Friday, 31 July 2015

Adding colours to a Seascape ( Langkawi island )

The pastel painting below is created with reference to my photograph taken at  Langkawi 
( Malaysia ). All my recent works of beaches have been created on Twilight paper by Canson. 

I decided on this reference photograph as it gave me the opportunity to work on the background trees and forest, wherein I have not created any sharp edges and the details too are subdued. I have added darker and more saturated colours in the foreground tree which is casting its shadow on the sand.

Original soft pastel painting of a seashore in Langkawi by Manju Panchal

Morning at the beach
Soft pastel painting on Canson paper
Size 6" x 8



Monday, 27 July 2015

The forest and the blue green waters

The image below is of a seashore which I painted using soft pastels referring to a photograph 
from my collection. 

I chose this particular photograph as it had dense forest in the background and I had the 
opportunity to paint something other than the sky. There were a whole lot of coconut trees
lined up along the shore but I just added a few on the left to get a good composition 
and deleted the others.



Seashore
Soft pastel painting on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 6" x 8"

Another of my seascapes is under progress and I shall be posting it as soon as it completes. 

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Portrait on toned paper - study work

Another portrait study work on grey hand made paper using General white pastel pencil and Camel charcoal pencil. 


A smile
Charcoal and white pastel work on hand made paper
Size 6" x 8"

My two more artworks based on seascapes are in progress. I shall be posting them soon. In the meantime I also plan to continue doing my portrait works. However for my next portrait work I plan to choose a different paper. May be a dark coloured Canson Mi Teintes paper. I shall be using the smooth side of Canson paper as I do not intend the textures to show on face.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Pastel painting of a seascape on Canson Mi Teintes paper

After having concluded with my two days soft pastel workshop my soft pastels are still lying around on the table, which is my workplace, therefore I decided to do a few more soft pastel artworks before putting it all away. 

Inspired by the white sandy beaches of Florida, created this seascape from a reference photograph. I have avoided getting into too many details in this painting as I just wanted to focus on the shoreline and the multiple shades of colour reflected in the water.  

Soft pastel painting of a seascape by Manju Panchal

White sandy beach
Soft Pastel painting on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 6" x 8"

As a school kid, I spent some years in Goa and there was this beautiful isolated beach about two kilometers away from our residential area. During the weekends we would walk the distance, climb down the rocky hills and spend hours close to the sea, listening to the sound of the waves breaking at the shore.The "Hansa Beach" as the locals called it was clean and had great number of coconut trees, so the place was shaded too. Such memories come live when I get into painting "Seascapes".

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Soft Pastel Workshop

My plan was to continue doing portraits but it got interrupted as a Two days Soft Pastel workshop came up for a private group of four people.It was a welcome change as I got to know people who are passionate about art and I got the opportunity once again to share my knowledge and ideas with them. I basically introduced them to the pastel medium and demonstrated my technique by doing a few demonstrations on different subjects and guided them to pursue their passion.

They did four small pastel works on different subjects using Mungyo, Gallery and Kohinoor soft pastels. The papers used were Fabriano Elle erre, Fabriano Tiziano and Canson Mi Teintes.

Few Quick Demo's done by me as shown below.

Soft pastel still life demo done during art workshop by Manju Panchal

Soft pastel landscape demo done during art workshop by Manju Panchal

Soft pastel seascape demo done during art workshop by Manju Panchal

Quick Soft pastel Demonstration works
done during a Soft Pastel workshop.


Monday, 13 July 2015

Sketching a Face in charcoal and white pastel pencil

My last portrait study motivated me to do another one. Somehow I am enjoying the Handmade paper which I purchased from For from Sun Enterprises. For a long time I was busy doing Landscapes which was a revelation in itself. I learnt a lot and enjoyed a lot.

In the portrait sketching as below, my focus was more on getting the anatomy of the face, the expressions. There are facial muscles and bones underneath which all create shadows and depth. An understanding of which will make portrait drawing much better. I have added jewellery but not really worked on details.

Portrait of Kutch woman with traditional jewellery, By Manju Panchal

The Smile
Charcoal and pastel portrait on Handmade paper
Size 6" x 8"

I am trying to work on a common size ( 6" x 8" ) from here on so that when it comes to framing it some day then I can go ahead and buy a Frames of a common size which makes it very convenient.

There is a very informative article on FRAMING of paintings on Artistsnetwork.com and it is very helpful in taking the right decision regarding proper framing of paintings.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Study sketch - Portrait on Grey hand made paper

I have always enjoyed creating drawings and sketches on toned paper using a simple white pastel pencil and a charcoal pencil. It is a good exercise and very satisfying too.

Given below is the image of a sketching which I have created on Grey hand made paper which has a textured surface. This is my first portrait on toned paper and it is more of a study sketch. To work is just black and white and to get the values right can be a little intimidating.

Avoiding too many details, I have tried to focus on the facial elements and expression.


Looking Across
Size 6" x 8"
Charcoal and white pastel pencil on Grey hand made paper.

Artistsnetwork is a good site where one can get a whole lot of information on charcoal
sketching or any other art related topic. During my spare time, I browse through such
sites a lot. It adds to my knowledge and helps me further in doing better artwork.
Moreover I get to see works of world renowned artists.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Charcoal sketching of another tree trunk

In my last post I mentioned about having come across some beautiful trees and tree trunks
in Lonavala. After having created one tree trunk sketching, I decided to do another one. This
particular tree as in the image below caught my eye because of the deep hollow midway and the texture of the bark.

It is interesting to observe the different features that each tree has on its body and it gets more
interesting when the pencil movement has to be changed in order to get the texture forms.
The more I draw and sketch, the more I observe trees as I am travelling and I realise that today
I see more details in trees than just a simple standing form in nature. 

To me art is a lot about observational skills. We observe, we understand and then we put it down on paper. Creating something from nothing.

The handmade paper that I have used for this work is from Sun Enterprises in Fort as 
mentioned in my last post.

Original charcoal and white pastel sketching on grey handmade paper by Manju Panchal

Standing Alone
Charcoal and white pastel sketching on grey handmade paper
Size 6" x 8"

I have personally liked this handmade paper and would recommend it to all those who use charcoals and pastels. It has a smooth side too but I have not used it so far but will try it out soon. I have started a portrait, a beautiful Indian face on the same paper and would be posting the image soon.

You can also view my works on Fine Art America and if you love Ethnic Home Decor products
visit my BLOG to browse through my designer NAMEPLATES.



Friday, 10 July 2015

Tree from Lonavala - sketching on toned paper

"Drawing is not the same as form; it is a way of seeing form." Edgar Degas

During my last visit to Lonavala, I came across some tree trunks with beautiful forms and shapes and interesting textures of the bark. I always marvel at "Nature's creations". There is so much art all around us. So perfect and so beautiful.

I decided to do the tree trunk on a textured steel grey hand made paper that I had recently
 picked up from Sun Enterprises at Bora Bazaar, Fort. This shop has a variety of hand
 made papers and some of them can be used for charcoals and pastels. One has to try
them out.

Original charcoal and white pastel painting of a tree trunk by Manju Panchal

Tree Trunk
Charcoal and pastel painting on hand made paper
Size 6" x 8"

Posting an image of the three tools used to create this art work.


A. Camel soft charcoal pencil
B. General white pastel pencil
C. Kneaded eraser

Hope this helps. Thanks for browsing through my works and if you like my works please do leave your comments. 


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Beautiful face of a woman from Kutch ( Gujarat ) - a pencil sketching

Posting below yet another portrait rendered in pencil. The sketching is done on FAVINI paper and I have used two different pencils for the same. Normal 2B and a 6B pencil. I am working on yet another portrait of similar kind. Beautiful faces from Kutch , adorned with jewellery made of silver and other beads. 

Favini is an acid free paper with two different usable sides. One has textured surface and the other side is smooth. For any portrait sketching I always use the smooth side of the paper.

Original pencil sketching of a portrait of a kutch woman by Manju Panchal

A Glimpse
Pencil sketching on Favini paper
Size 6" x 6"

If I were to frame this work, I would use an offwhite matt board around it ( neutral colour )
and a thin black fibreboard frame around it. This painting will require glass over it for protection.
Pencil sketches do not smudge as much as soft pastels, hence I have not used any fixative over it.

Spanish artist , Pablo Piccaso said, " In drawing, nothing is better than the first attempt."

Monday, 6 July 2015

Creating a portrait using graphite pencil

During my solo exhibition in 2006 at Gallerie Leela, I created mainly portraits in acrylic and charcoals. Some of the works consisted of beautiful Indian faces with traditional jewellery.

The image below is of a pencil portrait which I discovered in one of my folders and it was partly incomplete. Therefore I spent a little time in completing it and it felt very good to be doing a
portrait after such a long time. Human anatomy has always been a very challenging subject and
it requires a whole lot of observation and understanding of the underlying bone structure. 
This work was started by me on Favini paper, which presently I do not use much. This paper
was brought by my husband and I have used most of it. So presently I am more into using
Canson paper for all my charcoal and graphite works. 


Looking Ahead
Pencil sketching on FAVINI paper
Size 5.5" x 7.5"

A change of subject from the normal routine of creating artworks helps a great deal. It refreshes the mind and one can think clearly devoid of saturation. Under normal circumstances, 
at any time I am always involved with more than one work. The reason being, if I 
come across some hurdles and cannot move further then I readily shift to my other 
painting rather than overworking on my artwork to ruin it further. That way, I can 
always come back to the older painting after having thought about a solution to proceed
 further to rectify the problem.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Art Station - for all your art stationery requirements

Shopping for art material can be a daunting task. So I decided to write a post about 
ART STATION, a shop which is in my vicinity ie at Four Bunglows, Andheri west. ( Mumbai )

In the initial years I would travel to Fort area to visit Himalaya for my annual shopping. Not any more as I get most of the things that I require at Art Station. This shop has grown big in a short period of time and they keep Indian as well as imported art and craft materials. 

One can find most of the popular brands like DERWENT, WINSOR and NEWTON, CRETACOLOUR, GOLDEN etc. As an artist there is no question of getting disappointed. You almost get everything here. If at all the paper or paint that we require is unavailable then they can get it for the client as per the order.

The Contact details for Art Station: 26339794 OR 9967202612



Before I buy my imported art stationery I do make it a point to compare
prices by visiting different sites like


It gives me an idea regarding the prices of the product worldwide and also I get to read the reviews by people who have purchased the sets that I am looking forward to buy.


Thursday, 2 July 2015

Combining Charcoal and acrylic on canvas

Past few days have been busy as I have personal commitments and other work like designing 
NAMEPLATES for the wall. Under these circumstances I feel it convenient to create charcoal works and check out ideas that have been playing on my mind for long.

Tried charcoal sketching on 8" x 10" canvas board referring to a scene at Narkanda in Himachal Pradesh. I have mainly used willow charcoal and Camel pencil in the first image. 

Original charcoal painting of landscape from Narkanda by Manju Panchal

A scene from Narkanda ( Himachal Pradesh )
Charcoal work on canvas


Since this is more of an experimental work, I went one step further and added black acrylic paint in certain areas to add depth. Charcoal is not water soluble which caused a lot of discomfort while adding it on as second layer.  Therefore probably in my next experimental series I shall try putting a thin layer of acrylic coat in the beginning itself.

Original charcoal and acrylic painting of landscape from Narkanda by Manju Panchal

Charcoal and acrylic work on canvas

After completing the work I sprayed it heavily with fixative in order to avoid glass during framing.

Painting everyday is my resolution every night before I go to sleep. The day to day art that I create to capture the simple scenes of nature that appeal to me, gives me immense pleasure. My art endeavors has also brought me close to more people of "MY KIND" who love anything about art. This interaction with the art community adds to the excitement and fun and life gets a new definition.
That's the reason I always say " I am living my dream by drawing, painting and sketching every day of my life."

My works can be viewed on my FACEBOOK page.


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Mona Lisa in charcoal - a tribute to Leonardo da Vinci

As we move on in life, we get inspired and motivated by lot of people. Leonardo da Vinci, ( 1452 - 1519 ) is one such artist from the past who not only painted but was also one of the greatest anatomists of his time. He made discoveries in the 16th century that would take the rest of the world 5 centuries to discover. 

I recently came across an article written by Clayton Cogmon Jr and got to see some beautiful drawings and sketches done by Leonardo da Vinci. Mona Lisa is one of his best works till today and I remembered having done it many years back when I was learning the charcoal medium. 
Back then I used charcoal powder, Ambassador charcoal pencil and blending tools on Scholar drawing paper. Ambassador pencil is no more available these days and I have shifted to Conte and Primo pencils.


Copy of Mona Lisa by leonardo da vinci by Manju Panchal

Copy of Mona Lisa
Charcoal painting on Scholar drawing paper

Now when I look at the Mona Lisa created by me in the past, I realise that I need to work a little on the face. However to have attempted a detailed work like this years back in order to get an 
understanding of using the charcoal medium reminds me of the patience and determination
with which I pursued my art and this encourages me further to continue my passion
of drawing, sketching and painting.

Presently I am busy designing Ethnic Nameplates for the wall and you can view them