Tag Archives: Fevicryl

Ideart: Grand Theft Autorickshaw!

I did this one a good while ago actually but I haven’t had a chance to put up a post about it so far. Twitter tells me that there’s an autorickshaw strike in the city today (again? when was the last time these guys did some work?) so here’s one for the frustrated commuter.

When I first spotted this plain yellow V-necked tee-shirt, I knew I wanted to do something around the taxi/ autorickshaw theme, given its colour. I wore the tee plain for a good few months because its clean, vibrancy added a lot of cheer to my mood.

When I finally got down to paintbrushes, I realized I’d need a number of practice runs to create the image. For starters, I wasn’t modifying an image I’d already seen (as with the superheroes), I didn’t have any earlier references (as with folk art). All I had was a vague image in my head.

Anybody who has been in Mumbai this past year knows that the public transport that we Mumbaikers used to pride ourselves on, has gone to the dogs. The endless metro work has key suburban stretches dug up & cordoned off to the point of dirt trackdom. Meter rates have gone up and so have cases of meter-tampering. What’s more, due to various regulatory dictats, there seem to be fewer autorickshaws & taxis plying on the roads now. And finally, to add insult to injury, these once ubiquitous black-and-yellow guy have turned rude to the point of inhuman (Sick person to be taken to the doctor? Floods & pouring rain? Bomb blasts? Forget about any help from these guys!). New York cabbies probably have nothing on us now.

Anyway, here’s how I chose to relieve my frustration:

Apologies for the not-clear photograph. It was shot on a cameraphone before I had my camera. And unfortunately the tee-shirt has gone missing now! 😦 The caption is ‘Grand Theft Autorickshaw‘ and painted on a silver rectangular background, complete with kiss decals to represent the sidey rear-view mirror of an autorickshaw.

Garment: Standard size S ladies’ V-neck tee-shirt

Material: Tee-shirt cotton

Background colour: Eggyolk yellow

Paint colours used:

  • Fevicryl no. 21 Sap Green
  • Fevicryl no. 30 Flesh Tint
  • Fevicryl no. 27 White
  • Fevicryl no. 04 Crimson
  • Fevicryl no.304 Pearl Green

*Cross-posted to Divadom.

Ideart: Warli & Shoes

A quick post to showcase what I did at the fabric-painting stall I set up recently. Jai was my guardian angel who got there before I did, kept up my morale and let me paint his jeans, his pockets AND his shoes. 🙂 Here’s what we ended up with:

And then there was Biswajit who stopped by as guest-guardian angel and let me paint this cloth-covered folder that he’d just bought. Warli is always delightful.

* Cross-posted to Divadom.

I Wear: Accessorizing Colour Blocks

Colour blocking is a trend that appeals to me on account of its drama. The sheer audacity that lets one pair purple with yellow or green and orange really sings out to the unabashed colour lover. On the other hand, it conflicts with another of my style-tendencies, viz – accessorizing. All the colour blocking I’ve seen, involves letting just the fabric colours cause impact.

This year, I’ve toned down my style considerably in terms of make-up and accessories. Lipsticks exited my drawers last year and made way for mild, nude gloss. Eye make-up was refined to a barely-there black line on the inner lower lid, years ago (any more and I look like the Indian cousin of the Addams Family). But my love of jewellery is at the root of my struggle against ‘proper’ colour-blocking. Even now, a drawer full of sundry beads, knicknacks, brooches, pins, earrings, rings, chains, necklaces, pendants and miscellaneous jewellery parts long detached from their owners call to me. I’m a great one for refurbishing old stuff (no, that’s not miserliness, that’s the legendary Cancerian tenacity). So the last category lie in wait of a rebirth that I’ll give them some day.

Anyhoo, I find I’ve been gradually embracing the trend myself, or at very least, putting up my own version of it. For starters, it can’t be a colour block for me unless there’s at least one really strong, dramatic colour. Black, white, grey and beige don’t count. Neither do brown or olive (yuck, I’d rather die than wear either of these!). And I don’t go completely accessory-bare. But I do try and ensure that the accessories blend into/complement rather than stand out from the colours.

Pink is a colour that found entry into my wardrobe really late, so deadset was I on not being a typical ‘chick’. Even then, it edged its way in through magenta and fuchsia, then salmon and baby pink is still a questionable proposition. But it colour blocks wonderfully with the navy blue of denim (not the pale blue please, that loses on non-drama grounds).

Here are two times in the past week that I’ve colour-blocked pink and blue. They’re very similar, a fact that hit me only after I saw the pics, which is why I put them together in one post. But the garments are all different, the shades of pink vary and the accessories don’t repeat.

Goa chic

Here’s the first look – meeting a friend for evening coffee at a place very close to the beach (after which I planned to actually take a walk on the sand).

The skirt is an A-line wraparound in dark blue with abstract prints. Funnily enough, it has a very Goa feel to it but it was actually bought in Janpath, New Delhi. I’m calling this a colour block since the other colours do sort of get lost in the blue. The top is a salmon pink tee-shirt that I’ve never gotten around to painting.

Breaking the monotony of the stark top is a long string of chunky glass beads, worn in two loops. These were a lucky buy at Dilli Haat several years ago and have been on the top of my favorite accessories list ever since. Matching these, are two thin bead anklets, one with a tiny bell. I don’t even remember where I bought these, (they are that old) but I have a box full of them in different colours and types.

The bag is cloth red with beige straps and white threadwork on the main bag. The button, though you can’t see it very clearly is a gigantic wooden circle embossed with an elephant motif. Goa funk again, though (again) this piece isn’t from there.

I Wear:

  • Salmon pink tee-shirt: Pantaloons
  • Blue A-line wraparound skirt: Janpath, New Delhi
  • Cloth bag: Thailand
  • Glass bead necklace: Dilli Haat, New Delhi
  • Bead anklets: Streetside markets, most likely Linking Road

Grunge girl

The second look shows clearer because I was standing in better light. I was accompanying E Vestigio on some errands and we stopped to look into FabIndia. The top is FabIndia, a magenta with black pinstriped cross blouse with Chinese buttons. I’m wearing it with the AND half-trousers, earlier featured in this post.

I went even simpler with the accessories on this look. But each of them is something I’m proud of!

First of all, there’s the big fairie-on-moon medallion chain. This is from Magick, the wiccan store run by my friend, Swati Prakash.

Witches can be a lot of fun!

Now look at the bag! I’m really proud of this. This is the cloth bag that the Lavasa press kit was handed to us in. After we got back, I figured it was a nice bag, light and simple and would be a great Ideart project. I just started to paint out the logo and slogan and ended up with this.

I Wear:

  • Magenta pinstriped Chinese cross-top: FabIndia
  • Navy blue denim half-trousers: AND
  • Purple flat sandals: Lifestyle
  • Fairie-on-moon medallion & chain: Magick, Bandra
  • Bag: Press kit holder from Lavasa, painted by me


*Cross-posted to Divadom

I Wear: Flourishing Feathers

Remember this Native American brave? It’s one of my proudest achievements, being able to get this man’s face, older, weather-beaten and macho just right…and without a guiding sketch.

The tricky bit has been finding a way to wear it. I love going sleeveless but I’ve somehow never gotten used to the spaghetti or otherwise strapped phenomenon. Call it deep-rooted middle class prudery, safety instincts or a consciousness over my arms, I don’t feel comfortable going strappy-shouldered. And the first rule of divadom is being comfortable in what you wear, you can see why this garment has lain unused for a long time.

Yesterday, though, I took heart and brought it out. I was getting ready for a Caferati read-meet, an event I knew I’d need to be comfortable for a long period of time but also confident as I’d be reading. Dressing well being my magic mantra to summon up confidence (Presentations, meetings, talks, workshops, seminars not withstanding, public speaking still makes my knees go knock-knock). The afternoon was also delivering the expected dose of heat, sweat and dust of a Mumbai summer. And finally, I had a temple visit on the calendar, just before the read-meet (no, don’t ask me about that, I don’t discuss it).

Jeans were out of the question, thick and clingy as they’d be. My favorite denim half-trousers (I don’t know what else to call them) by AND came to the rescue. These were a lucky, very lucky find at a sale nearly two years ago. They’re made of navy blue soft, lightweight denim. They’re also roomy enough to be comfortable but tailored with just that right finish to fall on the side of smart and not sloppy. I’m guessing the front fold and the hems do that but I could be wrong.

The problem of the straps was solved with a red shrug. I adopted the shrug really late into the trend. I still think it looks ridiculous on most people, a garment that started off as a jacket but changed its mind and got left hanging around the shoulders looking silly. But I picked up snug-fit shrugs in black, white and red in the tee-shirt hosiery material. These cling to the skin and look almost like a part of the rest of the top so they don’t look as ridiculous to me.

The touch I’m really happy about in this outfit is (characteristically for me), the accessories. I didn’t want to detract from the outfit with its central focus on the native American portrait and the colour blocking of the shrug and half-trousers. I passed over the red spidery sandals and went in for the tan flat sandals I got in the Inc.5 sale in January. I couldn’t resist adding a wee line of colour in the form of a string of ankle beads with a couple of little ghungroos attached.

My bag was my favorite red Baggit which I picked over a brown leather bag and the rose tote featured in this one. Still staying disciplined over not distracting from the clothes, I didn’t want the footwear and the bag to even look like they matched. And I finally let myself go with the earrings.

These feathered cuties are from….Archies, would you believe? I think the last thing I bought from Archies was an address book with Keanu Reeves on the cover, in 1994. But when I saw these funky feathers hanging on the accessories stand, I had to stop and look. When I bought them, I had no idea what I could wear them with but the minute I pulled on that vest, these feathers practically flew out of their holder and onto my earlobes.

Sneha indulged my vanity and shot these photographs just before the read-meet. And during the tea break, Aastha asked me if I’d recorded the look for an I Wear post. So thank you, ladies, for the support and the encouragement!

I Wear:

  • Red hosiery shrug: Honey
  • White singlet: FabIndia, painted by me
  • Navy blue denim half-trousers: AND
  • Tan flat sandals: Inc. 5
  • Red handbag: Baggit
  • Red beaded anklet: Janpath market, New Delhi
  • Feathered earrings: Archies


* Cross-posted to Divadom.

Ideart: The Making Of A Superhero-Nagraj

Actually, this should have been my first superhero-on-tee project for the boy. I had after all, heard of Nagraj, the popular snakeman character of Raj Comics. But the boy’s first choice was the dog-parented desi Batman and so Doga it was. Still, when I spotted this olive green tee-shirt, I knew the snake myth was calling to me.

I’ve been a fan of snake stories, the icchadari naag legend with its human-snake shape-shifters, the associations with Shiva (undoubtedly the darkest and most complex citizen of the Hindu belief system). I loved Snake Woman even if I couldn’t find the issues to complete the story. When I was a kid, I read a story about a king who secretly ate a piece of snake meat everyday, which gave him the power to understand the language of animals. And of course, JK Rowling’s attempt to cash in on the snake mystique with Slytherin and Parseltongue. I was quite looking forward to bringing my own interpretation of the snake story to life.

I’ve never been comfortable with the transition from sketching to colouring. My drawings usually turned out well and then were ruined by colour. With time though, I realised it wasn’t exactly that I couldn’t colour, I just couldn’t colour within the lines (yes, pun unintended). So I began colouring independently or painting directly on the surface without using lines to guide me.

Superheroes are tricky things to portray. For one, strong masculine physiques have never been my forte. And then there’s the fear of backlash from the fanbase. Superheroes attract staunch loyalists who will pounce on you for the tiniest detail that you got wrong, from the exact shade of costume, to the height of heel, to the curve of the logo, the hairstyle, expression etc. No chances I decided and figured I better chalk out a map and stay on course, no matter how long it took me.

I started by sketching the character in pencil a few times to get a sense of structure and pose. Then I replicated this on the tee-shirt using a soap marker (the kind that tailors use to mark out cutting lines). My mistakes which were easily rectified using water.

I found a shade (Sap Green) that perfectly matched the costume shown in the picture. I knew it would be too dull but I planned to highlight with pearl tints anyhow. Also, teeshirt hosiery absorbs a lot of colour and often the brighter colours lose their sheen as a result. The way around this is to layer on colours, waiting between coats to dry. That way the topmost coat is laid on a non-penetrable base (of colour) and stands out. Careful with this though, too many layers and if your colours are too old, they’ll peel off.

I’d intended to do something similar for the white snake crest down the front of the costume, layering with silver and white. But I made my white very thin with water and spread it across the area. This, I knew would make it dry with a water-colour like finish. As it turned out, it dried in the exact shade of grey that would make the white really ‘pop’. The same was used for the undersole too.

The skin was already going to be in that wonderfully authentic looking shade called Flesh Tint (used with great success on Sabu, I thought). Hair in black didn’t really show so I added a few touches of Pearl Blue to highlight it (a technique I see a lot in comic books). Fine brushed strokes of black created facial features. The Wikipedia entry for Nagraj says that he has blue eyes so I used a piercing Pearl Sky Blue for the irises with a black dot in the centre.

By this time the green was dry and I was ready to start highlighting. I started shading with Pearl Green, afraid it would end up too blingey. It did look rather bizarre against the Sap Green. But following the original picture, I also added black for the shaded areas. It still looked too much like a child’s colouring book, with the colours standing separately. So I fell back on my old favorite technique – blending.

You do this by painting when the colours are still wet. Where two colours meet, add water and mix them. Don’t be afraid to dip brushes into different colours without cleaning them, it adds interesting swirls of colour on the canvas. When I was done, I realised there was no trace of the original Sap Green visible, which was just as well.

I finished off the costume with Crimson for the pants and boots. The snakes were added later, using Pearl Metallic Bronze and Rust and V-designs in Black. I know they look a little artificial and too thin but that’s how they were shown in the picture. I could probably have played around with that but I just let it be. The final touch was to outline every border in the picture in black. This is what adds that comic-book look to the picture.

Garment: Standard size XL men’s tee-shirt

Material: Tee-shirt cotton

Background colour: Olive green

Paint colours used:

  • Fevicryl no. 21 Sap Green
  • Fevicryl no. 30 Flesh Tint
  • Fevicryl no. 27 White
  • Fevicryl no. 04 Crimson
  • Fevicryl no.304 Pearl Green
  • Fevicryl no.355 Pearl Metallic Bronze
  • Fevicryl no.356 Pearl Metallic Red
  • Fevicryl no.354 Pearl Metallic Rust
  • Fevicryl no.319 Pearl Sky Blue
  • Fevicryl no.305 Pearl Blue
  • Fevicryl no. 02 Black

*Cross-posted to Divadom.

Ideart: Desert Dancers

Take one white shirt.

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

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.


If you liked this post, also see:

Other Indian designs at Kolam 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.

Ideart: Retro Shirt & Kolam

I was grumbling the other day to Samir (who must think I’m an awful crank since I’m always subjecting him to my grumpiness). The issue was that I couldn’t bring myself to write. Not that I didn’t have things to write about, but that I was all out of words so to speak. He scratched his chin (or so I imagine since this was on chat) and said,

It’s natural to feel that way. Creativity must find an alternate expression at times.

Yes, the boy is wise, isn’t he? 🙂

After reviving my karmic enthusiasm for colour and fabric, I realized that my materials, the paints were woefully past retirement age. So today, I restocked with a new set of paints and five new brushes. A new paintbrush is like a new laptop in a lot of ways. You need to find your way around it and it feels stiff and strange, initially. But it also feels brand new and anything new gets the creative instinct flowing in my veins with the blood.

I pondered on what to start with, for awhile. When you’ve been away from the palatte for awhile, that tends to happen, the brain-freeze, the finger-paralysis. From experience I know I just need to get started and then even if I discard the initial efforts, I’ll be off to a good start.

I set aside the blank tees bought especially to paint on, the kurta that’s been waiting for years now for colour and the much-loved FabIndia cropped tops. Flipping through FeviArt (Fevicryl’s magazine) for inspiration, I found a photo-feature of a fashion show where NIFD had tied up with Fevicryl Hobby Ideas. The models were wearing dresses, tunics and jackets on some sort of shiny material, all splashed with crazy, wild sheeny colours. My eyes have always paused at this page, each time I’ve flipped through the magazine and I knew today was the day my fingers got to follow suit.

I dug out an old Van Heusen shirt I had bought on sale and regretted ever since. The shirt is a creamy silk and crumples with each breath. It’s also large-sized and doesn’t flow the way I had envisioned. Instead, because of the fabric, it clings to the skin and because of its size, looks too large rather than drapy on me. In addition, it’s too short to be tucked in at the waist, thus losing its potential for a Mexican shirt-in-tight-jeans look. But the shiny and clingy fabric was just what was needed for what I had in mind, after seeing the magazine photos.

I didn’t plan anything in particular. The colours I picked out this morning are all from the Fevicryl Pearl range and are from two broad colour groups. Yellow-Green-Turquoise and Blue-Lavender-Pink . I started with the back and just let the brushes play along running the colours into each other. The brushes I used were all flat, square tips and made for some interesting brushstroke textures.

In addition because the fabric was crumpled and stiff at those wrinkles, the colour caught and skipped in places. I decided not to worry about a pattern too much and just play with textures and shades. The front has more of the same though in a different brand of abstract.

Now, the front looks like a paisley print to me while the back has a retro vibe. So I guess, the artwork is consistent in terms of period and styling. I’ll probably wear this with dark fitted jeans. The dried paint should make the fabric a little more stiff. The back has more connected colour strokes so this should make the picture ‘stand’ while the front has seperate patches and due to the contours of the body will probably flow in a wave-like fashion.

Garment:Full sleeved formal shirt

Material:Silk (the shiny kind that crumples easily)

Background Colour: Cream

Paint colours used:

  • Fevicryl Pearl Lemon Yellow No.302
  • Fevicryl Pearl Green No.304
  • Fevicryl Pearl Turquoise No.320
  • Fevicryl Pearl Blue No.305
  • Fevicryl Pearl Ice Blue No.321
  • Fevicryl Pearl Sky Blue No.319
  • Fevicryl Pearl Garnet No.318
  • Fevicryl Pearl Pink No.303
  • Fevicryl Grey No.07

And here is something I painted the same day as Good Karma, Bad Medicine. Unfortunately the top has gone missing after that day and I don’t feel inclined to writing about it. 😦 In any case, the design is a traditional kolam design that I got off the Internet and I only used basic white. The back reads ‘Kolam: The Art of Welcome’ since that’s what the south-Indian rangoli is supposed to be.

I think I’ll do another Kolam sketch and write about it in my next Ideart post.


*Cross-posted to Divadom.

Ideart: Good Karma, Bad Medicine

A few days earlier I had a thought. The words

Good karma, bad medicine

just formed themselves in my head. I can’t quite explain the thought. It was one of those ideas that just showed itself and vanished before I fully explore it further. It still sounded interesting. I put it up as my Twitter/ Facebook status to see if I could glean anything from it from seeing it in print. Still no luck. It was one of those things that you can just about see from the corner of your eye but never quite catch it straight-on. That’s when it occurred to me that the best way to communicate this thought may be visual and not verbal. And I realized that it had been awhile since I wielded a paintbrush.

The minute I had that thought, the image I needed flashed before my eyes.That was just it. The idea was a picture, not a sentence or story. After that it was just a matter of executing it. Luckily I had a plain black singlet handy and kept waiting for just such a time. A budding artist learns to store away material that could come in useful.

This is a tank top, that I picked up the first time I saw it because it is the thin, stretchy tee-shirt cotton material. There are no big logos or pictures on it and the cut is basic but curved along the sides rather than the straight up-and-down of unisex tees. I hate those since they hang and tug alternately.

The first thing I had to do was figure out a way to get rid of that little logo in the corner (little as it was, it was still in a white rubberprint and stood out) since that would certainly not do with the idea I had in mind. I was out of black paint so I tried dark blue and dark green but the rubber print of the logo showed right through both of these. Finally I coated it with Fevicryl Pearl Black no. 306.

I wanted the picture to be exactly in the middle of the visible area of the tee-shirt. If you are painting a tee-shirt for the first time, I recommend putting it on and marking off the area while still wearing it. Otherwise, one is used to the stark, solid borders of paper and too often the artwork goes over the visible area or looks too small or big. Clothes fall on each person’s body differently and ideally you should always see the garment on the wearer before painting on it. This area usually comes to about 8in x 8in or 20cm x 20cm on my clothes (and I rather smugly report that it turned out a perfect square without using a ruler or even pencil sketching!)

I started with a swirly line using a thin brush and Fevicryl Pearl Spring Green no.311 and then Fevicryl Cerulean Blue no.32. But I realized that a psychedelic design with multiple colours would need to have broad strokes for each colour to be visible and not get lost in too-intricate strokes so I switched brushes. After that it was a random selection of colours applied in strokes, splashes, squiggles and splotches. I painted over in a number of places and in other places I also used the same brush in multiple colours without cleaning the brush. This last gives the effect that you can see to the right of the second dot on the right. The yellow and pink run parallel for a bit before the yellow strikes out on its own. The colours must not be too liquidey if you want this effect since otherwise they’ll merge into each other.

This is one design where red (my favorite colour) was not the most striking note. On the contrary, the red quite got lost in the gloss of the other pearly tints so I used it as background in a number of places. When I had covered the entire square, I dabbed on circles with the Fevicryl Pearl Spring Green no.311 and you can see the colours beneath through the thin veneer of the green, in places.

I originally intended to paint the words over this design in black or white. But I realized the paint area was too small to fit in words and besides, it was too striking to waste as background. Besides, there was enough room above and below for lettering.

I tried for a digital-looking font and a religious-looking orange (Fevicryl Metallic Red no. 356) for the words ‘Good Karma’. In contrast the words ‘Bad Medicine’ at the bottom are in a more graffiti-like font in a Fevicryl Pearl Lemon Yellow no. 302.

Finally I noticed that the painted-over patch over the logo in the bottom right corner had dried and was standing out against the black. So I painted on a stretch in the same colour across the tee-shirt, a sort of rough underline the way one would highlight a graffittied sentence.

I’m not sure whether the finer points like font and colour would be noticed but I’m guessing they would register at a sublimnal level. The message just is one of those things. I wore this with worn-out blue jeans, a silver chain double-looped around my neck with a New Age faerie pendant. It got some appreciation. 🙂

Good Karma, Bad Medicine

Garment: Sleeveless ladies tee-shirt

Material: Hosiery cotton

Background colour: Solid Black

Paint colours used:

  • Fevicryl Pearl Black no. 306
  • Fevicryl Cerulean Blue no. 32
  • Fevicryl Crimson no. 04
  • Fevicryl Pearl Spring Green no. 311
  • Fevicryl Pearl Pink no. 303
  • Fevicryl Pearl Lemon Yellow no. 302
  • Fevicryl Pearl Metallic red no. 356


* Cross-posted to Divadom.

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