Posted in Nature, Painting

5-minute sketches

This January, I was at mom’s and had a bit of time at hand so I drew these 5-minute sketches (using the pictures I had taken during our visit to the zoo) to entertain my daughter while she practiced writing hindi alphabets.

Now, my daughter has started water colours this month and as a gesture of comraderie, I joined in the fun and made these.

Here is the only one where I took a bit of time, around 30 mins.

Back of a golden pheasant

My reintroduction to art is so much fun I am having a hard time stopping to live the real life.

Posted in Nature, Painting

My Neighbours: The Egret

The guy often flies pretty close to the ground and I can often take clear pictures of him from my roof while he makes baby deliveries. He was rather pleased with his last post–It brought him quite a lot of fans, so he is posing for more.

If you notice, the picture is looking doen upon this flying beauty. It is because I am on my fourth story roof and he flying at third story level.

Posted in My life, Painting

Good Teacher Bad Teacher

Knowledge is wasted without motivation.


I was 9 years old then. My brother who is a few years older than me was already pretty good at painting. So, my father arranged for a tutor for him during our two-month summer break. He was a good painter–somebody my father had employed to paint his own portrait at that time. I was so excited at the prospect that my father asked him to tutor me too. He was sure I’d quit within a few days as I did everything else. But he was fine to pay the fee, as long as I got a fair chance.

I was an average fourth-grader, but I was proud of my accomplishments. My ‘paintings’ would cover the house walls in all the prominent places–a family of bears (mom, dad, baby), a family of ducks (mom, dad, baby) and a rainy season scene (a building with flowers and raindrops) were my trophy pieces. My parents showed their unwavering ‘fanhood’ no matter what I created. They would applaud and suggest a good place on the wall to display the painting. I was sure I was destined for great things.

Our class had another couple of kids, and we differed in ages and sincerity level. When I joined the class, I had great enthusiasm. I expected myself to turn into a great painter by the end of the summer. That day, my teacher gave me an art book, which was far beyond my years, opened a page of animal pictures, and asked me to draw a Squirrel. No explanations, no tips.

I tried my best and achieved what a 9-year old could in 45 minutes. I was rather proud of myself when I presented my teacher with the best painting in the world.

He took a look and guffawed. Then he added springs to his feet, and told the class, it was a Kangaroo and it was about to jump. Everybody laughed.

That was the last day I went to his class. At least, mentally I was always absent. He reported to my father and he told him not to press me. I even stopped painting for a few months. I don’t remember talking about that incident but it was always there in the back of my mind.

A couple of years later, I was talking to my brother and I told him I longed to paint like him but didn’t know how. He told me, “Practice daily. You will get there, I’m sure.” Then, to motivate me, he gave me a tiny unruled notebook and told me to practice in it so that I do not lose my work and see my progress. The first thing I made in this diary was…any wild guess?

My brother told me that Chip and Dale looked great, and that I should practice daily. I’m sure I did not become a wonderful painter overnight–I hadn’t practiced in two years. But he saw I was putting in the effort, and he got me going. Within a couple of years, I was creating portrait sketches, and my work was far beyond my years.

David Dachovny (X-Files fame)–my first portrait sketch I made in eighth grade
Sachin Tendulkar (the Cricket legend)–a sketch I made in 10th grade

Thanks to my brother, I got my Bachelors in Painting–with Merit and second highest score in the Painting subject in the University. My practicals exams had 98% score–a rarity in Arts.

All this was thanks to the great teacher who told me to believe in myself. Both my brother and I are now in the business of adult education and I can vouch for his method.

A successful teacher does not teach great things. He motivates his students to forge their own path.

-Me again

Just for the sake of bragging, here are some paintings I made during Bachelors.

Hrithik Roshan in oil paint (My second love)…a story for another day
Gul Panag–former Miss India and actress
Mom and dad on swings–my own style–finger and nail painting.
Tiger in the river–Water colours
Posted in Nature, Painting

My Neighbour: The Kingfisher

Kingfishers are a common sight where I live. Though weirdly, there are no fishes in here. I’ve seen them feed on dragon flies and bees. May be they should be renamed as Bee-eaters but the real Bee-eaters might get offended…

In an attempt to give my daughter company during her ‘painting’ escapades, I created this on a rough page with her wax colours. Then she decided the rest of page wasn’t colourful enough and added stuff of her own. I would have kept it too, but leaving a Kingfisher in company of a Lion is rather cruel.

So I cut it out of the paper.

Then she wanted to ‘take a closer look’, so I took a picture to immortalize it in case she decided to go ninja on him.