Like I had mentioned in my previous blog about right people, I have a wonderful friend who always inspires me in arts. He is Sathiesh and used to come up with abstract paintings and strikingly different artifacts whereas I am stuck with the same Tanjore paintings and Kerala Murals. So I used to look up at him for new artifacts and try them. Recently he shared his work made out of Fevicryl Shilpkar - an air drying art clay. This is his work for his newly constructed house. I will try this material soon and share with you all. Till then please take a look at Sathiesh's work for inspiration.

I had drawn an Ardhanareeswarar mural a couple of years ago and l had felt that it looked more like a contemporary painting than a traditional mural. Also that mural was a bitter sweet memory and I gave it away to my sister-in-law who liked that mural very much. Oflate when I decided to paint a mural to overcome the loneliness / boredom, I found this image attractive from the Google image search. I decided to be more careful regarding the stippling techniques this time.

AnanthasayanamHai Guys, I had completed my third Kerala mural painting - Ananthasayanam. Ever since my batchmate Mr. Ian had forwarded the image link to me, it was my fantascy to attempt. Originally I planned this drawing for 3 ft x 5 ft but had second thoughts whether I can be able to pull it off. While the wood work was going on I took a remaining plywood (1 ft x 2.5 ft) and started the Ananthasayanam painting on it. But while progressing only I realised that it would have been easy if I had started in the 3 ft x 5 ft board because the drawing had so many intricate parts which took a toll while drawing them in still more smaller board size. Atlast when I finished it, it gave me a sense of satisfaction and a confidence to start boards of larger size. For Kerala murals enthusiasts, I have photo documented the stages since the basic outline, so that you people can understand what exactly goes into these paintings.


Almost after a couple of years since I had made my last "successful" Kerala mural - Shivakudumbam, I got a chance to revisit painting. I was scouting for a nice painting to start with and I shortlisted few murals. However this Ardhanareeshwara grabbed my attention because of its difference in painting. Normally the feminine and masculine parts of Ardhanareeshwara were painted with contrasting colours that clearly demarcates them. But in this painting, the body colour was the flesh yellow but just the shades were made in green and orange for the Parvathi and Shiva respectively. At the end of the day, my mural looked more like a contemporary painting but what gave me the satisfaction was that I managed to get the stippling techniques better this time.

Of late I had stopped making Tanjore paintings because of my weakness in the area of poster colouring which decides the fate of the painting. After putting so much of efforts in embossing through muck and foil sticking, it is wrenching to see the painting losing its value with bad painting. So I had taken up Kerala mural painting as I am getting more comfortable with acrylic painting. I saw this mural - Vasudevar taking the infant Krishna to his friend Nandhan, who stays in Gokulam located across the river Yamuna on a rainy night and was attracted to it instantly. However I wanted my friend Sathiesh to paint that but since he hadn't started working on it for a long time, I decided to take it. This painting was started in Melbourne during stay at my friend Vijayakrishnan's house, however was completed after 7 months in India. Attached in the gallery is the steps of painting.

To kill time while commuting to/from office I use to watch movies in my mobile. But sometimes I don't feel like watching anything. Once I saw a co-passenger doing something with a stylus in his Galaxy pad, I got inspired and downloaded a sketching app called 'Sketch Guru'. I kept making sketches with fingers for a while. Once I got the feel of digital sketching, I bought a stylus pen and made few sketches which even I like. Here is the collection of sketches made till date.

Click the image to see the sketchesHai Guys, after a long time I tried my hand at sketching. It happened during a boring office meeting. I sketched Buttu seeing his photo in my mobile. Even though it was a single attempt without using any eraser while sketching, I can't say that it was a good one. I was happy when Akila realised that the sketch was Buttu. Her only comment was thet Buttu looked "elder" in my sketch. The second sketch in the blog was made by Akila when she was pregnant with Buttu. My mother in law said that it was surprising that Akila who didn't even draw her school assignments, made this sketch. I told Akila that I am sincerely praying for a baby girl but she drew a "My Boy". At the end God had answered her prayer and Buttu sometimes resembles the photo which Akila took as reference for sketching. These sketches are now for your viewing!!! Click the thumbnail for viewing them.

Click the image to read furtherHai Guys... It had been a long time I had been active on the blogging side. It is not that I had run out of ideas but all my energies were channelised towards completing the Shivakudumbam painting I had started 3 months back. What initially started as one of the hobbies took over the almost all the free time. Meanwhile I did watch some good movies like - "Angaadi Theru" (heart touching story), "Kalavaani" (Cute romantic comedy) & Neelathamara (mal.), not so bad "Paiyya" and some trashes like Kites (Hindi), Phoonk (Hindi) etc but I didn't have the time / inclination to write them because of this Shivakudumbam. Atlast when I finished the same in the odd hours of yesterday there was a sigh of relief and at the same time an urge to start the next painting. I had even identified what I want to do next, but I don't want to take it up now.

Rajarajeswari MuralI have (almost) completed the Kerala Mural styled Rajarajeswari painting which Vasuki Ma'm had given for practise. Depending on my mood I may go for the designs in the dress of the Amman, but it is not mandatory. It was a long drawn and exhausting affair which I took it slowly and steadily. I am enclosing the series of "Work In progress" photos in this post, which I took while working on this painting. After doing this I felt that our madam had done the best by giving Lord Ganesha as our first painting because this really took much more work than what was needed for Ganesha. Even though the basic picture looked so plain I could feel that feel of mural appearing in various stages. And... I didn't bother to add my own or 'correct' the draft given by our Ma'm as I believe her draft completely. Atlast I have learnt to make paintings patiently rather than rushing through to see the final product as soon as possible.

Hai Guys, Our Vasuki Ma'm is planning a Thangka Painting workshop, which is a Tibetian form of art with profound Chines influences thus forming an intresting convergence of cultures. The workshop is planned at her Eenjambakkam residence for 5 days (in her own words -' continous five days is not compulsory , you can attend it with break here and there if needed ') starting from 16th Dec '09 to 28th Dec '09. The workshop costs Rs. 3500/- inclusive of the materials. Having done a couple of workshops with her I can vouch for her that she sees to it that the participants were taught the background of the art, its finer details like style and strokes along with the techniques so that the participant understands why he/she is made to draw in such way. Our Kerala mural batch enjoyed some intresting conversations with her. Mrs. Vasuki can be reached directly through email at - (at) or by phone - +91-94448-01432. Incase you couldn't reach her, contact me through the contact form so that I will pass the contact details to her. - {oshits} views


'Oh! I am sad that it is the last day of the training' said Sunita while leaving for the third day of the Kerala Murals Workshop held recently at Dakshina Chitra. Normally this happens on a minimum 3 day workshop where people get know the others better than an 1-2 day workshop, or when the participant numbers is minimum and most importantly when the people in the workshop share the same passion & feel strongly towards the art. We had an eclectic mixture of people from all walks of life - housewife / IT professionals / Students / Chennai settled foreigner and a couple of NRIs who shared the same levels of intrest. In this post rather than writing about technicalities of Kerala Murals, let me write about how I came across these Kerala murals for the first time.

Madhubani PaintingIt was the sheer co-incidence that I saw the advertisement on Indian Express as well as the boredom of staying in Chennai on the weekends that made me attend the Madhubani Painting workshop in Dakshinachitra. To be frank I had no clue about what a Madhubani painting meant, until I googled for the same on the eve of the workshop. I would love to say that it made my weekend useful and better. I got exposed to an art that was sheerly purely the form of expression rather than going by and for rules of painting. I wanted to write about this painting on Sunday night itself but was having some other appointments and a subsequent mental block so that I couldn't read / write / paint anything. Atlast I am here to present this beautiful form of art for those who haven't heard about this. Madhubani paintings traces it origin to the Ramayana days - when King Janaka commissioned artists to do the paintings on the walls of the city to celebrate his daughter Sita's marriage. May be because of that Madhubani paintings have Sita as the main protagonist.