Wednesday, November 15, 2017

“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do” - Edgar Degas

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” ~ Rumi 

“One thing is certain, and I have always known it - the joys of my life have nothing to do with age. They do not change. Flowers, the morning and evening light, music, poetry, silence, the goldfinches darting about, (books, watercolors πŸ˜„).” ~ May Sarton

“In today’s rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just being.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

“Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.” - Edna Ferber 

One of my favorite art accounts on IG @inkstruckstudio has a monthly watercolor challenge with various prompts and this week it is all about Circles. Here it is - my first artwork of 2018. Work is already getting crazier by the day and hoping I will be able to do enough art in the limited amount of free time I tend to have. How was your first week of 2018? Hope it went well.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

“A picture is a poem without words” - Horace

 “There are no bad drawings. Drawings are experiences.
The more you draw, the more experienced you’ll get.
In fact, you’ll learn more from bad or unpredictable or weird experiences than from those that go exactly as you’d hoped and planned.
So let it go.
Release your ego’s desire for perfection.
Take risks.
Create as much as you can, whenever you can.”
― Danny Gregory (@dannyobadiah), The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to Be The Artist You Truly Are

Welcoming a new month with a super quick bullet journal page. Hello November! πŸπŸ‚☕️🍻 . . . Inspired by @printablecrush IG

A birthday boy in the house!

I love a Sunday for so many reasons and always sad to let it go. Finally picked up watercolors after almost 2 weeks and it #feelagoodtobebackatit

The looooong awaited holiday season is finally fast approaching. πŸ’ƒπŸ½The office already feels quiet and empty with holiday lunches quickly filling up the calendar. May all of us have so much fun that we never get tired of these celebratory times. πŸ˜„πŸ’ͺ🏽 Happy Holidays guys! I am all set to vegetate on the couch for the next few days. #couchpotato 

It’s been almost 3 weeks since we went out for TH’s birthday dinner and today finally got a few minutes to watercolor that moment. The pocket notebook is turning out to be an unintentional journal of sorts.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” - Thomas Merton

 It is almost 6 pm. that means the weekend has come to an end and Monday blues have started to set in - meal prepping, setting clothes, packing the work bag blah blah blah!

 No, not in my wildest of dreams I thought I could THIS is 10 minutes 😲. 5.24 mins to sketch and the rest to paint. I have to admit, the challenge is forcing me to work faster, pushing my limits every which way possible and dare I say I am loving it so far.

Ta-da! Here is an amateur attempt at urban sketching done in 10 minutes from a reference phone photo (swipe right) I took on my way to the train station. One day I will gather enough chops to draw on location but for now photos should do.

Our mind is such curious little bug. One day it says - faster is better; beat the clock; sketch as much as you can. And on an other day (like today), it quips - faster is not necessarily better you know; learn to go slow and feel the moment.So, that’s what I did - ditched my 10 minute timer and sketched/painted until satisfied. I quite like the final outcome. Do you?

One of those days where you let it wash over you and be glad its over. Cheers to a better tomorrow! 😊


Sunday, October 22, 2017

“Every artist was first an amateur” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trying something new and super scary from today to beat the shit out of the control freak/perfectionist in me - the one who wants to post an Instagram worthy, perfectly drawn illustration every day; the one who is not letting me grow or explore because of the fear of failure. Solution: 10 Minute Sketching for One Year!. 😲 With 10 mins on the phone timer, using just a pen and a recent phone photo as a reference, here is a sketch drawn during my evening train commute. It may not look like the magnificent San Francisco City Hall, but I am sure it will one day if I continue this practice of emptying my mind and letting things fly.

Everyday Scenes 1 | Call it a lifeline or a survival juice, both mean Coffee! ☕️ Good morning everyone and a Happy Friday. Yay! We made it. πŸ‘πŸ½ Also, I found a handy companion for my speed sketching practice - a moleskine watercolor pocket sketchbook which I bought on a whim from Amazon. It has a hard cover with an elastic closure, 3.5 X 5.5 inches in size, sturdy paper (to add a splash of color later?) and literally fits in my back pocket. πŸ˜„Applying the strategy of convenience here (from @gretchenrubin’s Better than Before book) to make sure sketching becomes a daily habit. Wish me luck! 

Everyday Scenes 2 | Here is an another one I managed to sneak in today. Is it evident from my posts that I am having too much fun? πŸ˜‹ that’s because time-boxing the practice to just 10 mins feels strangely liberating. “When you know it ends in a few minutes, what do you got to loose to try? Isn’t it?” is how I am approaching this new habit.

Since it is a Saturday and I have all the time, supplies and natural light at my disposal πŸ˜†, I upped the ante a bit for 10 minute sketch challenge - to draw AND paint. The pen sketch took 4 mins and watercolor 6 mins. I always wanted to illustrate Empire State Building from memory and so glad I could add it to the mix.

I squeezed in another 10 minute sketch before tea time - a recipe from @foodandwine July 2017 edition was my subject this time making the foodie in me very very happy. πŸ˜„ Pen Sketch: - 5 minutes. Watercolor: - 5 minutes


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Watercolor Color Chart

Ok! So, making this watercolor mixing chart has been one of the most time-consuming yet immensely satisfying things I ever did with my Sunday afternoon free time. πŸ˜„ The best part - it acts as a handy reference tool where I can see how each of the colors in my palette react with others, removing the guesswork and in turn saving a ton of time while painting. I now know how to get a variety of blues for my skies, greens for the forests and browns for wood/buildings. Out of 24 colors from the Sakura Koi Watercolor Set, I chose 12 of my favorites for the chart. Swipe right to have a closer look and if you made a color chart, do tag me. I would love to see yours too! 🎨


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Art vs art

#Inktober2017 | ​Author Danny Gregory (@dannyobadiah) in his fabulous book 'Art Before Breakfast' had a perfect answer to a question that was stuck in my head forever. Why do I always feel this urge to spend every single free minute I have to make art? and here is why  😊 -

“Art with a big 'A' is for museums, galleries, critics, and collectors.

art with a small 'a' is for the rest of us.

Art is a business, an industry, a racket.

art is about passion, love, life, humanity - everything that is truly valuable.

Art is sold, resold, put under the gavel, and insured up the wazoo.

art with a small 'a' is not a product. It's a point of view. It's a way of life.

Art is made by trained professionals and experts.

art is made by accountants, (software developers), farmers, and stay-at-home moms at restaurant tables, in parking lots, (trains) and laundry rooms.

Art takes Art School and Talent and years of Suffering and Sacrifice.

art just takes desire and 15 minutes a day.

You may not be a Artist. Big whoop. πŸ˜† But I know you can make art - with a wonderful, expressive, teeny, tiny 'a'."

Sunday, October 1, 2017

"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser." ~ John W. Gardner

just because I love flowers, watercolors and watercolored flowers. 🌸 #somuchtolearn .

#Inktober2017 | I remember so vividly the summer holidays spent shopping with my grandmother in the gullies of Charminar. I even remember a shopkeeper complimenting on how good my Urdu was. It has been years since I went on such an outing and every time I look at the beautiful pictures on @madhugopalan feed, I miss home even more. Staying so far away, all I can do is two things - cook some spicy Hyderabadi food (biryani and mirchi ka salan anybody?) and draw the iconic Charminar to reminsce all the cherished memories Sigh!

#Inktober2017 | One-point perspective, Two-point perspective, Vanishing point, Horizon line.. - these are just a few new words I learnt since I started my way towards understanding watercoloring as an medium. There is so much one can do with those tiny color cakes that the choices may seem overwhelming to a beginner like me. 😯Then I saw IG accounts like @_atravel_diary_ , @a.aradilla and I knew I wanted to explore Urban Sketching. It also felt like a dejavu as I remember buying a pack of post cards on urban sketching by various artists last year around the same time, out on a whim. I can't believe exactly an year later, I will be seriously pursuing it as a hobby! πŸ‘πŸ½ Today's illustration which is inspired from Tom's (@circlelineartschool) fantanstic YT tutorial is dedicated to my 10 month stint working in the bustling New York City. Every minute of my free time was spent wandering on streets of Fifth Avenue and Madison Ave, just gazing up at the skyscrapers. πŸ˜„

#Inktober2017 | This City Street View illustration (from @circlelineartschool YT tutorial) took every bit of time, focus and energy I had on Sunday and by the end, I was both happy and surprised that I could actually pull it off πŸ˜€ The 100 Day Doodle Challenge surely improved my ink drawing skills.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

A new journey with watercolors..

Hello World, introducing some new friends who promised to join me on my daily commute to work πŸ˜‹ - Sakura Koi 24 color watercolor field set, a water brush and a watercolor sketch book. Some late night sample sketching also happened to understand how the water brush and all the colors work together. I am so so excited to start this new kind of exciting journey with #watercolors! .
P.S - After playing with it for almost half a day, I think a water brush is the greatest invention in the world of painting. 😲 No more dipping and refilling jars of water, making it perfect for on-the-go water coloring! .


Saturday, September 23, 2017

#100DaysOfDoodles | Day 100 | The Finish Line.. Wohoo!

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." ~ Winston Churchill

Art wise, though there is so much more to learn and try, for now I am just jumping with joy that I successfully finished my 100 Days of Doodles Challenge. I am sure this feeling of accomplishment will be remembered and cherished for a long time to come. THE BEST birthday gift I could give to myself.

Friday, September 22, 2017

#100DaysOfDoodles | Day 99 | If Friends were Flowers...

 If Friends were Flowers Florabunda Style Doodle

I mean it when I say - if it were not for the accountability from you amazing people of Instagram community, I would have never completed this 100 day doodle challenge, ever! There were times when it felt daunting, exhausting, impossible, too long, too scary and too hard. 😦 But, your likes and encouraging comments made it all worth it. So, thank you for the unwavering love and support. You guys make me a happier and a better person. Your posts on my IG feed cheer me up on the most mundane days and give mojo when I need it the most. And yes, if you were flowers, I would pick you ALL.  #communitymatters

Doodle Inspiration: @suzannebmcneill's Florabunda Style doodle book.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

#100DaysOfDoodles | Day 98 | Backyard Scenes

Backyard Scenes doodle

Woke up super early today morning and didn't know what to do with that extra bit of time. So, started sketching our backyard scene in the dim bedroom light.


#100DaysOfDoodles | Day 97 | Yellow Tree with a Red Chair

Couple of nights ago, I dreamt about a big tree which had yellow leaves, orange colored fruit and a red chair underneath.. and here it is, making the dream a reality. 


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

#100DaysOfDoodles | Day 96 | Flower Girl 3

I think I have a thing for drawing Girls With Flowers. This upgraded version is from @suzannebmcneill's "Florabunda Style: Super Simple Line Art to Color, Craft & Draw". Click here to view flower girl 1 and flower girl 2. Thank you Suzanne for creating such a beautiful book. My love for floral doodles has amplified a hundred times now!.

It took me about 3 days (15 minutes each) to finish this version of flower girl, with an oh-so-satisfying feeling by the end. For the background, I used the same storage bag rub with Tombow technique I explained few posts ago. This time I made use of more than one color.


#100DaysOfDoodles | Day 94 | Pizza Happiness

800 Degrees Pizza Quote

I saw this cheeky quote in 800 Degrees Pizza when we went to Las Vegas last year. All pizza lovers (like me) can totally relate to this. Isn't it?  :-)


Monday, September 18, 2017

#100DaysOfDoodles | Day 93 | A Bug's Life

A Bug's Life

#100DaysOfDoodles | Day 92 | F**K Being Perfect

Fuck Being Perfect

"What happens when you get so fixated on perfection that you never begin? Never begin drawing. Never begin making stuff. Never begin pursuing any sort of passion for fear of not being able to do it incredibly well. Nothing you do will be good enough even for you. Why bother if you can't be great? ..... One of the problems with perfectionism is that you think you can conceive the destination before you embark on the journey, that you can plan it all out in advance, and that nothing else can intrude and change the outcome you have conceived. But, first of all, the world doesn't work that way. Unless you are doing something extremely simple and banal, something you can actually hold in your brain all at once, it will invariably intrude and change your well-laid plans. And, second you should welcome that intrusion. The accidents, mistakes, serendipities, and ink splatters that the universe throws in your path make your work and your life more interesting. Perfection isn't organic. It's constipated, lifeless, and dull."  ~ Danny Gregory (Art Before Breakfast)

Oh Danny, you stole my heart with those beautiful, insightful words.

Leanne, ( you are one of my favorite illustrators here on IG and thank you for this doodle inspiration. Also, apologies as yours was as innocent as waiting for crisp, fall weather and I, on the other hand took it to a whole new level.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

#100DaysOfDoodles | Day 91 | Hand Lettering

How rare and beautiful it is to even exist

Do you see the blue background in the pic? I don't remember but I think I read about this trick on Boho Berry blog.

So here is what you do - Take a plastic storage bag, make a few brush marks on it using Tombow dual brush pens. Then, sprinkle few drops of water, turn the opposite way and gently rub the bag onto the paper. Remove the plastic and ta-da! the watercolor wash is ready. Let it dry before you start drawing/hand lettering using a black pen. I used two shades of blue for mine but you can easily mix and match other colors for a fun background to work on. 


Thursday, September 14, 2017

#100DaysOfDoodles | Day 87 | Do All Things With Joy!

Good morning everybody! Happy Thursday (my favorite day of the week for many reasons). Here is a quick doodle I managed to draw on my way to work.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

#100DaysOfDoodles | Day 86 | Waiting for pumpkin spice weather.

Enough of hot, humid weather already! Who is patiently waiting for the fall (pumpkin spice) weather to hit? Illustration inspired from @ana__albero's IG post back in May.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

#100DaysOfDoodles | Day 85 | Find Joy In The Simple Things..

It doesn't matter that we are all in different paths of life but it is far more important that we seek to only those places where we can find our happy selves. Life is too short to not make the most of it right now.