First Teaching Experience

August 17, 2015 Leave a comment

This post is different from my usual ones and i think is an important one for me. The “first” of anything is always exciting, and with respect to me, here in this space would be the first sketchbook, first sketch, first blog/blog post, first tanjore painting, first recognition. In that line of firsts, this will be the first time I taught kids to dabble with charcoal and sketching in general.

Its funny how it all started when I come to think of it. A good luck card for my friends kids dance recital,with a charcoal sketch, gets the kids attention & they want to see how its done. After couple of months on Aug 8 we make it happen. From left its the creative Brecklyn, cute Alex and curious Grace.

Kids with their first charcoal sketch

Kids with their first charcoal sketch

I was actually nervous as to what I am going to show & tell them. I have never interacted with kids in a teaching capacity. When i expressed my concerns to my wife, she said i overthought about it. My concern was “how am I going to cut across through them so they can relate to what I am talking about”. This whole experience was a philosophical one for me, in a way. For 2 -3 days I was thinking “what am I going to do” and I came up with different options in my mind and then started all over again.Confused.Then when I shifted the focus from “I” to “them” I got a clear picture, a message, a flow of thought. We had some fun time for little over an hour. They drew their own creation with just little facilitation.

Later my wife said she had never seen me this patient before. Hearing that was also new to me.

And the best part was the very next day, they drew their own creation and gave it to me as a gift.  From Left to right, Brecklyn with her elephant, Alex with a cat and Grace with a rattle snake. Thank you guys!!

Kids with their original art work.

Kids with their original art work.

My first serendipitous teaching experience was a fun and memorable one. Looking forward to more!!

Ballet meets Bharathanatyam

May 29, 2015 3 comments

Inspiration comes from different sources. This time it was an invitation for my friend daughter’s dance recital. Thats when I thought  about a fusion of east meets west. While both are dance forms, singling out a pose thats similar/same was a challenge for me. But thanks to internet & my wife, I was able to narrow down to a couple of poses. I wanted to do something that mirrored eachother and also complement eachother. Hence the yinyang sketch.







November 3, 2013 3 comments


This sketch is my dedication to the number of innocent civilians who lost their lifes in the conflict between their govt and the rebels. I wanted to do this 3 years back in support of the Srilankan tamils but the sketch is still current if you apply this in context to the syrian civil war. No human has the right to take the life of a fellow human being.

Here is a old man who has lost his son and child who has lost his father. I think the essence of the sketch is best described by the verses of tamil Poet Bharathiyar below. The oldman while shouldering the kid hopes for a better tomorrow for the kid. Atleast from the kid’s generation there shouldnt be any missing generation, displaced families and nomadic life. After all “Hope is a good thing, may be the best of things and no good thing ever dies” .

தேடிச் சோறு நிதந்தின்று-பல
சின்னஞ்சிறு கதைகள் பேசி-மனம்
வாடித் துன்பமிக உழன்று-பிறர்
வாடப் பலசெயல்கள் செய்து- நரை
கூடிக் கிழப்பருவம் எய்தி – கொடுங்
கூற்றுக் கிரையெனப்பின் மாயும்- பல
வேடிக்கை மனிதரைப் போலே-நான்
வீழ்வேனென்று நினைத்தாயோ?

This poem’s english translation

Did you think I too will
Spend my days in
search of food,
Tell petty tales,
Worry myself with thoughts,
Hurt others by my acts,
Turn senile with grey hair
And end up as fodder to the
relentless march of time
As yet another faceless man?

Coming back to the sketch, I used 3B and 6B pencils.


1. Pencil Shading, basic techniques – Raviraj

2. The poem and its translation from internet.

Quintessential Indian Villager

February 5, 2012 6 comments

After Maya, here comes the Aaya.:)   [old lady]

This reminds me of people living in remote villages in India. During peak summer, people have to really travel long distances to get some potable water. That said, it feels really good to finish this sketch after  2years.

I used 3B and 6B pencils for this sketch.


1. Pencil Shading – Basic techniques, Ravi Raj


October 9, 2011 7 comments

When I searched on the word “Maya”, I was really surprised that it was probably one word which has multiple meanings across different places and religions. According to Hindu mythology, it is another name of goddess Lakshmi and it means “illusion”. It is the failure of perceiving things the way they are and seeing them superficially thereby not getting a picture in totality. I think the process of understanding the difference between them is enlightenment. The idea of this sketch is that the external beauty is what draws ones quick attention but its only an illusion, subject to change with time.


1. Figure drawing without a model, Ron Tiner

Indian folk Dancer

March 22, 2011 12 comments

I am back, after a brief hiatus. Here is an Indian dancer captured in motion. Focus is on the rendering style and without much attention to detail.


1. Figure Study Made Easy, Aditya Chari

Light and Shade – 1st Blogversary

October 10, 2010 13 comments

This day last year, I started this blog to channelize my focus on sketching. Its been quite a journey so far. To be very honest I really didnt think the blog would survive beyond 3 months. But the encouragement and support from friends  and the response from other people in general has been overwhelming.  I feel like writing a lot about the year long sketching journey …probably will do that sometime soon. .maybe dedicate an entire page for this . Grad school is keeping me on my toes.. got series of midterms in the following weeks..

A word on this sketch “Light and Shade” . I personally think the timing couldnt have been better to post this sketch today as this totally describes what my blog is all about ..Light and Shade.  A simple cup, spoon and table salt container are used for illustration.

It feels good to know there are handful of people following my work and checking it periodically. Thankyou all, people,  for your support and encouragement.

P.S: I took a photograph of my sketch instead of scanning it, hence less clarity.


1. Pencil Shading – Basic techniques, Ravi Raj

My First Tanjore painting

August 8, 2010 17 comments

My first tanjore painting. This is one good thing that I did during my India trip – learnt a new art form. It also kept me busy for 3 odd weeks.  Patience is onething which people learning this will acquire during making a tanjore painting. Its just too bad that I dont have the painting’s in-the-making pics…those will tell how a plain plywood board is converted to a piece of art work. There is nothing much that I would add to my previous write-up on tanjore painting.

yooo hoooo –this is for my first one.

Che Guevara

July 19, 2010 3 comments

Here is my charcoal portrait sketch of a  stylized poster of  Che. The original photo was taken by Alberto Korda, in 1960.

Charlie Chaplin

June 30, 2010 6 comments

This sketch is another play on light and shadow.  The human brain can visualize missing information from incomplete cues. This when translated to drawing, means when given just enough cues about the subject, the viewer can envision missing parts. This viewer involvement in envisioning process makes it interesting for them.


1. Drawing on the right side of the brain, Betty Edwards