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Iceland Watercolour Sketches

19 Oct

I Have been very quiet. For a very long time. For some time, I didn’t paint or draw. Too much was going on. Two small kids is no picnic, I’ll tell you that. And even though they go to bed early, I was too drained. there wasn’t much to share in painted form.

But then I bought a new set of water colours. I only started using watercolours maybe a year ago, and bought tubes of paint. It was too time consuming to mix all the colours for a dot here and a small spot there, so I just almost stopped. I until I read an advice: palettes for sketching, tubes for painting. Light bulb!

I had a gift certificate to an art supply store from my birthday, so I went and bought a watercolour set.

And ever since that day, I have been painting almost daily! All of a sudden, I decided to do a travelogue of my trip to Iceland in 2011. So here are the pages from the travelogue!

A typical colourful Icelandic house. They say that fisherman’s villages were all bright and colourful to help fishermen navigate back to their shore from the sea, making it easier to discern where home was.

Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, is a very hilly city. So picturesque!

President’s villa:

Reykjavik is a sea port city:

Ok, I have NO CLUE how to paint a night city 😦 Any good sources/online demonstrations/etc?

A quaint little cafe in Reykjavik:

That’s what most of Iceland looks like, out of Reykjavik: houses with mountains behind them and field of green grass and ocean in front of them:

Towers and skies of Reykjavik:

Local foods. Jellied fish brains, mashed fish, rotten shark. Yummmm πŸ™‚
Actually everything but the shark was exquisite!

Iceland – is the land of hot springs and geysers:


On being a mom

29 Apr

I have a newborn. My older son is still in daycare, but my newborn is making sure I am drained enough to stop painting. Well, almost.

Because while he’s draining me, he’s inspiring me, too – and sometimes I manage to put the ideas on paper.

This is how I felt trying to figure out how to get my baby to sleep at night (note the choice of words: “at”, as opposed to “through”):

I succeeded, as a matter of fact πŸ™‚

I drew this one below after my bathroom scale showed weight increase – after I lost so many pounds literally overnight. What has caused it? Chocolate craving. Which I cave in to late atΒ  night after my toddler is in bed. Cause, you know, chocolate is bed for his teeth. But now it’s bad for my figure!

I even managed to sketch my son while breastfeeding. No, I don’t have 8 arms like an Indian goddess, and no, I am not with cirque du soleil. But I managed this πŸ™‚

So there you go. Even sleep deprived, breastfeeding, and tired – I find some time for myself – and my passion!

uh-oh! baby’s stirring! gotta go πŸ™‚

Draw-erase technique

25 Feb

This week on Carla Sonheim’s online course we’re draw-erasing animals: blocking shapes with pencil on tracing paper, then spreading the colour with eraser – and erasing/lightning certain spots.

I am no fan of pencil as a medium. I find it too light, uncertain, messy/dirty. I like pens. Dark, bold, decisive.

But I truly enjoyed this task! Especially when it comes to defining fur.

First, I did a tortoise. And while I enjoyed the task, I found my eraser too thick. I wanted more delicate designs.

Tortoise – sketch/study

So today I went and bought a 2.3 mm mechanical eraser. It made all the difference!!!


swan (sketch/study)

cat (sketch/study)


Ethiopian Women

16 Feb

The other day we went to an Ethiopian restaurant and that inspired me to google some Ethiopian female faces when we got back – and draw them.

Some I drew with a pen and then coloured; others I painted with a light pink marker and then added colour spots.

Here’s the page from my art journal: I added an Ethiopian flag for good measure πŸ™‚


I found my creativity!

17 Jan

I started this blog a year ago as part of my New Year’s resolution to re-discover my creativity. Looking back at 2013, I think I’ve succeeded! See for yourself.

For a while in the beginning of the year, I was a part of a 365 group – a sketch a day. Mostly, I sketched fellow passengers in the streetcar on the way to/from work, but there are other sketches, too. In any case, I love figure-drawing the most, I think.

For a few Fridays, I participated in the Illustration Friday project (and am considering doing so again this year). The way it works there, every Friday a new topic is chosen – and everyone submits their illustrations on the topic. So fun!

Here’s “Myth”:

Myth: Medusa Gorgona

And this is “Wool”:


I also participated in 7-week long art-journal project , where each week there were fun tasks like blowing watercolours onto a page through a straw, using collage techniques, etc.

Collage: I Can’t Sea

Collage: Unicycle

I took a 3-month long illustration class in a local college. There were plenty of interesting tasks, but the course-long project was the creation of three illustrations under one topic. Mine was “Infertility”:

Infertility: Discovery

Infertility: Depression


Infertility: Breaking Out

I went to the best college in terms of art education in Toronto for an illustration course – theirs was much, much better. I created red and white wine labels:

Red Wine label: “Her Highness Malbec”

White Wine Label: His Excellency Riesling


I created an illustration based on newspaper headline “How Obama Can Use Pressure to Bring Peace”

How Obama Can Use Pressure to Bring Peace

I also created an illustration about the scandalous Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford and an American Tourist (random pairing):

Rob Ford and an American Tourist

And these all were created in 3 weeks! It was an intense course with only 4 classes!

I also attended a couple of art parties, where you get together with friends, drink wine – and paint. One had almost now instruction, other was pretty good with instruction. Both were acrylic-based.

I drew an illustration to support the local daycare (which the city was trying to close):

I made an effort to “understand” watercolours:

Quebec-City in Winter

My Copy of an Illustration from a Children’s Book “Snow”

Somewhere in Iceland

I started keeping a travelogue in my sketchbook. Los Angeles:

Swimming Pool in the Infamous Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Breakfast at the Hotel’s Diner

Diner in Los Angeles

Here are a few spreads from my Newfoundland, Canada trip:

View from Our Porch. Flatrock, Newfoundland, Canada

Three Ladies in the Cafeteria of the Rooms Museum in St. Johns, Newfoundland

Sloped Streets of St. John, Newfoundland

And here are a few spreads from our family vacation in Mexico:

Mexico: Mezcal Copy from a Photograph in a Picture Book about Mexico

Mexico: La Hacienda, Volkswagen Bug, Sunny Square


Mexico: people stranded in a cafe on a rainy day

Mexico: Beach Bag

I illustrated a book about Real Estate. here’s one of the illustrations:

And there you have it. My 2013 in a nutshell.

I am planning to keep on going with my reunion with creativity in 2014 – hopefully I will have more to be proud of a year from now!


Mexico! Part 1.

14 Dec

I have been quiet for a loong time.

Primarily because I forgot my login and was feeling too lazy resetting it. Hmph.

Anyway, even I haven’t been blogging here for a while, I have been creating. We recently went on a family vacation to Mexico. It wasn’t our first time, and we had a toddler with us, so we didn’t do any sightseeing. But I did take the time to sketch!

Hubby and son would go for a nap, and I would grab the sketchbook and ink pen and go sketch.

And then in the evening, when son is in bed and fast asleep, I would grab my markers and colour my sketches at the feeble light of the lamp on my night stand.

I really enjoyed the process. I feel like I am starting to get a better hang of colour – and composition.

Here are a few spreads from the trip:

That’s it for now – I will post more later…

Would love to hear any comments πŸ™‚



Houses and Slopes of St. John’s, Newfoundland

25 Aug