Study book #3 and the ritual of its archiving




esults of consistency, L to R: Study Books May 2010-May 2014, Cabbage 2014

I baby my study books. Every time one is finished, it gets archived, a self satisfying ritual I’ve come up with. The book gets a uniform look with a business card on the outside so that in case it were to get lost the owner is notified, on the inside page, the start and end dates get penned in permanent ink. Then, all the ones prior to the current book come out and I peruse through them half gloating, half amused but always completely refreshed. The books are very personal and by being that, they tell you your artistic journey to you. You see your struggles and the successes, draw lessons and energy for one more of these study books. This part is the highlight of ending one. Being an engineer by religion, I gather statistics too and try to correlate data e.g. number of sketches to number of frame worthy paintings and having made no correlation, I retire these books back to their place of archival – the garage.

Until May 22, when my Study Book #4 arrives, I will just paint more to get over #3.


Now, for some ‘plain’ air. Plein air at home, wp_2014_04_11

What younger son thinks of “keeen up” = Toys in the baskets.

Too many dry brush strokes. Problem with doing this plein air was that the place where I painted from didn’t have much light, so I couldn’t see colors distinctly. I see some drawing errors too now.

Now, for some 'plain' air. Plein air at home, wp_2014_04_11

And so we meet!

I met Holmer today. Finally.

Visiting galleries is an emotional experience for me. I was one of the first visitors today at National Portrait Gallery and rushed to the top floor- no one but me and the paintings talking to me. No people and sounds. I could let my guard down to feel the paintings- goose bumps and the strange feeling in your throat. You wish no one to say hello to you lest your voice cracks. I was loving it – I even twirled on the floor as I felt enveloped in the stories. Some so grim, I passed them over intentionally.

An information desk attendant was kind enough to tell me of the exact wings where I could see 2 Holmers that were currently hanging in the gallery. So we met- Holmer to Holmer wanna be.

Off the coast of Maine, Winslow Holmer, oil on canvas.


First workshop: 72 hours begin!

Imagine that you are an engineer and Mr. Feynman is going to teach you for 3 days. In similar vein, I am off to San Francisco for a 3 day watercolor workshop. My expectations are extremely high as to what I get out of it – by the sheer combination of an accomplished instructor, a painting conducive environment and 72 hours away from routine demands of life.

I am so excited, even this Caltrain ride is feeling special. I am on a life changing trip I suspect.

st_2014_02_11, Pharaoh again.

st_2014_02_11, Pharaoh again. by Taswiir
st_2014_02_11, Pharaoh again., a photo by Taswiir on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Crowe did not fall asleep today. As much.

Canson 90lb paper, Study book #3
Pigments (some funky ones) – Quinacridone Sienna, Cobalt Teal, Cobalt blue, Ochre, Bright Rose and minuscule amount of Pyrol Red(what a powerful red this is – almost no match for any contrasting color on my palette, it can have all my blues for breakfast for mixing and still appear dominantly red).

Everytime I start out a session with a painting in my study book, the study book study always comes out ahead of the painting. I’ve got to develop stamina. Any tips, friends?

Wp_2014_01_12, green with envy(of the nose)

Practicing with large dark backgrounds. It is hard to make so much color and color it fast. I takes real patience and some bicep power!

Even though the shoulder drawing needs help I am most happy with the left cheek where it puckers out ever so slightly upon the models pursing of her lips. The lip shape I am not too worried about, it’s an easy fix with one stroke of red paint.