Tag Archives: Art

Vulnerability Bait

Art that is honest & vulnerable makes you want to be honest & vulnerable too. Well, honesty is infectious, or so I want to believe though I keep learning time and again, that that’s not true. But art showcases vulnerability, makes honesty accessible, believable, livable. It makes vulnerability look appealing by giving it your validation.

I rewatched EASY, the Mark Maron storyline of an ageing graphic novelist. Of course it tapped right into my fears of growing old & irrelevant, of regrets over the choices I’ve made that have turned out wrong. It’s also making me think about one of the projects I started (again) under lockdown.

Many, many years ago (and I feel able to say that since it is more than a decade ago and that’s basically three generations in digitalia), I was an anonymous blogger. I didn’t know it at the time but I was pioneering a movement, the way TikTokers are doing today. I was pushing the boundaries of what it means to mine one’s own life for the public, for art. It didn’t feel like any of that because I was protected by anonymity, a single word called IdeaSmith.

But maybe some part of me sensed it because the things that were too vulnerable even for IdeaSmith to say, I said through another name on another even more secretive blog. As a twenty-something Indian woman at the time, I was under A LOT of pressure to get married, after a whole life of being restrained from interactions with the opposite sex. I had burning questions like what does love mean, how do you judge whether someone is right for you, how do you do this in one meeting with twenty-five other people watching your every move and a whole world ready to decimate you for a wrong choice? I was navigating this world through sexual violations, through male entitlement and slut-shaming and the glass ceiling without knowing any of these terms. Well, maybe the last one a bit but not the others. That formed the meat of this super secret blog – my early meetings with prospective grooms and later, my own experiments with men I met in other ways. The word ‘dating’ wasn’t in the middle class Indian lexicon but I (and I guess we) were learning how to find answers to those questions.

I wrote about attractions, I chronicled matrimonial site meetings, I made jokes about the ineptitude of my male peers to have a conversation, I despaired in blogposts of ever finding an equal partnership. Always using elaborate nicknames and descriptions stripped of identity. Some of these themes inadvertently bled into XX Factor, one of my ‘public’ blogs as IdeaSmith in the form of general rants & humour and gained a lot of favour.

Once, sorely tempted, I made the secret blog public and linked it to the blogroll of this one, The Idea-smithy. Some of you may not remember but before there was Facebook, Twitter or even feed-readers, the only way to get to a blog was by typing in the URL in the address bar every damn time. Blogs frequently helped each other out by listing a blogroll in their sidebar, linking to blogs they liked or wanted to promote. I didn’t mention that this link was also one of mine but hid it somewhere between other friend-bloggers links.

Eight hours later, I panicked when I saw the Reader stats of my secret blog and made it private again, taking it off the blogroll. Almost immediately, I received a mail from one of my reader/blogger friends asking where that blog had vanished, who wrote that blog, where I’d found it, etc. More panic. Because I had written about this person too. I squirmed my way out of that conversation. Years later, I had a chance to tell him that I had been the author of that secret blog too. To my mortification he said,

“I knew it! I’d recognised your writing anywhere! You even wrote about me. I’m ‘….’, aren’t I?”

A few years later, I got into a serious relationship. I never told him about this blog. I wasn’t ashamed of it. It’s just I’d been burnt so badly in the past by boyfriends punishing me for having a past. And this one demanded honesty (though he didn’t extend me the same courtesy) but also cut me off from all things that made me, me – family, friends, interests and yes, the past. That relationship took my idea of hell to a whole different level and it was many years before I thought about the blog.

I had used parts of the blog to form a sub-plot of the first book I wrote. When I finally pitched it to publisher, one expressed interest, suggesting that I make it a whole book based only on the blogger character. A few months later, a new blog surfaced chronicling the dating life of one woman and promising a book at the end of it. Maybe not a coincidence that its writer was the same publisher who’d shown an interest in this format of my book. I didn’t own the idea of the format and anyway, my love life in the 2000s in Mumbai would be different from that of a Delhi girl in the 2010s.

I dug up this blog again for an Alphabet Sambar event on digital narratives. Each time I look at it, it gives me the little thrill of pleasure that nostalgia does. But this time when I read the whole thing, I found myself assessing it as a content professional. I thought about what this means in the larger scheme of things like how Indian social systems have developed, our attitudes to each other, our generational learning curve.

For the first time in this blog’s entire existence, I invited someone to read it. Actually I invited several different people and only one actually went through with it. It’s a mean little reminder of a writer’s life where nobody actually sees it as real work or worth respecting how much it matters to you, until there are numbers (viewers, readers, sales). Watching the Mark Maron episode brought up my other fear that once this blog’s contents are made public, many people will come crawling out of the woodwork – the specimens I’ve written about but also others who’ve been in my life all these years and like seeing me in a certain way and will express their BIG disappointment that there’s more. They’ll be upset they don’t appear here. They’ll be upset they do appear and how. They’ll be upset that someone else appears here. They’ll be upset that this chronicle exists. C’est la vie.

The first thing my friend said after she started reading was,

“It’s so vulnerable.”

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Stage Fright And A Lily

I found gratitude in February. Here are all things that were life last month.

A conversation on safe spaces – One of Mumbai’s performance/art spaces and Shamir’s former employer hosted a discussion on safety in performing spaces. We shared experiences, fears, ideas and some hopes for this landscape that we are all committed to.

SXArena: The Third Wheel, UnValentined! and Digital Dil – We decided to try a new format that included poetry, conversations and some simple games to explore ideas of sexuality and gender. The topics of our day were polyamory, relationships outside the primary romantic one, love in the times of hookup and connections beyond the commerce.

The SXonomics Show: Touch Me Not – We were invited to conduct a gender sensitisation drive for The Habitat. We rolled this out as a series of 1 hour shows that combine comedy, satire, music, poetry and dramatic performance to address hard questions. Our first show addressed sexual harassment. It received a good response and this very encouraging review. We have since done one more show on gender (im)balance and have another four coming up (every alternate Monday at The Habitat, 7:30PM).

We, The XX Chromosome: Women’s Web and SheThePeople hosted a two day Women Writers’ Festival 2018 and invited us to do a show themed ‘We, The XX Chromosome’. Our 45 minute performance addressed gender stereotyping, the casting couch, rape culture, outdated fairytales and consent violation.

I started a new friendship and that person came to one of our events just as a show of support. Their presence and their ideas expanded our world view on gender, sexuality and love.

I wasn’t nearly as good at the old friendships. I think after 2017, I found it hard to remember that there were still people who liked me and wanted to spend some moments of their lives with me. But friendliness came knocking in gentle, sweet ways. I went to another old friend’s birthday party without a gift because I had just had no time to get one. But on the way, I stopped and picked up a lily because it reminded me of her. She thanked me so many times, I felt bad that I had categorised our friendship as needing the commercial validation of a store-bought gift. And yesterday she told me that the flower had continued to bloom and spread its fragrance all across her house. This is so lovely.

We were featured in the press several times (1, 2, 3, 4). Ironically right after I posted this poem:

Let me just say life is mischievous at times. 😋

There are days when I fear getting carried away and that this will all crash land. I do love how much I’m learning, though. After a recent show, a member of the audience told us that she had seen one of our early performances and we had come a long way from that. That just feels so, so, so very good.

Every now and then, Ishmeet says or does something on stage and I marvel at how a mind can work and how a gesture or a facial expression can be used to convey an idea. It’s like learning a new language and I’ve always enjoyed that.

I am still awkward in my transitions on and off stage. But stage fright does not cripple me as badly now. I’m learning to enjoy even the mistakes I make, laugh at the times I am clumsy. And that’s the same lesson as life itself, isn’t it? Look up at the stars but also find time to laugh when you trip over the stones. And always, make room for the flowers.

Here’s a handful of SXonomics laughs coming your way. This is our first video.

What does the future hold? Well, Aadhar card linkages and income tax returns. But also four new SXonomics shows, SX-on-Mics (our first community event on Women’s Day) and more videos. And a lily or two.

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Ideart: Desert Dancers

Take one white shirt.
desert-dancers-2

Pick up a paint brush and the remains of earlier painting projects. Grab an old comic book of the Amar Chitra Katha persuasion. Copy a ubiquitous picture of a woman in the lehenga-choli-chunari garb. Colour brightly.

The man is a little trickier as this West-Indian costume isn’t easily visible in the aforementioned comics. But a search of ‘Dandiya dancers’ should throw up some references. Since the background was white, I didn’t bother colouring in his clothes at all. The kurta and pyjama are traditionally white. But I did add a splash of colour on his turban, the sash and ended with the mojri-style shoes. Hairfine strokes to denote creases in the cloth, were my finishing touch.

The woman in this picture brings in the colour while the man adds the motion. Together they present a picture of the vibrancy, the sheer energy of Dandiya.

Let’s have the actual design once more
desert-dancers

Garment: Fitted waist-length kurti with cap sleeves and side-slits

Material: Polycot with chequered texturing

Background colour: White

Paint colours used:

  • Fevicryl no.02 Black
  • Fevicryl no.301 Pearl White (for highlights on the lehenga)
  • Fevicyrl no.21 Sap Green
  • Fevicryl no.04 Crimson
  • Fevicryl no.11 Lemon Yellow
  • Fevicryl no.10 Indian Red

* Cross-posted to Divadom.

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If you liked this post, also see:

Other Indian designs at Kolam and Kathakali

Reverb10.20: Things I Didn’t Get Around To Doing

I considering quitting but with this post I’ve made it to two-thirds of the way and it’d be a pity to stop now, wouldn’t it? So here goes today’s Reverb10.

December 20 – Beyond Avoidance

What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)

(Author: Jake Nickell)

Very quickly, off the top of my head, things I didn’t manage to do this year that I could (and possibly should) have done:

  • Followed a consistent exercise schedule
  • Learnt to dance (salsa)
  • Baked
  • Grown a herb garden (I did manage a couple of basil plants and one ajwain)
  • Gone on a trek
  • Visited Vasai and other nature-rich spots in this city
  • Moved out
  • Learnt (again) to drive
  • Painted a mural in my room or on the wall outside my window

Ideart: Sabu-Jupiter Jwala

Another edition of Ideart! It is most delightful to be able to gift something that you’ve put a little piece of yourself into. The boy is at the slightly flummoxed receiving end of this.

Being a typical boy in all such manner of things, he’s a comics aficionado. Grave conversations have been had about the merits of desi superheroes over the firang crusaders. He’s actually a Homer Simpson fan but the American sensation’s face is plastered over teeshirts right across town. I thought it would be fun to bring in a desi touch to the comic characters-on-teeshirts fad. So I started with something familiar to every Indian kid across the country (secretly in cases like mine since my parents didn’t approve of the bad English). The world of Diamond Comics!

Chacha Chaudhary would have been the obvious choice for the tee-shirt with the telling caption of ‘Chacha Chaudhary’s brain works faster than a computer!’ But I felt the concept of a bald, alien giant clad in gold earrings, belted shorts and boots had far more potential.

I looked through a number of images online and offline to get a good sense of Sabu. The drawings were actually a lot more detailed than I remembered them. For example, Sabu’s boots aren’t always the ubiquitous black. Sometimes they match the colour of his shorts, sometimes the belt. The mustache is finely waxed and shaped (presumably garden shears would have been put to use trimming it). And finally his body language lent itself to a delightful range of renditions. Since Sabu is the muscle end of Chacha Chaudhary’s adventures, there are several panels that depict high kicks or punches (with a star-shaped ‘Pow’ bubble).

I put together some amalgamation of all of these. The result shows Sabu preparing to land either a punch or a kick. I know a villian being punched might have added to the image but I wanted a dedication to Sabu, not just a scene from the series. As it turns out, I think Sabu could be mistaken for a (rather clumsy) ballroom dancer.

White and black were my choices for the background. But when I saw this grey, I fell in love with it. Sabu has neither the pristine moral science character of Chacha Chaudhary nor the dark, brooding past of some of the other superheroes. He’s musclepower, sidekick and comic relief all in one. Chacha Chaudhary has to restrain him from some of of his more angry ideas on occasion. He’s treated like a child, a rookie and even a faithful pet. Grey seemed the perfect choice for Sabu.

Given my low confidence with drawing male characters, I took a long time sketching the figure out. The simplicity of Diamond Comics artwork made this a good first step for me. I retained the slight errors in size and perspective because that’s what I see in the actual comics too.

Colouring was the easiest bit of this project, given that Sabu wears very few clothes. A skin tone for the body,  blue shorts, gold earrings and brown belt and boots. The effect was rather like a child’s colouring book so I added some shading. The way to do this is when the base layer of paint is still slighty wet but not runny. Lay a spot or even a thin line of a darker (in the case of the skin) or lighter (the shorts) shade of the same colour and blend in.

I’m rather happy with the way the shading turned out on the arms, especially Sabu’s left arm. The brush strokes left hairfine lines and I didn’t blend them in further because they give the impression of hairiness and add to the desi machismo look.

Sabu’s expression didn’t give away much and I didn’t want the Jupiter giant to be mistaken for a dance instructor. So squiggly lines radiating from his head were added to let the viewer know that Sabu was angry!

And my favorite part of the image – the caption, was detailed below. In Hindi for maximum impact:

Jab Sabu ko gussa aata hain, to Jupiter pe jwalamukhi phatata hain!

(When Sabu gets angry, a volcano erupts in Jupiter)

Garment: Standard size XL men’s tee-shirt

Material: Tee-shirt cotton

Background colour: Gray with white flecks

Paint colours used:

  • Fevicryl no.02 Black (for outline, caption, mustache and anger strokes)
  • Fevicryl no.352 Pearl Metallic Gold (for earrings)
  • Fevicryl no.30 Flesh Tint (for skin)
  • Fevicryl no.32 Cerulean Blue (for shorts)
  • Fevicryl no.10 Indian Red (for belt, boots and skin shading)
  • Fevicryl no.305 Pearl Blue (for shorts shading)

* Cross-posted to Divadom.

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If you liked this post, also see:

Other comic book art in Doga: Born In Blood & The Making Of A Superhero: Nagraj

Reverb 10.7: Citizen Of The Community

It feels really odd to address this Reverb10 prompt, fresh on the heels of yesterday’s events. I’m really tempted to pass it up. But I’m plagued by the nagging suspicion that I’ll feel incomplete, like I didn’t give the exercise my best shot. And since I am all about being 100% present in the moment, right now, I’m going to try it. Bear with me on this one, I have a feeling it’ll be a rough ride.

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

I’ve always been a community-builder. I like people, that is for sure. I am also intrigued by the complexities that are added to human interaction when the numbers increase. I am fascinated by how different people, from different places unite on a common interest or belief and how their differences impact what unites them. Where best to observe and participate in each of these than in a community?

What I loved most about the internet, when I came to it back in 1995, was how much access it gave me to other people. It was really about moving computers from the age of computation to connection.

I started with creating address book lists. I’d frequently send out mailers to different groups, initiating discussions, asking questions. These were the predecessors of what we now call discussion threads. Newsletters have always been around and I tried a version of that in my online space too. Soon enough, I was writing pieces of my own and sending it out to people I thought would be interested. Can’t you already tell that I would love blogging, when it did happen a few years later?

Egroups was the next step (later on called Yahoogroups) and I united my colony friends, my college cronies, my school batch and my extended cousins in various groups. Blogging. Twitter. Facebook. And here we are, now.

After I quit my job, I gravitated to groups of people who shared my interests and my ideologies. These included creative fora, writers groups, literary circles and cultural gatherings. As with every group of people, eventually individual agendas and petty politicking start to eat away the fabric of what originally united people. I’ve learnt that much now but it never gets any easier to deal with.

The events of yesterday had less to do with my standing up for someone close to me and much more to do with being a member of the creative community. A few years ago, I was singing on stage when someone in the audience drenched me in a shower of beer. Following an outbreak of behaviour, the band packed up and refused to perform any more. That was the solidarity of the group. I am disappointed that no one else in the creative community felt the need to speak up or back me up on day before yesterday’s incident, except for the artist who was affected.

A few years earlier, I started facing harassment targetted at my blogging persona. A lot of people then told me to ignore it. And I felt humiliated and let down back then. What was interesting about yesterday is how things have changed. I expressed an opinion and got slammed for it. This included personal attacks and a taunt that my opinion didn’t matter. The Twitterverse rose up in a mighty show of support. There were people I didn’t know very well and some that I did but didn’t even get along with. It was my community stepping up to back me, even if they did not have a direct interest vested in the episode. It was about protecting the rights (to an opinion) of a member of the community.

I am personally very happy to see bloggers and tweeters getting a collective voice and spine in protecting our own. That’s a strong community, in my mind. It keeps us connected and stronger. I am proud to be a part of this community and occasionally have the opportunity to speak for it.

I wish other artists, performers and writers would also band together in a similar manner to uphold and protect our ideals. Perhaps they already do; I just have to discover those specific communities.

Okay that’s the end of it. I warned you it’d be awkward and clumsy. *Sigh* Bear with me, the next one will be better, I promise!

Reverb10.6: The Creative Flow

I actually like the Reverb 10 prompt on this one because I instantly had an answer and it also ties in to one of the most useful insights a friend brought my way earlier this year.

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

I’m going to take this question to exclude the creation of writing. Other that writing, how have my creative ideas been expressed? Let’s see. I discovered a spark of an interest in the kitchen. Instead of falling back on the system, in my case my mother’s teachings and many cookbooks, I went online. I explored a cuisine I knew nothing about (and that my mother knew nothing about). And I experimented. The advantage was that my mother couldn’t stand over me correcting every little action. It freed me up to explore the art of cooking for myself. Full expression and mastery of a creative field does require privacy and the freedom to make your own mistakes. I think my mother doesn’t quite get that and her total and complete control over whatever I do in the kitchen, kills whatever spark I might have. I managed to break free of that by trying this. I made pesto, moussaka, Greek salad and a cake. 🙂 Tummy happy and mummy happy too!

The other thing that I did do is pick up fabric-painting again. Seven years ago, I used it as an escape from a difficult situation I was in. That time it was a bad relationship. This time, it was the anxiety and pressure I felt over my book. Surprisingly it really helped. It was such a comfort to be able to create something that I felt confident about. Alternately it was very relaxing to be able to mess around without anything really invested in the result. I also picked up the Ideart series again. What’s more, in a very funny way, it acted as a lubricant for my then-stuck writing. I guess creative expression through different outlets keeps things moving for an artist.

Of the many things I’d like to create, I’ll narrow down to the same two I’ve spoken of here. I would like to learn cooking further. I already have the basics of vegetarian South-Indian cooking. I identified non-vegetarian cooking and baking as two things I’d like to explore. It’s not entirely a coincidence that my mother does neither of these. She’s a wonder in the kitchen with her South-Indian vegetarian cooking. And somehow, there is just no room for me to experiment or indeed, prove myself there. It feels too much like a competition and one that I’d never win. On the other hand, in non-vegetarian cooking and baking, there’s no question of competition. I’d feel free to just be myself and mess about, confident that whatever turned out would be right and fine. Takes the pressure so very much off but retains all the fun and satisfaction of creation!

The other thing I’d like to do relates to visual art. I would love to paint a mural in my room or on the outer wall of my building. Currently I don’t see that being possible, since a lot of paints spark up my allergies. Having them in my bedroom would be condemning myself to months of allergy attacks. But it’s something that bears thinking about and maybe I’ll revisit it, in the weeks ahead.

I just realized my insight from this prompt was that result-orientedness could kill creativity. It’s a little too Zen to advocate not caring about results at all. But perhaps switching to something else, at least temporarily, can help take one’s mind off the pressure of doing well.

Ideart: Kolam

Kolam is a household art form practised in South India. It is not the same as the North Indian rangoli which is more of a festive occasion icon.

Kolams are created everyday by the lady of the house and are an important ritual to start the day. Traditionally nobody leaves the house till the porch has been cleaned and the kolam laid out at the doorstep. The kolam signifies a welcome to the Goddess of wealth and also anybody else who comes to the doorstep. A subtextual purpose is to feed mice and other small animals in the vicinity. Suffice to say that in many places, few traces of the kolam remain at the end of the day. It is worship and welcome along with providing for smaller beings.

Kolams are made of finely powdered rice and laid out by spilling it from between the index finger and the thumb. The most common kolams have a basic framework of dots and lines curling around them in various loops and rounded designs. The challenge of a kolam is that it must be drawn in one unending line stroke.

The more elaborate kolams are usually reserved for festive occasions and religious ceremonies. Some of them do include colour, geometric patterns and even images of gods, flowers, birds, animals and diyas. Some designs also have special significance to dates and occasions. But the most recognizable (to a South-Indian) designs are the basic dots-with-doodle ones.

I’ve been fascinated by this art form for many years and I learnt it (as all good heritage practices are), from my mother. I started with laying borders, then progressed to simple 16-dot designs and upwards till I was finally elevated to the honour of laying the mahakolam on religious occasions. I tend to be more ambitious than my mother, gunning for more complex designs each time. But she’s much more skilled than I am and her fingers (even stiff with arthritis) manage to lay perfect lines where I spill out shades and strokes of varying thickness. Practice does make perfect with a craft.

There’s not much to tell with the actual technique on this project. I used the thinnest brush I could find. In fact, it was an old brush that had stiffened with earlier, unwashed paint. It suited my purpose perfectly since I needed a stiff surface to guide the paint in a clean, even line. If you’re trying this for the first time, the key is to count the dots in each line, start at any tip and just follow the line. Practice on paper first. I still do that.

I’m rather proud of this one. It actually took just 15 minutes but each one of intense concentration. The design is a first for me – I’ve never laid a kolam with pointed peaks before. One one hand, the technique itself was easier since I am much handier with a paintbrush than I am with powder in my fingers. On the other hand, the surface area was limited and an already intricate design as this one shrunk into that space made it much more complicated.

If you look closely, you’ll notice the paint is not even across the design. But I’m deliberately not touching it up to retain the authentic feel. Real life kolams are not evenly laid out since the powder never falls exactly the same way all through.

This is my kolam, the fine art of welcome.

* Cross-posted to Divadom.

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If you liked this post, also see:

Other Indian designs at Desert Dancers and Kathakali

Ideart: Native American in India

This piece began at the height of my ambition as a fabric-painter. It was one of the few ones where I actively went looking for the garment and bought it only because I had a painting project idea in mind.

It was a creamy-white cotton vest from FabIndia with flat straps and a fringe of hanging plastic beads at the bottom. They had it in a number of other colours but which artist can resist the lure of a plain white?

I saw it and knew it was perfect for a painting. I had initially imagined an Indian motif or scenery, in accordance with my craze at that time. But the garment design was more Western and I’d been doing so many village belles, traditional motifs and dancers that I was looking for a different challenge. The beads at the bottom made me think of Native Americans.

Their images are also colourful, not in same vibrant hues of India but in more muted earthy tones. The fact that the vest was cream and not pure-white made it even better since it would offset the rust and brown tones that I envisioned, perfectly.

The tricky bit was finding the right image to paint. My actual paint area was quite small since the vest is very close-fitting, almost like a tank top. I had to stay within the limits of my (considerably narrow and small) front torso view. You should always see the garment on its wearer before planning a design. It gives you a sense of your boundaries (you can’t exactly print all the way to the side-seams since the areas under the arms will almost never be visible.)

I decided to elaborate my experimentation and do a portrait. I’m more of a big picture person, I like fitting in plenty of details, little sub-plots into the story of a painting and I find portraits generally too boring and one-focussed. So this portrait would have to be a big enough story in its right to hold interest.

I picked a man (once again, rather ambitiously, since I don’t think my sketches of men turn out as well as the ones of women) for my subject so I’d be able to bring in the gorgeous head-gear that the braves wear. I decided he’d be on the older side so the interest value in his face would come from the weathered lines of age (symbolising wisdom and experience) rather than aesthetics. Also, he would have to be older to don an elaborately plumed head-dress (each feather has to be earned by an act of bravery).

I didn’t do any sketches or outlines but started right away with the forehead, worked down to the face and then started on the headdress. The shading on the face turned out much better than I had hoped. It was just a matter of dabbing on varying hues of skin tone before they dried completely, which gave them a chance to mingle and look more realistic. The right corner of the face was touched up with the yellowish hue and I deliberately let the line show since light falling on that side would end in a sharp line.

I didn’t spend too much time on the rest of his body and garments, which is why the neck looks a little off and the collar is of scant interest.

The headdress was the part that I was really waiting for. I stroked out hairfine lines emanating out in all directions from the headdress border. Each line served as the spine of a feather. Using a fine-tipped brush to give the feathery touch, I painted using Fevicryl no.

Quite to my surprise, the most interesting part of this painting turned out to be, not the brave’s headdress but his face itself. I didn’t plan it that way and I certainly didn’t think it would turn out that well (though I’m really thrilled it did)! Art is so much fun when it surprises you this way. I still look at this piece and think,

I did that?! Wow, someone else must have possessed my body at that time and guided my hand.

Garment: Short fitted singlet with plastic bead fringe at hem

Material: Thin cotton

Background colour: Cream-white

Paint colours used:

  • Fevicryl no.02 Black
  • Fevicryl no.301 Pearl White
  • Fevicryl no.39 Carmine
  • Fevicryl no.352 Pearl Metallic Gold
  • Rust
  • Mustard
  • Yellow

* Cross-posted to Divadom.

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