Saturday, September 28, 2013

Saturday Art School: Panda fun, anyone?

Its that day of the week... Saturday Art School where I go all out to give step by step instructions to budding artists (big or small) on how to draw!
How to draw anything... from flowers to monkeys to hello kitty to today's animal... a cute Panda!
Now he is not the Kungfu Panda variety but he is still fun and easy to draw.
I hope you have your pencils and papers out, so here goes:

....isn't he just adorable?
and drawing him is sooooper easy!







Aaaaand its done!
Wasn't it fun?  
Ooooh it rhymed!! :-)
Hope you enjoyed today's Step- By- Step Tutorial and would like to share it with yr friends and families!
Requests are always welcome!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday Thought:

Came across some beautiful photographs by a friend and this one especially moved me...
the pose...
the expression...
and the overall mood...
Had to draw it- though its not half as good as the original photograph...
I do think I have managed to capture the mood... :-)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday Tutorial... a full figure drawing!

I had drawn a few sketches for a client who has a Website for Models at Bike Rally...
The client wanted pretty girls in boots n tiny plaid skirts with a few tattoos placed strategically!
Here's what the rough sketches looked like:

and so I decided to convert one of them into a step by step-just for you people out there who want to draw!

And your sketch is done...
You can make a lot more poses like this if you can simplify the pose like shown in the first few steps.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Treat: Yummy Lemon Cake with Lemon Glaze!

Lemon is one of my favorite smells- the aroma- the taste -the freshness and whatever else you may call it!
and when I came across this lemon cake with a nice lemony glaze in an old magazine cut-out I know I had to give it a try...
I had grown tired of the normal Vanilla or banana walnut or chocolate flavor cakes that I usually make.
And surprise!! It turned out to be one of the tastiest, moistest and yummiest cakes I have ever made!!

So without further ado- here is the recipe:

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

sift these dry ingredients together so that they are well blended.

3/4 cup sugar 
zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup butter,softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup yoghurt

Preheat the oven to 350F or 160C and grease and dust a loaf pan of about 8x4inch.
Put lemon zest and sugar in a blender/mixie and pulse for 1/2 a minute.
Add butter, and zest in a bowl and beat at medium speed, till frothy
Take the egg and vanilla essence in a seperate bowl and beat till fluffy.
Now combine the two and beat lightly (not too much)
Reduce the speed of the beater, and add half of the above dry flour mixture.
Mix in the yoghurt-beat just to combine and then add the remaining flour and mix well.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan, smoothening the top with a spatula.
Bake for 40-50 minutes (mine was done in 40 minutes) till a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is springy to touch.
Cool the cake for 10 minutes and then take out of the pan.

In the meanwhile prepare the lemon glaze:

1/3 cup powdered sugar
juice of 1 1/2 lemon
zest of 1 lemon

Whisk together lemon, sugar powder, and zest in a small bowl.
Drizzle over cooled cake and let it set before serving .

Enjoy with your tea!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wednesday Wish...

Today I am feeling particularly like taking a holiday...
Firstly becoz I have been super busy the last one week and have kind of had it upto my neck with everything!
Dont ask me what everything is...
just everything!
so making this mock up for a client really appealed to me...
just to escape from everything- get away...even for just a day seems like *pure bliss*

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunday Breakfast Treat: Caramelized Apple Crepes

Its Sunday morning here in our part of the world and me n my kids were reeeaaally craving crepes...
My kids were insisting on Nutella and fresh cream or strawberry crepes and where was I going to get the strawberry n Nutella from?
(that reminds me- gotta get lotsa Nutella the next trip I make to proper civilization)
Had lotsa apples at hand so I decided to make Caremalized Apple Crepes and they turned out absolutely decadently delicious!!
Gonna try it with a lot of other seasonal fruits too- mayb even a mango crepe might just turn out to be surprisingly yummy...
Yes!! I have to try that in the next mango season-will keep u posted...
Till then, as its the season of apples here in India as well as the rest of the world (ooooh I miss the Fall season of the U.S....the colors, the cinnamon aroma, the pumpkins and the apples galore, mmmm.....)
Lets then enjoy the seasonal Caramelized Apple Crepes.

Ingredients for the Crepes
(makes about 9-10 crepes)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • vegetable oil for cooking

1- Sift the flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre.
2- In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, and salt. Add to the well in the flour and mix well to a smooth batter- with a pouring consistency.

3- Heat a nine-inch crêpe pan or a Dosa pan on medium high heat. Brush with oil. 
4- Measure batter into the hot pan. Immediately tilt and rotate the pan so that the batter covers the pan in a thin layer.
5- Cook until bubbles appear and the bottom of the crêpe is a nice even, golden brown.
6- Use a non stick rubber spatula or any other flat spoon to turn the crepe and cook till the second side is a nice golden color but not as dark as the first side.
7- Remove the crepe to a  heat proof dish
8- Repeat with the remaining batter (stirring the batter before each one)
9- Stack all the crepes one on top of the other.

Ingredients for the Caramelized Apple Filling

5-6 Apples
juice of 2 lemons
1 tbsp lemon zest (finely grated lemon peel)
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tbsp unsalted butter
6 tbsp granulated sugar

For the topping:
3 tbsp  confectioners sugar or powdered sugar
1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream.... I didnt have either, so I used normal Amul fresh cream  :-/

1- Cut the apples into 1 inch cubes and mix with the lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon powder in a bowl- toss together to mix well.
2- Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add granulated sugar, and cook, stirring once in a while until sugar turns amber/light brown in color. If caramel starts to get too dark, remove the pan from heat.
3-  Add the cinnamon, lemon apples, and cook, turning then over, until soft and completely caramelized. Remove the apples from the heat.

4- Combine the fresh cream (or the sour cream-what ever you are using) with the confectioners’ sugar in a bowl. Whip the mixture a little till well blended.
5- Spoon a couple of tbsp caramelized apples onto the centre of each crepe, fold over on both sides. Spoon the creme-fraiche mixture over the apples, and dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar

Enjoy!!  :-)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Saturday Art School: a cute li'l mouse!

Here is some inspiration for the tiny tots..
The simplest way to draw a cute little mousy mouse...
Have fun :-)







And then you can color!!  :-)

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and feel free to drop a line or a suggestion.
Would love to hear from you!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday food for the soul: Honey and Lemon Glazed Roast Chicken

A few days back I had sent someone to get a couple of Chickens- not cut into small pieces but mayb just  about 8 big pieces...
He misunderstood and got me two Whole Chickens...
The full chicken got me thinking-I have made whole chicken marinated in yoghurt and Indian Spices...
What if I made something different this time?
So I looked up the internet and mixed and matched about three-four recipes and came up with this one:
A Full Roast Chicken with Honey Lemon Glaze!

It came out decent enough, but I feel we can up the ante a little bit in terms of spice (can't help it, being an Indian, I like my meats a little more robust in terms of flavor)...
But for people who like chicken slightly mild with the lemon and herb flavors combining very well with the sweet honey and salty soya- it should be a hit!
And the best part is that the boys loved it- not too sweet, not too spicy with a hint of lemon...

So here it is:
Honey And Lemon Glaze, Roasted Chicken

Ingr for the marinade and rub:
1/4 cup Honey
2 tbsp soya sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder (u can use a tsp garlic paste)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp roasted chilli flakes
juice of 1 lemon
1 full chicken with cuts made on the thighs/ breasts

Please marinate the whole chicken in this concoction for a couple of hours if not overnight (reserving some for the rub before roasting)

Next preheat the oven at 350 degree F or 180 degrees C
take about 2 lemons quartered
4-5 cloves of garlic quartered
1 tsp rosemary herb...(you are lucky if you can get yr hands on fresh Rosemary sprig)
1 tsp garlic powder/paste
1 tsp Chilli flakes
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Rub the garlic powder, chilly flakes, ground pepper and the rosemary on the inside of the chicken's stomach cavity as well the outside, 
(and I mean really rub it in)
Put the lemons and the garlic into the stomach cavity of the chicken and tie the legs and wings together.

Brush the chicken with the remaining lemon honey glaze and place it in a baking tray lined with Aluminium Foil ( keeps the juices in and after the roast you dont need to clean the pan-just throw away the foil)
Surround the chicken with cubed veggies like carrots, potatoes and onions that have been mixed with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Roast the chicken + veggies in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes.
Then turn the chicken over, brush with some more of the honey, lemon glaze.
Reduce the temperature to 325F or 160C and roast for another 15-20 minutes till the juices run clear on piercing the thighs.

Transfer the chicken to a carving dish, surround it with the veggies and garnish with lemons.

I served it along with side dish of rice (Risotto- a cheesy, creamy rice dish with olives)

Bon Apetit!!  :-)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuesday Technique: How to Draw a Portrait!

I have been wanting to put up a tutorial on "how to make a portrait" since a very long time- just wasnt getting around to it!
Till I met an old friend yesterday and she asked me if I could help her to get back to sketching?
She hadnt touched a pencil for a loooong time and felt rusted...
Now how many of you feel like that?
How many of you are out there who used to sketch when younger or when in College, and who havent mustered the courage to start scribbling and doodling again?
Who look at thier old sketchbooks, framed watercolors with longing but cant find the time/ the drive to start again...
Or maybe there are some of you who havent ever sketched but would love to get started!!
And believe me everyone can sketch... even the ones who havent ever tried...
I have seen people in my Animation days who couldnt draw a straight line when they joined- and by the time the training was over- they were animating better than me and others with a fine arts background!
They worked hard- gave it all they got and got better every day!
There is no short cut to hard work... and you do get rewarded when you see how you have improved!
I am NOT God-gifted... I just have a passion for art and I sketch, like everyday!
Like another old school friend once said- Maryam I need you to come back home and give me a kick in the rear to get me started again!!
Well- here's the kick or rather a little nudge to get yr sketchbooks out and get sketching with me!  :-)
Here is a peek into how I make a portrait- step by step...

Now this was the inspiration that I downloaded from the internet to get started...

The initial steps I would advice you to make with a light hand becoz here you are just mapping out the placements of the various features.

Next you pencil in the features with some detailing- again lightly- so you can erase if you go wrong.

Making the hair and the clothing come next- again very lightly...
Here I have added a bit of textured background and a slight color in photoshop.

Now comes the fun part: the coloring and the detailing...

Shade in the hair (just a bit), add a bit of white in the background to bring out the illustration...
And Voila!!

I hope you all like it and would try this or any other portrait following the same kinda steps as given above...
if you do- I would love to hear about it!
and if I have inspired you to take out your old sketchbooks- I would be ecstatic!

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