Bharata threatens a lion

final_rescaled
Bharata threatens a lion, casein and watercolor on paper 10″x14″.

Emperor bharata can well be considered the founder of the Indian state. His exploits have earned him near legendary status. First as a 6-year-old abandoned prince in the hermitage of the sage kaNva, bharata apparently tamed the wild lions and played with their cubs. Then, as emperor of hastinApura, he is said to have established a kingdom covering significant parts of modern India. Bharata is featured in the mahAbhArata (which derives its name from his descendants) as well as in kAlidAsa’s famous play Abhijñānashākuntala.

Painted in casein on watercolor paper 10″x14″. A thin layer of acrylic matte medium was first used to reduce paper absorbency and aid the flow of paint. The characters are based on several little studies, such as the one below:

study_rescaled
Head and lion studies, pencil on toned paper, 9″x12″.
Advertisements

Viswamitra is enraged

final_2
“Fine! I will go back whence I came. You can then live here happily with your family”, Viswamitra says sarcastically. Casein on paper 10″x14″.

In the great epic Ramayana, Dasharatha, the king of Ayodhya has an unannounced visitor to his court one night. The mighty sage Viswamitra has come all the way from his hermitage to seek the king’s aid:

अहं नियममातिष्ठे सिद्ध्यर्थं पुरुषर्षभ। तस्य विघ्नकरौ द्वौ तु राक्षसौ कामरूपिणी।

स्वपुत्रं राजशार्दूल रामं सत्यपराक्रमं। ककपक्षधरं वीरं ज्येष्ठं मे दातुमर्हसि।
“I am performing a sacrifice, which is being defiled by two shape-shifting demons (Mareecha and Subahu). Send your eldest son Rama with me, so he may defeat them.”, he says.

Shocked by this sudden request, and overcome with love for his teenage son, Dasharatha politely declines Viswamitra’s request. He instead offers to send his huge army for the sage’s aid. He even offers to go along personally.

His request being declined, the mighty Viswamitra is enraged beyond measure. So much so that the earth trembles under his very feet! He shoots back at once:

यदीदं ते क्षमं राजन् गमिष्यामि यथागतं। मिथ्याप्रतिज्ञ: काकुत्स्थ सुखी भव सुहृद् वृतः।
“Fine! I will go back whence I came. You can then live here happily with your family, ‘O mighty king!”, he says sarcastically. Viswamitra then gets ready to storm out of the king’s presence.
After much persuasion by his court advisor Vasishta, Dasharatha finally parts with his son Rama. Lakshmana also decides to go along with his elder brother and along with the (now pacified) Viswamitra, the three of them leave for the sage’s hermitage.
The rest, as they say, is history.

WhollyZootopia #2

jaguarleopard
Big cats at the zoo. Jaguar (left) and Indian leopard (right). Casein in a watercolor journal 5″x8″.

Quick sketch (~2 hrs) of two big cats at the zoo. The Jaguar (left) and Indian leopard (right) look nearly identical. The main difference between them is in the spots on their coats. The jaguar has a ring with a dot in it while the leopard has only rings.

Head studies

Head studies. Casein on paper 2.5″x2.5″ each.

Head studies of works by two (nearly) contemporary artists – James Gurney (left) and Rien Poortvliet (right). The attempt was to recreate their working styles in the course of this study.

James makes a pencil sketch, fixes with acrylic matte medium, then goes from transparent to opaque paint application. Rien starts with a permanent brown ink drawing with semi opaque paint application over the top.