Bits And Pieces

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Win a Painting -The Coloured Wall Giveaway

My Facebook Art Page , TheColoured Wall turns two this August, and to celebrate I’m giving away not one,  but two of my original watercolour paintings.Here is the first of the two paintings-

They say good things come in small packages, and so does this first painting , a small watercolour , unframed size  approx. 6”x 4” .
Like what you see?  The giveaway begins on Monday ,04 Aug'14 and will end on Friday, 08Aug '14 .

So, If you want to take a shot at winning this painting,

Login to Facebook, Like The Coloured Wall , and follow the instructions on the giveaway post, to participate

Also , the second giveaway will happen a little later this month, so watch this space for a chance to win another original watercolour painting !
Terms and Conditions

1. Entries for this giveaway will be accepted till 11:59 pm IST (UTC+05:30) on Friday, 08 Aug 2014.

 2. For your entry to be valid, you should be connected to The Coloured Wall on Facebook by liking the page, and your comment must appear on this Facebook post .

3. At the close of this giveaway, the comment with the most ‘Likes’ will be the winner. In case of a tie, I will pick a winner at random from the tied comments. The name of the winner will be announced on The Coloured Wall, and they will be contacted on the email address provided by them in their winning comment.

 4. The winner will be chosen as explained above and will be informed by email and/or a message on Facebook (so be sure to check the other folder in your Facebook messages) In case I don't receive an acknowledgement from the winner, within three days of informing them, the comment with the next highest number of Likes will be chosen as the winner.

5. For ease of shipping, this painting will be shipped to the winner, unframed and suitably wrapped as a hard backed flat package.

6. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. By entering in this giveaway you understand that you are providing your information to The Coloured Wall  and not to Facebook. All inquiries related to the Giveaway or The Coloured Wall's use of your personal data should be directed to the The Coloured Wall , not Facebook.
7. No purchase or payment is necessary to enter this offer.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Do I need to know sketching very well to learn watercolors

The short answer to this question posed to me by a reader , on this post is

To be able to sketch very well,  would certainly add value to your painting. However , even if you  can do some basic sketching, have the ability to observe, and the will to practice, you can create good paintings . As you progress along your art journey, you'll find that sketching starts to come naturally.

For the long answer, please continue reading.

To begin with, I'd like to suggest that you go through this article about the importance of drawing for painters

Now, even if you think you can't draw well ,  the good news is that it is possible to learn the kind of sketching you need to form a base for your painting, with a very simple approach and some practice. The idea is to basically break down a complex shape  into smaller more manageable shapes, while maintaining  the relationship between shapes. Don't worry too much about the  details of the painting , because those can be suggested at the painting stage, with different shades of colour.

So, for the purpose of illustration, I'm sharing the preparation I did to make my latest painting- 'Coloured Boats' .

I began this painting from a reference photo of some colourful boats, mainly because it seemed like a simple scene to draw. I can't post the photo here , because the copyright to the reference photo belongs to the photographer, but you can see it here on  my favourite ( free to join ) artists website, called Paint My Photo .

If I had painted these boats when I first began painting watercolours,  I would have  done lots of measuring or drawn a grid on my paper and then painstakingly tried to copy the reference photo down to every last detail. Then I would have gone about adding colour , trying to get the painting as close as possible to the original and produced a painting like this

'Orange Boats' Original Watercolour (c) Monishikha RoyChoudhury. Find more of her artwork on her Facebook page, 'The Coloured Wall' .

However, two years of experience have taught me that there is an easier, more painting friendly way to create an initial drawing. That is why ,once I had decided on the photo I wanted to work from , rather than getting out my ruler and drawing a grid, I spent some time just looking  at the photo to see what captured my attention ( in this case it was the shape of the boats against the sky) Again, instead of trying to get every detail right in the pencil drawing, I now find it easier to get the shapes and the relationship between the shapes roughly correct. After this (depending on how patient Im feeling that day), I start my sketch, either directly on the watercolour paper or  do a few trial sketches with a pencil on a sketch pad (see this post for this process ). For this painting , however , I took it one step further.

I did a quick thumbnail sketch with a pen, on the back of a discarded painting.

'Boats Minor' Ink Sketch on 300 gsm watercolour paper. (c) Monishikha RoyChoudhury. Size 1.5" x2.5" . Find more of her artwork on her Facebook page, 'The Coloured Wall'.

Since I had no fear of destroying expensive watercolour paper, this gave me a lot of confidence to begin drawing and let any mistakes that may happen, just happen . Also, the initial purpose of this drawing was to get a feel for the shapes of the boats. If you  look at the sketch , at a glance you can see that the tops of the boats start from approximately 40% of the way from the top horizontal edge , and that they are basically just a number of  wide 'V' shapes at the top. What is important , is the angle of the adjacent shapes with respect to each other.

Coming to the bottom edges of the boats, I followed a similar approach, taking each boat one by one, and for each successive boat, I started my drawing looking at it's size with reference to the previous one, till I reached the last one. Again, working from left to right I drew the broad triangular shapes of the shadows of the boats keeping in mind the proportionate distance ( of the narrowest part of the shadow) to the bottom right edge and corner of the paper. Confused? Look at the shadow of the left most boat , and then continue looking at the shadow of each of the boats,from left to right .  You'll see that they are roughly at an angle to the bottom edge of the page, and the last few shadows actually end on the right vertical edge of the painting . Also, another thing I kept in mind  while drawing was that relative shape and size of the spaces between the shadows cast by the boats.

Once the shapes were there, all the drawing needed was actual darkening of the shadow shapes to give the boats and sand some depth. From the reference photo, I could see that the shadows were deeper under the boats on the right of the page(far away from the viewer)  and lighter in the left most boats ( nearer to the viewer), so I put in darker marks for the deeper shadows cast by the far away boats and lighter marks for those cast by the nearer boats. Also, the boats themselves are lighter and darker in some parts, so I darkened the parts that were darker. Then with a few random shadow marks in the sand, my sketch was finished.

Once the drawing was done, I just put in some dabs of colour to get a feel for the finished painting, and that is how I ended up with this -

'Boats Minor' Ink and Watercolour Sketch on 300 gsm watercolour paper. (c) Monishikha RoyChoudhury. Size 1.5" x2.5" . Find more of her artwork on her Facebook page, 'The Coloured Wall'.
By doing this, what I've achieved is basically a reference painting, with minimum time and effort (it took about 15 mins from start to finish) and lots of pleasure and confidence. I plan to use this approach in most of my future watercolour paintings, because, you see doing something of this size

'Boats Minor' Ink and Watercolour Sketch on 300 gsm watercolour paper. (c) Monishikha RoyChoudhury. Size 1.5" x2.5" . Find more of her artwork on her Facebook page, 'The Coloured Wall'.

is a good way to lose the fear of drawing, and attempt something bigger, like this

'Coloured Boats' Ink and Watercolour Wash on 300 gsm Watercolour paper, © Monishikha RoyChoudhury . Size 13"w x 9"h  . SOLD .Find more of her artwork on her Facebook page, 'The Coloured Wall'. 

So if you want to paint, and don't know too much about sketching, I say dive in anyway,you might surprise yourself. What do you think ?

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

A Post full of Belly Dancers

A few days back,  I had , "a beat stuck in my head" after watching a random video of belly dancers  on you tube, and I knew I just had to paint one .Normally I paint directly from a single photo reference, not deviating too much from  the original photo.However since , I couldn't find a satisfactory  photo reference on my favourite reference photo site Paint My Photo, I knew I had to actually work  to translate the beat onto paper.  

So I began by looking  at a number of  reference photos, and quite a few videos of belly dancers in action. Then ,  I  did  a few pencil and ( one) colour sketches to find a pose that felt right to me. 

Belly Dancer Sketch 1 (c) Monishikha RoyChoudhury

Belly Dancer Sketch 2 (c) Monishikha RoyChoudhury

Belly Dancer Sketch 3 (c) Monishikha RoyChoudhury

Belly Dancer Final Sketch on 300 gsm Watercolour paper,  (c) Monishikha RoyChoudhury

Once I had settled on the pose that  I liked, I did a free hand watercolour sketch on a sample of watercolour paper I would  use  for the final painting,  to see how the colours, that  I had in mind , would look on paper.

Belly Dancer Freehand Watercolour Sketch on 300 gsm Watercolour paper (c) Monishikha RoyChoudhury

Now, this is not my usual process of painting, in that I generally don't have the patience to  do so much preparatory work before actually painting what I want to paint.The reason  why I've decided to record this  process here is to remind myself when Im feeling lazy,  that preparation is worth it!

Anyway,  I'd love to hear your thoughts on the process , so here's the final painting-

'Belly Dancer' Original Watercolour , (c) Monishikha RoyChoudhury , Size 6"x 9"

Also, in case you're interested in looking at ( or buying)  more of my figurative and other watercolours, do visit my Facebook page, 'The Coloured Wall' . If you're interested in buying greeting cards or museum quality prints of  my artwork,  please visit  my  profile on Fine Art America .

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Book Review - My Lawfully Wedded Husband and Other Stories

‘My Lawfully Wedded Husband and other Stories’ by Madhulika Liddle
Published by Westland  Ltd,
Price Rs 250

I have always been an avid book reader, and anyone who dared come between me and an unfinished book did so at their peril. However  since my son was born , experience has taught me  that no matter how much I might want to finish my book in one go, staying up at night  when the kid was asleep was a sure way to bring out the grouchy mamma in me . So in the interests of my sanity the kid’s wellbeing, my bedside table is now largely populated by short story collections. That is why, when BlogAdda offered me a chance to review this book, I jumped at it and hung on with all my might.
Coming to the book itself, as the title suggests, “My Lawfully Wedded Husband and other Stories” is a collection of short stories by Madhulika Liddle.  The first story in the collection begins with quite a matter of fact declaration by the protagonist, about how ‘I killed my first human when I was twenty one’.
And right away I thought – “This is not a book to read at night if you’re the highly sensitive type who hides under the covers at the slightest of unexplained night sounds in an empty house”.  However, since my three year old was sleeping soundly next to me, I decided to allow my curiosity to get the better of my afternoon siesta, and carried on reading.
The common thread that runs through all the stories is a generous dose of dark humour with a twist in the tail. From the deceptively normal Delhi girl in ‘Sum Total’, the enterprising Madhu in Bombay, the ambitious young housekeeper in a quaint Goan village, the heartbreakingly naïve prostitute Hourie to the gullible young girl from Chennai , all the characters are quite believable and  interestingly  diverse. The writing seems effortless and is very easy to read.  The stories however , vary from  the ho hum , ‘Feet of Clay’, to  the beautifully written ‘Tale of a Summer Vacation” in a sleepy Goan village ,  to the spine chilling ‘On the Night Train’ , and the absolutely  not- for- reading- alone- in- bed- at- night horror quickie “Silent Fear”.
My personal favourite is the story set in Goa, which promises love and romance at the onset and ends up with a wicked twist. However, despite the fact that love and romance do not quite triumph in the end, I couldn’t bring myself to hate the villain of the piece as much as I should. Given the fact that I’m almost always the goody two shoes on the higher moral ground, in my opinion this is a corker of a story. Either that or I must be really wicked at heart; that is to say, I stick to my opinion that this is the best story of the lot. The other story I liked better than the rest  is “The Howling Waves of Tranquebar”. I can’t say much about it for fear of spoiling it for anyone who may be thinking of reading it, but suffice to say that this is one of those stories with atmosphere, at the end of which you giggle nervously and thank your stars that the story ended the way it did!
All in all, this is a book to own, to read once then leave on the bookshelf, and then read again after a few months later.

This book review is a part of Blog Adda’s Book Review program. Click on the link to receive free books and participate in this great program.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Of Woodland Walkways and Pretty Shoes

I have been on a tree and woods painting spree last month ,struggling to get better at this particular subject . Here are the results, in the order that they were painted.

'Walk Way ' (c) Monishikha RoyChoudhury  . Original Watercolour   on 300 gsm Watercolour Paper.

'Misty Trees' (c) Monishikha RoyChoudhury  . Original Watercolour   on 300 gsm Watercolour Paper.
' Sunny Trees ' (c) Monishikha RoyChoudhury  . Original Watercolour   on 300 gsm Watercolour Paper.
'Woodland Walk' (c) Monishikha RoyChoudhury  . Original Watercolour   on 300 gsm Watercolour Paper.
Of course after I painted 'Woodland Walk', I got a little too ambitious and tried my hand at painting trees and flowers on a larger scale and fell flat on my face.  I know from experience that when that happens, I need to take a break. The trouble is that sometimes a girls' gotta look at some pretty shoes and if said girl has humongous feet, she has to settle for either window shopping or painting shoes.

'Shoes'   (c) Monishikha RoyChoudhury  . Original Watercolour   on 300 gsm Watercolour Paper. 

 And now, I think I'll get back to painting some more trees , unless of course I get sidetracked by some new photo on my favourite source of inspiration , Paint My Photo

Speaking of getting sidetracked, guess who has been writing for Parentous once in a blue moon a month for the last few months and has forgotten to mention it on her blog. Also, in case I haven't mentioned it before ( or you  haven't noticed the link on the sidebar) and  you  like my paintings and want to see more of them regularly , come take a look at my Facebook page The Coloured Wall  which is updated far more regularly than my poor neglected blog.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

A Fresh Year Begins

Wishing all of you,  a very Happy New Year.
"Fresh" Original Watercolour (c) Monishikha RoyChoudhury
"Shells" Original Watercolour (c) Monishikha Roy-Choudhury
This past month, I've been traveling , on vacation meeting friends and family. These paintings were painted for a friend who wanted a shell themed painting  and since I didn't know what she would like, I decided to paint these two and let her choose whichever one she wanted. 

Although they were painted about a few weeks apart, in retrospect, I can see that Im actually quite partial towards certain colours. Can you see which ones? 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Very Rough Guide for Beginners in Watercolour Painting

I've been dabbling in watercolour painting for approximately two years now, and after high praise from family and freinds, I decided to see if they would appeal to unbiased observers too. Luckily they did, so after selling a few paintings and launching my facebook page, The Coloured Wall ,  I also wrote a post about how I had managed to sell my first few paintings . Then, in the spirit of shouting it from the rooftops, I promoted this post on Indiblogger too.  A very welcome outcome of this was a new friendship with a blogger, sudhagee, who  liked my post and also some of my watercolour paintings enough to buy them. That is how these paintings found a new home, where they are loved just as much or more than they were in mine.

'Roses' Original Watercolour painting (c) Monishikha Roy-Choudhury

'Dancers' Original Watercolour Paintig (c) Monishikha Roy-Choudhury

That, I thought was that, till a month or so back , when Sudha ji, sent me a mail telling me that she had got my paintings framed, and the walls in her house , actually painted a in a colour meant to compliment them! All I could say in response was that I was "flattered and honoured" and that was quite an understatement. The best part is that , she didn't stop at that. Which is why, this Monday , I began my week with quite a Diwali gift, a post about Roses and Dancing Girls .

While thanking all those who appreciated my paintings, and the few who have asked some questions about the creation of the more popular painting,"Dancers",  it occurred to me, that there are quite a few people like me out there. People who are probably learning their way through watercolours , the way I am, one painting at a time. So , in the spirit of sharing, I'm answering a few questions that someone has asked me about my paintings . The answers are of course,based on my experience and not to be taken as "expert" advice, because I'm a novice myself. So these are my tips for anyone who wants  to start with watercolour paintings


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