a glimpse of the village situated on a hill top. Water flowing peacefully down the slope, textured with pebbles and boulders.

        In this phase, one can spot many pigeons squatting on walls, resting in pigeon holes or drinking water from falls. This one particularly seemed curious about the spectators and hustle bustle of human forms.

        Another one peeping outside through hole in the wall at significant height where it feels safe enough to be out of the reach of visitors. These lovely birds fill the otherwise indifferent concrete walls with life and curiosity.

         Moving forward through narrow lanes bordered with thick walls and bending a bit towards the ground, to cross through small doorways, suddenly you see huge arena in front of you. Elegant structures clothed with broken pieces of ceramics, keep your mind busy pondering over their shape and projection of their creator for them. From here starts a journey of amazement of the life expressed by the inanimate.

        Their expressions are as mesmerising as there numbers, huge like an army.

          The sculptures of women, placed besides a waterfall, carrying water in earthen pots over their heads.

           The gigantic walls seem like waves of concrete guarding the place.

          The mosaics with striking patterns and colours, how perfectly every piece fits together!

         Another mosaic with two white ducks facing each other and filled with various hues in the background.

          Cute happy faces can be seen in aquariums. There are more than 10 aquariums where golden fishes and catfishes reside. The Children,with their eyes glued to the aquarium glass, are specially delighted to see fishes.

       Again we come to the interconnected arenas and courtyards displaying army of craftsmen, musicians, women, animals and more. The one in the front, looks quite angry here. All covered with discarded urban waste.

       The quadrupeds with blue eyes keep you awestruck. It seems to be laughing.

        And these sculptures with their unique posture and green eyed visage, keep you pondering over for few minutes.

        There are rows and rows of these in a squatting posture, looks like they are wondering about something.

       Way too high, you can see these walls embellished with pebbles arranged in circular fashion.

          And more of these!

       The beautiful journey ends here and we are at the entrance again. The last click for the evening fills me with joy, to witness such unparalleled work of sculpture, as well as dismay, that it was time to leave the place and head back towards home.

       Mr. Nek Chand would always be remembered as a diligent and magical person who had the ability to bless every piece of urban waste, to become a thread in tapestry of sculpture, that are now acknowledged as revered pieces of Art. Inspired by his passion to work and toil to actualise his kingdom of dreams, I went back with the flame of hope, glowing even brighter!

 - N K Sran        

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Art - The Herd of Elks

Hello All,

     The first half of this year, I was able to explore and learn more on the landscapes, specially, oil on canvas. It was an immense pleasure painting the beautiful snow-clad mountains, flowing rivers, hanging clouds, lively trees, wavy grass and absolutely gorgeous creatures full of life and hope.

    Above is the second to the latest one that I finished painting in about mid of July. It provided an escape from the warm and humid weather outside. I tried this technique for the first time by introducing details in the peak and eliminating them as we travel far. Blue colour worked perfectly to create a sense of distance. I worked upon my knife work here. This one proved out to be a good practice.

   Another experiment was about the still water in the foreground with the reflections of bushes. I wanted to improve on this since long, but never conceptualised any painting befitting such a scene. Finally got some satisfying result with brushes and knives together.(Another painting is in progress which employs the same water reflection technique. Hope it comes out nicely too!).

   Not to forget beautiful Elks, pleasure to paint. The leader, responsible for its herd looks upon us with some strange expressions on its face. Its up to the viewer to interpret!

   From here onwards there would be lesser of landscapes and nature (Though I love to paint these). I have planned to take up 'Portraits' for the latter half this year. This way I would get a chance to work in Pencil and Charcoal medium, from where I actually began 12 years ago. Time flies so quick like it has got wings! Next, the plan is to shift to oil on canvas portraits gradually. As in colour there are hues to be determined in addition to tones in black and white, it becomes a bit difficult for the brain to interpret initially. But, I am moving ahead with the believe, Patience and practice together give rise to magical things.

   I hope you all liked this post. Stay tuned for more!

                                   - N K Sran