Saturday, February 28, 2009

One Apple: A Small Study

Apples come in so many shapes, sizes and colors but there are some quintessential elements that make the fruit readily recognizable. Perhaps this is what makes apples so attractive when grade school children practice their early artistic skills.

For the more mature of us, apples can be challenging and rewarding at the same time. In this small study, I have tried to use a limited number of colors and few brushstrokes to schieve the likeness of an apple. This is in practice for a bigger still life I intend to do but which scares me each time I face the canvas. Though quite elementary, doing this piece has helped me get greater confidence.

One Apple, Acrylic on canvas board, 5"x7", not for sale

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hot and Sour

contemporary still lifepainting of chilli peppers and lemon done in acrylic by atul pande
A recent post from Carol Schiff, in which she confessed to being a still life painter all along encouraged me to experiment with my first still life. The inspiration for the contents came from my other creative endeavor -- cooking. Like my mother, I have never followed recipes which allows a lot of freedom to experiment with combinations of flavors and foods without regard to a "rule book" (kind of like art in a way).

I mostly do Indian, Italian and modern American style cooking, often blending various ethnic flavors with traditional dishes. Needless to say, hot and sour flavors abound in my kitchen. I avoided working on this painting while hungry so as to avoid salivating over it! It kept reminding me of a dish I make sometimes that consists of pasta with sun-dried tomatoes tossed with chilli oil and lemon juice dressing. It truly is to die for.

Anyway, here is my first still life attempt and I would love to hear your comments.

Hot and Sour, Acrylic on gesso board, 11'x14', $100 (unframed)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lupins in Close-up

contemporary acrylic painting of wild lupin flowers by atul pande One of the most beautiful sights when driving through eastern Canada, especially New Brunswick, is the profusion of wild lupins growing by the roadside. Though the flowers are themselves rather small, they tend to cover large expanses which creates a strong visual impact.

Roadside Beauties is representative of New Brunswick lupins but with a low and up-close perspective. Obviously this exaggerates their size relative to the background but makes them the most prominent part of the picture. Wild lupins typically tend to be in the blue-red hues with a multitude of shades in between.

Roadside Beauties, Acrylic on 140lb paper, 4"x6", $25 (unframed)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lotus in Full Bloom

This painting is inspired by a picture that a friend took in Australia. It is done in watercolor pencil so the color is perhaps not as brilliant as with full strength watercolor. I am also working with limited tools -- just the pencils and a single brush -- since I have been traveling overseas (in snowy London) and carrying non-solid paints is not easy these days.

Anyway, there are layers of color here with some edges softened while others left with pencil marks intact. The idea is to convey a painterly rather than a drawn in feel to the picture.

Lotus in Full Bloom, Watercolor pencil on 140lb paper, 4"x6", $25 (unframed)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lilies in Watercolor Pencil

water lily painting in watercolor pencil by atul pande
Claude Monet painted many scenes of water lillies each one as enjoyable as the other, but the most impressive one -- not least because of its size -- is the one at the Museum of Modern Art in New York city. Reflections of Clouds on the Water Lily Pond is a triptych measuring approximately 6ft x 42ft. The complexity of composition and the depth of color are absolutely astounding. Many hours of study will continue to reveal intricate detail and the layering of transparent color indicating what effort went into creating this piece.

Artists have ever since replicated water lily paintings partly in a genuine desire to understand the masterful techniques of Monet but also because lilies are just fun to paint. Although I have done a
water lily acrylic painting before, this time I tried it with watercolor pencil. Not having worked with this medium very much before, I am quite pleased with how the painting came out. Though I softened out some of the pencil marks and hard edges with a wet brush, most of them were left in to let the “artistic look” remain!

Sunshine on Water Lilles, Watercolor pencil on 140lb paper, 4’x6’, $25 (unframed)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Summer Flowers

This post continues the Italian theme. Palatial villas and unassuming homes set along the shore of Lake Garda in northern Italy make for numerous scenes worth capturing on canvas. The ageless buildings are often harmoniously tucked together despite the apparent lack of planning or design behind them. It is almost as if the brilliant sun, the lush mountains and the evergreen foliage serve to smooth out any visually discordant note.

Summer Flowers was composed from several photographs taken during my last trip to Italy. This is my first painting on plywood and it took a bit of experimenting to get used to the grain, but I was not looking for a smooth look so the grain actually helped.

Summer Flowers, Acrylic on plywood, 8"x8", $50 (unframed)