Category Archives: Art

Oils Studies

Recently I came across 2 very good books on oil painting, which proved to be quite inspiring. Most importantly, they made me stop and look back at my techniques and work for some quantity.

The first book was The Oil Paint Color Wheel Book by John Barber and the other was Expressive Oil Painting – an Open Air Approach to Creative Landscapes by George Allen Durkee.

Following are the two oil studies. Both are done on 7″ x 9.5″ handmade paper.

The first study of a lone tree is entirely done using a single color (Burnt Sienna) and a single hard brush. No black and white tones were used. The aim was to develop a texture using the hard brush and a well diluted single color.

This was an imaginary jungle landscape. The aim was to experiment with various hues of green.

The Fireboy!

This is my 7 year old son – Dhruv


This is Fireboy Dhruv

You Don’t Mess With The Fireboy

I did this using the GIMP software. Following are the steps.

First I removed the background and added some ‘electric’ hues to the pants.


Then I added some fire to the hands.


Added some shades to the face …


Added some highlights on the face and clothes. These highlights are formed due to the fire light.


Added an ‘X’ on the chest for that superhero look.


And added the background, some final touches and we are done.


Garden of Eden – color

Completed one more oil painting. This one took more than 50 hours. It came out very satisfying. Loved the look of this. The sketch in the previous  post (Garden of Eden) acted as a preliminary sketch for this painting.

The painting is done in oil on canvas (18″ x 30″).

I have kept a cool color scheme in this picture (except a dash of red for the male protagonist’s cape).

The following pictures show some detailing of the same

Steps on the bridge in garden


Luminous flowers
Luminous tree branches
The Lovers

I deliberately kept the details to a minimum.

The Space Station

Space – A Final Frontier!

These words have inspired generations since the last 45 years (yes, it’s been 45 years since the first Star Trek episode was aired). I have been fortunate enough to come across Star Trek when I was of an impressionable age.

So here’s a quick sketch of a Space Station near a distant planet. I took me around half an hour to complete (Wacom tablet + GIMP software). Nice concept to start with.

So I decided to try my again newly found oil paint art onto this. I had an old canvas board (8 x 10 inches) lying around. I completed this color painting of the same piece (with some modifications) in 2.5 hours flat. This was my fastest oil painting, and the first speed painting of my life.

Homecoming – In all its Colorful Glory!

Yesterday I completed the oil color version of my sketch Homecoming.

When I completed the Homecoming in digital format as a rough concept sketch, I could see the potential of something much better in it. So I decided to build upon this rough concept and develop it into something much more appealing and colorful.

As part of planning and preparation (yes, art needs this too!), I took some print outs of the original sketch. The next step was to scale the picture, so that it’s easier to keep the relative distances between objects manageable in the final picture.

Now, even though the picture is scaled properly, I still needed to figure out which elements are central to the theme of the picture. Perspective lines are very useful for this purpose.

Now it’s time to decide the rough color scheme of the picture. Even though the final colors may be far bright / saturated than the original color as applied here, this rough coloring gives a fair bit of idea about which color will go where. This is especially important as an oil painting can go on for months, and I may completely forget what color scheme I had in my mind when I started.

Here’s a rough color scheme.

Now it was time to transfer this concept onto the canvas.

First I primed the canvas using white gesso material. I used a big brush to appy gesso evenly over the canvas. This gave it a nice white color and a solid texture on which to paint.

Then I drew the pencil sketch on the canvas. This took me hardly 0.5 hour, as the original sketch was ready and scaled. I used 0.5 pencil to draw this, and used dark stokes to make sure they whould be visible through the oil paint till I needed them.

After multiple long hour sessions of painting, the final result was this.

The final painting changed a lot since I had started.

The barren mountainscape got some foliage of its own.

The clouds got bigger and attained more significance in the painting.

The sun appeared out of nowhere and defined the light in the entire scene.

Some people were added to the craft to give the whole picture a sense of scale.

The foliage appearing on the slope at the lower right corner was an ad hoc addition. On the final day of the painting, I found that strong wind had knocked down the painting on one side of easel, scraping the painting in the process. So I decided to cover up the scraping mark with the foliage. A good example of how an adversity can be used to improve a picture!