Friday, 7 December 2012

Ganesha in oil pastels

Here's a quick Ganesha done in oil pastels.  This is for PPF hosted by Eva and Kristin.

Friday, 30 November 2012

The making of My Kerala Mural

I'd mentioned my plans to attend a Kerala Mural workshop in an earlier here are the pics from it. I thoroughly enjoyed the 3 day intense program. Before I went for it, I was wondering how many murals we would complete sitting 7 hours a day for 3 days. How many?! We were hardly able to complete one! Its such a tedious process and there are so many intricate details in the drawings that its a lot of effort but the end result makes it all worth it!

A close up of Ganesha - My First Kerala Mural 

Traditionally these murals are paintings of Hindu Deities done on walls of temples and palaces in Kerala. The colors used were all natural dyes. The most interesting aspect of these murals is Panchvarna or the use of only 5 colors - Yellow, red, green, blue and black. These are painted on a white background, so the white spaces in the pictures are left blank to show through. 

Acrylics are being used on canvas and other media more recently. Except for those changes, we used the original traditional method to do the mural. The basic steps after preparing the background (which are not required on a white canvas) are -

Trace out the drawing. We used graphite transfer method for it. 
Do the outline again with red paint.
Fill in yellow for the ornaments, head-dress, the stems, the dress and the background.
A double coat of yellow where required.
A bold red outline and some shading and some red effects on the background.
Yellow for the body (multiple coats).
Then green for leaves, stems and dress.
Then blue for some parts of the dress and garlands.
Finally a black outline all over again and for the hair.

The starting point - the drawing given to us

The sketch on the canvas

The first step - outline with red paint

Filling in the yellow parts

Red outlines and shading 

With the reference painting

Background completed

Again yellow for the body

    Now for some green

  And some blue

After the final step - black outlines

And I completed my first Kerala Mural. Hope to make more sometime soon.

This one goes to PPF and Show and tell Saturday #30. Drop in there to see some amazing art. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The colors and lights of Diwali

Hope all of you had a happy and safe Diwali!

For us it was a fun filled, sweet filled, color filled and lights filled Diwali. Here are some pictures of Diwali at home.

Preparations during the day.

Rangoli without any artificial colors

Floating candles and petals in a silver plate

 Floating flowers and candle in a brass vessel

Finally with lights.

The lamps flanking the floating candles are the tealight holders we made last week.

So, that was our Diwali. How was yours?

I'll link my rangoli to PPF on Friday. See you there.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Diwali decor - DIY kids

It's almost here! Diwali - the festival of lights. There are a lot of eco-friendly choices I wish to make this year.
No ceramic diyas. Upcycled and recycled lamps and decor as far as possible. Unpainted terracotta figurines of Lakshmi and Ganesh as always. No firecrackers if the kids can be convinced (!!). But unlimited sweets, lights and fun.

The kids got to work and made a few DIY lamps. I got some terracotta diyas and the kids painted them. Here's what my little artists made -

I've been cleaning and storing all the glass bottles that find their way into our house with jam and honey and other stuff. The intention being to upcycle them. Finally I got the kids to upcycle a couple of them to make pretty lamps. These are very simple. We just applied some random glue spots on the bottle and wound different colors of thread around it. A tealight in the bottle created magic.

My son took to photography after art. Look at these cool shots with interesting perspective.

The threads or ribbons can be wound in a better manner for a more neat finish. You could create symmetric patterns too if symmetry is the thing for you. I just let the kids do it so the bottle ended up with equal amounts of thread and glue :)
We did another experiment and the bottle turned into an interesting "Potli" tealight holder. :) Its red crepe paper wrapped around the bottle and secured with a rubber band at the top. We could use colorful ribbons or golden threads too. The ends of the paper have been trimmed with a design scissors.
We opened out potli and it became a flower lamp. :)

We put some masking tape on yet another bottle and painted over it with acrylics. After the tape was removed, the little tealight did wonders to our home. It would have turned out better only if we could have chosen better colors and had the patience to wait for the paint to dry before removing the tape. But we are kids! And just 2.6 and 5.2 years at that!

My friend Vinaya tried her hands at a couple of DIY decor items. She was kind enough to share these great pics here.

You can find the instructions for these pretty paper flowers here.

Isn't this Lantern made out of an old cardboard box looking gorgeous? And its pretty simple to make. The box has been cut into equal sized pieces and stuck together at right angles and alternate blocks are colored in different colors. This is a great DIY Diwali and Christmas decor idea that even kids can try. Thanks Vinaya.

I might just come back again before Diwali with more decorations as my head is brimming with ideas at the moment. Maybe some non-kid decorations this time. Happy Diwali!

And I'm authorizing myself on behalf of my kids to send this post to Paint Party Friday hosted by Kristin and Eva and Show and Tell Saturday #28 at Artists in Blogland.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Dastkar Nature Bazaar 2012

Dastkar had organized its annual Nature Bazaar in Bangalore in the first week of September. This was the first time I visited the famed handicrafts exhibition Dastkar. And I was able to because this time they had put it up almost across the road from my place. God bless them! Sharing my experience here...

I was so impressed with the stuff there that I ended up visiting the place three times and burning a not-too-tiny hole in the pocket.

Here're are some stuff I liked.

Bamboo Planters

Colorful Lanterns

Painted leather lampshades
 I used to love these lampshades and was planning to pick up one when it suddenly stuck me they are made of leather. I dropped the idea and am now planning to make one from either paper mache or other eco friendly options.

Terracotta Jewelry

Cute little fridge magnets

Colorful kites

Kites turned into elegant decor items

                                                          Pattachitra wooden birds

Kerala Murals

                                                 A contemporary design in Kerala mural style

A nice idea - kerala murals on pendents!

I'd discovered Kerala murals by chance on someone's blog and got really interested in them. I even looked for classes around my place. I finally decided to try one myself and made a sketch on a canvas. And then I saw this great stall in Dastkar. And the artist, Sujith mentioned he was planning to conduct workshops in Bangalore soon. I was excited. And guess what? I'm attending his next workshop in November. I'm looking forward to it.
                                                     Irresistible Blue Pottery of Jaipur

                                                          A puppet show for kids

All these years my job kept me busy and I never got time to visit these art and craft events. So Dastkar was a pleasant experience for me. There's another event going on in Bangalore at the moment - The Handmade Collective by A Hundred Hands. A visit is there on my list but it's only there till Nov I'm hoping I'll be able to make it.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

A butterfly themed b'day party

Here's a post that's been lying in the drafts half completed for long. I had to post this before talking about my  next themed party. I'm dying to talk about it.

I planned and threw a semi-themed birthday party for my daughter's 2nd B'day.  She really didn't have too many preferences of her own till then and I'm not too fond of extreme girly themes like Barbie and Princess etc. So I decided to go for a neutral theme. The theme I chose was "Butterfly".

I have a friend and neighbor(SM) who shares a lot of my interests and we take up most projects together.
My son, SM and I made some very simple invitation cards with butterflies on them.  We fan-folded 2 different colors of crepe paper and stuck them down in the center with a ribbon. The crepe papers looked like wings and the ribbon strip like the body. We split the ribbon on top and curled them to make the antennae. Unfortunately I wasn't able to take pics.
These days I'm pretty charged up about conserving our environment. (Again SM shares this sentiment and is in fact a Phd in Environmental Sciences and is almost an activist when it comes to reducing the usage of plastics) So we made goody bags from old newspapers with a rope for the handles. And I was so proud of them! :) My SIL, who happened to be around also pitched in for this.
Along with some return gifts like books, I also put some butterfly shaped goody pouches in them. Now this was an interesting idea I found on the internet. They were so simple to make yet so cute. I found it here which was taken from here. And this is how I made mine -

Ek titali...
(One butterfly...)

I bought small zip pouches and filled them with different toffees and candies and some Cadbury's Gems. I folded the bags and put colorful clothes clips in the middle. The tutorials I'd refered to called for googli eyes for the butterfly's eyes and pipe cleaner for the anternnae. I didn't think I would find them anywhere closeby so easily. So I used small back sticker Bindis (The colorful dots and circles that Indian women sport on their foreheads) for eyes :). 

Ek, ek karke...
(One by one...)
Now came the tricky antennae...  Since I made them late into the previous night, I had to make do with the stuff I had available at home...Finally I just rolled pieces of crepe paper, folded them in half and stuck them into the clothes clips. What do you think?

Anek titaliyan!
(Many butterflies!)
The cake - I had this idea I had seen somewhere for an easy butterfly shaped cake. My first (actually second) attempt at making and decorating the cake myself for a party. I decorated it with the stuff available easily here like colored sugar and Cadbury's Gems.

Butterfly shaped birthday cake

While I'm at discussing cakes, I thought I could share a pic of the muffins I had baked for the party. ;)

Vanilla muffins with chocolate frosting
And it was such a coincidence that a number of gifts my little one received had butterflies on them - a frock with butterfly motifs, a lunch box in the shape of a butterfly and a toy wrapped in a butterfly print paper!

This was all I could manage in the short time after I decided on the theme. But butterfly themed ideas kept coming for a couple of weeks after that. :)

My next attempt was slightly bigger in scale - A "Save the Earth" theme for my son's b'day last month. I'm dying to talk about that's saved for another (long) post.

Ah it's already Saturday morning! So here's my entry for Paint Party Friday...a WIP of a Kerala Mural painting. Just the sketch is done. I have to start filling in the colors now. Since its Saturday, I'm also linking this to Show and tell saturday #25 at Artists in Blogland. This is a first for me although I've once participated in the Monthly challenge hosted on this wonderful blog.
(I wasn't able to capture the pencil sketch properly so I used the auto correct options of the photo editor which made the sketch clear but gave a photocopy look to it)

Krishna with Gopis

Friday, 31 August 2012

Painting and clay art

After a long slumber, I awoke to make a painting :) You won't believe how long I had this idea in my head. I have thought it over so many times. But I think my inertia becomes too strong at times. And it takes me months, or years sometime, to overcome it and jump into action. Well, better late than never!

My original idea was slightly different but here'e what it turned out to be. But that's art for me.....enjoying the process and being pleasantly surprised by the outcome :)

Its actually a set of 4 canvases each an 18" square. I intend to hang them up on the wall above my off-white sofa with colorful cushions. Do you think it'll look good there?

Did I mention I took a basic course in clay modeling and the wheel? It was a 10 session course at Clay Station and was good fun. More about Clay Station in a separate post. The course covered hand building techniques and some basics of throwing on the wheel. Since a child, I was always fascinated by the Potter's wheel. I was excited to see how a rotating wheel and a skilled pair of hands could mold and shape the lump of clay into beautiful art pieces. 

Well the course focused more on hand building as the time wasn't enough to take us anywhere close to even an amateur level on the wheel. But I did get a feel of the wheel and learnt to almost center the clay lump and give it a basic shape.

So, here are some of the stuff I made during the class using the various techniques taught. 

I'm linking this to Paint Party Friday. I haven't participating in this fun party for quite sometime now. This week I have something to take with me to the party and share with all the talented artists there.