Sketching brightly colored birds at the zoo. The great Indian hornbill (left) has a bright yellow beak and head. The saddle-billed stork (right) is no bore either, with its red and yellow snout and beak.
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.
Quick sketch (<1.5 hrs) of an Indian elephant at the zoo. In comparison with its African counterpart, the Indian elephant is smaller in size with less flappy ears and a lighter tusk.
Rama’s wrath. Watercolor on paper (7″x10″).
rAma, the hero of the great epic the Ramayana,was a prince in the kingdom of koshala (modern day Uttar Pradesh/ Bihar). He was once summoned by the mighty sage vishwAmitra (also called Kaushika) to help him defeat some troublesome demons. One such was the terrible thAtaka, a female ogress with the strength of a thousand elephants. She tortured the people of the forest and prevented the sages from performing their austerities. Such was rAma’s prowess with the bow that he loosed a single shaft and pierced thAtaka in the chest to end her life.
The episode occurs in the Bala Kanda book of the Ramayana (Sarga/ Chapter 26).
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.
dwArapAlaka, Gouache and pencil on paper 7″x10″.
At the entrance to the inner sanctum of any Hindu (Shiva/ Vishnu) temple are the mighty dwArapAlakas (dwAra = gate, pAlaka = protector) or gate keepers. The keepers of a Vishnu temple and those of a Shiva temple are distinct and over the millennia they’ve come to feature in many a mythological story.
This particular one is from the thyAgarajar kovil (a Shiva temple) in the little town of Thiruvarur in South India. Sculpted in brass and standing over 4 feet tall, it simply had to be recorded in a sketchbook.
Painted in gouache over a gesso primed, green tinted 300 gm watercolor paper in a sketchbook 7″x10″.
Location: thyAgaraja temple, Thiruvarur, Tamil Nadu, India
Open Goal. Gouache on paper 5″x8″.
Painted in gouache in a 300 gsm watercolor journal 5″x8″.
Perhaps it is time to dust off the cleats again. And there’s no goalkeeper to worry about!
Location: Freedom Field, Columbus, Indiana