Sunday, 26 February 2017

Soft Pastel Palette - Cleaning and organising it.

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together." Vincent Van Gogh

My soft pastel needs cleaning and organising from time to time. With time it gathers dust and some pastel colours as it rubs against the neighboring pastels. This makes It difficult to identify each individual shade.

On earlier occasions I used rice in an old jar to shuffle the dusty pastels and they would come sparkling clean. Click here to watch my earlier post of 2014.This time I decided to use Semolina or finely ground wheat, to execute this process. To my surprise it worked pretty well. So after the clean up I organised them neatly into four different trays segregating the blues, greens, browns and the rest of the colours.

Posting few images below.

pastel palette cleaned up and organised

The Blues and the Greens
in two small cardboard boxes.

Soft pastel palette cleaned up and organised

The very light shades and warm colours put together.
And the browns and violets put separately in another flat box.

Cleaning of soft pastels in a jar of semolina by Manju Panchal

The jar of Semolina in which I drop in the
Broken pastels for a clean up.

Now my soft pastels are finally cleaned up and are set up in four different boxes in a pretty much organised manner. Previous to this arrangement I was managing with ONE TRAY and later on it shifted to THREE TRAYS of pastels. The size of the palette keeps on increasing with time. I guess it happens with all the artists. 

The different brands of pastels that I have put together are MUNGYO, GALLERY, CAMLIN and KOH-I-NOOR TOISON DOR. By placing them together in a palette it is so much more convenient at my work place rather than opening up all the different boxes individually. This arrangement is working good for me, however I have plans to add a few more brands of pastels later in my collection.

What brands of pastels do you use for your artworks? Do share your views by writing down your comments. You can also view my works now on INSTAGRAM where I have started posting on a regular basis.

Thanks for browsing and all your support.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Kata beach Phuket - A soft pastel painting

"I am interested in art as a means of living a life; not as a means of making a living." 
Robert Henri

I am sharing a poem that I came across recently and it speaks for all those who love, appreciate and value nature. ( Courtesy : POEMHUNTER )

In thy nature is beauty
In thy nature is Earth
In thy nature I find my worth

In thy nature is peace
In thy nature I find myself
In thy nature ever lasting greens

In thy nature there is more to be seen
In thy nature a beauty untold
In thy nature everything is worth more than gold

By Stephanie McGrath 

The soft pastel painting below is of a scene at Kata beach, Phuket. ( A rain forested, mountainous island in Thaland ).  Most of the beaches on the island are just amazing. This particular beach had these beautiful rocks on one side with a few trees in the background. The distant hills were a hazy mix of blues and greens. It was fun painting this scene. The sunlight that touched the surface of sea waves created lovely sparkles.

Soft pastel painting of Kata beach in Phuket by Manju Panchal

The Kata beach ( Phuket )
Soft pastel painting on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 7" X 9"

When sunlight falls on simple objects of nature it helps reveal its form, shape and the colours. With the changing light changes the shadows and colours. This light and shadow play in nature fascinates me and continues to be a source of inspiration to paint more.

I am painting since very long but started blogging in 2014. It has been a great experience and more than creating the art itself I am loving this journey which is helping me to get in touch with a lot many art enthusiasts. I have also recently started uploading my works on INSTAGRAM so if you like my works please follow and share. 

Thanks for browsing through my works and please leave your comments to let me know what you feel about them.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Mountain view at Matheran

"I would rather die of passion than of boredom." Vincent Van Gogh

Matheran is a very small hill station about 90 kms from Mumbai, in Raigad district of Maharashtra. It is located on the range of Western Ghats at a height of 800 m above sea level. It has been declared an Eco Sensitive Zone by the Government of India and being a vehicle free zone one gets to walk a lot in the laps of mother nature. Apart from dense forest, we get to see beautiful views of mountains and plateaus.

There are 38 designated points in Matheran from where one gets to see breathtaking views of the distant Ghats. To reach each point, it takes roughly forty to forty five minutes of walking through the red muddy pathways. 

I decided to paint this particular scene because it looked very beautiful, had great composition with distant hills and the warm mountains in the foreground. I got to use some of my earthen shades of pastels. There is so much to observe, so much to learn about the colours, the atmospheric perspective, the way landscape transforms with the change of the temperature. 

A soft pastel painting of Matheran Landscape by Manju Panchal

Mountain view
Soft pastel painting on Canson MT
Size 5"X 7"

I have visited Matheran a lot many times and have a great collection of photographs and sketches. Some of them are pretty complicated with dense forest, shrubs, grasses and sunlight perforating through the foliage and it needs a little analyzing and understanding before I set off to start them, but eventually I plan to do each and every one of them. One step at a time. 

I love painting and try doing some work on a daily basis. I can never get bored of my art, however when I do a particular medium for a very long time it does lead to a little saturation. At such times I get into my charcoal and other mediums which refreshes my mind instantly.

Through my blog I get to share my thought process in creating each work, my techniques, my experimenting and exploring and it is fun connecting with so many artists around the world. 

Thanks for all your support and do leave a comment so that I may know what you feel about my works.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

A Tree

"Drawing is not the form, it is the way of seeing a form." Edgar Degas

Trees mean a lot to me. I love painting them. To me a "Tree" is a symbol of "Beauty, Strength, Endurance, Stability, and Wisdom".

I came across this beautiful old tree with exposed roots, anchored beautifully in the soil at Dubare forest on the banks of Kaveri river ( Near Coorg ). Since I had already created the study work of this tree on a small black Canson MT paper, it did not take me long to recreate this on a bigger paper.

Dubare forest, in Karnataka is known for its elephant camp and the area is a host to beautiful archaic deciduous trees. I did not have time to do any kind of Plein air sketching or drawing but I did manage to photograph many such trees. In the scene as below, there were other trees and bushes in the background, however I decided to keep it simple as I wanted the tree to be in focus.

Soft pastel drawing of a tree on Canson Mi Teintes paper by Indian artist Manju Panchal

Soft pastel painting on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 6.5" X 9.5"

My works can be seen on my FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM page too. Thank you for browsing through my works.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

The light and shadow in a landscape - Soft pastel drawing

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

The quotation as above says it all. Hard work and passion play a very significant role in achieving what one has in mind.

The early morning rays totally transform the landscape. One moment it is enveloped in darkness and then miraculously when the morning rays gently fall all around, the scene comes alive. The light and shadow play and its effects on the landscape continue to fascinate me and I constantly look out for such "Subjects" so that I can paint them and create a memory.

Posted below is one such beautiful scene that I came across while I was at Karnala Bird Sanctuary in the early morning hours. I have yet again used my "Soft Pastel"medium to create this original art. 

Soft pastel painting of a scene from Karnala Bird Sanctuary by Manju Panchal

The Morning Shadows
Soft pastel painting on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 6.5" X 8.5"

For this painting I have used the "Twilight" shade of Canson MT and I am pretty happy with it. Next I am working on a beautiful seashore painting referring to my study sketch and photograph from Phuket island. 

Thanks for all your support and keep browsing.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Plein air painting - Study works in soft pastels

" Painting is easy, getting it right is the hard bit." Danny Byrne

Painting outdoors or on location is always a better option as we get to see the true colours of light and shadow. It is a more rewarding and powerful experience. However it is not always possible to create the entire painting on site. Therefore last week when I visited Karnala Bird Sanctuary, I decided to carry my limited palette of pastels in an endeavor to create small pastel studies on Canson paper so that referring to these and the photograph taken on location, I could then create the painting at my workplace.

I managed to create three of them sized 4"X 5.5"each and spent about twenty minutes on each of them. I carried my old photo album which I use to store my "Small study sketches". I find it very convenient to store my works this way as they do not get smudged a lot and sometime later I get to flip through my works for reference.

Plein air study of a landscape in soft pastels

Plein air study of a landscape in soft pastels

Plein air study of a landscape in soft pastels

Three Plein air soft pastel paintings
created on Canson Mi Teintes paper
sized 4"X 5.5"

I have used three different toned papers namely black, beige and twilight. Fortunately this is the advantage of using Canson MT paper. It comes in many different shades. On earlier occasions I have used the orange toned paper for my seascape painting and it worked pretty well.

For a long time now I have only been working on dark toned papers for my forest landscape scenes. Now I am trying to shift to mid tone colours to see if they work out well for some of my artworks.

Being a nature lover I follow a lot of different photographers and their works as it keeps me inspired. I wrote earlier about an eminent photographer Mr Sudhir Shivaram. He is presently in Bharatpur and you can watch his videos and browse through his works on his FACEBOOK page.

Thanks for browsing through my works.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

A morning at Matheran - A soft pastel painting

"Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else." Leonardo Da Vinci

Greens are still a challenge. Every time I create a landscape, I question myself regarding the green. Should I use a warm green or a cool green? What colour should I put next to it. Then there is the source of light and the shadows and so many other factors to considered before I proceed further.

By now I know the individual shades of greens that I have in my collection. There is a favorite mid tone green in Camlin, a blue green in Kohinoor, the very dark in Mungyo and so on. It is important to know the colours and feel connected to them. Despite having many shades in blues and greens, I constantly feel the need to have more of them. You never find the right shade when you are looking for one. Green is always a dilemma.

The soft pastel painting below has been inspired by an early morning scene from Matheran, a beautiful hill station close to Mumbai. The sun rays lit up the foliage as it perforated through the space between the wild growth on either sides. I am always looking for a scene like this where in I get to see the marvels of nature. The light and shadow play, creating magic in the atmosphere around you. This scene was pretty challenging, nevertheless I enjoyed doing it.

Soft pastel painting of a morning scene from Matheran by Manju Panchal

A morning at Matheran
Soft pastel painting on Canson MT
Size 5"X 7"

Matheran has been declared an Eco Sensitive Zone by the Union Environment Ministry and private vehicles are not allowed. The place is very green and has some very promising views for artists, photographers as well as nature lovers.  

On my recent visit to Karnala Bird Sanctuary, I managed to create a few Plein Air sketches using my limited soft pastel palette. I will post the images soon.

Thanks for browsing through my works.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Cretacolour 8B Aquarelle Graphite/pencil drawings and paintings

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

In my post dated 27th January, I mentioned about my recently created artworks using Aquarelle graphite pencil. Posted below are some randomly selected works which I have created in the past month using a single Cretacolour 8B aquarelle graphite pencil. I purchased the set of 6 pencils from Amazon. 

Before getting into Cretacolour 8B pencil, I experimented with the Camlin water soluble graphite sticks. However I found it a more convenient option to use pencils.

water soluble graphite painting of a seashell

A seashell

aquarelle graphite/pencil drawing and painting of a gate at Santorini

A gate

water soluble graphite painting of trees by Manju Panchal


Cretacolour 8B water soluble graphite painting of a seashore by Manju Panchal

A scene from Phuket

water soluble graphite/pencil painting of a flower by Manju Panchal

A flower

As I am enjoying these small aquarelle graphite works sized 4" X 5.5", I have gone ahead and ordered a set of 4B aquarelle graphite too. The plan is to use them both in combination to get a better effect. 

You can browse through my charcoal and pastel artworks now at INSTAGRAM too.

Thanks for visiting my blog and if you have used aquarelle pencil in your art work, I would love to hear from you. Do leave a comment.