Thursday, October 19, 2017

INKtober2017 Day-19...Catwoman


INKtober 2017 day-17, 18,

Happy Diwali folks...
Been keeping up with the INKtober challenge and enjoying every moment.
Learning every moment.

A Happy Diwali to all of you....
I wanted to make an earthy and ethnic illustration for Diwali and this seemed just right!

Day 17: My dilemma every morning when faced with a blank page or a canvas....
So what do I make today?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

INKtober2017 catchups... from owls to portraits to fairy homes.

Inktober 2017...Day-13 to Day-16.
I have a lot of my plate...
The Military Station where we are posted is really busy socially with a lot of dignitary visits and Coffee Mornings, Ladies Clubs events... esp. this month.
So it has gotten a little overwhelming for me to take out even a couple of hours every day and churn out my INKtober drawings.
On top of that my freelancing work is also on... though in spurts!
So life is getting a little overwhelming but I don't want to quit INKtober when trying to participate for the first time....
Not when I know that I need this "me" time when I can connect with the basics of Art, and get the rust out of my hands... and I can see my work improving day-by-slow-day....

So here is the Day-13.
I wanted to draw a well etched, detailed lion but by the time I was half-way through the sketch, I lost interest and ended up drawing a cute little owl.

DAY-14- A Graphic Art Portrait.

Wanted to make another real graphic illustration... lots of solid blacks and whites and stripes and solid line work.
I kinda like how this has come about... the pretty face as well as the rendering!

DAY-15.... Looking for the elusive inner peace.
Life can get overwhelming sometimes.

DAY-16... A teensie little Fairy House.

Friday, October 13, 2017

INKtober2017: Day12 Game of Thrones!

My Thursday prompt for myself is "fantasy" and last week I had drawn a mermaid...
I got a request from one of my dear friends to draw a Game of Thrones character this time...
And my nerdy self did a hallelujah coz I absolutely love the books and am obsessive about the TV series... I am in love with ALL the characters!
Well the character I find most interesting (to draw) is smokin' hot Drogo!
With his kohl lined intense eyes... grim expression, long braid and the rippling muscles.
He was straight out of a graphic novel and I had soooo much fun making him with all his muscles and intensity with a younger Danerys and a dragonish circle as the backdrop!

Mayb before the month ends I might do another GOT fan-art...
I think I just might!
Do let me know how you liked it :-)

and here's a closer look!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

INKtober 2017- day 10 and 11. cross hatching trials!

I was pretty confident of my cross hatching (drawing with crossed lines) and strippling (shading with dots) skills earlier, right after Art college, but its been sooooo long now, that my drawing skills seem to have gotten rusty.
Its quite difficult to get the lines to follow the contours of the face/body etc., now.
I'm trying harder, more deliberately, and its nor coming naturally...
But then this is what my INKtober is all about... to relearn the old techniques and keep trying out something new.
So even though I am not really happy with my lines... they are too amateurish, I will hopefully get there. inshallah!
And so, here are my INKtober Day 10 and Day11.
A sketch of a prancing horse and a sassy smokin' babe.

Can you see the "minute" improvement in my cross hatching lines??
can you??? teensie bit?
From the horse to the badass girl??
Look closely...

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

INKTOBER 2017- Day 9..cross hatching

My Inktober is jinxed.... Yesterday my dog, Simba chewed up my sketch book... So most of my earlier Inktober drawings became half eaten rags.... I was too pissed off to do any work yesterday.... Today I painstakingly taped the sketchbook back together.... then completed yesterday's pending drawing... Tried photographing it...
Artistically putting my ink bottle and pens on the sketch.
Before I knew it, Simba sa'ab walks by again, swishing his tail... And plop goes the ink bottle.
I didn't realise that he had chewed up the ink bottle too, and thus making the lid loose! And my sketch becomes a blob of black ink!!!
So lesson learnt... Keep away from inks and just use ballpoints and markers.
Ink bottles are not meant for careless people like me.... And who have a dog with an artistic temperament.

So from this...

It goes to this.... in matters of seconds.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

INKtober2017- DAY-8: Karvachauth Coloring Page

Its Karvachauth today...
A day when married women of India (esp of the northern belt) dress up in their bridal best, keep a day long fast without food or water, and pray for the long life of their love.
So today's Inktober2017: Day-8 is dedicated to these beautiful ladies.
And there can be no better way to keep yourselves occupied when hunger pangs are making you irritable.... than to take out the color pencils and get coloring!
This is a high resolution image to download, print and color.
And enjoy!!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Fashion for your Friday: INKtober Day-6

INKtober Day-6

I like the pose but I am not too happy about the hand holding the cigarette holder...
I realised later that the fingers are wrong, but then they were already inked in....
so cant change anything now! :-/
(Painted with ink and brush)

A recap of INKTOBER 2017 -5 Days!!

Inktober 2017 is going full on and boy am I busy!
A few Fauji commitments (its a horribly busy month), some work commitments, a lot of things to plan and execute in the house and also in terms of what I plan on doing professionally.
And the INKtober challenge that I have taken up... for the first time!

nervous? you bet....
Excited.... OMG!!
and soooper charged up.
And I am not going to give up mid-way or have a burn out as many do....
I have taken on a weekly prompt that will give me ideas on what to make on a Monday, Tuesday, etc.
I will try out as many styles and techiniques that I can in these 31 days....
And hopefully grow as an artist...
hop on for this roller coaster ride and see how I challenge myself and try out different things.
some may be good... while many may be horrendous, but they will all be definitely be fun to do.

So for DAY-1 (INKtober2017)
A quick... shadowey image that didnt take too much time. 
Waterproof ink and brush!

DAY-2 (INKtober 2017)

Not really happy with this one because I was travelling and just had my notebook+pen+a grey Copic Marker which turned out to be a dark grey rather than a soft grey.
And I was in the mood to give a bit more detailing and maybe a lighter wash of grey!
Though I am quite happy with the quizzical expression.

DAY-3 (INKtober2017)

I am not into doing a lot of tiny detailing in my work....But this month is all about working out of the comfort zone. So 3rd day was #Zentangle 
I have never tried it before and by the time I finished my fingers were tired. but it was fun! 
Made with a black ink pen and a marker.

DAY-4 (INKtober2017)

A quick drawing today from the streets because the prompt of today was street folks.
this was a photograph from the internet and i wanted to sketch it. I am pretty happy with how it came out. Its made with a pencil underdrawing and just ink and a fine brush. Not marker or pen. 


DAY-5 (INKtober 2017)

Today's self-prompt was "fantasy" and I was really keen on trying out at least one inky mermaid this month, so here it is. I wonder what she is thinking?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October 2017: INKtober fun!

INKtober is an online annual challenge to ourselves as artists.
Its taken up by comic artists and illustrators and art students from all over the world in the month of October.
Though it was originally created by an artist called Jake Parker in 2009 as a challenge for himself so that in the month of October he would put up a daily drawing on social media platforms... he would use only ink, i.e markers and pens and brush to draw and in the process go back to the basics.
But this amazing challenge has taken off, and how!!
It becomes an annual phenomena in the art world and everyone who can, jumps in, critiques and shares the ones that they like the most!
In this time of Digital Drawing, going back to the basics is very important...
To put pen and pencil to paper and then ink it in... with no scope of correction as in the digital art.
Its scary, but a whole lotta fun!
And all the more fun when u have updates coming from all corners of the world... each one's style is different... and there is soooo much to learn from just sharing and observing.
I have been following INKtober for the past 3-4 years but couldn't muster up the courage to join in...mainly because I was usually travelling or was too busy with some project or the other.
but honestly?
because I was chicken!
I didnt think I would be able to follow through... finish the full 31 days challenge.
And as it is all done in public view, as in, on all the social media platforms: from Twitter, to Facebook to Instagram...
One feels scared of giving up midway and losing steam.... and hence losing face.
But this time, bcoz I know I am going to be in one place, I am taking up the challenge.
Though October, socially is going to be a pretty hectic month for me... I think I can stick it out!
Do wish me luck.

So this month's October Calendar is dedicated to my fascination with the black ink...
INKtober it is!

I will be posting the other drawings that I have done... today being the third day of Inktober in the subsequent posts.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tuesday Tips: A career in the Artistic Field-Decoded

I am the eldest of 6 children, belonging to a somewhat conservative family( though my father was pretty relaxed about his rules as long as we knew our boundaries) and my mom mostly bore the brunt of letting her daughters spread thier wings and fly... but he always played along, thank God!
Which was a big thing a couple of decades back when girls even thinking of getting a job were heavily frowned upon... 
But as the first child to flex her wings... I had quite a struggle to get where I wanted to, with no one to charter the direction or give me options....And there was no Google to help me out!
Having secured a high percentage in my 10th exams, my father was ecstatic that bas! This daughter of mine is good enough to become a doctor.
No matter how much I protested that I wanted to become a Fashion Designer (that was the only career I knew that let you draw and sketch)...
So science stream in 12th it was!
But in my 12th, I studied biology less and practiced my art more. I kept sketching and drawing fashion figures and models and tried my hand at everything that I thought would get me through the NIFT entrance after my 12th.
With no one to guide me as to what was required for the entrance.
And I had no idea whatsoever that there was any other college or any other stream that could take my love for art and turn it into a career!
I obviously couldn't crack the entrance exam for NIFT and obviously didn't go anywhere near to getting through the Medical Entrance!
My life was finished.
I was demoralised, dejected and resigned myself to doing English and hopefully become a teacher or a writer someday, much to the despair of my father.
He had finally realised that I didnt have what it takes to get through a Medical college, so henceforth should now start looking around for a suitable groom for his first-born, brilliant yet disappointing daughter!
but a chance meeting with a cousin of mine who was doing BFA (whats this?) got my hopes up and my creative antenna buzzing...
I appeared for the entrance, got through and was finally doing what I wanted to do... draw, paint, sketch, and lo and behold even had the option of a career after it.
I worked as a Graphic Designer, an Animator, a freelance illustrator and now a creative blogger!
So to bring this rambling of mine to a close... even though these days we have a plethora of choices in terms of career options and all the information is at our fingertips... parents and kids are still confused.
Which line in the Art Field is good or better? which pays more?
What colleges are there?
What if you dont become the next MF Husain? what do you do then?
If you are creative, you love to sketch and draw and paint...
There are loads of options open to you now.
And I'll break them all down for you:

The main Colleges of Fine Arts that you can apply for, are all here at this link:

so to choose exactly what kind of field you want to follow even in the Fine Arts or Design genre is quite a mind boggling task...
There are soooo many options to chose from.
If you are very arty... that is you want to only draw and sketch and paint...
well then a BFA from a Fine Arts College is the one for you.
even in that, you can choose between Painting, Scuplture, Printmaking, Ceramics
The above are all part of Painting and Fine Arts.
  • And with this behind you, you can hold Exhibitions of your paintings and sculptures, become an art Curator or an Art Gallery owner, an Art Historian, a Museum curator, a Museum Manager.
  • Or else do an MFA and become an Art teacher in a school or a College,
  • Do a further course and become a professor in an Art College.
  • Or else. advertise and network and take you own Art classes.

These Fine Arts Colleges also offer Applied Arts in BFA.
In this they teach you graphic design and illustration and photography.
With the Applied Arts degree, you can work in:
  •  Advertising Agencies as visualisers, illustrators and move onto becoming big-shot Art Directors or Creative Directors.
  • Another logical step you can take is to become animators... whether 2D or 3D. Animation is a BIG industry that is the backbone of today's advertising and movie making world.
  • Or else you can also venture out on your own as a freelance illustrator and book designer. The Children's Book Industry is also a very lucrative industry and freelancing gives you immense freedom to work on your own terms.
  • You can do a multimedia course and become a Web Designer- a very good option in today's internet dominated world.

Then there are Top Design Colleges that offer you everything in terms of design in all forms- furniture, product, industrial, Fashion... to name a few!
They are all at this link:

With degrees from the above mentioned top Design Colleges, one can become become a fashion designer and work in a Fashion House ,
  • Become a Visual Merchandiser that sources products etc. for various big companies.
  • A Fashion or an Accessories Designer.
  • Costume Designer, or Set Designer and you can work for movies and TV.
  • Display Designer or Exhibit Installer that work for showrooms and exhibitions.
  • Interior Designer has a lot of scope in today's homes and hotels.
  • Become a Furniture or a Product Designer..
  • Have a technical mind? Become an industrial Designer
  • Landscape Designer also has potential.
  • A Textile or a Leather Designer.
  • Toy and Game Designing in which you can design Video Games
Many of these institutes also have degrees in Film and Media as well, wherein you can learn film making and commercials.

Now that you know what varied courses are available in the Art and Design world, to apply for them one can prepare via taking cues from the internet or coaching institutes that actually prepare you for the entrance exam of these colleges. Not like me who went into it blindly!
But my two bit is that, yes... a degree from these colleges is like an entry ticket into this industry.
Its important.
But the Colleges themselves don't teach you much, other than the basics... 
What I learned on the job, while freelancing or working in the Animation industry is something that the colleges don't teach....
YOU have to strive... learn... learn from your peers, learn from the internet, and learn from your seniors.... but keep learning and evolving.
Try getting summer jobs during college in various advertising and design firms to se what works for you.
Dont stagnate. 
You might feel after joining an industry... that maybe this is not for you (like I felt when I worked in advertising).
Don't despair.... try another genre in the Art world.
Maybe that will work out for you?
And stick to the job if you are loving it, because nothing is better than to love what you do... count yourself lucky.

If you are the blessed few who have the choice of working from home, then try out these tips on How to Work from Home

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday Art School: How to Draw Pikachu Pokemon

I am restarting my Saturday Art School from this week...
hopefully even though I do have my hands full, I will be able to keep up the consistency, if not every week, then at least twice a month at least.
Mostly because I do love making tutorials and also because I know the kids love it too!

so to start with, I'll make what my kids (my two boys) enjoy these days.
And its Pokemon.
whether its my 13 yr old or my 8 yr old... both of them love Pokemon, and even thier cousins.
So I guess it would be a popular thing to learn to draw?
and especially the Pikachu Pokemon...


 1. Draw a medium sized circle. This will define the face structure.
2. See how the Pikachu is tilted in the above colored drawing?   So to get the angle of the pose, draw a tilted vertical line cutting through the face circle like shown.
also draw a horizontal tilted line like shown in the circle that is cutting the circle again in half.

3. Draw an oval in the lower half of the Pokemon face and then the lower body shape like shown in the sketch.

4. Draw two lines emanating from the top of the head on on both side... see the angles shown in the drawing.
Also make the two lines tilted upwards which denote the arms with circles at the end.
See how the feet are made at the base of the drawing? Make them just like this... elengated and one end thicker than the other.
Draw all of them with a light hand (not too dark)

 5. Make the ear around the lines that you had drawn at the top of the head.
Join the line around the arms+hand circle that was made in the previous step, like shown.

6. Make the teenie tiny fingers and thumb around the hand circle like shown.
Then draw the legs on both sides of the body shape, joining the foot.

7. Erase the extra lines in the ear, hand and the legs like shown in the step below.

8. Now we come to the face... remember the lines that you had drawn in the face earlier?
That will help you in the placement of the features of the pokemon.
Just see the drawing and draw the eyes touching the oval of the face on both sides of the centre line of the face.
The tiny nose will go in the centre of the face just where the oval cuts the centre vertical line.
In the same way add the mouth and the cheeks like shown in the drawing.

9. Please remove all the extra lines that are there in the drawing, while checking in the image shown below. Make sure not to erase any important line.

10. Draw the zigzag tail of the Pokemon like shown in the image below. Make sure that the end of the tail is thicker than the base that is attached to the body.

11. Take a black marker/ Sketch pen and draw the outline of the Pokemon that you have made.
Color in the eyes and the tips of the ears.

12. Color your favourite Pokemon in its bright yellow colors and use it in your cards or display it in your home!

I hope you enjoyed this simple drawing tutorial and would like to leave a comment?
Also if you want some more kiddie tutorials or even adult tutorials on how to draw eyes, how to make a portrait, do visit here
Or go to the ART TUTORIAL button at the top of the blog.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday Fashion

Making a sample for clients is one of the pitfalls of freelancing... especially if there are hundreds bidding for the project and its something that you soooo desperately want to work on.
I made this for a fashion house based in New York and they had a particular style in mind.
spent a number of days going back and forth with the prospective client,
In the end they ended up cancelling the project.
Oh well... thats called life!
but then the illustrations end up here.....
for you all to see and enjoy because I cant otherwise display the work that I am doing for my clients without their permission.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

SPICY SUNDAY: Tangy and spicy Fish Roast.

Fish is an extremely easy meat to make and is one of the best quick dishes for your weekly lunch/dinner...
And though I make a mean kerela fish curry, my kids are not too fond of any kind of fish curry...
They prefer the crispy fried fish that my mom makes, but last night I was in no mood for another batch of fried fish!!
So I tried my hand at another version of not fried, but pan-roasted spicy, tangy fish fillets...
The recipe was something that I had seen somewhere on the internet, I wasn't able to recall where but the ingredients kind of stayed with me.
I think its a south Indian version of fried fish, because I remember it having curry leaves!
So with whatever I could remember, I tried and believe me, it came out lip smacking good!!
complete thumbs up, and most of all, with minimum oil!
And the kids gobbled it up!

So here is the recipe... simple and quick and completely guilt free.


8-10 pieces of single bone fish with skin
1 1/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp chilli powder (adjust to your taste)
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
salt to taste
8-10 curry leaves
1 1/2 tbsp oil


  1. Mix all the masalas- coriander, turmeric, cumin, chilli powders with ginger garlic and lemon juice in a bowl.
  2. Rub the marinade generously on the fish and leave for half an hour.
  3. Heat oil in a shallow frying pan and add the curry leaves first, let sputter and then add the fish pieces one by one.
  4. Don't crowd the fish, cook on medium heat till golden brown on one side.
  5. Flip the fish to cook till golden on the other side.
  6. Cook all the fish in a similar fashion.
  7. Serve hot off the pan with lemon wedges and onion rings.

Friday, September 8, 2017

September 2017 Calendar- art with Tea

Like I tried my hand last month with a portrait (here), painting with tea or coffee gives a different feel.... though it has the same requirement as a watercolor.
But it needs a lot more patience (lots of building up of layers) and a really good quality of watercolor paper so that with the umpteen applications of water loaded brush, it doesnt warp.
And it has a lovely warm sepia tone to it, so this time I took a different route than my usual portraits...
I made a sepia toned, old door that I drew from my collections of old door photographs of my ancestral home...
they've all been torn down (except one) and I have a lot of childhood memories associated with this doorway!
I am still not very happy with the details, but one cant put too many details with a tea art... the color pigments are too weak.
But I hope you like it! :)

This one is for your phone and tablet:

And this one is for your Laptop and Desktop!!

If you like it, dont forget to share and comment below in the comment section.
I would love to hear from you!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Painting with Coffee

I have always been fascinated by the different mediums that are used in art... in all forms!
And the most fascinating has been making art thru the colors infused with brewed tea or coffee.
Sepia toned with slightly flattish colors and as I realised- not a very forgiving medium.
I tried with tea first but it looked too washed out and pale...
Then I tried with brewed instant coffee, and it had a slightly more deeper pigment.
I am going to be trying with a stronger brew of both coffee as well as tea and see how they turn out.
Needs a little practice, I know, but I thought why not share my first attempt here.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tasty Tuesday: Fresh Coriander Pesto

Pesto originated in Italy and is made with basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil....blended with some parmesan cheese and its one of the most versatile sauces, or in our Indian lingo... "a chutney" that you can use with meats, pastas, sandwich spreads, even as a base for a delightfully different pizza!
Its real easy to make and can be stored for a little while.... so make a biggish batch, and try it out with various combinations.

And now for my twist:
Though the original Pesto should obviously be made with basil leaves and pine nuts...but one can experiment a little with the fresh greens and the nuts... you can use fresh parsely or cilantro (coriander in our part of the world) or even mint....
and the pine nuts can be interchanged with walnuts or almonds.
Though I have heard that the cheese doesnt really go well with other greens except basil... but a bit of processed cheese with my fresh coriander went a looooong way!

We dont get Basil here in my part of the world very easily.... in fact I count myself really lucky the day I find a fresh head of broccoli and mushrooms (exorbitantly priced of course) in the little general store that caters to our needs.... And I grab it before it disappears!
A big bunch of fresh coriander is available all year round, so I thought why not make my pesto coriander based? with pine nuts of course, so that I get a bit of the authentic taste.

2 cups coriander leaves
2-3 garlic cloves
4 tbsp pine nuts (chilgoza)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup hard cheese (Parmigiano, Reggiano, Parmesan)
or if none of these are available... good old processed cheese!
sea salt and black pepper to taste

-It comes out best if you grind it in a mortar and pestle.... if not then just a quick whirr in the blender will do. The resultant sauce should be coarse, not finely ground.
-Add the grated cheese in the end, just before serving

1- If using the the mortar and pestle, crush garlic with the sea salt+pepper to make a fine paste. Then add the basil leaves and pound the leaves to pulp. Add the pine nuts and grind to smooth consistancy... with a couple of tbsp of water.
In the end add the the oil and mix well.
The Cheese is added in the end.

2- If using a blender, combine the coriander leaves, half the oil, nuts, garlic and salt+pepper in a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds, scrape the sides and repeat.
Add the rest of the oil gradually.... if it seems too thick, you can add a bit more oil.
The cheese is added in the end and mixed by hand, right before serving.

NOTE: Pesto freezes well. If freezing, then dont add the cheese, and pour a layer of oil on top, once its in the container.

Here (in the pictures) I have used the Pesto sauce as a base for the Tagliatelle Pasta.... makes for an amazing alternative to the regular tomato based pasta sauce.

This is the proper meal that I served with the Pesto Pasta :-)
The recipes will follow soon!

I also used this pesto sauce as a base for this yummy Pizza.

This pesto sauce is also as a base for the Chicken Cordon Bleu... the recipe is here:

So what are you waiting for?? Just whirr up some Pesto already...and experiment your heart away!!
And do let me know what all you tried.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

August 2017 FREE Desktop Calendar

Its raining cats and dogs here and I was thinking of making this month's calendar on the monsoons of India....
Then I got a chance to bid on a pretty interesting project yesterday, and the client had a particular illustrator's style in mind.
Its a pretty simple style, not too complicated to emulate and very whimsical.
So I thought why not kill two birds with one stone?
make a sample illustration for the bid and make this month's calendar before it gets too late and I get caught up in life and its myriad problems...
Yes I am still in a whirlwind and pretty distracted state these days, but I have to get things back on track ASAP...
just not getting the feel and rhythm of the new place. Still feeling unsettled and out of depth.
But I've procrastinated enough I think, I have been barely managing to get one post out in a month, where I have been posting nearly 4-5 times in a week when I am on a roll.
My new studio has been set up, the painting are out... the colors and brushes are arranged but my mood is still on a break.
Oh well... getting there, by and by.
And the first step of course is to get the music pumping and post this month's desktop calendar!
I know its a little simplistic style, but I hope you like it!  :-)

Just right click, save and set as desktop image :)

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