Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sketchcrawl 7, Shivajinagar and Koshy's

It was around two months back when Russell Market, Shivajinagar suffered from a fire causing quite a loss to the vendors who have their business running from generations over there. I wanted to make a visit there and see what the situation is like but was hesitant about it because I was sure media people would have already crowded the market and adding to it with my presence, trying to mesaure their sorrows seemed a bit obtrusive to me. That's when I had decided to make a visit there in the next sketchcrawl. 
I reached the market around 9 in the morning and found the vendors busy setting up their shops. The flowers were getting a new drench of water, vegetables getting stocked and fumbled out of the big sacks. I tried looking for the left out signs of the two month old tragedy but the dark wires and wall corners didn't suggest whether the tarnished look came out of a fire or just old age. This market couldn't afford slowing down and I was quite glad to see it bustling again. I found a seating spot in an empty shop and my friend Khushboo joined too in the sketchcrawl. This time I decided to sketch with photo inks as it takes away a bit of your desired control of strokes adding that needed play of colours and line quality. Here are my two sketches done at Russell market and Bamboo Bazaar. 

Russell Market

Bamboo Bazaar

After two sketches, we moved to Koshy's for some plain good cold coffee. Koshy's one of the places were you will often find faces that you saw the last time when you came. The same old men would be sitting discussing politics, sharing household news, catching up on the well being of other the middle of this Mr. Koshy would be seen chatting with his regular visitors and friends. While sipping on the hot coffee (the waiter didn't hear the 'cold' in the 'cold coffee') I drew a few of those old familiar faces. Khushboo showed one of the sketches to the uncle I drew and we got his address to send him a copy. The men on the neighbouring table took a notice of what I was doing and asked me to draw one of the guys sitting with them, which I happily agreed to. I have his address too to send the drawing. Here are the portraits from Koshy's. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Horsely Hills

The last days of March ended with a flurry of holidays that had piled from my vacation list. Being the last month of the financial year, I had to exhaust my leaves. One of these days, I went to Horsely Hills early in the morning with Roshan. Three hours away from Bangalore and half an hour from Madanapalle, Horsely Hills is one of the few tourist spots of Andhra Pradesh. We were aiming to catch the sunrise from the hills and also to get a glimpse of the birds who nest in the Rishi Valley. I was carrying my manual SLR Nikon F80 with me and my sketching materials. We had reached just in time for the sun to come out and our only company was a dog barking from far off trying to keep us away from his owner's premises. The morning mist was warding off slowly slating the silhouette of the hills around. I tried taking a panorama shot and a few of the sunrise.

Click on the image to see the full panorama shot.
After roaming around in the small zoo/park nearby we had some tea at a stall and got to know about the other side of the hill. We drove to the given direction and found a flat eroded hill that follows the thick woods spread around called Gangotri. There were beer bottle glass thrown all around and as expected the scraped names of the tourists were everywhere who like their names to live longer than themselves. But, this didn't mar the wide view of woods and the inbetween chirp and calls of birds coming out of it. There was one particular rock that shone beautifully in the morning sun. It's red glistened and magnified the yellow sun moving over the grey hills. After taking a few photographs I decided to draw it too while Roshan went following the birds.

Courtesy: Roshan Ali

Courtesy: Roshan Ali
After taking a good look around, we went back to the guesthouse to have some breakfast. Very hesitatingly, we ordered some coffee there after being very sure that the tea wouldn't be good. But, to exceed our expectations they gave us a coffee that can be made no worse. As Roshan said, you need special talent to make such a bad coffee. Spare the coffee, the morning trip had a satisfying aftertaste.

I got my film roll developed and with each year passing by the number of scratches passed during the developing process has been increasing and the number of days taken to do so. Sadly, using manual SLR is becoming a dying practice. The dark room techniques would soon be left in the dark. But, I shall stick to my ideology that anyone who is beginning to learn photography should always start with a manual SLR. Then only one realises the importance of each photograph clicked. It becomes about taking 36 judicious good shots than 3600 wasted shots on a memory card. And not to forget, shooting from a manual SLR builds the confidence in your photography skill. You don't have to check your display screen to judge your shots. When your camera makes the clicking noise, you should know that you have got it right. Once you are good with a manual camera, then owning a digital SLR seems justified. Let's see for how long I can afford continue with this old school habit. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Bob in Papers

I hadn't imagined that just a moment's inspiration and a night's work on 'Bob ka Job' poster would make it to the newspapers. Well, Bob can do wonders for you. Sadly, Times of India didn't provide us the credits for the posters and chose to be ignorant about it. But Hindustan Times gave s small space to the posters with due acknowledgement. It also featured the new blog me and Ojasvi started for our and other fan's artworks. It's called ekminit. You are most welcome to submit your artworks on the blog. Here are the snippets from the newspapers and a preview from the blog. 

Ek minit blog

Calcutta Times, Times of India

Bombay Times, Times of India
Hindustan Times, Bombay

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Brainwave. Issue 17. All Fools

The month of fools has come and Brainwave has rewarded all of them with their new issue on Pseudoscience. If you think stars really pull your luck around then this issue would be a helpful read to you. No matter how bogus our beliefs are but a drop of scientific reasoning always does us good, like not eating during solar eclipse because the atmosphere is full of negative energy. In short, since you can't cook a fine dish with measured cups of water then why not half cook it with some holy water. 
With this issue, I tried using the learning from Typoday to make the layout more accommodating for the users (editors and copywriters) and weaving the whole magazine around the pixel look. Any magazine should maintain a common feel across it pages but in kid's magazine you can play that role on a very low level so that it doesn't render the pages as unexciting for the young eyes. Since I worked closely on the design and typesetting part of the magazine, I chose to do only a few illustrations this time. I am glad I didn't illustrate much otherwise my itch towards the blind believers would have led the magazine to a few lawsuits.
Here are my contributions for this issue and no lies, you can see the Robert Crumb influence bleeding out  -

Splash page artwork process and options.

Final artwork for the splash page.

Spot illustration for the 'Smarties' story.
Basava Premanand, the Guru Buster
A small comic strip on how to try the levitation trick.
Spot illustration for an article on 'Intelligent Design'.