Friday, 18 August 2017

Portrait drawing on toned paper

"And the beauty of a woman, with passing years only grows!." Audrey Hepburn

Today I am posting my recently done "Charcoal portrait drawing" of a beautiful woman whom I met in Sikkim. I loved everything about her, her wrinkled face, her pretty smile, her scarf on the head which curled up at the top letting a few braided strings fall below.

She is seventy five and stays high up in the mountains somewhere in Hee Bermiok in West Sikkim. She had come to meet the owners of the homestay where we were staying, with an intention of selling some pretty hand made purses to the tourists. I purchased a few of them.

She moves around the hills climbing the difficult terrain with such ease and is so cheerful and full of life. I listened to her conversation, not understanding much but enjoyed interacting with her. I took her photograph with her consent and expressed my desire to do her portrait some day. She was all smile to hear that.

I am glad that I finally managed to get started with her portrait. Her portrait will always remind me of her strength, endurance and zest for life. I feel fortunate to have met her. Painting is like etching these memories on paper.

Portrait drawing on toned paper

Wrinkled with age
Charcoal drawing on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 5" X 7"

Canson Mi Teintes paper comes in many different shades ( 50 colours ) and I use them for my soft pastel paintings too. However when it comes to using them for my charcoal and white pastel drawings I mainly use the dark gray sheet.

Canson Mi teintes ( Different shades )

If you are interested in attending any of my workshops, visit the ART WORKSHOP page to know the schedule.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Rearranging my Charcoal drawing tools in a new box

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

As mentioned in my last post I am getting back into my "Portrait drawing". So I decided to rearrange and organise all my "Charcoal drawing tools" in a new cardboard box ( This sturdy little box with one inch height came with ipad keyboard ).

Arranging charcoal drawing tools in a new box by Indian artist Manju Panchal

Charcoal tools in a new box

This new box easily accommodates my basic drawing tools that I use on a regular basis. I keep the willow charcoal in a tissue paper as it smudges a lot and makes the whole area messy.

Prior to using the new box, my pencils and few other tools were in a very old stationery box which I have been using since probably 2000. The image of the same can be found below. When I got started with charcoal I used just about three to four tools namely Ambassador charcoal pencil, blending tools, charcoal powder and an eraser. So a small box was a pretty convenient option.

Old charcoal tool box

To view the images of all the different tools that I use in my present day drawings CLICK HERE.
I have also posted about the "Different papers" that I use for my charcoal drawings.

Thank you for browsing through my blog and if you are a person who is passionately into art, I hope that my blog and the information that I share is of help to you. 

Figurative watercolour painting

"You were born an original work of art. Stay original." Suzy Kassem

Today I am posting small water colour painting of a pretty young girl from Rajasthan. She sits, dressed up in her colourful attire, waiting probably for her friend to arrive so they can engage in some playful activity.

I started this painting quite some time back and it was a little incomplete. So I took out some time yesterday and did the needful. I have mostly used Winsor and Newton Cotman colours for this artwork. Portrait work as a subject, be it any medium, is very challenging. However I enjoy creating them. I plan to do many more and in the same series.

A water colour painting of a young girl from Rajasthan by Indian artist Manju Panchal

Waiting for a friend
Water colour painting on acid free paper
Size 5" X 7"

It feels good to be doing portrait works once again. I have reorganised my "Charcoal drawing tools" in a new box as I plan to initially create a few charcoal portraits on toned paper before getting into water colour portraits. Charcoal being a dry medium is more easy to handle as compared to water colours. Moreover it has been long since I last did a complete water colour portrait.  

Thanks for visiting my blog. Do browse through my works in INSTAGRAM too.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

"Eye and Nose" study on Strathmore gray toned paper

"Do not fail, as you go on, to draw something every day for no matter how little it is, it will be well worthwhile, and it will do you a world of good." Cennino Cennini

A beautiful inspiring quote which reminds me that no matter how busy I am, I must remove a little time every day for my art which is a true source of "Happiness" to me.

I took out my Strathmore gray toned paper last week after a very long time. Just got tempted to do "Eye and Nose study" so that I can get started with my "Portrait works" once again.

Given below is a small study work of a Rajasthani man, on Strathmore paper. I started this artwork with the intention of doing just the eyes and nose but later on got carried away and did the turban and part of the face too. After having done back to back water colour paintings, doing a charcoal portrait has been a welcome change.

Charcoal drawing of a Rajasthani man on Strathmore gray toned paper by Indian artist Manju Panchal

Eye and Nose study work
Charcoal and white pastel pencil work on Strathmore toned paper
Size 4.5" X 6"

Speaking of toned papers the two other papers that I have used in the past are "Textured hand made paper" and Canson Mi Teintes.  All these papers including Strathmore is easily available on AMAZON and other online stores. 

Strathmore gray toned paper

Strathmore Toned Gray Pad
with 50 sheets

Thanks a lot for browsing through my works and to browse through some other portraits that I have created in the past CLICK HERE.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Charcoal drawing and sketching workshop on 26th and 27th August, 2017

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live for ever." Gandhi

I take art workshops from time to time. Through my art workshop I get to meet people from different walks of life. People who are looking forward to learn the basics of art and who need a little motivation to get started in this direction.

My today's post is a brief introduction about my upcoming "Charcoal and drawing and sketching workshop" on the 26th and 27th of this month ie August, 2017.

During the workshop I shall be introducing the participants to the different papers and the charcoal tools that I use for my drawings. CLICK HERE to view the images of the different tools as I have posted an article about the same some time back. I provide all the materials so that the participants can judge for themselves and then later buy their preferred choice of materials.

Each participant gets a small sketch book with 4"X 5"cartridge sheets.

Sketch book to create small charcoal works during art workshop

Using the different tools like pencils, willow charcoal etc they go on to create small works.
This way they get accustomed to using the tools.

Using charcoal tools during art workshop at Mumbai, by Manju Panchal

For the upcoming workshop I will be demonstrating landscapes, floral and still life works.
Such as the images below

Demo work during charcoal drawing workshop at Andheri, Mumbai

Charcoal drawing of landscape with mountains

Demo work during charcoal drawing workshop at Andheri, Mumbai

Charcoal drawing of Foggy landscape

The participants will be creating one charcoal drawing sized 6"X 8" on the first day and two different works on the second day. During the course of the drawing sessions the following topics too shall be covered.
  • Drawing from a photograph as a reference
  • Design and composition
  • Significance of tonal values
  • Framing of a charcoal painting
  • Tips and techniques for better drawings
  • Preservation and care ( protection against moisture, sun etc )
When I do the demo's of certain charcoal drawings I share "My technique" which I have developed over a period of time after having created hundreds of drawings. Hence I encourage the participants to use the basic techniques but experiment and explore with new tools and papers which will in turn help them to develop their own style in the long run.

The Charcoal drawing workshop will be for a small group of four to five participants and to register for the same you can call me at 9967169025 ( Mumbai ) or drop me a mail at and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Charcoal drawing of a landscape from West Sikkim

"To see what others can not.....
You must climb the mountain." Ron Akers

While we were in Sikkim during our holidays we got to stay at a Homestay in Hee Bermiok ( West Sikkim ), which was located quite high up in the mountains. It was a herculean task reaching there but once we got settled we realised the advantage of being there among pristine nature.

Later during the next few days we gathered energy and explored still greater heights in order to get a clear view of Kangchenjunga peak, meet the local people and understand more about their tradition and culture.

On one such route while climbing up the mountain I came across some stunning pathway scenes, the kind I love to paint and I decided to create a charcoal drawing of the same. For creating a study work I love to use "Willow charcoal" which helps in achieving the desired values in a very short period of time.

A charcoal drawing of a landscape scene from Hee Bermiok, West Sikkkim, by Manju Panchal

An upward climb
Charcoal drawing on Cartridge paper
Size 5" X 7"

Camlin charcoal pencil works good in combination with willow charcoal. Willow charcoal is very soft and blends into the paper without leaving too many permanent stains. 

willow charcoal

Willow charcoal
Chinese brand,

CLICK HERE to view some of my earlier works created using willow charcoal. I will be conducting a "Charcoal drawing workshop" soon in which I will be discussing in detail regarding the techniques I use to create my charcoal works. To know more about my art workshops you can visit my "ART WORKSHOP" page.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Charcoal drawing on Strathmore gray toned paper

"You never outgrow drawing. It's so fundamental to everything." Debra Groessner

No matter what medium I am into, getting back into drawing and sketching refreshes my creative spirit. As mentioned in the quote above, drawing is fundamental to painting any subject. We paint as we draw. 

The charcoal drawing below is of a group of rocks and pebbles at the seashore. Last time when I handled the same subject I used a cartridge paper. This time, however I decided to use the Strathmore gray toned paper in which the gray colour of the paper acts as the mid tone value and I had to add the darker and lighter values to complete the painting.

Charcoal drawing of rocks and pebbles at the beach on Strathmore gray toned paper by Indian artist Manju Panchal

Charcoal drawing on Strathmore gray toned paper
Size 4.5" X 5.5"

Posted below is the initial stage of the painting where I have created the outline of the rocks using a graphite pencil and added darker values at certain places.

Charcoal drawing of pebbles on Strathmore gray toned paper

Initial step
Drawing of pebbles

This is a small charcoal drawing and hence I have used only a charcoal pencil and a white pastel pencil. CLICK HERE to view all the different charcoal tools that I use in order to create a bigger charcoal work. 

I have some "Art Workshops" scheduled for the coming weekends and if you are interested in learning the techniques that I use in creating artworks you can join in.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

On the way to Malshej Ghats - A water colour painting

"Challenges are what makes life interesting, and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful." Joshua J Marine

My today's post is a water colour painting of a scene that I came across while I was on the way to Malshej Ghats. The paddy fields filled with water, cloudy sky and fog at the distance, I tried to capture the monsoon atmosphere.

Malshej Ghats is a mountain pass in the Western Ghats range in the Thane-Pune district of Maharashtra. It is nestled in the lofty rugged hills of Western Ghats. The journey to Malshej Ghats during the monsoons is absolutely amazing. There are innumerable waterfalls on the way and the green valleys all around is a refreshing sight. I have used Camlin Artist's water colour tubes for this particular painting.

A water colour painting of a view as seen on the way to Malshej Ghats

On the way to Malshej Ghats
Water colour painting on Strathmore paper
Size 4.5" X 6"

"Painting a cloudy sky" has been on my mind since long and a place like Malshej Ghat gave me the opportunity to capture many beautiful foggy landscape scenes with dramatic skies in the background. I am planning to try out all of them. There is no particular technique in mind. Technique evolves with time and experience. 

Painting scenes such as above is going to be a great learning experience. To me art is not just about painting, its about exploring new horizons and educating myself further in a subject that I am very passionate about. 

Thank you for visiting my BLOG and browsing through my works.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Charcoal drawing of Pebbles

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

Many artists believe that value is more important than colour to the design and success of a painting. I have started believing in this theory too. Hence creating a grey scale version of a painting helps me a lot to understand the subject even before I have started the painting process. The advantages of knowing the right values are
  • Value helps in creating a focal point within a painting or a drawing
  • The human eye is immediately drawn to a light element against a dark element. This creates the focal point of interest.
  • Gradations of value help in creating the illusion of depth.
  • The light and contrast help to define the form of the subject matter.
"Rocks and pebbles" have always fascinated me as a subject for painting. I created my first "Rocks and pebbles" painting in water colour medium and posted it recently. I enjoyed doing that small little study and decided to try out this subject using charcoal medium too. 

Therefore I hunted out another photograph taken at a beach and went ahead creating the charcoal drawing as given below. This is the fun part of the art journey. It is so full of surprises. You discover new interests, fall in love once again with an old medium and it motivates you further in life.

A charcoal drawing of pebbles on cartridge sheet by Indian artist Manju Panchal

Charcoal drawing on cartridge sheet
Size 5.5" X 6.5"

Taking a break with a little charcoal artwork has helped me. I intend to continue with my water colour explorations but as and when possible I will try and do a little of my "Charcoals and Pastels" too. I am also into "ART WORKSHOPS" and to know more details regarding the same you can visit my page. Art workshops are fun as it helps me to get connected with art enthusiasts in all age groups. 

Thank you very much for visiting my blog and keep browsing. Do visit my INSTAGRAM page to see my works in charcoals, soft pastels and other mediums.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Blue Haven Beach, Esperance, West Australia

"The only time I feel alive is when I am painting". Vincent Van Gogh

In my last post I mentioned about the two photographs which were sent to me by my close friend.I already posted the painting of the beach scene from Jurien Bay.

Today I am posting my second painting which I created referring to the seashore at Blue Haven, Esperance,West Australia. In my last painting I over did the ocean and was not quite happy with the outcome. This time I was slow, patient and more focused. Getting the green vegetation on the rocky slopes continues to be a challenge but I am sure that with time and experience I will evolve my technique to get it right.

On the whole, from the sky to the foreground I quite managed the steps as I had planned. In this painting I used "Cinereous blue" by Sennelier in the ocean. I purchased a very small Aqua Mini set of 8 half pans some months back from Never got the opportunity to use it as I was busy with my pastels and charcoals. Finally inaugurated it with this painting. The Cinereous Blue colour by Sennelier is rich, flows and blends beautifully with other colours. I have also used Viridian Green and Ultramarine Blue by Winsor and Newton to colour the crystal clear waters of the ocean.

A water colour painting of a seashore at Blue Haven, Esperance, West Australia By Indian artist Manju Panchal

Blue Haven beach, West Australia
Water colour painting on Campap paper
Size 8.5" X 11"

Winsor and Newton artist's water colour tubes are expensive. I have the Cotman collection which I purchased more than a decade back. Some of the colours are drying up and hence along with Camlin brand, I am also using the Winsor and Newton Cotman collection. I have about ten different shades.
CLICK HERE to view my water colour palette.

Thank you for visiting my blog and keep browsing. Check out my ART WORKSHOP page to know about my workshop schedule. If you wish to purchase any of my original artworks do CONTACT ME and I shall get back to you as soon as possible.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Jurien Bay, West Australia - A water colour painting

"I dream of painting and then I paint my dream." Vincent Van Gogh

Painting a seashore relaxes me completely. I am so drawn to this subject. Many of my friends who know about my passion for painting keep sending me photographs from all around the world. I am very grateful to all of them. Today's painting is with reference to a beach photograph sent by one of my friends.

Jurien Bay is a coastal town in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, 220 kms north of Perth facing the Indian Ocean. The town has a beautiful coastline. What inspired me further was the unique rock formations, the wet sand and the reflections.

A water colour painting of a beach at Jurien Bay, West Australia. By Manju Panchal

At Jurien Bay, West Australia
Water colour painting on Campap paper
Size 8.5" X 11"

I take "Art Workshops" from time to time and to know more about it you can visit my page for further details. My works can also be browsed at in my INSTAGRAM page. I enjoy painting and blogging and my recent venture into Instagram is helping me get connected with many different artists around the world. 

Thank you for visiting my blog and do leave in a comment to let me know what you think about my works. 

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Pattaya beach - A water colour painting

"The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any consideration." Friday Kahlo

I was browsing through my "Photo collection" some time back, when I came across an old photograph clicked at Pattaya beach in 2008. The beach had some tree foliage drooping on the shore from the left casting some beautiful shadows on the sand below. There were few other elements too on the beach, however I decided not to include them as I felt that they would distract the composition. I also added a few figures in the distance using my rigger brush.

This is my fourth small painting on Fabriano Artistico CP paper and more or less I am pretty convinced about using it in future too.

The shadows at the beach
Water colour painting on Fabriano Artistico CP paper
Size 5" X 7"

Every artist has his preferred choice of paper. Arches CP paper is used by many of them including Joseph Zbukvik. Selecting the paper is an individual choice. Over a period of time, I got carried away by reviews written by other artists and landed up buying many different papers. It's only when I actually started working with them, I realised that it is not necessary that what works for another person will work for you too.

In conclusion, I am taking my time to create works on all the different papers that I have presently with me, so that I can finally take a decision regarding the paper that makes me most comfortable working with it. In other words, I would love to settle for a paper on which I struggle the least to get the desired result that I am looking for.

Thank you for visiting my blog

Monday, 24 July 2017

Charcoal drawing - A scene from Phi Phi Don

"Never let what you cannot do interfere with what you CAN do." John Wooden

Painting in any medium for a very long time can sometimes lead to saturation. A little change is all that is required to freshen up the mind.Therefore I have decided to create a few study works of the "Painting subjects" using willow charcoal and charcoal pencil. Creating a charcoal study does not take much time and moreover I require just a few tools at my workplace.

The landscape scene that I selected for my first charcoal study work is a beautiful early morning view as seen from Phi Phi Don. It was low tide, and the ocean water had current but some low lying water near the shore captured the reflections of the distant mountains. While creating this charcoal drawing I simplified the shapes so as to get a good composition.

A charcoal drawing of a scene from Phi Phi Don on Cartridge paper by Manju Panchal

At Phi Phi Don
Charcoal study work
Size 5" X 7"

I experimented a lot with willow charcoal last year and it works pretty good in combination with charcoal pencils. CLICK HERE to view some landscape works in the past which were mainly done using willow charcoal. 

willow charcoal

Willow charcoal

After creating this charcoal study work I am pretty excited. So the plan now is to do water colour paintings as well as charcoal studies of certain landscapes as and when required. This change in the daily painting routine will also give me an opportunity to explore the charcoal medium further.

Thank you all for visiting my blog and browsing through my artworks. 

Friday, 21 July 2017

Painting a beach scene in water colour medium

"You only fail when you stop trying." Albert Einstein. A very meaningful quote by Einstein.

When I paint, I just paint. I do not think about failure or success. To me the journey of painting is more important rather than the final outcome. It's a day today routine. To paint, to try out something new. If it does not work, then I plan out an alternate technique to get the desired result. End of the day it makes me happy that I tried out rather than just sitting over it.

Given below is a Simple beach composition which I tried out on Arto Campap watercolour paper using the water colour medium. I created this work using one of my photographs from Langkawi, Malaysia.

I am quite happy with this paper but unless I create a few more works I will really not be convinced about using it for long term in the future. So the plan is to keep on painting different subjects to understand more about the different features of the paper and get accustomed to it. I am also in the process of checking out the Fabriano Artistico Cold pressed paper which

water colour painting of a seashore on Campap paper by Manju Panchal

Morning at the beach
Water colour painting on Arto Campap paper
Size 5" X 7"

"Seashore" as a subject appeals to me a lot and I don't think I will ever get tired or bored of painting beaches. CLICK HERE to view one of my favourite beaches that I have painted in the soft pastel medium. I will get back to soft pastels but after a little while. As of now I want to continue my water colour painting adventure.

I post my paintings on INSTAGRAM and if you like my paintings please follow and share.

Thank you for all your support.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Rocks and pebbles at the beach - A water colour painting

"The only source of knowledge is experience." Albert Einstein

In my last post I mentioned about my newly purchased Arto Campap Cold Pressed paper ( 300 gsm ). I created a small water colour study of "Rocks" on it. I have been photographing close up of rocks since very long but never really got into creating an artwork referring to it. Rocks make an interesting subject to paint as it helps understanding the shape, shadow and textures on its surface.

I kept my water colour palette limited to just three colours, namely burnt sienna, ultramarine blue and paynes grey. Burnt sienna and ultramarine blue when mixed in different proportions create beautiful shades of grey. In fact these two are the maximum used colours in my palette.

Working on textures was lot of fun, though I need to improvise on it. In all this was a quick experimental work and it was an exciting experience. I am waiting to create some more works where in I will get to work on rocks.

An original water colour painting of rocks on Arto Campap CP paper by Manju Panchal

Rocks and pebbles
Water colour painting on Arto Campap CP paper
Size 3.5" X 4"

In the past I have created charcoal drawing of "Rocks under the water" using my charcoal tools
I do get tempted to pick up my charcoal tools once again and I will do that eventually, however for now I want to spend some more time working with water colour medium.

Thank you all for visiting my blog.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Selecting the right water colour paper

"It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop." Confucius

While browsing through Winsor and Newton official site, I came across some interesting facts put together in a very simple language regarding selecting the right water colour surface for water colour paintings. I am sharing these on the blog for all water colour enthusiasts.


An ideal amount of absorbency allows the colour to sit on the surface of the paper rather than sink into the paper itself. The right amount of absorbency facilitates the reflection of the maximum amount of light, making the colours of your artwork all the more vivid.


White papers produce the brightest images whilst coloured papers are used for opaque or juxtaposition techniques.


To ensure that your work will stand the test of time, you will need a stable surface upon which to work. Long term stability comes from papers being acid free.


After exploring a wide variety of papers in the past few months, the one paper that I have definitely liked is CAMPAP. I have managed to create a few good paintings on its surface and am pretty satisfied with the effects too. However what I presently have is the 200 gsm version. Therefore I went ahead and ordered ARTO CAMPAP 300 gsm cold pressed paper from

Arto Campap watercolour paper CP 300 gsm

The paper is pure white in colour and has textured surface on both the sides. I created a brushstroke on small test piece sized 1" X 4" on both sides and the images of the close up of the paper is as below.

The textured surface on Arto Campap cold pressed water colour paper

Textured surface on one side
of Campap 300 gsm CP paper

The textured surface on Arto Campap cold pressed water colour paper

Textured surface on the other side
of Campap 300 gsm CP paper

Many artists say that either side of the paper can be used. Its a personal experience and choice. Looking at the textures as above I would personally prefer the lower one which is more smooth as compared to the top one. 

If you are into water colour paintings I would love to know which is your favorite water colour paper and why?. Do leave your reply in the comment section and I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for visiting my blog. If you like my works please share.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

A water colour painting of a view at Pangong Lake, Ladakh

"The only way to deep happiness is to do something you love to the best of your ability." 
Richard Feynman

Yestersday I watched a documentary on Richard Feynman, an American Theoretical Physicist and was very inspired by his life, works and philosophy. I went through some of his quotes and have posted one of my favorites to share it with all of you.

Today I am posting my third water colour study on Fabriano Artistico CP paper. I am beginning to like this paper. The subject that I have chosen is yet another beautiful view at Pangong Lake in Ladakh. At 14,270 ft above sea level, it is a stunning lake in the Himalayas and offers some great views for artists, photographs and nature lovers.

I worked a little slow on this painting and was more patient with the colour mixing, especially of the distant dry barren mountains. For the ocean I have used ultramarine blue from Camlin and Cerulean blue colour from Winsor and Newton Cotman series. I purchased the Cotman series quite some time back and now am putting it to use as some colours have started drying up.

A water colour painting of Pangong Lake by Manju Panchal

At Pangong Lake, Ladakh
A water colour painting on Fabriano Artistico CP paper
Size 5" X 7"

I am also posting the initial stage of this painting where in I have just completed the first layer of colours for the background and the lake. For this particular painting, I tried to keep the painting procedure very simple. I finished the lake in one layer itself.

Initial stage of painting Pangong Lake, Ladakh on Fabriano paper

Initial stage of the painting
At Pangong Lake

Thank you for browsing through my works.

Friday, 14 July 2017

The Gulfoss Water Fall , Iceland

"A man paints with his brains and not with his hands." Michelangelo

My today's post is a small water colour study inspired by Gulfoss waterfall. I have used a reference photograph taken by my husband while he was in Iceland. It is my second water colour study on Fabriano CP 300 gsm paper. 

Painting a waterfall, unlike seashore and other subjects, is a tricky affair. The brushstrokes have to be in the direction of the flow to suggest movement. This was a new subject for me, however I gave it a try. After completing it I did a little self evaluation and came to a conclusion that if I were to try a "Waterfall" again I would go in for a few changes in my techniques. 

Trying out different subjects in any medium is fun. Some subjects can be more challenging than the others, however it is a fun learning process and I am enjoying every moment of it.

A water colour painting of Gulfoss waterfall on Fabriano Artistico paper

Gulfoss waterfall
Water colour painting on Fabriano CP paper
Size 5"X 7"

In this painting apart from using my normal Camlin water colour tubes, I have made use of my Winsor and Newton palette as the Cerulean blue shade in Winsor and Newton is very vibrant and beautiful.

Thank you all for taking out time to browse through my artworks.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Trying out Fabriano Artistico 300 gsm Cold Pressed Paper

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary." Pablo Picasso

As I mentioned in my last post that I am in the process of trying out different water colour papers available to me. One of the last papers on my list was Fabriano CP paper. So I finally tried out a painting on Fabriano cold pressed water colour paper. The water colour painting as below is a quick study work of Pangong Lake in Ladakh. 

I have not yet been to this heavenly place but have used reference photograph provided by a close friend. I am grateful to her and all other friends who keep sending me some great photographs of nature in order that I can continue to stay inspired in my art journey.

Since it was meant to be a study work, I did not really pay much attention to the distant mountains and its shadows. I completed it in a short span of forty minutes or so. In my next painting I will have to be more careful about the anatomy of mountains and perspective which is very important in landscape painting and I struggle with it all the time.

A water colour painting of Pangong Lake in Ladakh

Pangong lake
Water colour study work
Size 5" X 7"

Fabriano Artistico 300 gsm paper is a great paper to work with. It has good water retention capacity and is acid free. I purchased a single big sheet and it is water marked "FABRIANO + ARTISTICO" on its shorter side. I will continue to work on it for some time before making my choice between Arches and Fabriano. Both are used internationally by water colour artists and each artist finally makes a personal choice regarding the selection based on different factors.

What I am looking for in a paper is 
  • It should have good water retention quality
  • It should be acid free
  • It should be a professional quality paper
  • I should be able to life off the colour easily from the paper
  • It should be readily available in nearby stores
So far I have tried out Brustro, Campap, Strathmore, Arches CP, Fabriano studio quality, Fabriano HP and Fabriano CP. After another few paintings I will be able to shortlist either one or two of my favourites which work best for me. In the meantime the exploring and experimenting shall continue.

Thanks for browsing through my blog.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Road to Gurudongmar Lake, North Sikkim - A water colour painting

"You start painting the moment you look at the subject, not with the first brushstroke." 
Joseph Zbukvik

The last stretch of the road that leads to Gurudongmar Lake in North Sikkim passes through a dry barren landscape and offers breathtaking views. The dark grey road against the pale surroundings, leading to the distant snow covered mountains looks majestic. The beauty of nature cannot be explained in words. We have to be there to see it, feel it and get inspired by it. 

As quoted by Artist Joseph Zbukvik, you start painting a beautiful scene the moment you set eyes on it. This scene appealed to me a lot and that very moment when we were travelling through this beautiful terrain, I had decided to paint it some day. I enjoyed working on this painting and used my newly purchased Paynes grey colour ( Camlin Artists water colour tubes ) for the road.

A water colour painting of road to Gurudongmar Lake, By Manju Panchal

Road to Gurudongmar Lake
Water colour painting on handmade paper
Size 11" X 15"

Posted below is the initial stage of the painting where in I have blocked in the simple basic shapes using diluted colours. Once it is dry, I redo the second layer adding the right values and details where ever necessary.

Initial stage of water colour painting, Road to Gurudongmar Lake

Initial stage of the water colour painting
on hand made paper

As mentioned in my last post I am in the process of trying out Fabriano CP 300gsm paper. I plan to create a few small study works to understand the paper. Later if I like the paper a lot, I shall continue using it for my future works too. 

I conduct art workshops from time to time to teach the basics of different mediums and to share the techniques that I use to create a painting. If you wish to attend one of them you can mail me at and I shall get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you for browsing through my works. 

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Benaulim beach, Goa - A water colour painting

"All my life through the new sights of nature made me rejoice like a child." Marie Curie

Some time back I created a water colour painting of a solitary palm tree at Benaulim beach, Goa. I enjoyed creating that painting and therefore decided to do one more on a similar subject. This time I selected a close up of the tree with its leaves spread out and the sea waves in the background. As I mentioned in my last post, Campap paper is working good with me so I have used it once again for this water colour painting.

While doing the leaves in the painting as below, I worked on "Colour mixing" in order to get the right greens. When it comes to colour mixing, I have realized that no amount of reading helps. It's only when I actually begin a painting and try out various permutations and combinations, that I learn a lot. Theory is great but practice teaches a lot more.

In conclusion, every time I start off a new painting, I keep a test strip of the same paper with me where in I try out different colour combinations that I desire. This step by step approach really helps me a lot. For a warm dark green I combine sap green and burnt sienna. For the rest of the greens I use various options of blues and yellows.

A water colour painting of a tree at Benaulim beach, Goa by Manju Panchal

A Palm tree at the beach
Water colour painting on Campap paper
Size 5.5" X 8"

In the last few months I have been working exclusively in water colour medium and have tried out many different papers. One last paper that I need to work on is "Fabriano Artistico cold pressed water colour paper." I have already worked with the hot pressed version and I loved the paper. However for landscapes I think a little texture will be of great help.

Thanks for visiting my blog and do visit my INSTAGRAM page to browse through my latest works.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Water colour painting of a mountain slope at Yumesamdong ( North Sikkim )

"Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew." Cicely Tyson

In a quest to discover the mystery behind the water and its role in the painting process, I continue pursue my passion experimenting and exploring this beautiful medium.

The water colour painting as below is a beautiful mountain slope covered with dense vegetation. I came across this view while I was on the way to Yumesamdong in North Sikkim at an altitude of 15300 ft. The two to three hours journey from Lachung to Zero Point or Yumesamdong offers stunning views of nature. The journey is as beautiful as the destination.

I have used flat vertical brush strokes to get the desired effect. This was a new and interesting experience for me and I enjoyed working with Campap paper. ( 200 gsm )

Original water colour painting of mountain slopes with dense vegetation at Zero point in North Sikkim

On the way to Yumesamdong ( Zero point )
Water colour painting on Campap paper
Size 5.5" X 8"

I purchased Campap paper a few years ago during some sale at a stationery shop and after using it for a couple of paintings I am beginning to like it. What I like most about this paper is the fact that I can easily lift off colour from the surface using a tissue paper or plain brush. I have placed an order for a 300 gsm Campap paper from Amazon as I want to try out this paper further.

If you are passionate about water colours then you must browse through the works of Alvaro Castagnet, an international water colour artist. His works are very inspiring. When free, I take out time to go through the works of other artists and it helps in lot many ways. Some day I shall write a post on that.

Thank you for browsing through my works and I appreciate your support which drives me to continue my art journey.

Friday, 23 June 2017

A boat at Vaddi beach Goa - Water colour painting

"Painting is the art of discovery and you are constantly enlarging your horizon or finding yourself every time you paint." Romare Bearden

Painting is beautiful phenomenon that helps you rediscover yourself each day as you paint a new subject, learning and exploring new facts. Eventually it helps you grow as an artist.

On the 12th of June I posted a water colour painting similar to the one that I am posting today. The earlier one was created on Arches cold pressed paper, however this time I have tried out another scene from Vaddi beach, South Goa, on Fabriano studio quality water colour paper. Every paper is so different and each one has its own merits and demerits. All of them are good in their own ways and its just that each artist has his/her preferences according to the style and technique that one follows.

This beautiful scene at Vaddi beach with the calm sea in the background and clear sky above served as a great subject for my water colour painting.

A boat at Vaddi beach
Water colour painting on Fabriano studio quality water colour paper
Size 6.25" X 9"

What I am loving about this paper is that the colours remain very vibrant and dark and do not fade out after drying. I purchased a pad of these papers during sale some year, so I am using it now to try to understand its texture and quality.

It is not that every painting that I starts sees the light of the day. At times there are disappointments. The painting gets ruined due to various reasons, the most significant of them being "Impatience". At such times I take to creating small study works or simply browse through the net watching works of other great artists whose work I admire a lot. It motivates me to get started once again. Perseverance, I believe, is the key to finding and reaching your goals.

Thanks once again for browsing through my works.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

A water colour study work of A Cloudy sky at the beach

"Watercolour is probably the most satisfying of all mediums. Although difficult in the beginning, after practice its mysteries will unfold, providing the utmost pleasure for the dedicated." Robert Lovett

Water colour painting is getting fun. Painting a little every day is helping me loosen up my style. It is a great learning process. I am moving ahead one step at a time.

The painting below is something that I wanted to try out since long ie a cloudy scene during monsoon in Goa. The landscape in Goa during monsoon is magical.With the onset of rains the sky changes dramatically into different shades of gray and blue. With every new painting, I get to explore a little of colour mixing. For the grays in the sky I have used ultramarine blue and burnt sienna. The three primary colours too mix to give a good gray colour. 

The paper that I have tried out for this painting is Brustro 300 gsm. It is difficult to do wet on wet on this paper as it starts drying up pretty fast, which then leaves hard edges. Therefore for my future works I will have to rethink about this paper as I am more for wet on wet works.

A water colour painting of a cloudy day at the beach by Manju Panchal

Monsoon Magic
Water colour painting on Brustro paper
5.5" X 7.5"

My art is about finding simple beautiful scenes in nature and bringing them to life on paper, to relive the happy moments for ever. Presently I am trying out the seascapes and mountainscapes in water colour medium but later some day I would want to do forest scenes too. Before getting to the forest landscapes I need to get a proper understanding of the "Mixing of greens" which can be very intimidating. I am in no hurry and would love to go slow, one step at a time.

My sincere thanks to all the visitors for browsing through my works.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

A Solitary Palm tree at Benaulim beach, Goa

"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree long time ago."
Warren Buffet

A beautiful solitary tree that I came across at Benaulim beach in Goa, motivated me to create the water colour painting as seen below. The tree had its shadow as well as reflection in the water underneath. The tree with its drooping leaves and branches also kind of narrated its survival story. Determined and resolute it stood facing the strong monsoon winds, rooted firmly to the ground. We all need this kind of determination in life at some time or other.

It was fun creating this painting as it was my maiden attempt at painting palm leaves. I used a flat brush and a thin round brush to get the effects that I desired. I also tried my hand once again at a cloudy sky but need little more practice at getting it right. A beach scene gives an opportunity to work on sea waves, sandy seashore and a beautiful sky.

A water colour painting of a palm tree at Benaulim beach, Goa by Manju Panchal

A Solitary Palm tree
Water colour painting on Campap paper
Size 5.5" X 8"

Benaulim beach is located along the South Goa coastline and is not as commercialized as the other beaches. One can enjoy some tranquil moments here in the company of nature. 

My works can also be browsed at my INSTAGRAM page. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Monday, 12 June 2017

A boat at the beach - A water colour painting

"The silence of nature is very real. It surrounds can feel it." Ted Trueblood

The painting below is a quiet moment spent at Vaddi beach in Goa. The beach with crystal clear waters are led by the fields on either sides of the road which are marvelous during the rains.

We visited this beach during monsoon. It was early in the morning, the sky was bright and clear and we felt good to spend some time watching the sea and the waves. The tides were low and I wondered looking at the boat, as to when it would set out to high seas once again.

I have used Arches cold pressed paper for this water colour painting and am beginning to understand more about its texture and water retaining capacity. Knowing the brushes, paint and the paper helps a lot in creating a painting without any hurdles.

water colour painting of a boat at the beach on Arches cold pressed paper. By Manju Panchal

Boat at the beach
Water colour painting on Arches cold pressed paper
Size 7" X 9"

I am fascinated by the beaches and therefore it is one of my favorite subjects for painting in any medium. Nature in any form inspires me to paint. 

Thanks for browsing through my works.