Archive for April, 2010

The Black Beauty

April 23, 2010 9 comments

When I listened to the song “Aval appadi onrum azhagillai” from the movie, Angadi Theru I liked it instantly. I thought the song had amazing lyrics. Generally lyricists in tamil cinema when talking abt love, romance, they heap laurels on the gal. This one was an exception. The poet (Naa.Muthukumar)  talks about his lady love, her superficial beauty in the first line and then in the second , he talks about beauty from within and so goes the song. I wanted to represent the song (atleast the first few lines) in a sketch and hence this one.

The songs first line begins by saying she isnt beautiful, so I didnt want to sketch a face and say this one aint beautiful. That would be a sin of sorts 😛 . Hence just the gals background. For the simple lyrics, here is a simple rustic gal.

“Aval appadi onrum azhagillai

Avalluku yaarum ennaiyillai

aval appadi onrum colourillai

aanal adhu oru kuraiyillai

aval peridhai yedhuvum padikavillai

avallai padithey mudikavillai

aval uduthum udaigal pidikavillai

irundhum gavanika marukkavillai”

Here is the translation of the above lyrics.

“She isnt that beautiful,

But her beauty is unparallaled

She doesnt have a fair complexion

But that doesnt bother me.

She isnt that well educated [not good at studies]

But I havent finished studying her.

I dont particularly like her choice of clothes

But I dont fail to notice her though.”


Pencil Shading- Basic techniques, RaviRaj

Tanjore Painting

April 18, 2010 2 comments

I wanted to publish this post on tamil new year day (apr 14) but better late than never.

Indian Paintings can be classified into two main types – 1. Murals 2. Miniatures.  Murals are huge works of art done on the walls of solid structures, like in caves and temples. Miniature paintings as the name suggests are done on a smaller scale on perishable material such as paper and cloth.Tanjore painting belongs to the latter type.

This form of painting originated in a place called Tanjore (Thanjavoor),a district in TamilNadu and hence the name Tanjore painting. Its  origin dates back to 16th century AD, which means its been in practice for more than 4 centuries. In those times (16th -18th century), mainly the Raju and the Naidu communities  patronized this art form. Surface richness, vivid colours , rounded features of subjects and divine figures as central themes are some of the key features of tanjore paintings.

Invariably in most paintings the theme/central figure is always a divine figure from Hindu religion. Thus it could be said they were deeply rooted in tradition. Tanjore painting is very unique and stands out because of its uniques blend of art and crafts. The paintings are decorated with the precious stones. Adding these stones to the paintings gives the extra dimension of depth and hence the total picture gets a 3D effect. Earlier precious stones like diamonds, rubies etc..were used to adorn the paintings, now semiprecious and artificial stones are being used.

If drawing is one part and decorating with stones is another part, final touch is given by framing the pictures. The frames are genrally made of teak wood and they come in two types.

1.Plain wood frame
2. Chettinad style framing ( this is more labour intensive with a lot of attention to detail for the ornamental designs.
Making a Tanjore painting is a very elaborate and intensive process. Please see the references listed for those interested.

Here is a tanjore painting done by my friend,Lakshmi. The central figure is Lord Krishna. A closer look at the picture will tell you how art and craft is intertwined.  The deity’s dress and his stage are decorated with red and green stones. The pillars on each side supporting the stage have  elephants facing each other. This pillar is much similar to the pillars generally found in temples which have extensive ornate work.

3. Picture courtesy – Dr. Lakshmi Mukundan

Shirdi Sai Baba – Shanta Rasa

April 8, 2010 16 comments

This portrait of Shri Baba has been by far the most time consuming one that I have ever done.  I wanted this portrait as my 50th post but  just couldnt wait for another 7 more posts.  This is my first sketch that I did from a photo.  Personally I think this sketch has taken me to the next level, sketching from photographs. To give a personal touch,  I wrote my parents name on his ‘jeba maalai’.

For a long time now, I have been thinking how to complete my theme ‘navarasas’ with 2 more rasas to go.  With this sketch, I am checking off ‘Shanta rasa’ from my list..Karuna rasa still remains, will take care of that later.

“Shanta is serenity and peace. It represents the state of calm and unruffled repose that is marked simply by the lack of all other rasas. Because all emotions are absent in Shanta there is controversy whether it is a rasa at all.  Shanta represents complete harmony between the mind, body and the universe. Sages in India meditate for entire lifetimes to attain this state. In music it is often represented through a steady and slow tempo. Shanta is a clear and cloudless state. It is untroubled steadiness and it is the key to eternity.” —-1

I used  4H, 2B, 4B and 6B pencils in this sketch.



The Artist

April 2, 2010 7 comments

I have been dealing with serious themes and decided to go for a quickie this time. Here’s a cartoonistic artist at work!!

I used 2B pencil for this sketch.


1. Figure drawing without model, Ron Tiner