Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Morning at the beach


Another of my seashore paintings with reference to the beaches at Florida. I added a little warmth to the sands in the foreground before painting the shadows. The sand dunes help in creating a dramatic composition. 

Presently I am continuing to use the Camel artist's colour tubes but have plans to use my old collection of Winsor and Newton cotman colours too as some of them are drying up. Also the plan is to shift to Arches paper as it has more water holding capacity and is an acid free paper.


Water colour painting of a morning scene at a seashore by Manju Panchal

Morning at the beach
Water colour painting on hand made paper
Size 6"X 9"

I somehow feel comfortable painting on a common size such as 6" X 9". This kind of an arrangement helps because in future if I have to frame some of my works then I can go and buy Frames of a common size which adds to the convenience. Moreover this size is very easy to store in a Folder.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Walk to the beach - A water colour painting

The water colour painting as below is the second in the series of Florida beach paintings. My experimenting and exploring new colour mixing combination continues. In this particular painting I have used wet on wet technique in the sky using crimson, ultramarine blue and cerulean blue colour. I avoided adding clouds and wanted to keep the sky clear so as to keep the eye focused on the walk towards the ocean.

In the foreground I have made use of fan brush as well as the round brush to create the tall grasses on the sand dunes. The sand dunes have many different plants growing on it with extensive root systems.
Since I am painting lot of sand dunes in my present beach series, I decided to read a little more about it. More information about the subject that I am painting helps me to connect with it better.

Dunes play an important role both to the beaches that front them and the land behind them. Dunes act as a sand reserve for beaches. Dune systems act as a buffer between the high energy of the ocean and the land. Dunes provide a barrier to salt intrusion from high tides and storm surges, and it protects the land behind the dunes from erosion.

Courtesy: http://www.floridaocean.org/uploads/docs/blocks/175/sand-dunes.pdf

Water colour painting of a Florida beach by Manju Panchal

Walk to the beach
Water colour painting on hand made paper
Size 6" X  9"


Friday, 25 December 2015

The sand dunes at the seashore - A water colour painting


I finally started the Florida seashore painitngs in water colour medium after having done the water colour study worksThe study works help me to follow the same technique as I applied while I was doing the small 4"X 5"painting. Most of the times it works.

The first of my Florida beaches is as below. Creating the grasses was a challenge. I used the round brush sideways dragging the colour upwards. The paint that I lifted from the palette was very dry or else it would have smudged a lot. Later I used the pointed brush to create the long blades of grass. I need to work on the sky and a few more elements and will experiment with some new techniques in my next painting. For the water colour painting below I have used Camel artist quality water colour tubes.

water colour painting of a seashore at Florida By Manju Panchal

Sand dunes at the beach
Water colour painting on Indian hand made paper.
Size 6"X 9"

By December end I will have completed two years of blogging and a whole lot of paintings and sketchings. Blogging has got me more focused towards my art. At times I just browse through my older works and it makes me realise how one step at a time I have slowly moved forward.

I have some resolutions lined up for the coming year and will be posting about it soon
If you wish to see my creative side wherein I design some unique ethnic home decor 
products then please visit my blog www.ethnikhomedecor.blogspot.in


Thursday, 24 December 2015

Art Station - for all your art shopping

During my early years of art, I frequently visited town, mostly at HIMALAYA STATIONERY for purchasing my art stationery. It was much later ie few years back when I was introduced to ART STATION by a student, which made me realise that everything that I required was available close to my residence. Now that I know of this shop, I almost pay a weekly visit either to shop or just browse though the new stuff that gets added.  

As the shop is really a boon for all art lovers I decided to blog about it so that people staying close to Andheri west can travel here rather than going all the way to town.

ART STATION, a very popular art stationery shop at Four Bunglows, is an excellent place for all art related shopping be it Indian products or imported ones. The range of products have increased over the past few years. You can find everything under one roof be it canvas, soft pastels, water colours or brushes. They also store exclusive craft materials and are soon going to move into much bigger premises close by.

Given below are few photographs of the shop displaying the wide range of art products.

Art station, an art stationery shop at Andheri west for all your paints, brushes, imported art material


Art station, an art stationery shop at Andheri west for all your paints, brushes, imported art material




Art station at four bunglows, shop for all Indian and imported art materials here


Art station at four bunglows, Andheri west, shop for all Indian and imported art materials here

Contact details of  Art Station : 2226339794, 9967202612

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Florida beaches - water colour study sketches

The white sandy beaches of Florida are just beautiful. For my next study sketches I referred to some beautiful images from Florida and manipulated the photographs a bit by shifting the sand dunes and the grasses so as to create a good composition. In each of them I have tried some different technique or colour combination. I have also experimented with different skies. 

The sky in all the paintings below has been completed in just one wash. I have also used two new colours which are my latest additions in the Camel artists colour tubes collection, namely Rose madder and French ultramarine blue. Over a long period of time we get used to using only a particular set of colours and it reflects in most of our paintings. So I took the decision to try out new colour mixes every time I do a study work. For example  to create a dark shadow I mixed viridian green and rose madder which worked out fine.

In two of paintings as below, I have added raw sienna in the foreground to add a little warmth. For grasses I have tried different brushes like flat brush, round brush and fan brush. An old worn out brush with stiff hair also works fine at times and I realised that with practise the grass creation will get better.

watercolour study sketches of Florida beaches by Manju Panchal

Painting beaches of Florida on cartridge sheet
using water colour medium.

My next project is to use my technique and colours that I applied in the study work and create larger pieces of work. I may not use all four images as above but it all depends on the MOOD and RHYTHM. Many a times I decide to do just one but get so carried away in the flow that I land up doing many more. Then there are times when my study sketches remain in the sketch book and I shift to some different work or medium.

There are no set RULES that I follow. There is no FIXED PLAN or ROUTINE. I take each day as it comes. Painting and sketching what comes to my mind each morning. Fresh ideas keep cropping in my head all the time and it is like a list of work that gets built up like a future PROJECT.

I may not execute all my ideas and projects the very same day and they remain stagnant in some part of the brain but I know for sure that each of the ideas will take shape some day be it a charcoal painting of a tree trunk or a portrait study or whatever else.

Right now my water colour seascapes is a definite yes and I plan to do at least four to five of them.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Art Of Watercolor: Milind Mulick. Interview.

Milind Mulick is a renowned water colour artist from Pune ( Maharashtra ) and his works are just amazing. I recently came across his interview and enjoyed reading it and found it very informative.

The interview was taken by Russian artist Konstantin Sterkhov  

Posted below is the link to the interview.

Art Of Watercolor: Millind Mulick. Interview.

Some water colour paintings  by Milind Mulick

Courtesy: http://milindmulick.blogspot.in

water colour painting by Milind Mulick

water colour painting by Milind Mulick

Water colour paintings by Milind Mulick


Friday, 18 December 2015

My recent Two days Charcoal workshop

Last few months have been busy with water colour medium. But when I got a call from a group of three who wanted to learn the Basics of Charcoal medium, I could not resist. Charcoal medium is one of my favorites till today and I can sit with my work for hours without getting saturated.

Of course it breaks the rhythm that gets set in with a particular medium, but nevertheless it provides an opportunity for me to meet new people who stay around my area and I know that in future too I will have people with whom I can interact for my art related work. Workshops bring like minded people together. We share the same passion and can discuss art endlessly, our past experience, our goals in future and a lot more. Every art workshop is a surprise package. I teach the techniques but while I teach, I learn too.

The first day of the workshop normally goes in discussing the papers, tools, and techniques used to create the different elements of nature be it rocks, grass, tree or bushes. This is then followed by demonstration of a seascape and a mountainscape. The participants on the first day just about get the hang of using the pencil, creating strokes, blending and scumbling. Then they create two small works on two different papers to know for themselves how charcoal works on each of them. By second day they get pretty used to the medium so I ask them what would they like to create.

This time the unanimous choice was my Coorg forest scene with a pathway. I demonstrated the step by step technique that I follow to create the scene in charcoal. My demonstration work was partly incomplete which I completed later and it can be seen as below.

Charcoal sketching of a Coorg forest landscape by Manju Panchal

The pathway
Charcoal painting on Canson C a grain paper
Size 6" X 8"

The works by the three participants is as given below. I encourage them to create the strokes as comfortable to them. Be it creating the leaves using a kneaded eraser or creating long grass using pencil strokes. By the end of the workshop I make them realise that each work turns out a little different as it is done by a different person and every individual finally has his/her way of doing things. This individual way of creating things will finally make them do their work in their own style. So it is important to learn the basic techniques but with time and practise each person's work should start looking different in the way that it has been created. 

I was happy with all three works and it gives me more pleasure to know that the participants who have never handled charcoal before create a forest scene on the second day and are so charged up to create more works as guided by me. I normally tell everyone in ANY workshop that they attend TO TRY AND CREATE ONE SMALL SKETCHING OR PAINTING EVERYDAY.  It works. It has worked for me and many other artists that I know who have been painting everyday.


Charcoal sketching done by participants during charcoal workshop by Manju panchal

Charcoal sketchings created by participants
during a Two days charcoal workshop
All are sized 6" X 8"

So in all each participant does about three sketchings. Two small ( 5"X 7") 
on the first day and one  ( 6"X 8" ) on the second day. The group is always a small 
number as I am able to then give individual attention to each of them.

Apart from paintings and sketching I also use my creative ideas to create some ethnic home products which can be viewed on my other blog www.ethnikhomedecor.blogspot.in

If you like my works, do share them with friends.


Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Portrait study - Charcoal and white pastel sketching


Given below is another of my Portrait study work. At present I am using three different
pencils on Canson Mi Teintes paper. The black charcoal pencil by Camel,
Conte white pastel pencil and General white pastel pencil.

For erasing and lifting out colours I use kneaded eraser.


Portrait study work using charcoal pencil and white pastel pencil by Manju Panchal

Portrait study work
Size 5"X 7"

I want to continue with my portrait works as and when I find time. I also want to
work on my water colour paintings. Then sometimes in between my Two days art workshop 
comes up and I go ahead with that as I get to meet a lot of art enthusiasts
like me. The workshop is always fun as we speak the language
of art, our interests, our passion.

Vaddi beach in South Goa - water colour painting


I love painting seascapes be it any medium. I find it very relaxing. The time spent near the seashore hearing the sound of waves crashing at the shore and the tranquil atmosphere kind of rejuvenates the body and soul.  

This year in the month of September we visited many of the pristine beaches of South Goa. I had the opportunity to click many photographs with my new Canon 7D camera. Using these photos as reference I plan to paint some of the beautiful seascapes.

The water colour painting as below is of Vaddi beach which is situated in South Goa. We spent a lot of time at this secluded beach as it is not a prominent tourist spot and therefore it is not too crowded.

I loved this simple composition and enjoyed painting this scene but am still struggling with the greens. In the meantime I am reading a lot about colour mixing so as to get the theory into practice.

water colour painting of Vaddi beach at Soth Goa by Manju Panchal

Vaddi Beach
Water colour painting on Indian hand made paper
Size 10.5"X 14"

Monday, 14 December 2015

From Landscape painting to Portrait studies


Of late I have been very busy with my water colour medium as I am trying to get a better understanding of this challenging medium. However when too saturated, I shift my attention to
doing something else for instance Portrait study works.

Given below are some images of randomly done Portrait study works in the last ten days
 or so, on Canson Mi Teintes grey paper using General white pastel pencil 
and Camel soft charcoal pencil. I have tried Faces at different
 angles in order to get a better understanding of the face anatomy. 

Portrait study work on canson paper by Manju Panchal


Portrait study work on canson paper by Manju Panchal


Portrait study work on canson paper by Manju Panchal

All the above portrait works done on 5"X 7"  Canson Mi Teintes paper 

A Quotation that I find very inspiring.

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


Thursday, 10 December 2015

Preparing for water colour seashore paintings

After having done a few landscape paintings of Himachal where in I got to work on mountains and rocks, I now decided to explore the beaches which is my all time favourite subject.

Therefore I created few water colour study sketches with a difference. Different because I initially created the tonal sketch in my Art Sketch Book using ordinary HB pencil and then later ran my water colour brush over it. So it served twofold purpose. It helped me understand the tonal values as well as the watercolour techniques.

Given below are the images of few of my small works sized 4" X 5". I have also started writing few notes under each completed work regarding the colour scheme or technique used in that particular art work. So later when I browse through my older works, it can be a great reminder of the exploring and experimenting that I did in the past.

water colour study works of seascapes by Manju Panchal

Water colour study works of seascapes
in my cartridge sheet sketch book.

I have randomly selected different scenes so as to handle different elements and have also tried to focus on a good composition. I particularly enjoyed the colour scheme that I experimented with in the first painting with the lighthouse.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

On the way to Dhankar Monastery


"Nature is not a place to visit. It is home."  GARY SNYDER

Dhankar is situated at a high altitude ( 12744 feet ) in Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh . Reaching Dhankar and viewing the world around literally makes you feel at the top of the world. Painted below is a Commission work in watercolour, of a beautiful scene at Dhankar. It is situated between Tabo and Kaza, two beautiful small towns surrounded by deserted, barren land and mountains.

The air is pure, the wind chilly, the clouds so clearly visible in the sky. There are homestays for tourists which we were unaware of when we visited about more than two years back. Had we known, we would have stayed there for may be two full days soaking in the breathtaking views.

Water colour painting of Dhankar Monastery at Himachal Pradesh . By Manju Panchal

Dhankar, Himachal Pradesh
water colour painting on Fabriano paper
Size 14" X 18"
Not available for sale


For this particular painting I have used Fabriano water colour paper. I purchased the Fabriano water colour pad of 24 sheets some months back as it was on a discount. This paper is cold pressed, 300 gsm and fairly good for landscape works. But for wet on wet paintings I would prefer the Arches.

Fabriano water colour paper
Fabriano studio water colour paper pad.


Sunday, 6 December 2015

My water colour palette collection

As artists we all have palettes for our water colour/acrylic paintings. I have a collection which I picked up on different occasions. The one below has a history. I picked up this one while I was in Fort area ( Mumbai ) and was browsing through some art stationery materials. I was not into water colour paintings then but when I saw this box palette I fell in love with it. With the intention of using it sometime in future I picked up this one for a small amount of Rs 200, about more than ten years ago.

Finally I am using it for my Camel artists water colour tubes. Its pretty messy as in the image but I manage to find the colours that I want. I made this arrangement of colours as per my convenience. The smaller wells have individual colours all spread out. In some of the bigger wells I have poured two colours simultaneously as I mix them a lot and it saves me the trouble of picking it up from two different wells. For example ultramarine blue and crimson are placed together and so are ultramarine blue and burnt umber.

Water colour palette as used by Manju Panchal

This one below is my second palette which I use when I do not have much of clean space left for some unusual colours to be mixed together. So I clean up the bigger wells to create the mix that is required for the water colour painting.

Water colour palette as used by Manju Panchal

The image below shows how I have mixed four different colours in the bigger empty wells so that while my painting is on I do not have to hurry up and create more colours which tends to be different in consistency and colour and ruins the painting beyond the retrieval point.

Water colour palette as used by Manju Panchal

My Winsor and Newton twelve colour cake set came in a Metallic box container which opens up with its metallic cover having a little depths in it which makes it convenient to be used as a palette. As of now I am using more of Camel artists water colour tubes, so I use this set sparingly. 

Winsor and Newton water colour cakes box with cover used as palette by Manju Panchal

This is another beautiful palette by MIJELLO that I picked up last year from ART LOUNGE.  ( Art stationery shop close to Churchgate station ). I already have a box palette, however I picked up this one to use if for my Winsor and Newton water cotman water colour tubes which I have with me since 2002. I have not used these tubes much as I got into charcoals and pastels later , BUT plan to use it now as I have realised that some of the colours are drying up. So my Mijello palette is now filled with small amounts of Winsor and Newton colours.

water colour palette as used by Manju Panchal

Mijello palette ( open )

Mijello water colour palette

Mijello palette ( Closed )


This last palette is different as it does not have too many big wells as separation. Yet it is kind of helpful in mixing the colours in the large single area and when I cannot find space for creating a new mix, I just wipe off the content using a clear sponge.

For my acrylic paintings I do not use any of these. I create a disposable palette myself and will post about it someday soon.


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Painting tips by John Lovett

John Lovett is a water colour and mixed media artist and I have been following his works for many many years. I was browsing through his site recently and found some interesting tips given by him which I am sharing through my blog.



Water colour paintings by
John Lovett


COURTESY : www.johnlovett.com

DRAWING TIPS
To produce successful paintings it is important to practice drawing

No matter what you are drawing it is important to first consider how your subject will be placed on the page. Small thumbnail sketches before you start your drawing are good way to work out the composition before you start your drawing.

Start your drawing by mentally reducing the subject to a few simple shapes. Sketch these in lightly and accurately, then proceed to break these up into smaller more detailed shapes. Don't start at one corner of the subject and work your way across to the other.

Your drawing will look better if the most interesting part ( called the centre of interest ) is not placed along either of the pages centre lines. The strongest tonal ( light / dark ) contrast should be placed at the centre of interest. Have some areas of the drawing less detailed than others. Try and keep most of the detail in the area of the centre of interest.

To gain confidence, practice drawing on large sheets of cheap paper with a soft (5B or 6B) pencil, charcoal, or pastel pencil. Stand up, work on a vertical surface (or surface at right angles to your line of vision) and move your arm from the shoulder. Work from large and bold to fine and detailed. Only the final finishing off needs to be done with small, tight hand movements.

Practice - It doesn't matter what you draw - you have to train your eye to accurately judge 
proportion and your hand to accurately convert these judgements to marks on paper. There are no shortcuts here, lots and lots of pencil shavings are the only answer.

ABOVE MATTER : courtesy: www.johnlovett.com

All the tips as given above by John Lovett are really informative and when I am not painting, I take out time to browse through the sites of some of my favourite artists. It encourages and motivates to continue painting with further zest. Hope all you too have enjoyed the content as given above.