Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sketch Crawl 4

I had missed the last sketch crawl due to the Karnataka bandh but this time I decided not to go empty. In fact, I dreamt last night of waking up late today and being short on time for the sketches. But, I was up early and packed my bag with the stationery materials, camera and sketch pad (thanks Hazel). I was keen on sketching the architecture of Vidhan Soudha but just a day before I met an instinct of visiting Jhonson Market. With changing my ride from auto to bus to the walking legs, I reached Johnson market by 10:45 am. The market wasn't crowded and the small lane from where the flower, fruits and bakery start seemed inviting enough to get into the act. Thankfully, a rickety blue bench was positioned in front of this small bakery called Chai-Day. I imagined it to be something good to draw. The outside walls of the bakery was quite dabbed with the cobwebs and soot layers. Wires were running around like a holding thread for the walls. The bakery was dark from inside but people had started with their tea outside in the day light. Flowers were being arranged and classified to their colours and aesthetics and a cockerel was doing its routine wake up calls right above my head on the peepal tree. 

I started with my watercolour washes. I know that I am not an expert at handling this medium but I try to keep myself bold about it and use it for the background texture and creating space, colour and texture to work with. I try to be more playful with this medium and handle the brush with quick flow so that the thought of not being proficient with it should not haunt me. Once I was done with the wash, I used my felt tip pens to work the detail out and enhance the soft-dark areas with hatching. While working the sketch out, people came and anlaysed the sketch, what merits it had and also dropping a few questions about where to send their son/daughter for art education. Used to such situations, I kept on with the sketch till 1 o'clock. I had become quite hungry by then but before that I was in dire need of some tea and where would you go when their was Chai-day in front of you. The owner took the order and started with his share of enquiries - "Where are you from? Are you doing this for someone? Is this your profession?" Satisfied with his queries he asked me for a copy of the sketch. There was a xerox machine right next to his shop and I got him a Black n White copy of the sketch. He seemed happy with the xerox and then shared a few information about his side business - "I do all the RTO work. If you need a license, meet me. ok?" I nodded my head and picked up my lemon tea. I took the sip of the sweet tea and looked around in the market. Like the sketching in public areas, I had become quite used to the sweet taste of the tea you got there. The place was a storehouse of good photography and sketching possibilities but I had exhausted my self with one sketch and was hungry enough to keep the sketch book aside. I took a few shots with my Manual F80, packed my bag and went to the shop to pay for my tea. The owner requested me to accept the tea as a token of thanks for the sketch. Seemed like a good deal. I shook hands with him and parted with the promise of coming down there again. 

I don't have the photographs to share as film roll developing and printing takes time so sharing the sketch with you - 
Click on the image for larger view.

I had a small lunch at India coffee house to avoid myself from becoming lazy for the next sketch. I had kept Vidhan Soudha as the second spot. The idea of sketching it had put a challenge for me to capture a magnificent building with my limited skills. I relish drawing buildings yet at the same time getting there to draw the place is like a walk to the boxing ring. With all these thoughts swirling in my head I stepped out of the Auto to judge the spot for drawing. Sadly, the metro construction had blinded the bottom part of building for sketching. But the view from the park in front was fitting enough to sit down and get on with it. The composition also was appealing enough with the ice cream guy in the foreground and the massive building covering the horizon. Although, I rarely think of composition when sketching. The place had lot of visitors coming to see the building and while taking pictures they would peep into my activity and when done with the inspection would get back to their cameras. There were many tourist photographers around and they also took notice of my work in progress. There was a regular traffic on the road and the inflow of visitors never let me got hold of the Ice Cream Wallah's sketch. I managed to draw him with bits and pieces of observations. Unlike buildings, playing around with details and adjusting it to the need gives a very different result when dealing with human figures. By the end of it, the Ice Cream Wallah had a bit of Rajnikanth touch in it and the Auto-drivers seemed to agree with me on this. So, I think I fared decent on the building but no so good on the Ice Cream Guy. But...that was my view. The Ice Cream Wallah seemed to enjoy his new avatar and I got a Chocobar as reward. The tourist photographers were taking their liberty in shooting the sketch and planning to laminate it. But I was not bothered by any act of plagiarism. I had got a Chocobar and a glass of tea in return of my work for the day and was quite delighted with it.

Click on the image for larger view.

You can check out the other sketches from around the World on this 31st sketchcrawl google map.


  1. the story couples well with your unparalleled art of sketching. Saw the results and the accolades you have won- feel so proud!

  2. your sketches are as good as photographs would've been... inspiring!