Archive for the ‘TamilNadu’ Category

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.






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

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.

Tanjore Big Temple

May 31, 2010 6 comments

I wanted to try something different this time. Hence Architecture.  I was browsing the net in search of good temple pics to draw. All that I had in mind was to do something simple to get a feel of it and then maybe at a later point of time do a detailed sketch. To test waters, I thought this pic was the right choice. The idea of superimposing Brihadeeswarar temple on an engraved stone  from the same temple was superb. Only while doing this did I realize the importance of paper texture,  to give the feel of stone. I have did what is possible within my limitations.

Here is a neat pic on the evolution of tamil script. Check this out to find which century did the letters found on the sketch above belong to..:)


1. Picture courtesy – Sathiyan –

2. Tamil script evolution picture –

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