4 ways to sketch on black paper

Two month long wait,  meetings friends and family, travel between Chennai and Bangalore and  finally something that makes me happier than ever….
Yay, Our shipment has arrived! All those dresses, boots, jackets, accessories and everything that define me as a person is here. Although we are home with our family, there are times when I miss the cooking a delicious dessert or spending all afternoon designing an elegant earring. Memories make life beautiful and while I unpack my belongings, it was nice to revisit the various black paper sketches arranged neatly in my portfolio.
Drawing with white pencil
My DH is a wine connoisseur who loves red wine, needless to mention all the Napa valley visits and wine tasting experience. Inspired by the world class flavor of Robert Mondavi wine served with cheese and cracker is this sketch made on large black paper with white pencil.
Wine on black
A little unusual from my previous sketching experiences is the wine sketch. This time I tried sketching the from the object itself, capturing reflection of light on glass and scaling to the right size.
Wine glass white charcoal
Speed  sketching with silver pen
Beautiful laced white heart, “Love is in the air” sketched with silver pen on black paper has been the most visited post in Hellopalz. Visit the link or share thoughts.
White sketches on black
Using Chalk on black 
Check out the random scribbles of a music lover…Monochrome art appreciating the real music, I mean the rock music. Not that I don’t enjoy small doses of hip hop and R&B 😉
Painting gold over black
Take a tour of the cityscape of San Francisco with bay bridge as seen from Oakland, photographed by Kiran.
While job search and settling down takes a toll, writing a post always makes a blogger happy.
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Blinded colors

Darkness, void, the absence of light, evil, fear or just something unknown….Black. This color could mean a million things to people of various culture, but in this modern world, its intriguing, elegant, versatile, trendy, chic and always in. Not matter what it symbolizes, I love the black for it’s the darkest color out there and create a wonderful contrast!

Monochrome flora

Like a desire to make darkness visible, I captured these pixels of gray and white against the darkness. The depth of monochrome makes this everyday plant seem mysterious. The soft snow flakes melt way in the bright morning sunshine of a winter day. Out with my camera after a hot cup of coffee, it was a great way to cheer up, soon after I moved to my new apartment in Jersey. 

monochrome plant snow

Spring has spring, the winter is done
But my love for black is never gone!

Oh look! that’s some what rhyming… after all, nature does inspire us to be poetic 🙂 Rested on the stagnant pond this leaf with thorny bottom, caught my attention. The texture, highlights and reflection all fell in place making it a right time and place to shoot.                                                                                                                          

floating water plant

Monochrome art – Chalk over black

Art doesn’t always be on a white canvas. Like these photos, lets highlight the negative space to create something different. In line with my other black paper drawings, sharing another doodle scribbles with chalk. Just a speed drawing to express myself and love for music.

Music Chalk on black paper

More on black paper art…

With silver ink – Love is in the air

With golden paint – SF cityscape

Rural landscape -digital and charcoal


Rural Indian living

Charcoal landscape

If you travel outside the cities and urban India you will learn a totally new perspective of the people and the places. The modern cars are replaced by bikes and rusty old bicycles. The shopping mall and multiplex is replaced by those basic cinema theatre. The fancy apartments and bungalows are replaced by poverty struck huts. 

At this point, people don’t really consider themselves homeless, they make the streets their home and learn to live with what they have. I tried to add the elements like the hand pump bore, water pots and buckets and so on. 

Indian village huts

Digital landscape

Polyvore is a lovely site to find fashion inspirations and share your style, I used the clip art to make this simple country scene a man fishing and enjoying the solitude. 



AIB monthly theme challenge

Artist in Blogland is a cool blog where I connect with other very talented artists, conducts a month theme based contest. The theme for February was ‘Expectations’ and my participation entry was Love is in the air won this contest. Yay!!! Ildi, from Cukipok Doodles is sending me this cute paper pendant and doodle card. Thanks a lot for the contest, the votes and the prize.

Love is in the air

Every artist was first an amateur…Until he finds his muse. 

With hearts and roses, smiles and peace…The trance of love fills the air. What more can I expect in this month of Valentines?

In this post, I’m sharing two freestyle work of art and participating in the monthly challenge at Artist In Blogland. It stands for its name, a place full of amazing people and very talented artist. Thanks to the host Marcia for connecting us. This months topic is Expectation and I’m submitting the black paper art- love.

A fun way to spend this cold Tuesday afternoon indoors with colors.

Black paper – silver ink

The first one is quite simple doodle art on black paper with a metallic silver pen. Continue reading

5 reasons why I love charcoal drawings

Not to long ago, I was curious enough to start using charcoal for sketching. The regular graphite pencil can never yield the darker shades of black like charcoal pencils. Today I’m sharing the first charcoal drawing that I tried. It’s a very simple one-tone drawing, probably took about an hour to finish.  

The reasons why I love using charcoal pencils for my drawing.

  • The history – Knowing that this could be one of the tools used for pre-historic cave drawing is fun. In my past experiences, graphite pencils have resulted in shiny finish upon layering for darker shades. I was ready to move on and graduate to using charcoal.
  • The look-and-feel – of the drawing is completely different. Using charcoal or charcoal pencils are like liquid pencils, creating paint-like sketching.  It is more spontaneous and natural.
  • Depth- As a self-taught artist, using charcoal has made my drawings more realistic. The depth and texture it creates with rich black tones makes it the mother-of-all pencil sketching mediums.
  • The technique – I like to mix and match graphite and charcoal together. Charcoal can produce bold contour drawings as well as volume drawings. Some of the examples are mountains, wood, bark of trees, shadow, hair or fur and so on.
  • The mess – I have to admit, using charcoal can be messy, but it make me feel like a real artist when she finishes her master piece and watches it with a messy had and streaks of paint on her face and hair. 😉 As a beginner, I try to stick to charcoal pencils for more controlled strokes.  Also be wary of the smudge during and after the drawing is finished. Use a spray fixative or a cling wrap for quick fix!

Couple evening

Graphite Fashion sketches

The ones below are some fashion sketches where I used graphite pencils. Practicing to sketch figure and facial expression. Continue reading

Sketching from a photo – Yosemite

Wilderness, lakes, waterfalls, meadows,  grand mountains that touch the blue sky and evergreens that stand tall against them. All I can say is, it’s a pathway to heaven! There is something about the high sierras that you can’t never get enough.

My Inspiration

If you have been to Yosemite national park in California, you would agree with me.  I have already visited Yosemite thrice in the past 2 years and I think it’s a must-visit spot for anyone visiting California. The man in my life,  a photographer, a hiker and a nature lover worships this place. Head over to his blog to check out the beautiful shots of Yosemite Tunnel view. He has been my inspiration and this photo is a reference to my first charcoal sketch.

Visit Kiran’s Yosemite photography

Why charcoal sketching?

Pencil sketching is great but the options are limited, when you want to expand the spectrum of colors with just black grey and white. Charcoal gives a whole new dimension to your sketch when handled right. This sketch took about 5 hours to recreate, capturing the details from the photos and my visit to the park. 

Before you start, analyze the photo and differentiate the shades of black between a charcoal, 6B, 4B and other graphite pencils that you could use. Sharing some of the in-process and finished sketch photographs. 

Question to the fellow artists??

 I found it hard to save such drawings without smudging the charcoal. As a short time fix, I used a cling wrap to cover it up because I did not have one of those transparent sleeves. How do you save your drawings that are bigger than A4 size? 

As I sit back and write this post, I realize that there is a lot of scope for improvement in the sketching. I still am proud of my work and I guess that’s the way to motivate oneself! Thank you for visiting! 

Leave a comment here 🙂

Paper-cut landscape

Paper cut Halloween art

Things that I could do with a black paper… Sketching/ painting the cityscape was fun, what more? Our mind can come up endless creative possibilities… how about paper cut art for the Halloween month? It took over 2 hours to cut out this image on a black paper and give it a framed look. As always my involvement was at its peak when I’m at it. The orange lighting gave it the perfect fall color finish.

Have a spooky scary Halloween!

The color of autumn

My fall home

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Landscape pencil sketches

Just  a few really old landscape sketches, but I’m just glad I still have these.  The first one here is something I really enjoyed sketching. Back in the days before I saw snowfall…I could only imagine the place to be like this. 

Love in the air

Mystery

Gazebo

Countryside