Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Charcoal study - Using willow charcoal and charcoal pencil

"The day is an empty canvas, the shapes and colours are yours to choose." Alex Noble

A value study is a great way to prepare for the final painting. It helps me understand the subject better and enables me to pay attention to the focal element. As a routine I almost always prepare a value study using either a graphite or charcoal medium.

When it comes to charcoal medium, I love using the willow charcoal as it helps cover a large area in a short time and with a little touch up with charcoal pencil the drawing gets completed.

Posted below is a recent charcoal study work that I created using one of my holiday photographs from Coorg. It is a muddy pathway going uphill towards one of the private Coffee Plantations. I loved the scene as it had distant trees and a great composition for a landscape painting. I shall some day create a soft pastel painting referring to this value study.

Going uphill
Charcoal drawing on Fabriano Academia 120gsm paper
Size 6" X 8"

On my Table Top Easel,
The initial stages using willow charcoal.

I enjoyed doing this quick study in which I used willow charcoal in the beginning to block in the values and later used my charcoal pencil to get the foliage, rock, soil textures etc. Small study works, I feel are a good way to get the feel of the subject before starting a final coloured painting on the same subject.

To view some more of my charcoal study works CLICK HERE.

If you wish to attend my art workshop or wish to purchase one of my artworks please contact me and I shall get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you for browsing through my artworks.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Step by step - Soft pastel painting of a landscape.

"It doesn't matter how paint is put on, as long as something is said." Jackson pollock

I paint some part of nature, something that appeals to me. Being there made me happy so I feel that connection and through my paintings I want to convey that happiness and appreciation of the beauty of nature. The soft pastel painting as below is a simple scene that I came across while on a morning visit to Karnala Bird Sanctuary

In the shadows, flowing through the rocks, a little stream of water, the dappled sunlight, falling across at places, bringing in the sudden glow. It is such a delight when I come across some simple beautiful scenes in nature. It is a little world in itself. The quiet serene atmosphere relaxes you and you learn to appreciate and admire nature a little more. 

An original soft pastel painting of a scene from Karnala Bird Sanctuary by Manju Panchal

Capturing the morning light
Soft pastel painting on canson MT
Size 7" X 10"

Given below are the images of the steps involved in creating the painting. I follow a simple step by step technique to complete my artwork. 

Step 2 . Soft pastel painting of a scene from Karnala Bird Sanctuary

Step 1. Creating the basic outline of the elements keeping in
mind the perspective

Step 2. Simplifying the shapes and adding colours

Step 3 . Soft pastel painting of a scene from Karnala Bird Sanctuary

Step 3. Adding colours keeping in mind the values.
The details happen at the final stage just 
before completion.

Every painting that I create has its own challenges. In this particular work I had to create the tall grasses in different shades, also keeping in mind the highlight on some of them due to the sunlight filtering through the foliage on the left side. However these little challenges make me learn a little more than what I already know and I enjoy these little learning experiences. 

I have also got into charcoal study works lately and will post one of my recent works soon.

Thank you very much for browsing through my works. 
I am also posting my works on INSTAGRAM on a regular basis.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary - A soft pastel painting

"There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun." Pablo Picasso

Blessed with enchanting beauty, Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh is built on and around five hills. Eight kilometres from here, is a beautiful wildlife sanctuary, the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary which is covered with thick forests of pine and deodhar trees. The undergrowth in the forest is well developed and the view all around is mesmerising. The forest has well laid out trekking trails for those who are the adventurous kind. I was more interested in walking around and soaking in the beauty of the surroundings.

The soft pastel painting of one of the scenes that captured my heart is as below. I have also added images of the step by step technique that I followed before I reached the final stage.  

Soft pastel painting of Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary by Manju Panchal

Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary
Soft pastel painting on Canson MT paper
Size 6" X 8"

Step 1 Soft pastel painting of Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary by Manju Panchal

Step 1. Basic outline and adding a few colours

Step 2  Soft pastel painting of Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary by Manju Panchal

Step 2. Simplifying the shapes keeping in mind the perspective

Step 3 Soft pastel painting of Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary by Manju Panchal

Step 3. Almost all the colours are laid down and only
detailing left for the final stage.

To know more about the papers that I use for my pastel artworks you can CLICK HERE.  I have not created a post on the pastel brands that I use, but plan to do so very soon. I have a miscellaneous collection that I purchased over the past five years. By now I know the individual shades of each brand that I use the most and hence I have created a palette where in I organise all my pastels together ie a mix of different brands. The turquoise blue that I use in ocean is not available in the Koh-I-Noor Toison Dor and similarly the violet shade which is predominant in most of my works is a part of Mungyo collection. In conclusion, every brand has its own value and I enjoy using them together as it works well with my artworks.

Thanks a lot for browsing through my artworks.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Key Monastery - Spiti valley

"Connecting shapes is most important, after that comes the tonal values. Colour comes last."
Joseph Zbukvic ( Australian water colour artist )

The above quote by Joseph Zbukvic is so very true. Watching his works is like magic unfolding before your eyes. Zbukvic creates absolutely amazing water colour paintings and its a pleasure always to go through his works.

When I visited Spiti Valley about three years ago, I got an opportunity to visit two beautiful Buddhist monastries, namely Dhankar Monastery and Key Monastery. I created a soft pastel painting of Dhankar Monastery in May last year. Key Monastery was on mind too, however it never really happened but the visual image of the scene was indelibly printed in my memory. I finally took the decision to paint this beautiful scene using my water colour palette.

Key Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located on top of a hill at an altitude of 13668 ft above sea level, close to the Spiti river, in Spiti valley, Himachal Pradesh. It is the biggest monastery of Spiti Valley and a religious training centre for llamas. It is believed to be at least a thousand years old. Courtesy : Wikipedia

It is a heavenly experience to be at a place like this away from the hustle bustle of the city life. Some days when I am free and not painting I simply go through all the photographs taken while on my trip to Spiti Valley. It refreshes the mind with beautiful memories and momentarily you seem to escape to a different world altogether.

water colour painting of Key Monastery in Spiti Valley by Manju Panchal

Key Monastery
Water colour painting on hand made paper
Size 7" X 10"

I truly enjoyed creating this painting in water colour medium and have plans to do a few more soon.

Keep browsing and do look through my INSTAGRAM account too where in I have recently started uploading the images of my works.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Water colour painting - On the way to Ladakh

"Watercolour will paint itself; if you let it." Joseph Zbukvic 
( An Australian watercolour artist )

Joseph Zbukvic's water colour paintings are stunning and he is a big inspiration to all those who love to paint in water colour medium.

I am a lot into soft pastels and charcoal medium, however I love water colour medium too. So every once in a way I take out a little time for my water colour passion. Therefore I decided to take a break and removed my palette which has Camlin Artists water colour tubes and got started with a painting which has been on my mind since long. Its a scene with snow covered mountains as seen on the way to Ladakh. I must have mentally painted this picture in my mind quite a number of times and it has been on my "To do" list since long.

The paper that I have tried for this work is PETALS artists handmade paper which I purchased recently. I love this paper as it is pure white in colour and has a rough surface which is ideal for landscape paintings. Moreover it is very reasonably priced.

Water colour painting of a scene from "Journey to Ladakh"

Journey to Ladakh
Water colour painting on hand made paper
Size 7" X 10"

Posted below is the image of my work in progress and the photo reference can be seen next to the palette. The photograph has been provided to me by a close friend who visited this heavenly place recently. 

Preparing for water colour painting of a scene on the way to Ladakh

Painting in progress, palette, water containers,
few brushes and reference photograph

From Pastels to water colour painting. A change of medium refreshes my mind. After having created this work, I am tempted to do another one. The next work would definitely be of "Key Monastery", yet another beautiful place on the way to Kaza in Spiti valley. I have already done a tonal value study work of Key Monastery using graphite pencil some time back and it is one of the most memorable visits during my Spiti Valley tour. 

Thanks for browsing through my works. 

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Step by step drawing and painting - A seashore

"When you start a painting, it is somewhat outside you. At the conclusion, you seem to move inside the painting." Fernando Botero

Painting to me is a vision, a thought process, an idea that develops in the mind and then takes shape on a piece of paper. I paint a scene from nature, inspired by its beauty.

The scene below is from Bamboo island, five kiloimetres off the northern tip of Koh Phi Phi Don, in the Krabi province of Thailand. The island has stunning beaches with beautiful rocks, white sand and limestone cliffs behind. In the painting below the beach is covered by the shadows cast by the tall cliffs behind. The source of light ie the sun is behind the cliffs and the beach is on the west side of the island.

I decided on this scene as it gave me the opportunity to work on perspective, rocks and waves hitting the shore. Moreover this scene has a very interesting design and composition.

Soft pastel painting of a scene from Bamboo island by Manju Panchal

Reaching the destination
Soft pastel painting on Canson MT paper
Size 6" X 8"

I titled the painting as "Reaching the destination" with reference to the beautiful waves which travel a long distance and finally reach the shore. It is a beautiful feeling to be at a place like this and to hear the sound of the waves splashing against the rocks, and then gently kissing the white sand and merging with the land.

The soft pastel painting on twilight Canson MT progressed in stages and the step by step images can be seen below. Its a small sized painting so I did not use my Easel. My table is my workplace.

Steps involved in creating a soft pastel painting of a seashore

Step 1. Creating the basic outline
using Camlin charcoal pencil.

Steps involved in creating a soft pastel painting of a seashore

Step 2. Blocking in the major shapes with respective colours
 keeping in mind the values. Using the soft pastels
from mixed brands.

Steps involved in creating a soft pastel painting of a seashore

Step 3. Adding details and final touch up.
At this stage I use pastel pencils at several places.

Of late I have started uploading my works on INSTAGRAM and I find it very convenient to do so as most of the paintings are photographed and edited on ipad itself. I am beginning to like Instagram as it helps one to browse through all my works in a Gallery format. 

My Blog has completed a little more than three years and it has recently crossed  50,000 page views. It makes me happy, although having more page views was never the "Goal" when I started blogging. Blogging happened, because I wanted to keep myself focused in my artwork and grow as an artist. It also provided me with a virtual workplace where I could upload and maintain a record of my artworks. It has been a beautiful journey and I shall write a detailed post on my "Art Blogging" soon. 

Thanks to everyone who has been part of this journey and I truly appreciate the support provided by all of you. 

Saturday, 4 March 2017

The woods - A soft pastel painting

"Design is like gravity - the force that holds it all together." E A Whitney

Some time back I posted a few plein air studies that I recently did while I was at Karnala Bird Sanctuary. Referring to the sketch and the photograph, I created the soft pastel painting as below.

The pathway lined with rocks and tall trees on either sides provides ample shade to everyone who walks here. The mystery and silence of the woods is captivating. Time stands still. When I am there, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, I feel like I am in another world and I just want to be there soaking in the beauty of the surroundings. Painting a scene like these is like capturing these beautiful moments on paper.

An original soft pastel painting of a scene from Karnala Bird Sanctuary by Manju Panchal

The woods
Soft pastel painting on Canson MT paper
Size 6.25 X 8.25"

An intricate forest scene always appeals to me as a subject for painting. The shades of green are intimidating and every time I do a scene like this one, I make a few mistakes and these mistakes make me learn a little more about colours, colour mixing etc.

I am enjoying my pastel journey and am looking forward to creating many more such interesting landscapes which take me back in time, and remind me of all the beautiful moments that I spent in nature in solace.

The quotation that I mentioned in the post today is a very interesting one. It speaks for what I believe in. Design and composition is the key to a good painting. It is like a strong force that binds all the elements together and keeps them in harmony. I spend a great deal of time in selecting a good composition for my painting, and then I work on the values and colours.

Thanks for browsing through my works.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Charcoal drawing of a tree

"Inspiration does exist but it must find you working." Pablo Picasso

I love painting trees and am fascinated by them as a subject. I came across these beautiful lines on significance of trees and am sharing them with you. ( Courtesy: )

Trees are symbols of physical and spiritual nourishment, transformation and liberation, sustenance, spiritual growth and fertility.The world-tree is described in the Upanishads "a tree eternally existing, its roots aloft, its branches spreading below."

Today I am posting a charcoal drawing of a beautiful tree that I came across on the banks of Kaveri river, at Dubare forest near Coorg. I recently posted another "Tree painting" from the same region.This charcoal drawing was created as a demo during a recent art workshop. It is not always possible to do a complete detailed work during a workshop, hence I spent a little extra time adding on a few marks here and there to get to get the look that I desired.

Charcoal drawing of tree as seen on the banks of Kaveri river at Dubare forest

The Eternal
Charcoal drawing on Cartridge sheet
Size 12"X 16"

For most of my demo works in charcoal medium I use willow charcoal during the initial layering of the shape as it helps in covering  up the basic mid tone value. Later I analyse and evaluate the work and then proceed with charcoal powder and pencil to get the darker tones. To create the highlights I use the kneaded eraser. 

CLICK HERE to know about the charcoal tools that I use for my charcoal drawings. I have also posted about my favorite papers that use for the charcoal medium.

Thanks for browsing through my works and would love to know what papers do you use for your charcoal works? Do leave in your comments.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Soft Pastel Palette - Cleaning and organising it.

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together." Vincent Van Gogh

My soft pastel needs cleaning and organising from time to time. With time it gathers dust and some pastel colours as it rubs against the neighboring pastels. This makes It difficult to identify each individual shade.

On earlier occasions I used rice in an old jar to shuffle the dusty pastels and they would come sparkling clean. Click here to watch my earlier post of 2014.This time I decided to use Semolina or finely ground wheat, to execute this process. To my surprise it worked pretty well. So after the clean up I organised them neatly into four different trays segregating the blues, greens, browns and the rest of the colours.

Posting few images below.

pastel palette cleaned up and organised

The Blues and the Greens
in two small cardboard boxes.

Soft pastel palette cleaned up and organised

The very light shades and warm colours put together.
And the browns and violets put separately in another flat box.

Cleaning of soft pastels in a jar of semolina by Manju Panchal

The jar of Semolina in which I drop in the
Broken pastels for a clean up.

Now my soft pastels are finally cleaned up and are set up in four different boxes in a pretty much organised manner. Previous to this arrangement I was managing with ONE TRAY and later on it shifted to THREE TRAYS of pastels. The size of the palette keeps on increasing with time. I guess it happens with all the artists. 

The different brands of pastels that I have put together are MUNGYO, GALLERY, CAMLIN and KOH-I-NOOR TOISON DOR. By placing them together in a palette it is so much more convenient at my work place rather than opening up all the different boxes individually. This arrangement is working good for me, however I have plans to add a few more brands of pastels later in my collection.

What brands of pastels do you use for your artworks? Do share your views by writing down your comments. You can also view my works now on INSTAGRAM where I have started posting on a regular basis.

Thanks for browsing and all your support.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Kata beach Phuket - A soft pastel painting

"I am interested in art as a means of living a life; not as a means of making a living." 
Robert Henri

I am sharing a poem that I came across recently and it speaks for all those who love, appreciate and value nature. ( Courtesy : POEMHUNTER )

In thy nature is beauty
In thy nature is Earth
In thy nature I find my worth

In thy nature is peace
In thy nature I find myself
In thy nature ever lasting greens

In thy nature there is more to be seen
In thy nature a beauty untold
In thy nature everything is worth more than gold

By Stephanie McGrath 

The soft pastel painting below is of a scene at Kata beach, Phuket. ( A rain forested, mountainous island in Thaland ).  Most of the beaches on the island are just amazing. This particular beach had these beautiful rocks on one side with a few trees in the background. The distant hills were a hazy mix of blues and greens. It was fun painting this scene. The sunlight that touched the surface of sea waves created lovely sparkles.

Soft pastel painting of Kata beach in Phuket by Manju Panchal

The Kata beach ( Phuket )
Soft pastel painting on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 7" X 9"

When sunlight falls on simple objects of nature it helps reveal its form, shape and the colours. With the changing light changes the shadows and colours. This light and shadow play in nature fascinates me and continues to be a source of inspiration to paint more.

I am painting since very long but started blogging in 2014. It has been a great experience and more than creating the art itself I am loving this journey which is helping me to get in touch with a lot many art enthusiasts. I have also recently started uploading my works on INSTAGRAM so if you like my works please follow and share. 

Thanks for browsing through my works and please leave your comments to let me know what you feel about them.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Mountain view at Matheran

"I would rather die of passion than of boredom." Vincent Van Gogh

Matheran is a very small hill station about 90 kms from Mumbai, in Raigad district of Maharashtra. It is located on the range of Western Ghats at a height of 800 m above sea level. It has been declared an Eco Sensitive Zone by the Government of India and being a vehicle free zone one gets to walk a lot in the laps of mother nature. Apart from dense forest, we get to see beautiful views of mountains and plateaus.

There are 38 designated points in Matheran from where one gets to see breathtaking views of the distant Ghats. To reach each point, it takes roughly forty to forty five minutes of walking through the red muddy pathways. 

I decided to paint this particular scene because it looked very beautiful, had great composition with distant hills and the warm mountains in the foreground. I got to use some of my earthen shades of pastels. There is so much to observe, so much to learn about the colours, the atmospheric perspective, the way landscape transforms with the change of the temperature. 

A soft pastel painting of Matheran Landscape by Manju Panchal

Mountain view
Soft pastel painting on Canson MT
Size 5"X 7"

I have visited Matheran a lot many times and have a great collection of photographs and sketches. Some of them are pretty complicated with dense forest, shrubs, grasses and sunlight perforating through the foliage and it needs a little analyzing and understanding before I set off to start them, but eventually I plan to do each and every one of them. One step at a time. 

I love painting and try doing some work on a daily basis. I can never get bored of my art, however when I do a particular medium for a very long time it does lead to a little saturation. At such times I get into my charcoal and other mediums which refreshes my mind instantly.

Through my blog I get to share my thought process in creating each work, my techniques, my experimenting and exploring and it is fun connecting with so many artists around the world. 

Thanks for all your support and do leave a comment so that I may know what you feel about my works.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

A Tree

"Drawing is not the form, it is the way of seeing a form." Edgar Degas

Trees mean a lot to me. I love painting them. To me a "Tree" is a symbol of "Beauty, Strength, Endurance, Stability, and Wisdom".

I came across this beautiful old tree with exposed roots, anchored beautifully in the soil at Dubare forest on the banks of Kaveri river ( Near Coorg ). Since I had already created the study work of this tree on a small black Canson MT paper, it did not take me long to recreate this on a bigger paper.

Dubare forest, in Karnataka is known for its elephant camp and the area is a host to beautiful archaic deciduous trees. I did not have time to do any kind of Plein air sketching or drawing but I did manage to photograph many such trees. In the scene as below, there were other trees and bushes in the background, however I decided to keep it simple as I wanted the tree to be in focus.

Soft pastel drawing of a tree on Canson Mi Teintes paper by Indian artist Manju Panchal

Soft pastel painting on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 6.5" X 9.5"

My works can be seen on my FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM page too. Thank you for browsing through my works.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

The light and shadow in a landscape - Soft pastel drawing

"If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all."

The quotation as above says it all. Hard work and passion play a very significant role in achieving what one has in mind.

The early morning rays totally transform the landscape. One moment it is enveloped in darkness and then miraculously when the morning rays gently fall all around, the scene comes alive. The light and shadow play and its effects on the landscape continue to fascinate me and I constantly look out for such "Subjects" so that I can paint them and create a memory.

Posted below is one such beautiful scene that I came across while I was at Karnala Bird Sanctuary in the early morning hours. I have yet again used my "Soft Pastel"medium to create this original art. 

Soft pastel painting of a scene from Karnala Bird Sanctuary by Manju Panchal

The Morning Shadows
Soft pastel painting on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 6.5" X 8.5"

For this painting I have used the "Twilight" shade of Canson MT and I am pretty happy with it. Next I am working on a beautiful seashore painting referring to my study sketch and photograph from Phuket island. 

Thanks for all your support and keep browsing.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Plein air painting - Study works in soft pastels

" Painting is easy, getting it right is the hard bit." Danny Byrne

Painting outdoors or on location is always a better option as we get to see the true colours of light and shadow. It is a more rewarding and powerful experience. However it is not always possible to create the entire painting on site. Therefore last week when I visited Karnala Bird Sanctuary, I decided to carry my limited palette of pastels in an endeavor to create small pastel studies on Canson paper so that referring to these and the photograph taken on location, I could then create the painting at my workplace.

I managed to create three of them sized 4"X 5.5"each and spent about twenty minutes on each of them. I carried my old photo album which I use to store my "Small study sketches". I find it very convenient to store my works this way as they do not get smudged a lot and sometime later I get to flip through my works for reference.

Plein air study of a landscape in soft pastels

Plein air study of a landscape in soft pastels

Plein air study of a landscape in soft pastels

Three Plein air soft pastel paintings
created on Canson Mi Teintes paper
sized 4"X 5.5"

I have used three different toned papers namely black, beige and twilight. Fortunately this is the advantage of using Canson MT paper. It comes in many different shades. On earlier occasions I have used the orange toned paper for my seascape painting and it worked pretty well.

For a long time now I have only been working on dark toned papers for my forest landscape scenes. Now I am trying to shift to mid tone colours to see if they work out well for some of my artworks.

Being a nature lover I follow a lot of different photographers and their works as it keeps me inspired. I wrote earlier about an eminent photographer Mr Sudhir Shivaram. He is presently in Bharatpur and you can watch his videos and browse through his works on his FACEBOOK page.

Thanks for browsing through my works.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

A morning at Matheran - A soft pastel painting

"Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else." Leonardo Da Vinci

Greens are still a challenge. Every time I create a landscape, I question myself regarding the green. Should I use a warm green or a cool green? What colour should I put next to it. Then there is the source of light and the shadows and so many other factors to considered before I proceed further.

By now I know the individual shades of greens that I have in my collection. There is a favorite mid tone green in Camlin, a blue green in Kohinoor, the very dark in Mungyo and so on. It is important to know the colours and feel connected to them. Despite having many shades in blues and greens, I constantly feel the need to have more of them. You never find the right shade when you are looking for one. Green is always a dilemma.

The soft pastel painting below has been inspired by an early morning scene from Matheran, a beautiful hill station close to Mumbai. The sun rays lit up the foliage as it perforated through the space between the wild growth on either sides. I am always looking for a scene like this where in I get to see the marvels of nature. The light and shadow play, creating magic in the atmosphere around you. This scene was pretty challenging, nevertheless I enjoyed doing it.

Soft pastel painting of a morning scene from Matheran by Manju Panchal

A morning at Matheran
Soft pastel painting on Canson MT
Size 5"X 7"

Matheran has been declared an Eco Sensitive Zone by the Union Environment Ministry and private vehicles are not allowed. The place is very green and has some very promising views for artists, photographers as well as nature lovers.  

On my recent visit to Karnala Bird Sanctuary, I managed to create a few Plein Air sketches using my limited soft pastel palette. I will post the images soon.

Thanks for browsing through my works.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Cretacolour 8B Aquarelle Graphite/pencil drawings and paintings

"Without good drawing, the foundation of a painting will collapse." Ken Danby

In my post dated 27th January, I mentioned about my recently created artworks using Aquarelle graphite pencil. Posted below are some randomly selected works which I have created in the past month using a single Cretacolour 8B aquarelle graphite pencil. I purchased the set of 6 pencils from Amazon. 

Before getting into Cretacolour 8B pencil, I experimented with the Camlin water soluble graphite sticks. However I found it a more convenient option to use pencils.

water soluble graphite painting of a seashell

A seashell

aquarelle graphite/pencil drawing and painting of a gate at Santorini

A gate

water soluble graphite painting of trees by Manju Panchal


Cretacolour 8B water soluble graphite painting of a seashore by Manju Panchal

A scene from Phuket

water soluble graphite/pencil painting of a flower by Manju Panchal

A flower

As I am enjoying these small aquarelle graphite works sized 4" X 5.5", I have gone ahead and ordered a set of 4B aquarelle graphite too. The plan is to use them both in combination to get a better effect. 

You can browse through my charcoal and pastel artworks now at INSTAGRAM too.

Thanks for visiting my blog and if you have used aquarelle pencil in your art work, I would love to hear from you. Do leave a comment. 

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Two study works of "Trees" in soft pastel medium

"Good drawing forms the 'bones' on which a strong painting hangs." Chris Bingle

 Before I start off with my painting, I like to study the subject so as to get an understanding of the composition, the colours, the values and the techniques that I will apply in order to get the effect that I am visualizing in the mind. My vision of the artwork must meet what I create on paper.

The soft pastel artworks as below are of two majestic trees as seen and photographed at Kaveri river bank, Dubare forest near Coorg. During monsoon the river is overflowing and hence these exposed roots are not visible as they are submerged under water. We visited this place during the month of March when the water flow was bare minimum and I got to photograph some of these old archaic trees

Soft pastel painting, a study work of a tree by Manju Panchal

Soft pastel painting, a study work of a tree by Manju Panchal

Two Soft pastel study works of trees
as seen at Dubare forest, Coorg.
Size 4" X 5.5"

Every tree has its unique character, shape, form and identity. It's a great experience to sketch and paint these graceful elements of nature.

The "study works" as above will guide me in future to create a larger painting if required.

Friday, 27 January 2017

The Shaded Pathway- A Soft pastel painting of a landscape from Coorg

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." Henry David Thoreau

I finally completed the soft pastel painting of a scene from Coorg, ( Madikeri ) which I started in November 2016. After doing the initial layer of blocking in the colours, I had taken a break. I normally intend doing a painting at one go as it is so much more convenient. After an interval when I get back to an older work, it is a lot more struggle to restart it all over again. It is like the momentum is gone and I have to recollect everything about the scene and visualize the steps all over again.

However this is one of my favorite scenes that I came across during one of my morning walks in Madikeri and I did not want to give up on this one. It took me longer than expected to complete, but I was happy that I finally completed it.

Soft pastel painting of a shaded pathway at Coorg by Manju Panchal

The shaded pathway
Soft pastel painting on Fabriano Tiziano paper
Size 7.5" X 10"

For my soft pastels I am mainly working with Canson Mi Teintes and Fabriano Tiziano paper. To read more about the papers that I use CLICK HERE.

Of late I have been spending a lot of my time with my small sketch book. I just created a new one exclusively for my AQUARELLE GRAPHITE works. To create a small work sized 4" X 5.5" all I need is a sketch book, a Cretacolour 8B aquarelle graphite pencil, a brush and water. I am enjoying this new found activity because many a times I just have about an hour to myself which is not sufficient to start with some serious work. At such times I get down to doing my study works of different subjects. It is more of experimenting and exploring and is lot of fun.

If you are passionate about art and want to get started with a particular medium then you can attend one of my TWO DAYS ART WORKSHOP which I conduct on a regular basis. My upcoming workshops are listed in advance, so you can register for the same.

Thanks for all your support and keep browsing.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Willow charcoal drawing and sketching - A demo work

"An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision." James McNeill Whistler

Some time back I created a charcoal demo for the participants who were attending my art workshop.
The initial "BLOCK IN" was done using just "willow charcoal".

Once the values were in place, I used the Camlin pencil to create bold marks to create grass keeping in mind the pressure as I receded in the background. I find willow charcoal extremely useful to create quick charcoal study works.

A charcoal pencil and willow charcoal drawing of a landscape by Manju Panchal

Charcoal study work ( wetlands ) on cartridge sheet
Size 12"X 16"

I am also posting an image of the charcoal drawing in its initial stages when I have used only willow charcoal to set the values in place.

Using willow charcoal to block in the major shapes in a landscape

Willow charcoal work on Cartridge paper

 The willow charcoal as used by me

Every time I create a charcoal landscape, I experiment a little. I try out some new technique. The idea is to get the right effect that I am looking for. It could be texture or background, or a different kind of foliage. It is lot of fun. There is always an excitement about the outcome. Every time I create an artwork, I learn something new. So it is very interesting ie drawing, painting and learning all at the same time.

CLICK HERE to view the tools that I use to create my charcoal drawings.

My Coorg Soft pastel landscape is almost done and I am also starting new pastel works sized 
11"X 15". Will be posting the completed work soon.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

More Pencil drawings in my sketch book

"A true artist is not the one who is inspired, but one who inspires others." Salvador Dali

If you have been following my posts you will know that some time back I started off small pencil drawings in my sketch book, which has forty cartridge sheets in it. In the last few days I managed to add a few more in the same book. Some of these are demo works that I created for two participants who attended my ART WORKSHOP. ( Pencil/Graphite drawing )

Since these are more of study works, I normally decide on spending not more than twenty minutes on each of them but it never really happens this way. Most of the times I get carried away and I want to do just a little more of detailing here and there and then I realise that I am actually spending more than thirty minutes on some of them. But it is fun. I create these when I am done with all my serious artwork and have a few minutes to myself to experiment and explore some new subject. This is also a great way of doing value studies. 

Pencil drawing of seawaves in a sketch book

Pencil drawing of landscape in sketch book

Pencil drawing of landscape in sketch book

Pencil drawing of landscape in sketch book

Pencil drawing of Key monastery in sketch book

Pencil drawing of Coorg landscape in sketch book

Pencil drawing of landscape in sketch book

Pencil drawings in my sketch book
Each sketch is sized 4" X 5.5"

Presently I am working on my Coorg Pastel Landscape which is almost complete. The next step is to photograph it, edit it and then post it. I am also posting my old as well as new works now on

If you like my artworks and techniques please do share it with friends. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Painting a landscape in soft pastel medium

"If I create from the heart; nearly everything works, if from the head, almost nothing." 
Marc Chagall

When I select a subject for my painting, it is almost always because I love the subject and feel connected to it. Nature is so beautiful and inspiring and there are scenes that leave an indelible impression on one's mind. Through my paintings I am making an attempt to keep these memories alive.

While at Karnala Bird Sancturay during the morning hours, the sunlight created magic lighting up the pathway and the foliage at the tips. The scene was so beautiful that it was then and there that I had decided that I will paint it some day. 

It must be an year or so but every time I looked at this photograph on my laptop, I analysed it and then made my calculations regarding the steps that I would follow in order to create it. It looked pretty complicated in the beginning but then I simplified the steps in my mind over a period of time. Then finally one day I made a thumbnail sketch which more or less represented the vision that I had in mind. Referring to my preliminary study and using my Mungyo and Kohinoor Toison Dor soft pastels, I finally created the work as planned. 

Soft pastel painting of a scene from Karnala Bird Sanctuary by Manju Panchal

The Morning Rays
Soft pastel painting on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 7"X 9"

I am back to my pastel paintings but at the same time I am also managing to steal a few moments to create my graphite drawings in my sketch book. Getting addicted to it, I guess. Will be posting a few of them soon.

Thanks for browsing through my works.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Mother Teresa - A charcoal portrait study on toned paper

"Be happy in the moment, that's enough.Each moment is all we need, not more." 
Mother Teresa

A portrait study of "Mother Teresa" created on dark grey handmade paper using charcoal and white pastel pencil. The pencils I normally use on toned paper are Camlin soft charcoal pencil, Cretacolour white pastel pencil and General white pastel pencil.

A Charcoal portrait study work of Mother Teresa on toned paper by Manju Panchal

Mother Teresa
Charcoal and white pastel pencil work on handmade paper
Size 5.5"X 7"

In October 2016, I posted yet another portrait study of "Mother Teresa". I am presently working on a soft pastel landscape work of a scene from Karnala Bird Sanctuary. Will post it soon. My works can now be seen at Instagram.

Thanks for browsing through my works and do write your comments below.