Monday, October 29, 2018

INKTOBER 2018... last leg.

INKTOBER 2018 and I just did not get time to really get my inktober juices flowing like last year.
Did the whole month and more and I couldnt believe it!!
But this year has been very sluggish on my work front...
Somehow I am not just getting time to clear up my backlog, my home and work-front...
And it's really getting to me.
I am not cooking fancy as much, not making art as much, hesitant to take on new projects as well...
and all because of too many distractions. esp on the various social media fronts that I have really spread myself thin on.
and in the process, ignoring my blog, my haven, completely.
I need to cut back...
Big time.
Anyways... here is a quick recap of at least the few that I have done this year!
still got 3 days to go before the month end... lets see if I am able to get over my mind block and really come up with some more inktober artworks or I just let the month slide by....

ummmm.... like I mentioned earlier, I am not really following the Jake Parker Official prompt (except a few that inspired me) becoz it kinda stresses me out... and art is meant for anything but stress.
So my goal this month has been mostly to practice, practice...
Esp. try out new styles and techniques like hatching, stippling or give washes or create a kind of atmospheric drawing.. or maybe some graphic novel scenarios....
will be explaining in a couple of lines just below the image.

"Tranquil" official prompt and made with uniball pen and washes of black ink.

Masaba is a designer I am in awe of... love her looks, her badass attitude and her clothes.
Was really keen to make a sketch, not really come out like her... but will try again.

This one was to practice the "cross-hatching" technique and was inspired by a Turkish TV show "Ertugrul" that I just finished binge watching.... these are the two main characters.. Ertugrul and Noyan.

Another practice of cross-hatching a protrait.

This time I again took on the official prompt "twisted" and made a twisted fairy tree inspired from my childhood reads of Enid Blyton... esp. her Enchanted Forest series.

This one was again from the official prompt "exhausted" and in this I tried to make a very simplistic style of illustration of my life... balancing work and home!

This drawing has no prompt, just wanted to make a sepia forest background with ink washes...
ahain not really happy with the final result, but... its ok.

This one was the prompt "precious" and i made a cat lover's portrait with her precious cat!

Making inanimate things is something that I have to force myself to do.... and buildings are especially scary... so I pushed myself to start, and more importantly finish this dilapidated building sketch.
I am quite happy with the result!!

Official prompt "cruel"
And nothing can be more cruel than the treatment of wild animals in the zoo....
(made completely with a flat brush dipped in ink)

Followed my heart and came back to portraits, as usual... no prompt.

Official prompt: "guarded"
was really wanting to make another fairytale take, this time "little red riding hood"... and I love how mysterious and dangerous the forest has come out, though not really happy with the wolf.

Official prompt: "clock"
And again I wanted to try a style slightly different from my usual.... hence the stylised figure.

 back to my ususal girlie portraits... done completely with a brush pen and a white pen.
still gotto work on the "cross-hatching" the contours of the face.

Monday, October 1, 2018

!nktober 2017 sketchbook tour

I was supposed to make this video and put it sometime this year, but I forgot till the month of October
was upon me and I HAD to start Inktober 2018...
well, so have a quick tour of last year's inktober frenzy, before you get a peek into this year's first drawing.
In case anyone who hasn't followed or tuned in to this inktober phenomenon and was wondering what all the hoopla is about... (working/drawing with inks, all of October)
Its a worldwide drawing challenge for artists. illustrators and anyone else who wants to jump in!
here's what I wrote about Inktober last year, explaining the wonderful challenge...

and this is today's artwork...
Just to know, though Jake Parker and a lot of other people take out a prompt list for daily inspirations...
I cannot follow it, its too binding and stressful, and inktober is something that I just want to enjoy doing without the stress of tying myself to a prompt list.
So I will be going with a loosely made weekly prompt list, but will try and go with the flow of what I want to draw on that day....

This is Day1:

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Helloo.... Autumn.

I am loving the slight coolness in the air today morning.... The crisp evenings where a hot cuppa is just what I need. 
The cold has not yet got the bite... Its just mellow and niiiiice... 
Esp after a short spell o' rain that we had the last few days. . 
Slowly inching towards my fav weather... The autumn or fall as they say.. 
With bright yellow leaves lining the pavement, 
snuggling into a light blanket, 
hot coffees and warm apple pies... 
Mufflers and boots... 
The pleasure ofcracking open the roasted peanuts and binging on our fav. TV series.... . . .
So welcome 🍁🍂Autumn! 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

This illustration is for YOU... the dreamer.

I got to draw for myself after a reeeeeaaaal long time today...
Been inundated with work and client deadlines that I just wasn't able to get any time to sketch and make things that I wanted to:

So today this illustration is for me... coz I have my head perpetually in the clouds...
the nerdy me....
and for you.. my dreamer frenz.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Wednesday WOW: Sweet and Sticky, Balsamic Lamb Chops

I have been wanting to make the right lamb chops for a really long time now, with no success!
The first few times I tried... esp with the recipes off the internet didn't really turn out the way I expected... like searing them on the pan, or broiling them or grilling them.
They were chewy and just not juicy enough...
This time I added our Indian way of pressure cooking them first to make them tender, and then searing them on the pan... and they came out with just the right tenderness and juiciness.
This one is unbelievably finger-licking delicious!!
Cooked in the aromatic balsamic vinegar sauce... sweet and spicy and just right!

So here is the quick and easy recipe that will be a hit with your guests or just for your loved one for a special dinner rendezvous... 

Mutton/ Lamb Chops in a Balsamic Reduction
(serves 4)

8 lambchops
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
salt and pepper to taste
(marinate the above ingredients for 4 hours minimum)

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp minced, crushed garlic
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1.5 tsp cayenne pepper (I used my trusted Deghi Mirch powder)
fresh chopped parsley or basil leaves for garnish

  1. After marinating the mutton/lamb chops for a few hours, just pour everything, marinade and meat into a small pressure cooker and cook for two whistles... continue on low flame for another 5 minutes.
  2. Keep aside till pressure drops.
  3. Once open, take out the pieces of meat from the pressure cooker and reserve the stock.
  4. Heat a frying pan and add the oil. 
  5. Once hot, add the mutton chops and sear on hot pan for 1 minutes each side while sprinkling a little salt and pepper.
  6. Remove the chops from the pan and set aside.
  7. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, cayenne pepper in a bowl.
  8. In the same pan as above, on low heat, add the crushed garlic.... taking care not to burn it.
  9. Add the whisked vinegar +sugar concoction to the pan, add a bit of salt and pepper to taste, and keep stirring on medium heat till sugar melts and the sauce thickens.
  10. Add the chops back in the pan and cook the lamb on medium heatfor another 5-7 minutes, turning on both sides, till you think they seem done. They would be tender because they have already been cooked in the pressure cooker.
  11. Remove the lamb chops from the pan and onto the serving dish... pour the sauce over it.
  12. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs like basil or parsley... and serve hot with potato wedges and garlic bread.
And thank me later for a finger licking, good looking, scrumptious dish!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

September 2018 Calendar: Graphic Ertugrul

Hey guys, I am not much of a TV person....
as in, when I am free from my chores and work commitments, I'd rather read a book or sit out in the rains with music and daydream, than watch non-stop TV.
And I am especially sceptical about other language series/movies that have English subtitles.
I always thought it was too much of an effort to read as well as make sense of the video alongside!
But I have to confess, the last 2 months, me and my husband have been binge-watching a Turkish historical series that my sister-in-law introduced to us- (about Ertugrul, the father of Osman who founded the Ottoman Empire...)
The seasons had all been devoured by her and now that they were over, she was experiencing withdrawal pains.... lol...
So out of curiosity and her egging me on, we just casually watched a couple of episodes...
And we. were. hooked!!
Its beautifully made, the characters are so well fleshed out... and the story is extremely engaging...
And the fights.... oh the sword fights are out of this world!
In my home I have a lot of testosterone floating around, being a mother to two boys and my army man...
So you can imagine, I have had my fill of all kinds of fight sequences...whether live or on the screen!
But in this series, they are sooooo well choreographed, the horse riding is superb, the twists and turns of the plot are mind blowing!
And of course the main characters are so good looking and swoon-worthy that it's a pleasure to watch them emote on screen.
So now that the 4 seasons have been done and dusted and I can finally breathe and get back to my normal life...
I thought I'd make this month's calendar dedicated to the series!
The costumes and the sets are so gorgeous that the artist in me has been itching to draw them since I started watching the series.
So here is Dirilis Ertugrul, a montage of two of my favorite characters: Halime Sultan and Erugrul.
In case anyone's curiosity is piqued... the series (the first 2 seasons) is available on Netflix.

I am continuing with my black and white sketching spree, but this one is more in genre of comic book (graphic novel) style.
The series has enamored me quite a bit so don't be surprised if I come up with sketches of other characters as well, esp the main villains...
Dying to flesh them out.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Art for Kerala! Donation Drive.

I have been busy the past week trying to get people involved my buying portraits made by me so that I can collect enough to donate to the Chief Ministers Fund for Kerala.
This was the image I had made for the people, urging them to contribute for the Drive for Kerala:

There were quite a few takers and alhamdolillah, and we (the generous contributers and me) were able to make a sizeable contribution of nearly 30,000/- I certainly wasn't expecting this much.
And I am extremely thankful to all of them, and I really hope that they liked their portraits!
Here are a few samples for you all to have a look.

If any of you are interested in having something made for yourself or your loved ones....
Please feel free to get in touch with me on my gmail address:
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