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

Monday, October 22, 2012

Book Review- “Barnabas : Bombay’s First Private Detective”

Thank you BlogAdda, for sending me my very first book to review as a part of  your book review program. As a book lover, I was thrilled to receive a free book, and a good one at that. I hope this is the first of many such experiences! So here’s my take on

“Barnabas : Bombay’s First Private Detective”
 written by Sangeeta Nambiar, published by Westland Ltd.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Evolution of this blog

  or The Reason Why This Blog Limps Along At Times

"Flowers For A Rainy Day" Original Watercolour, (c) Monishikha Roy-Choudhury

When I started blogging , ,six years ago, I was enamored with the idea of sharing my thoughts with other people. People who I'd meet because they were like minded , had similar interests, and I'd be able to discuss things that touched my life without having to wait for my husband to come home, or call up my best friend and explain the background, or just escape the negativity that sometimes surrounds me because of my full blown case of foot-in-the-mouth-tis. This happy state of affairs lasted for a month or two , and things reached a point where I was actually dreaming about what I'd write, and how people would react to it. Then one fine day , after trying to edit a post so that it  would remain interesting and yet not divulge too many personal details,it dawned on me that  my life though very  interesting to me , didn't need to be shared in all it's minutae with the world at large. 

Now, I have always shyed away from following, what is now advertised quite openly as a strategy to get more comments, more readers,more traffic , namely "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" , mainly because I don't see the point in getting quantity over quality . I'd rather have a few friends who drop by because they like to, than go around making the equivalent of small talk on blog posts which are of no interest to me, and most likely vice versa. So this blog, went to sleep for a few years.

Life continued, sometimes very unremarkably, and after a tough phase where we struggled with trying to have a baby, came a happy but tougher phase when we finally   became parents. Any honest parent will tell you that they've had  moments when they thought they just could not clean up any more messes , when they were ready to just run away, and they turned round and looked at that innocent face and willingly went back to being their little tyrant's slave. Any parent , who has a blog will tell you that those are the moments that they decided to blog about their child, and just how cute and perfect said child is, even if it meant that there would be some amount of eye rolling and barfing amongst the reading public who were not quite on the same page! And that is exactly why I revived this blog some two and a half years ago.

Some frenzied months of blogging, and finding a  few more good friends later, the kid began walking and I had no choice but to unplonk myself from in front of the computer and follow, catching breakables and shovelling food in one end ( and praying that it would stay in for a while) and losing myself further into mommyhood. So of course, the blog dozed fitfully, waking up every now and then when a few photographs were thrown it's way.

As things became a little less chaotic, I found that I actually got some sleep and could squeeze out some time to paint. So I did just that, and one thing led to another, here I am , the mother of an "adorably naughty" three year old, injecting some discipline into my life and doing what I knew I should have done a long time ago,namely learning how to paint and become a famous artist when I had all that time in my non slave mommy days.

However, I have been incredibly lucky to have actually sold a few watercolour paintings within a year of taking it up as a hobby, so Im going to be sharing my experiences as a learner along the way in posts to come, and if you find that Im away for a while or that the blog is sleeping, don't worry, I'll be back with a new painting or an Artimator update or just some random photos every once in a while. 

 If you're still reading this,  you know why this is such a randomly updated blog , and that you're going to have many more updaty sort of posts coming your way before I actually get time to write a real post, like this one.

And for those of you wondering, if there is a point to this post, there isn't. I felt like actually writing something for a change , but just to thank you for sticking around, here's another pretty picture for you to look at , so please forgive me for this rather rambling post .

"The Back of Beyond" Original Watercolour , (c) Monishikha Roy-Choudhury

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chase those Monday blues away

with a healthy dose of Vitamin C . 

"Glow" Original Watercolur, 7.5" x 5.5" (c) Monishikha Roy-Choudhury
 And if you want to hang this or other  original ,colourful artwork on your wall, come see my Facebook page, "The Coloured Wall"  by clicking on the link in the sidebar or leave a comment here with your email id/ blog link and I'll get in touch with you.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Artistic Milestones

"Autumn Woods" Original Watercolour , on Canson watercolour paper.  Size 9.5" x12.2"

As some of you may have guessed by now, I've been smitten with the painting bug of late, and that my medium of choice is watercolours. Well, this month has seen two milestones in my artistic journey, I have sold a my very first lot of watercolour paintings!

(Doing a happy,very ,very undignified jig now)

Okay, serious face back on

The second milestone, largely catalysed by the first is the launch of  my Facebook page,

(You can see it on Facebook, by clicking on the badge in the sidebar. )

While Im not great or famous as an artist (not by a long shot), I would love it if you'd drop by and take a look  at my original artwork, and let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Psychedelic Sand

is what Im calling  my latest original  watercolour painting.

"Psychedelic Sand" Original watercolour on Arches paper

and if you want to see all of my paintings, have a look at the Picasa album on the sidebar or if you want to see most of them together , look here .

Update : This painting is one of the first paintings that I've sold :D 

For the latest information about my  paintings and prices , please visit my Facebook page, "The Coloured Wall"  or write to me at

Friday, August 03, 2012

For the record

It's been a while, like it always is, between posts. I have the tendency to start something, like blogging and then quickly lose interest in it when life becomes more interesting  hectic, so before I lose interest again, here's whats been happening, in the last few months

- Moved houses across the length of the country , and packed in lots of stuff  and experiences along the drive from cool Conoor

to hot hot hot Jodhpur!

-Met a blogger friend and clicked so well with her that I realised I should do it more often.What say Manasi ?
-Almost met another blogger friend, because she had some scheduling problems, oh well, maybe next time we do a cross country trip! (Noor  , you'll have to tie that phone of yours to a dupatta)

-The Artimator has turned three

 and FINALLY begun school ! 

-Settled into a new house, and still managed to stick with my latest obsession, Watercolour painting.
Speaking of which , have you seen my latest watercolour paintings? I've been gifting a few of them to friends, and am planning on selling them online. Anyone interested in gifting one to their friends?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

An Incredible Experience

Anyone who knows me , knows this about me, I like my afternoon nap , and I like it long, and for the sake of having an unchewed head , until about 15  a few minutes after I wake up, it's best not to ask me to do anything resembling  work . Oh wait, that was before I became the Artimator's mater. Should you like the pleasure of my company in decent clothes,the best way (to avoid head banging and nail chewing injuries) is to ask me (nicely) atleast  a few hours in advance. In short, in those good old days, waking me up from a nap prematurely and asking me to get ready quickly and leave the house was a task not to be undertaken by anyone who wanted to have a peaceful evening.

As it happened ,one  evening,around 6 ish, a few years ago, since the spouse was woken up by a call on his mobile, I was lying in bed just lazily wondering  who it was (that dared), when the spouse  finished his call and  said something to me  that caused me to literally  jump out of bed, for the first time ever in my life.

Five minutes later, I was dressed  and standing at the door, politely actually asking the hubby whether he would be able to make it out of bed the same day (a feat that gave me great satisfaction,because usually I am at the receiving end of that one!)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Artim was just talking to my father i.e. his "dadu" on the phone, and as usual, after the conversation I was asked to translate a few of the newer Artimisms. That's when my father suggested that I put down some of the explanations in writing ,so that we could remember this  when he's all grown up. I was about to laugh it off, but I realised that I HAVE actually forgotten a lot  of  his "babyness" in the process of getting him to grow out of it! So,  in the spirit of not forgetting, I'm planning on posting a few Artimisms here,beginning with 

"Helitotter" which is his latest object of interest and bedfellow! Should I need to pursuade him to eat his "um" or that is "Tytoshleep" or to listen to mamma, it is also the potential hostage of choice. Of course,sometimes hostage taking does not work ,and mamma begins to spew smoke from the ears! 

Apparently,the best way  of pacifying the "mammacano" , is doing what she asked holding her face in still little hands and saying "Mamma Raagkona" (Mamma Dontbeangry). Most of the time this does work, but if it doesn't then little baby hands are folded across chest, and mamma is told quite sternly ,

"Artim, Raagkochey" (Artim isangry )

Of course now that mamma has no choice but to laugh, some amount of "tiackle tiackle tiackle" must be brought into play before things are back to normal, and a few "Gimmekshiss" and "Lavyoos" are exchanged . Pretty soon  the Artimator is back to doing exactly as he pleases while mamma is back to "doin Computar" or "kookiinng" or "paintin" She may surface occassionally to ask Artim ,

"Whatsthetaaime", because didnt you know, it's always "Noinethatty"!

There are also times , when mamma is asked

"Mamma, baba where?" 

to which the most common answer is "Baba office gachey" (Dad's gone to the office)

This generally happens, when mamma has strapped him into his seat in her trusty Nano, while she hopes not to bang into anyone on her way to/around/or back from grocery shopping. So just to keep him from falling asleep in his seat and causing general crankiness later, mamma tends to ask him,

"Artim, what you doin"

and of course the answer is

"Artm sttininananoonachair"

Then there are times(other than "noinethatty") , when mamma feels the need to engage in the following dialogue ,

"Excuse me Artim" (what is he upto now)

"Yaasss" (answer in less than 5 secs, she wont suspect a thing)

"Wassaname" (well, he answered soon enough,still gotta check)

"NamisArtm" (who is scribbling on the wall but wont be by the time you get here)

"OOOOH" (I'll just finish cooking this, then go check on him)

"Aychuse me mammmaaaaa" (still-got-time-to-finish-this-line)

"Yass" (while that cooks, might as well get his milk ready)

"Wassaname" (almost-done-but-that-plaster-needs-to-be-scraped-and-tasted)

"Mamma" (whats-that-noise)

"OOOOH" (hiding-the-pencils-behind-my-back-should-do-the-trick)


Monday, February 27, 2012

Banaquit Resting and Crocus

are the names of my latest attempts at watercolour painting, in an absolutely unusual streak of painting more than once in a blue moon. One of them I like, the other was a case of finishing what's on one's plate! Can you guess which is which?

"Bananaquit Resting" Watercolour on handmade paper, from a reference pic here

"Crocus" Watercolour on handmade paper,from a reference pic,here

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tropical Flower

A few days back, I came across  some water colour painting videos on you tube ,in which  they were using a technique called "masking" . Normally , in water colour painting, one paints from light to dark, but the way I understood it, masking  basically involves covering up areas that one wants to reserve as white with masking fluid, for painting in lighter colours(or leaving it white) later . As usual , watching people paint inspired me to try it out myself, which I did using a reference picture from this website. This is what I came up with after a few days of intermittent effort.

Tropical Flower - Water Colour on handmade paper

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bay View

Well, Happy New Year readers ! This year began on a bittersweet note, the hubby is out  of station for a few days, but my mother is here to stay for a few days. And that is why I could squeeze out some time for another of my attempts at teaching myself water colour painting. It's not perfect, but I've reached the point where I must stop. The original picture is not mine, but taken from a website which allows members to upload photos and also paint from photos uploaded by other members.
Source:Paint My Photo

And here's my attempt


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