Portrait: Behind the scenes

Arnav is my wife’s one-year old sweetipie cutiepie nephew. Akash bhaiya-Pooja bhabhi were throwing his birthday party at their house in Pennsylvania and we decided to surprise them with something totally unexpected – Arnav’s portrait.

It took me around seven hours to complete this 9″ X 11″ sketch in two sittings including the final touches and fixative. Then we excitedly went out to get a black-bordered frame and a wrapping sheet (I just love Michaels!) And trust me, the expressions on bhaiya-bhabhi’s face while unwrapping that sheet was simply out of this world. The both literally screamed out and the very next moment a recently bought expensive painting decorating their living room’s center wall was replaced. Worth it, isn’t? I always try to be original in my posts but have to say – Somethings money can’t buy ;-)

When I started making portraits, I used to use only three pencils (HB, 2B, 4B) and a normal eraser. Even for one of my best portraits (sketched three years back), I used just these basic stuff. Whatever I know I learnt on my own through sketching books,  artists’ blogs and youtube videos, and along the journey I started using many other things (shown below) to give my portraits more and more realistic feel.

Tortillon – The white stumps at the top left corner. They are tightly wound paper sticks and come in several diameters. They are used for blending or smudging to provide the softer effects.

Dusting brush – For cleaning off the eraser residue. I don’t prefer blowing air to my sketch now. One key towards keeping your work clean.

Kneaded eraser – The gray colored eraser next to the tortillon. This can be moulded in any shape and generally used for erasing the small areas or sharp edges such as area inside th eye.

Charcoal eraser – This is white triangular one beside the kneaded eraser and is recent addition to my kit. This works very well with charcoal and pastel.

Knife – I use this for obviously sharpening the pencils’ edges and cutting off the drawing sheet edges.

Fixative – The spray at the right used for avoiding your drawing / shading from smearing. They come in two kinds: Workable and Final.

There are many other drawing stuff out in the market such as Felt pad, Chamios, Carbon pencil and so on to help taking your work to the next level (I am going to add them a few of them to my drawing kit soon), but the above shown are the few which you would definetly require sooner or later on your artistic path.


PS: Recently got a request from a friend’s relative for a portrait. My first commissioned portrait.  It’s so thrilling! :-)

My passion, Sketching

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, 11th President of India (2002 – 2007)

I remember sketching as a kid, making greeting cards for all the relatives, even for distant ones, and even during the exam days, hiding from my mom.

Since then, arts became one of my passions, making me opt Fine-arts in my 11th grade as my additional subject. There I learnt various art forms but sketching fascinated me the most.

I sketched this portrait a few months back and my friends admire it as my best work so far. The toughest sections in this portrait were white eye brows and white hair.

Amidst busy work schedule, I keep finding time to destress myself by doing what I love so much, Sketching.

Never give up your passions,