Friday the 19th of May

My latest: I wanted to try this one entirely in pastel but the dust and that sound pastel pencils make on paper…. I just couldn’t continue. (I love pastels and art done with them but the medium isn’t working for me.) So after the first layer, I started using colored pencils.
The reference picture had kitten sitting on fabrics. I opted to leave out the details of the fabric. How I started out with pastels:

The eye was mostly done with pastels. I used ultramarine blue, blue grey, black, dark umber, white. For the ears, the colors carmine, brown ochre, flesh and white were used.

Any suggestiions for a title?


Saturday the 1st of April

It’s been a year since my last post?! Did time go by quickly or was I just lazy to post? No, not lazy. I started several paintings, abandoned most of them. Culprits : negative thoughts and the need for perfection, even in a sketch….

Nonetheless, I completed this one:


“Shooting Star”

The model is my cat Michelle Cappuccino who turned 3 this month. The panel used for the painting is from a shelf of an old cupboard dismantled years ago. ‘Tickle, tickle’, another painting, was also done on shelf wood panel.

The story of the painting: One day Michelle was sniffing around in a garden, getting weirded out by sights and sounds as she usually does 🙂 Suddenly, she senses something. She looks up to see her first shooting star whizzing past!


When I signed in to write up the new post and looked at the previous post date – wow! I guess I was quite immersed in this painting. Of course I was also on an emotional roller coaster (as is always!) but that’s not relevant here, is it?

Remember I wrote something about wanting to scrap it? I resisted the urge and just let it sit for a few days. Then last Tuesday, I listened to a short audio of Brian Tracy’s The Miracle of Self Discipline, in which he speaks about his book. I paid attention to what he said about self-control and tried it. This helped to bring the painting to its final stages. Frankly, I am amazed at the speed of the progress considering that I exercised just a little self-control. Like: I have a habit of watching random YouTube videos on my phone before I go to sleep. Suddenly it’s 4:00 AM, I go to sleep dry-eyed and wake up feeling groggy, foggy and dense. So, I cut down to one video, switched off the Wi-Fi in my phone and slept while listening to sleep hypnosis for depression or music or sitcoms stored in the phone. I didn’t feel fresh and dewy in the mornings but just the fact that I didn’t give into the urge to watch videos into the early hours of the morning gave me a boost. And for depression-sufferers, feeling good is a rare gem isn’t it?

Some other things I did was:

1) Limiting my ‘profound thinking’ to the toilet. That was inspired by a retort by Martin Crane from ‘Frasier’: “Ah, use the can like the rest of us!”

2) Cutting 10 minutes from my usual lunch and dinner time.

3) Mindfulness (which is, by the way, very helpful for distraction from rumination)

I have been slipping in the last couple days but that’s expected. You can’t expect to gain self-control in a week! I feel I should keep trying because being able to discipline myself is giving me a sense of achievement which in turn is making me optimistic. Also the thought of how much I could have done in the last 3 years with an ounce of self-control is dizzying. I could have avoided a lot of frustration!

So here are the WIPs:


The trunk of the tree was made bigger and then I felt it was over powering the rest of the elements. So I changed it back (it’s times like these you wish there was a Ctrl+Z for painting):


The sky color must have been changed at least 6 times. Sigh….when there is no prior planning….


Finally, I settled on this size of the tree trunk and I worked some more on the birds. I am doing a little more planning before I proceed any further. Hope you enjoyed my post today. Take care!



Sunday the 8th of March

This is a 5″ x 7″ colored pencil piece done on Stonehenge paper with Prismacolors, Lyras and Faber Castell pencils. Wish you a very Happy Women’s DAY!

5" X 7", Coloured pencil on Stonehenge paper


Friday the 19th of September

This past April, I got a kitten – a tiny, female, persian-mix, separated slightly early from it’s mama. So it was a little hectic and crazy the past months.

And a few months ago I got a tin of Faber Castell Polychromos colored pencils. So here is a color swatch:


Click on the image to see the writing more clearly. With a few colors I did a comparison with Lyra (colored pencils):


And here are the reds:


I feel Lyras are a bit more rich and softer compared to Faber Castells which you will probably need to press down more. But they would be great to paint animals, fur especially. Just an opinion.

And here’s a quick sketch – I made the darks with a lot of pressure:-(


20140919_222503That’s the Faber Castell tin. Oh and that’s her peeking from behind – Michelle Capuccino, 5.5 months and totally fascinated by my art supplies!

See you next week!

Saturday the 15th of February

Oh my God, did you see Shakira’s new video? Can’t remember to forget you? I think the highlight of the video is Rihanna – sorry Shakira fans, I really like Rihanna! The song is catchy and the video is done with taste. It’s a relief from the kind of overly sexed videos floating around these days. If you haven’t seen it, do. I guarantee you won’t ‘remember to forget it’.

I am settling in my home studio and trying to adjust to the new routine. Not having to walk daily past gawking, spitting men for a few hours of painting pleasure is a definite plus!


Looks cosy no?

Next up, I have been asked how I manage to scan my graphite drawings in fairly good condition; so without further ado:

(Note: The following only needs to be done when your scanner or camera does a bad job.)

Step 1: I scan the picture in my HP printer.

Step 2: Then I pray to the gods of Adobe Photoshop until they bless me with their tools and tricks.

Step 3: Open the scanned file in Photoshop and do this: File>Image>Adjustments>Desaturate. This will do away with the yellowish tinge that comes with scanning and bring out the original hue of your drawing.


Step 4: You can stop with step 3 but scanning also sometimes washes out the values and tones of your work. For this, again File>Image>Adjustments>Levels.


A small window opens where you can adjust the sliders. Play around with it until it matches the values of your original – you can get it right, don’t worry.

Step 5: Save the file.

Hope that helps. I compiled this quick tutorial under the assumption that you know a little about Photoshop. But if you need more info, just let me know. Until next time, take care!

Saturday the 1st of February

Sigh…a lot has happened here on Waltons Mountain, I mean , in my life since my last post. Well, not a lot but seems like enough to make it seem a lot. Remember the ‘stuff’ I mentioned last time? One of the stuff: due to some unfathomable reason (people say it is because of the much-anticipated Dubai Expo), there has been a rise in apartment rents all over Sharjah. My studio rent which was AED 21000 per annum has become AED 26000 with no warning. So I didn’t renew my contract. I quietly packed my things and shifted the studio back to the room in my parents’ apartment where I had started my career 3 years ago.  My family has been very supportive through all of this. Still, I can’t help thinking this is a step down – I really thought things were moving forward…..

I finished the wolf drawing I had started in the beginning of January:


Graphite on smooth bristol, 5″x4″

Till next time!