Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Long Journey

View From Balcony Sketchbook India 2014 June 4-7 by Meera Rao

View From Balcony Sketchbook India 2014 June 6-8 by Meera Rao

"Then India, everyone has his own idea of India"
-Milton Hays.

I have been here in India almost two months and yesterday I did the last sketch in the small Moleskine Japanese accordion style sketchbook.  I have finally figured out (for now!) the quirks of the computer and the programs here and been able to successfully post the first two photos from my sketchhbook :) 

First few sketches in a new book are always tentative in nature as I am learning what will work best. On the opening page (which I forgot to photograph) I tried out color pencils, watercolors and Faber-Castell Pitt basic color  brushpens. I mainly used Prismacolor Verithin color pencils, Prismacolor fine line marker pens and micron pen on these four pages. The hard lead color pencils are good to sketch with but difficult to color and shade on the slick beige Moleskine paper. I may build color with my regular Prismacolor soft pencils once I get back home! The background washes are watercolor (Koi watercolor field kit) and I am yet to master using them on this paper! The accordion style sketchbook gave me freedom to sketch wide and an opportunity to link these different sketches.  The idea was to have continuity though here I may be only partially successful as I don't plan ahead of time and am not sure what my next day's sketch will be! I sketched everyday but often took a couple of days to complete a panel - so it has taken me almost two months to finish 30 panels in the book that opens into one long 5.5" x 105" page  :) 

About the sketches: As the title indicates its the view from second floor balcony. I was excited to see the papaya tree top laden with fruits of various sizes right by the balcony, the collection of little lamps, the electric pole with its wires and a branch of "Kadam" /Adina Corifolia tree sporting a badminton ball like composite flower mass.

Today I will start using the large Moleskine Japanese album sketchbook  (5x8" when folded). It has 48 accordion pages. If anyone reading this has suggestions, constructive criticism and helpful hints on using these sketchbooks please feel free to pass it on in the comments section :)

Sunday, July 20, 2014


My Passions sketch by Meera Rao

I want to sketch something everyday but there are days when my muse doesn't show up or sometimes life gets in the way! Once in a while I will check daily painters lists for ideas.  'My Passions'  came about when I combined two different such lists. One listed sketch your hobby; sketch an heirloom said another . I decided to combine the two :I would sketch an heirloom and add my camera review pane around it ! I am feeling very clever and pleased  :)  

This sketch was done in couple of months ago and I did not post it then. I am in India now, my annual visit to take care my Mother-in-law.  I am unable to post the sketches done here as google platform and microsoft PC seem to be at odds when it comes to posting photograpahs :(  Blogger won't recognize crops and edits done in Windows and I can't seem to import into Picasa to do my edits there to upload to the blog!!! I hope I will find a solution soon or I will have to wait till I get back to my own computer to post my sketch book.

I am trying something new this time - using  Moleskine Japanese style accordion sketchbooks in two different sizes.  The smaller  one that folds into 5.5x3.5" is almost full.  I love how it unfolds and I can vary the width of my sketches depending on the subject and how the sketches are not in isolation but run into each other reflecting life itself. I am excited about how it feels and can't wait to post them. I hope I will know more about how to work this computer  soon!!!!   As the saying goes :Thunderstorms are as much our friends as the sunshine.” ― Criss Jami  Challenges make life interesting and I am banking on being a bit more computer savvy by the end of it!!!
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