Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Seascape - A demo work created during Soft pastel art workshop


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

I conduct art workshops from time to time. It is my way of meeting art enthusiasts who share a passion for art just like me. During these art workshops I get to give live demo's of my techniques that I use to create landscapes, seascapes and other subjects as requested by the participants.

The soft pastel painting as below is a quick demo work of a seascape created during a recent two days soft pastel workshop for a participant who wanted to understand the steps involved in creating sky, some bushes, grasses and sea. So we decided to work on a morning scene at the beach, bright and breezy with white sandy seashore.


Seashore ( Demo work created during art workshop)
Soft pastel painting on Canson paper
Size 6" X 8"

My next Soft pastel workshop is coming up on 17th and 18th of September. The pastel brands that the participants get to use during the workshop are Mungyo, Gallery, Camlin and Koh-I-Noor. Camlin is pretty reasonable to start with but I normally recommend the soft pastel set of Koh-I-Noor which has 48 different bright colours. 

Unlike water colours and acrylics, colour mixing is not easy in soft pastels. Mixing more than two shades leads to muddy effect. Hence it is advisable to have different individual shades. I started with a single set of Mungyo ( 48 colours ) and then over a period of time went on to collect many different brands. While working it gets difficult to open up all the different boxes and that's the reason why I went on to create a small soft pastel palette which has all different brands mixed together. 



Soft Pastel Palette

I posted about "Organising my soft pastel palette" some time back and also wrote a post on how I go about "Cleaning my pastels" when it gathers dust on its side.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Pangong lake - A soft pastel painting

A painting inspired by nature


"Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads." Henry David Thoreau Walden

Nature inspires me to draw, sketch and paint. Any place beautiful triggers the artistic cells in me and I get charged up to commence my artwork. It is a continuous cycle, a never ending quest to keep performing. The painting as below has been inspired by Pangong Lake ( 14270 ft ) Ladakh. I have not been to Leh Ladakh but many of my friends who have been to this heavenly place, keep providing me with the beautiful reference photogaphs and I cannot resist the temptation to paint the amazing scenes.

For this particular soft pastel painting I have used Fabriano Tiziano paper. Many of my earlier landscape paintings have been created on this paper and it has a texture which is pretty similar to Canson Mi Teintes. I love both these papers.

The mountains in the backdrop, the tranquil lake with ever changing shades of blue can carve beautiful memories in a person's mind. Most people who visit Leh Ladakh say that words are inadequate to describe the beauty of this place.


Pangong Lake
Soft pastel painting on Fabriano Tiziano paper
Size 5.5" X 7.5"

Some time back I posted an article about the papers I use for my soft pastel paintings and to know more about you can CLICK HERE.

Fabriano Tiziano paper can be purchased from Amazon or Snapdeal. I purchased quite some time back from Flipkart. It is available in different shades but I purchased a pad with black coloured paper.

I am addicted to painting and ideally would love to paint and blog everyday but owing to so many different factors I am unable to do so. However as and when I get time I paint and blog and it gives me immense satisfaction to be able to do so. Thanks to everyone who has been browsing my site at some time or another. Would appreciate if you leave a comment.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Charcoal and white pastel pencil sketching of an old man

Portrait sketching


I am slowly getting back to my "Portrait sketching" moments. In my initial years I only worked with charcoal on white paper. Then began all the exploring and experimenting and somewhere on the way I realised that it is very exciting and challenging to create portraits on toned paper. I have tried working on black paper, beige paper and my all time favorite grey paper.

The portrait as below is of an old man, eyes dim with soft stillness, in his quiet moments, immersed deeply in fragrant memories. Starting on a blank piece of paper, I create, step by step, the turban, the wrinkles, the hair, and then working on the eyes that begin to glare at you softly. A story starts developing in the mind, about the person that is coming live on the paper. It is a beautiful feeling from start to end, a journey of creation. 

I enjoy creating landscapes. I love doing portraits. Any subject that is beautiful to the eye inspires me.
Every night I sleep with endless plans in mind, waiting for the next day to arrive so that I can restart fresh on a new project  which starts as an "IDEA" in the mind. Painting and sketching is like giving shape and form to my ideas.

Charcoal and white pastel pencil portrait sketching of an old man by Manju Panchal

In quiet moments
Charcoal and white pastel sketching on hand made paper
Size 6"X 7.5"

To view my earlier portrait works CLICK HERE. 

Ending today's post with yet another beautiful inspiring quote. It is so important for all of us to believe in what we are doing. Believing makes it happen.

"Believe you can and you're halfway there." Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Study sketches using willow charcoal and charcoal powder

Creating small study sketches using charcoal medium


My "Two days charcoal workshop" is coming up this weekend and therefore I decided to do a few study works in charcoal medium. The last time I created a few of them I felt the need to introduce the very dark black tone, which is not easily possible with willow charcoal and charcoal pencil. Therefore in my present sketches I have combined both the willow charcoal and black charcoal powder to get the desired effect. ( Easily available in most of the stationery stores ).

All the sketches below have been created on ordinary white cartridge sheet. These sketches are a bit of speedy works done in a very loose manner. The sole aim of doing these kind of sketches is to get an understanding of new techniques that can be applied in future for improvising on the art work. This time I decided to add a waterfall scene too along with some forest scenes. All the images below are from places that I have visited in the past. 

Charcoal study work of a scene from Karnala Bird Sanctuary by Manju Panchal

A scene from Karnala Bird Sanctuary

Charcoal study work of a scene from Mahableshwar by Manju Panchal

A tourist point at Mahableshwar

A charcoal study work of Abbey waterfalls from Karnataka by Manju Panchal

The Abbey waterfalls

I am posting the image of the small bottle which contains charcoal powder in it. I purchased it from ART STATION, a stationery shop close to my residence. The powder is fairly good and I use a piece of old cloth as blender to apply it on the paper. 

Charcoal powder used for creating charcoal sketches by Manju Panchal

Charcoal powder ( Used for creating charcoal sketches )

Quotations by artists inspire me a lot to continue my journey of art. When I come across an interesting one I post it on my blog. The one below is from MAKING A MARK, an interesting art blog.

"I desperately needed something to hold on to, so I held onto my pencil." Joann Sfar

Monday, 22 August 2016

A cloudy day at Colva beach ( Goa ) - A soft pastel painting

Getting dusty with soft pastels.


Last year in August/September we were at Goa enjoying the beautiful pristine beaches. One evening at Colva beach, I got to capture the elegantly floating delicate clouds in the sky. I had it in mind to paint it some day and my recent soft pastel workshop provided me the opportunity to recreate this scene. It was part of demo work which I completed later on by adding a few more finishing touches.

Painting "Clouds in the sky" has been in my "To do" list for long. However in most of the landscapes that I have created earlier, I have been focusing on forests, mountains and other elements of nature. Hence I enjoyed doing this seascape from Goa where my main focus has been on clouds. The whole painting is more or less done using a very limited palette ie shades of blues and a few violets. It was a rainy day and all I wanted was to get the feel of the atmosphere. 

A Soft pastel painting of cloudy day at Colva beach from Goa by Manju Panchal

A cloudy day 
Soft pastel painting on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 6"X 8"

While at Goa, we got to visit many different beaches and I have a big collection of my personal photographs and sketches. It is not always possible to do a plein air sketch as there are so many factors being involved, weather being one. Therefore the next best option is to photograph the scene that you fall in love with. 

Last year in the month of December I attempted a simple scene at Vaddi beach ( Goa ) using the water colour medium. I enjoy all different mediums and if I have to decide regarding which one I enjoy the most, it will get difficult for me to specify ANY ONE. When I am working with charcoals I get deeply engrossed in my black and white works and then when I shift to pastels I feel the same enthusiasm. I guess many artists go through the same emotions. On the whole it if fun shifting from one medium to another as it breaks the routine of getting saturated and gets freshness in the work.

Presently I am also working on an incomplete "Portrait work" which I shall be hopefully uploading soon as it is nearing completion.

Ending the post with a beautiful quote.

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

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Portrait of a woman on toned paper


Of late I have been very busy with my weekend art workshops and I am enjoying them a lot as I am getting to meet people who are as passionate about art as me. Moreover just before the workshop I get to work in that particular medium which is a fresh change for me and it breaks the monotony of working in the same medium for long.

Being too busy with art workshop has however affected my blogging.I am struggling to find time to blog. Last week I took out some time to continue my "Portrait study". The image below is of a beautiful woman from Kutch ( Gujarat ). Absorbed in her own thoughts, with a little smile running across her face. She wears the traditional silver jewelry which gives her a unique identity. The intricate designs of the jewelry fascinate me a lot. 


An Introspection
Charcoal and white pastel pencil study work on hand made paper.
Size 5"X 7"

I got into "Sketching portraits on toned paper" quite recently and am enjoying working on it. Getting all the different values using just two different pencils ie a charcoal pencil and a white pastel pencil is quite a challenge. But the more you work with it the more things get clear and it is fun to explore and experiment. 

To check out some of my earlier portrait works CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Sketching a tree trunk on toned paper.

Drawing and sketching on Coloured paper


My Charcoal and white pastel pencil sketching workshop is coming up this weekend and therefore I decided to draw and sketch one of my favourite subjects "Tree Trunk". This particular tree trunk was photographed by me while we were in Phi Phi Don and it has been in my "To Do List" since long. 

Phi Phi Don is a small spectacular island from Krabi Province ( Thailand ) with most hotels situated within the vicinity of four to five kilometers from the pier. There are no vehicles on this island and most tourists walk around to reach their destinations. There are paved pathways and the island has some amazing ancient trees with hanging roots. It is fun to sketch and shade this kind of a subject where I use only two different pencils to create a three dimensional realistic art on paper.

Sketching a tree trunk on grey hand made paper using charcoal and white pastel pencil. By Manju Panchal

Catching the light
Charcoal and white pastel pencil sketch on grey hand made paper
Size 6" X 8"

I started blogging in January 2014 and since then I have created several paintings on the subject 
"Tree Trunk". You can CLICK HERE to view one of my similar old works. The fascination grew with time and now when ever I travel my eyes are hunting for some beautiful trees around and I try to capture them in my mind's eye and begin my visual study then and there itself.

A beautiful quote.

"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art." Leonardo da Vinci

Monday, 8 August 2016

Portrait study on a toned paper

Portrait study in Charcoal and white pastel pencil.


"How learning to draw has taught me to live." By Brent Eviston 

"Images are the native language of the imagination. This is why most people don't dream in text. making images is not only an art, but a visual form of communication that is as rich and as complex as written language. Read more........ ( Courtesy: Artists Network. )

I enjoyed reading the above article in Artists Network and felt a connection. Drawing and sketching has taught me to live a happy life. End of the day I have created something on a piece of paper and it makes me feel good about myself.

For quite some days now I have been busy with the charcoal medium. Therefore I decided to complete one of my incomplete "Portrait study works". I have used the charcoal and the white pastel pencil to get all the tonal values as seen in the face. Through this portrait sketch I have attempted to capture the human emotions and expression. She is the face of a beautiful woman from kutch ( Gujarat ), who looks ahead in silence. 

A portrait sketching of a woman from Kutch using charcoal pencil and white pastel pencil on grey hand made paper. By Manju Panchal

The silent look
White pastel pencil and charcoal pencil sketch on grey handmade paper
Size 5" X 7"

An interesting quote.

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

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Drop of water - A pencil sketching

Sketching a drop of water using pencil and charcoal medium


I got to create the "Drops of water" as below in my recent two days "Charcoal sketching workshop". I had two participants who went on to do different subjects in the charcoal medium but wanted to see the demo of "Sketching a water drop". It takes roughly ten to fifteen minutes to complete each of these. 

I demonstrated one sketch and later on went ahead to create two more on different papers. 


Pencil sketching on grey ordinary paper.


Pencil sketching on Canson Mi Teintes paper.


White pastel pencil sketching on
Dark blue hand made paper.

My fascination for sketching "Drops of water" started when I was deeply involved into still life paintings. I would pick up fruits and vegetables and place them near my kitchen window where I had good amount of sunlight falling on them at an angle. Then at times I would place drops of water on the subject and observe the light and shadow play on them. 

Posting below one such still life painting that I created in August 2014, where I had placed an orange on a folded cloth with three little water drops on the fruit. I created this artwork using Derwent colour pencils and pastel pencils. I miss doing my still life paintings and one of these days I will try to take out some time to redo one such works is soft pastels or charcoals.



To know about my upcoming Art Workshops you can CLICK HERE.
In order to view my works in other mediums you can visit my gallery at Deviant Art

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Shades of grey - More willow charcoal sketches

"Tone is the king, Colour is the mere assistant." Joseph Zbukvik ( Master water colourist )

Statements and Quotes by great artists hold a lot of meaning and it helps you get down to basics.
After having spent years in art I too feel that value and tone is far more important than just colours in a painting. Charcoal and graphite medium are a great way to do value study.

Charcoal medium is very versatile. It can get addictive. I started off with a few landscape study works and wanted to stop after a about having done three or four of them but could not resist doing some more.

Experimenting and exploring is fun. It leads to some new discoveries. It is all very exciting. In fact like I always write in my post, every small work that I do is a "Mini learning lesson" in itself. I make mistakes, then try to rectify them and in doing so learn some valuable things. Given below are some more "Charcoal study sketches" that I created yesterday using my reference photographs from Karnala Bird Sanctuary. ( The last sketch is more out of imagination. )

Study work of landscape created using willow charcoal. By Manju Panchal


Study work of landscape created using willow charcoal. By Manju Panchal


Study work of landscape created using willow charcoal on Canson c a grain paper. By Manju Panchal

Study works of landscapes 
Created using willow charcoal
Size 4" X 5"

The top two landscapes are created on cartridge sheet whereas the last one has been done on Canson C a grain paper. The willow charcoal works pretty good on Canson paper. Cartridge sheet is not an acid free paper and over a period of time it is going to turn pale. Therefore I mostly use it for my preliminary works. For someone who is a beginner in charcoal medium, I highly recommend going only for cartridge paper for at least few initial works. 

If you want to know more about the papers I use for my drawing and sketching CLICK HERE