Saturday, 29 November 2014

Soft pastel painting of Landscape at Karnala Bird Sanctuary

Last December we went to Karnala Bird Sanctuary ( close to Panvel ) and the soft pastel painting below is from an early morning photograph taken there. The weather was very pleasant and there were lots of dry bushes around. We walked on the muddy pathway enjoying the tranquility. It was so very quiet and we could hear all kinds of sounds created by birds and insects. There was also a group of bird watching enthusiasts with some real great sophisticated cameras and on the whole such short trips are real fun. They bring one very close to nature.

Soft pastel painting of Karnala Bird Sanctuary by Manju Panchal

Morning in Karnala
Soft Pastel Painting on Fabriano Tiziano paper
© Manju Panchal

The satisfaction of creating an original painting referring to one's own photograph is immense.
Years back when I started my journey of art, I remember referring to other artists work and had absolutely no idea how to go about creating an original art work. Then slowly it started with still life paintings to portraits and now I am feeling comfortable doing landscapes. It is a beautiful learning process and I continue to learn every day. 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The morning glow - Soft pastel painting from my reference photogdraph

While we were in Coorg in May 2010, we stayed in a beautiful Homestay which was built on a small hill from where we had a great all around. Basically the Homestay was part of five acre coffee plantation which had whole lot of other trees too growing there. To get to the coffee plantations we had to climb on few rocky steps and dry bushes and once there we walked around looking for subjects to photograph. Insects, birds, dry leaves, the landscape around in general.

The soft pastel painting below is of the pathway which led to the coffee plantations and the morning glow through the dried bushes was captured by my son. I have cropped the photograph to get a good composition. I enjoyed doing this particular painting and spent a little longer time than usual as it had some new elements in it to be tackled.

The morning glow, a soft pastel painting of Coorg landscape by Manju Panchal

The Morning Glow
Soft Pastel Painitng
© Manju Panchal

Monday, 24 November 2014

Back to my Coorg Landscape painting - soft pastel work

The scene below is yet from another of my COORG ( Madikeri ) photographs. We would set out for our morning walks with simple digital camera in hand, exploring the muddy pathways, spotting the birds, butterflies, insects etc. It was such a pleasure. Each road had something different to offer. 

I have been looking at these very photographs but somehow earlier I never saw the prospect of converting it into a painting but now that I am doing a whole lot of landscapes, I find my subject more easily. Some very simple landscapes with bushes, twigs, fallen leaves etc can make for a beautiful art work. My struggle with the greens continue and I wish to buy a set of pastels with probably 48 shades of just GREENS in them.

Coorg ( Madikeri ) landscape painting in soft pastels by Manju Panchal

The Muddy pathway
Soft Pastel Painting on white Fabriano Tiziano paper
© Manju Panchal

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Trees in monsoon - soft pastel work

Last time we visited Lonavala we drove to Karla where the MTDC tourism bunglows are situated and the area is very green with beautiful trees and shaded paths. Being monsoon season the lush greenary was evident all around. Having spent a great part of our lives in cities, we long to be amidst nature. I made use of the opportunity and clicked a whole lot of photographs which I wanted to convert into paintings which is precisely what I am doing these days.

Below is one such soft pastel painting which I created using my usual set of soft pastels. Every painting is a challenge in itself but when the mood is right I go ahead and give it a try. It is this process of trying out something different, that makes us go through some obstacles. It could be related to creating some details, getting the right values or the colour of shadows. The list is endless and at the end of it there is always some lesson learnt. This is the never ending journey of art. It begins fresh every morning and ends with some dramatic story in the evening.

Normally every evening I take small decisions regarding my next days routine ie the subject to be painted next, editing few photographs, some unfinished work to be completed etc etc. It helps. Not in completing all the jobs that I have decided to do but it activates my thinking process which I guess keeps me going non stop with my art work.
Soft pastel painting of trees in KARLA during monsoon, by Manju Panchal

Shadowed by greens
Soft Pastel Painting on Fabriano paper
© Manju Panchal

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Langkawi series - third soft pastel painting

Every beach that we visited in Langkawi had a different story to tell. The landscape, the rocks, its flora and fauna are breathtaking. The KILIM geoforest area has been declared a heritage site.

The still waters, the tranquil atmosphere and the rocks underneath the water, made for an amazing sight. Nature has so much to offer and we as common citizens need to be aware of its significance thereby doing simple things such as keeping it clean. 

The water had so many different shades of greens and blues and it was quite an experience creating this work. For quite some time now I have been working solely on landscapes and seascapes and plan to continue doing the same. One reason being that I want to have an exhibition of my works may be five to six months from now. Secondly I am enjoying the challenges that I come across in my day to day painting subjects. It helps me grow as an artist. 

Soft Pastel painting of blue green waters next to rocks by Manju Panchal

Beach at Langkawi
Soft pastel painting on Fabriano paper
© Manju Panchal

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Organising my soft pastel collection

Over a period of last few years I have purchased different brands of pastels in pursuit of finding a better one. This has led to a collection and the older ones are in broken pieces. As my last few paintings have been landscapes which require a lots of greens and browns etc, it was getting increasingly difficult to choose the right colour from different boxes. So I finally decided to collect all the small pieces of similar shades and arrange it together at one place in order to save my time and confusion. 

By arranging them all together now I can easily pick up the shade that I want as they are all close to one another and comparing one colour with the other gets a lot more easier. In addition it has helped reduce the chaos on my art table as I do not have to keep three different boxes around. The pastels below are a mix of MUNGYO, GALLERY and KOH-I-NOOR TOISON DOR

Arranging and organising different brands of soft pastels as per similar colours

Soft pastels arranged , with similar shades 
put together

After doing the first layer where in I block all the dark and light values, I normally spray the work with a fixative like Winsor and Newton and then go on to do my final layer which I leave unsprayed.

I also create ethnic Nameplates for the wall and other mixed media works which can be viewed in my blog .
For any inquiries regarding workshop or purchase of paintings you can contact me
Manju Panchal  : mob 9820683983 ( Mumbai )

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Rocks, blue green waters and reflections - soft pastel painitng

The soft pastel painting as given below has been created using a reference photograph which was taken while we were on Langkawi island in Malaysia during our last holidays. The rocks, the blue green waters and all the reflections around, it was a breathtaking view. 

While we were in Langkawi, we made it a point to visit all the different beaches as each one had some different view to offer and was unique in itself. Hence I have a big personal collection of the photographs and would love to convert all of them into paintings at some time later.

Soft pastel painting of a beautiful beach at Langkawi by Manju Panchal

Blue green waters
Soft Pastel painting on Fabriano Tiziano paper

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Painting a tree in soft pastels

Finally a bigger soft pastel work for my kitchen wall. This was long due and it took me roughly three days to complete it. It is made with reference to yet another of my COORG photographs. This tree stood tall and sturdy in the five acre coffee plantation of the HOMESTAY where we stayed on three different occasions during our holidays.

The place is so green and shaded and the sunlight falling on trunk created a beautiful visual effect. For this particular painting I have used a brown coloured Canson Mi Tentes paper. I would have loved to use Tiziano paper but unfortunately the pad that I have is size 12" X 16" where as this painting happens to be much bigger in size.

Soft pastel painting of a tree in COORG by Manju Panchal

The Foundation
Soft Pastel painting on Canson paper
Size 18" X 26" ( Including mountboard )

Next I am working on two different paintings from my Langkawi holidays. The beautiful beaches there and its blue green waters are just amazing and capturing them on paper is going to be a great experience. Moreover I have selected photographs where there are rocks and I feel the need to paint rocks as they are important part of any landscape painting.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The winding road - Another soft pastel painting

I have started shortlisting a whole lot of photographs from my personal collection in order to create more landscape paintings. As of now I am keeping the other mediums on hold as I am enjoying the whole process of doing trees, bushes, roads etc in soft pastels.

The image below is of yet another of my COORG landscape collection. The weather in Madikeri ie another name for COORG, is always very pleasant and the greenery on any road you walk is just amazing. Each view is an open subject for an artist. One of my "TO DO" lists is doing a PLEIN AIR painting ie painting outdoors, which hopefully I should be starting soon. Photographs do not capture the colours of nature as they are in reality.

Soft pastel painting of COORG landscape by Manju Panchal

The Winding Road ( COORG landscape )
Soft Pastel painting on Fabriano Tiziano paper

My next subject is a tree to be painted vertical with lots of greenery in the background. I am creating this new painting in order to fit it in the frame which has been lying with me since last year. The Size of the painting with the frame is going to be 22" X 30" and I am going to place it in one of my kitchen walls. I have not done a BIG pastel painting for long and am looking forward to doing this one.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Pebbles and rocks under the water - soft pastel work

I was dying to do a soft pastel landscape painting with pebbles and rocks under the water. So when I came across this photograph taken at Coorg during the morning walks, I decided to give it a try.

It was a challenge but I enjoyed every moment of it. Layering the pastels, blocking in the values, getting the greens right, the light and shadow and taking care of the perspective. This particular landscape, made me cover a whole lot of elements. It was a great learning experience.

I have decided to do a few more landscapes in pastels and have already shortlisted a couple of photographs from my huge collection. BUT there are no rules to be followed when it comes to painting. One fine day I may just decide to try out charcoal on my new WHITE FABRIANO TIZIANO paper which recently ordered through FLIPKART as it was on discount.

Soft pastel painting of Coorg Landscape with pebbles under water. By Manju Panchal

Under the water
Soft Pastel Painitng on Fabriano Tiziano paper

Two Days Soft pastel workshop on 12th and 15th of November from 10,30 am to 1 pm.
If interested please contact me on my mobile 9820683983.

I have also been doing lots of mixed media works which can be viewed on my second blog

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Few soft pastel works created during a recent workshop

Last two days were spent in SOFT PASTEL workshop. I had a participant coming all the way from Mulund and I was glad that at the end of the two days she had created five different works and was happy and determined to continue with this medium. I also had a young IT engineer who is so very passionate about her art and on her request our second day went in creating some complicated landscape. Overall it was a lot of fun.

 Art workshops are a great way of meeting people who are as passionate about art as you. Once together, apart from demo's and serious works, there is lot of sharing that goes on. Sharing one's experiences in the journey of art, sharing of ideas and of resolutions for the future. And lots of ART TALKS. Basically its a lot of fun.

soft pastel paintings created during a Basic Soft Pastel workshop conducted by Manju Panchal

Few of the soft pastel works done by participants during a Two Days Soft Pastel Workshop

The blue green waters at the shores of Langkawi - Pastel painting

While at Langkawi during our holidays, we were at a private secluded beach surrounded by rocks and caves. The gentle blue green waters hitting at the shore made a beautiful sight and I have made an attempt to capture the scene in my soft pastel painting done on Fabriano Tiziano paper.

I recently purchased this Fabriano paper pad from FLIPKART.COM where it was available on a good discount and I am enjoying the experience.

oft pastel painting of a seashore at Langkawi Island, Malaysia by Manju Panchal

The gentle waves
Soft Pastel painting on Fabriano paper

I have a big collection of many different photographs taken at all the different beaches of Langkawi island. My next pastel work in progress is once again of a lush green forest in COORG which I am doing referring to my photograph taken during our morning walk while we were holidaying in COORG. One reason why I am frequently painting the Coorg landscape is because the place is absolutely amazing. Secondly, we have been to Coorg on three different occasions and I have clicked photographs on all possible locations.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Rocks and mountains - Painting in soft pastels

A few months back when I decided to get into creating landscapes, I realised that a landscape is essentially made up of so many different elements and that trees play a very important role. Hence I worked on understanding the tree anatomy, creating several art works based on the subject "TREE". 

But recently I selected the painting as below from one of our MATHERAN ( Hill station close to Mumbai )reference photos and I realised that ROCKS, MOUNTAINS, CLIFFS etc too are not as easy as they seem to be. There is a whole lot of crevices, the different planes, the light and shadow play and most important "THE COLOURS". It is not always shades of brown. To get a better understanding of this subject, I guess, I will have to work on many more landscapes with rocks and mountains in it.

Soft pastel painting of mountain in Matheran By Manju Panchal

The morning glow
Soft Pastel painting on Fabriano Tiziano paper
Size 6" X 9" ( Excluding the mount board )

Mountains is a fairly new subject to me and I almost added four layers of colours to get it to this stage. Under normal circumstances I add the first layer and spray a fixative and a second layer of dark colours almost leads the painting to completion. I am also working on another seashore painting with rocks around. Will be posting image soon.