Chinese Sparrow

Trying to keep myself occupied while waiting for the match to start.
Referred this tutorial for doing this one. Using up my pre washed sheet for this one. The sheet is a bit buckled , yet to straighten it out and I am so eager to upload it too.. (:D).

After the match started I could not concentrate and I had started overpainting.
So Stopping it right away!!! huh!

India at WAR

You play with people when you want to socialize. If you hate somebody and do not want them in your social network why even play with them!

Watching India & Pak semi finals of Worldcup 2011 and everytime I see the rivals clad in green all I can think is the 26-11- Taj attack, J&K war of 1965, kashmir pandits, kargil war, partition, Gandhiji. All comes in a flash and I hate the fact that India is playing against them.  It is a matter of India's pride and prestige at stake here. Also by wanting to win against them in a sport, we want to send a message to them that we have the upper hand. 
I hope and pray that India wins here.

fastest painting

No reference, no memories, I just wanted to paint something and I dipped the wide flat brush into a mix of colours and made this.Hardly took 10 minutes including the setup time. Now I know what to do if I forget to buy a greeting card for an occasion. Splash some colours and write up some nice wordings serve with warm hugs! :)


A beautiful port city adorned with sparking diamond stores like a bride decked in diamond accessories, a nice calm river side, shopping alley with huge buildings and big discounts. Ah! strolling through the city was a joyous feeling.

There are two types of trains that can take you to Antwerp.
IC- intercity are fast trains with limited stops.  duration : 40 mins
IR - interregional trains with many stops and is slow. duration: 1 hour.

We reached the Antwerp station at 11 AM and we visited the Info centre at the station to collect the maps. there were lotsa places of our interest. The station itself is one of the must see places as it has 4 levels with escalators connecting each. the huge tiled arch glass roof lights up the entire open area. The architecture of the building is a must see and the view is magnificent.

Once outside the station, we walked past the diamond stores and reached the main shopping street- Meir and entered the grand Stadsfeestzaal, shopping arcade. in the open area in the centre of the building is an eatery place- La Place.
We walked towards the grote market of antwerp and saw the giant hand in stone representing the Antwerp's "hand". Curbing a lot of temptation to enter the shops we walked straight into the grand place, crossed the cathedral and reached the triangular open area where a huge monument representing Brabo throwing the giant's hand into the Scheldt river, surrounding this are the guildhouses.
Along the banks of river Scheldt 
 You can take a ride around the city on the horse carriages starting from there.  We walked further north west and saw the river side. With the onset of spring it was quite a view to take in but I'm sure in summers it will be even wonderful with the sun glazing up on the river and all trees full with fresh leaves. strolled along the river side for a while, sat on the bench and refilled ourselves with some cookies and coke.

We walked further and crossed the river through a 500mtr long tunnel built 32 meters below the river. there are 2 levels of steep escalator you need to take before you reach the beginning of the tunnel. View of Antwerp standing on the other side of the river  is beautiful.

We walked back through the tunnel and walked past the KBC tower, the farmer's tower, the first skyscraper of European continent and again passed the shopping street of Meir. and this time couldn't resist and went inside and got deals on some items. Happy and content, we headed back to the magnificent station of Antwerpen and headed back home.

 A day trip to Antwerp was excellent and we could cover only 40 % of it. Yet to see the Diamond district, Zoo, aquarium and port.  So another saturday +sunny day  >>>>.Antwerp!!!


There are some things that leave a profound impression on you for ever and you always remember it even if you have seen it only once. The  photograph of an Afghan lady with light green eyes which was on the cover page of NatGeo magazine, taken by Steve McCurry, is one of those images. And when I got myself my charcoals to try my hand at charcoal paintings, the first thing that struck me was this image. I did not refer the image then and attempted it and here it is. 
In the whole box of charcoal sticks, there were hard ones and soft ones but I being myself, hurried and saw only the soft ones and used them to make this sketch. I was not sure if I could get the lightness of the eyes in a bichrome painting more importantly the emotions from the original,mix of scared, shy, angry feelings of the girl.  Since I could not get all those emotions , I wanted to deviate the attention a bit from the portrait and hence drew a heart with a dagger. I do not have the kneaded eraser to work on charcoal as with that I intended to show a pigeon flying away. Well, let's see.. With the travel plans starting now I don't want to concentrate more on charcoal. :)   
This is more like a two dimensional portrait without much depth. need more practice.:( 

Got the license to travel.... yaaaaaaaaa!

Finally after 5 months of waiting I finally got my Belgian residence permit and that means I can travel out of Belgium. And I have a huge list of places to visit before I return to India and the planning starts now...;) 

We came to Begium a week before our  visa was expiring and since we did not have the the multiple entry visa type and since our visa had expired, we were confined to this state unless we chose to back and not return again. the whole process of registering at the commune for a residence permit is quite painful NOT worth going through again now as I already have the permit...yyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy!
celebration with this vin rouge :) 
Aquarelle on my last sheet of cold pressed paper. I am actually equivocating if I really need more paper or should just save up the money for one of my travels. It's a hard choice to make between both the things I love to do. But I'm sure I will have an excuse to buy more sheets considering that I will not be travelling on weekdays so as I wait for the weekends, I definitely neeeeeeeed(mind that this is a 'need' and not a 'want') some source of entertainment. 


Brugge is an hour's journey from Brussels by train. Generally for long distance travels I carry a book to read this time I took along the sketch book with me with an intention to sketch the view outside only to realize that the train moves too fast to register any frame. So I tried sketching the insides of the train. Not very neat but it does look like an inside section of a vehicle!  


         After waking up from a post lunch nap taken on the couch in the hallway, there is always a weird uneasy feeling.Even a strong concoction of ginger and tea leaves just manages to go down the oesophagus without stimulating or activating the cells that make you feel active.The only way out is to go out and take some fresh air.
         I and my dad loved to go on the road less travelled, keep going without any particular location in mind and then traverse the way back the same way or apply sense of direction and head back home. I felt this was the best way to know the local area and also develop a good sense of direction. I have learnt to 'read' the atlas just like any other novel , solely because I would watch my dad do it. When I was a kid, I loved to go through the last section where squared sections with India map had triangles, dots, squares all scattered on it. The locations of  ores , refineries, river, railways maps, airways and others. I could not locate any place but would categorize the map as north, south, east and west India and fun, while at it.
         Once, as a school assignment we had to map all the rivers of India. My dad made me go through the reference book and asked me to make a note of all the major rivers first and then closed the book and asked me to draw all of them. without the reference it was just impossible for me to draw them on the plain dotted map. I new  the exact location and length of only some of the rivers like Kaveri and Narmada as there were slightly sloped  lines across the map , one in the south  and the latter middle of the map to just below the Kutch. With his watchful eyes just hovering above the pencil and the map, and the fear of being knocked* on the scalp, it was very easy to get the shaky wavy line of the river. I confidently started the line for Narmada from starting from somewhere below the kutch on west coast till the middle of the map and looked up for his consent.  When he said 'No! Draw again'  my ego was hurt. I drew again the same way with some additional curves and shakiness and raised my head. He said NO! Now my ego had disappeared and the confidence was shaken and If I were a cartoon  then my scared eyes could be seen above the scalp, scared when I will be knocked. This went on for a while before he got frustrated and played carrom. He said river always merges with the sea/ocean and not the other way round. So all I had to do was draw the same shaky line starting from the middle of the map to the point below the  kutch!!  Though it was forbidden to draw the river the wrong way my confidence was back stronger as I knew the location of the river Narmada.
Last year when I had visited my native place, Sagar, a small town in the malnad region of Karnataka, I and my dad happened to see this beautiful scenic place nearby. The picture and myversion of this memory in water colour is below.

*knocked -  while tutoring, for any wrong doing, he sometimes hit the head, with his fingers, as if the head was a striker on a carrom board. It was not painful but sharp enough to get the mental fluid tension to go score high.

Happiness costs 585$ !

Whoever said money cannot buy happiness, I tend to disagree here.
I don't know how housewives sit at home all day long; If we have long weekend and idling the extra day at home , I get utterly bored and I will be looking forward for work. It's an another thing that towards the end of the week I obviously crave for the weekend. now with sabbatical, I try to keep myself busy here with browsing, sketching, painting, movies, television and cooking but for how long can I engage myself in these activities. I need a great deal of self motivation to do anything that doesn't please or interest me and I oblige at times only to get disappointed and feel low. a year back I had the frenzy to own a SLR camera because everybody was having it. Though I hardly ever tried to learn the SLR jargons and its complexities, yet I wanted to own one. And with so much time at hand these days it was a good time for me to learn the professional photography and finally VR got me my first Digital SLR. A good beginner DSLR with lots of features. I have gone through a lot of tutorials, videos and sites and learnt all the SLR glossary/terminology; all I need is to go out and get that started!
with the new DSLR, VR has bought me happiness.:)

Cats and gals

Today was a 'so-so' day with 2 OK sketches and 2 bad ones .  2 cats and 2 ladies. Uploading all to showcase the learning curve. the curve doesn't seem to go better at all. Spent around 15 - 20 mins on each and killed the afternoon nap time.
1. windows desktop wallpaper with kitten sleeping on a guitar.  Initially decided to watercolour it but the pen with which I was drawing, smudges and is not water proof. So made this one with just the pen. The kitten doesn't look very innocent in this as it was in the original. yet overall it looks neat. 

2. Had saved this tiger pic for one of my concept sketch but you all know, I have a great backlog of such concept sketches. this was another model for today's sketch.

3. Had sketched this girl with the scarf sometime back and todayI was all geared up to do a watercolor on to a sketch done with pen, I redid this girl in the pen and played on it with colours and I had vanished her innocent, sweet and she looked weird.  

4.  Was trying to make a sketch of a friend and I overdid the eye lids and the cheek bones and decided to stop it.  I do not want to tag the friend as this looks crude and does no justice to her pretty face. But I really liked the top she is wearing. 

I'm probably better at drawing animals than human portraits. 
But again, this is learning so all sorts of sketches are self-appreciated. 

Far east museums

Brussels has around 100+ museums out of which I have shortlisted my favourite ones which I want to visit atleast once. First wednesday of every month is free museum entry and I plan the day out well in advance to make use of the 'free' entries. This time I went to this   museum called "museum of the far east" with a friend who I had met in Brussels. This museum  has a Chinese pavilion and a Japanese tower. The dark grey coloured wooden supports inside reminded me of a typical ancient Kerala house, the water body right outside the Japanese tower was like a country side backyard in a typical south Indian village and I remembered my grandfather's place in Golgod. Phew!!! 
Visitors are allowed only till the first floor of the Japanese tower and the inside walls along the staircase are lined up with Japanese stained glass paintings. Since no description was in english it was quite disappointing to just see the displayed items. The entry to Chinese pavilion was hidden and we had to take 2 rounds around the structure to find the entrance, which of-course was worth the search. the whole structure inside was painted in golden shade with huge mirrors and sculptures. The first floor had themed rooms painted in the same shade of the china-ware displayed inside the room. And one of the rooms had just different tea pots and just beautiful collection. The visit would have been very disappointing if not for the beautiful chinaware. 

Best part :
We can take pics inside the museum
China ware was fantabulous and a treat to the eyes.

Sad part: 
All descriptions are either in French or Dutch. Anything in English would have been very well appreciated.  
The museum itself is quite far and the direction boards are very confusing. Even google maps shows incorrect tram-stops.  

Chinese Pavilion
View of Japanese tower at the entrance

Stained glass artwork
Loved the bamboo and Geese on this urn.

Japanese porcelain artwork
Japanese paintings on Japanese porcelain
Japanese tower- Ceiling 

Chinese paintings  on Chinaware
Eye catchy Chinese lanterns inside the museum cafetaria

Chinese Pavilion

Light fixtures

tea pot

Look who  is here ? peeking pigeon

And I got the pigeon framed

It was a nice bright sunny day

And I was there! :)

And here we are! :)

Stencil work

Happened to come across a nice blog header while surfing long back and made a mental image of that but unfortunately do not remember the site where I had seen this.  On one of the green theme washes I had done I made a stencil of a stag on some cheap mus eum pamphlet paper , which I realized I shouldn't have as paper soaked colour and spoilt my final result. 

Drew a rough sketch of a stag on the paper and cut out stencil. Tried it on a plain sheet of paper before using it on the intended washed  sheet and it came out pretty neat.  I tried again with a lighter wash and I had done it again. It was neat and crisp. 
By then I had wet the stencil enough for it to soak and I let it dry for a while used it on the cold pressed sheet. BAM!!! the colour spread out from the stencil and the ears and hind legs were smudged. Always I am very careful about painting on the washed sheets since they are of watercolour, any second coat of water paint can scrub of the below layer and the whole painting can look patchy. Well we should learn from mistakes but never do deliberate mistakes. This was more of a result of hastiness. I should have let the stencil paint dry off totally before using it again. 
Will try some kitchen paper stencil next time. 

 Then I 'reapaired' it and all I have now is a patchy crude result. Will try for a neat one next time. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...