Thursday, September 30, 2010

Har Ki Paudi

     In the foot hills of the Himalayas on the banks of the river Yamuna is the small temple town of Haridwar. Literally translated this means the Gateway to God. Every evening, at this holy spot called 'Har ki Paudi', thousands of devotees gather for the evening prayers. Many take the holy dip in the waters which are chilling in the winters. It is a festive atmosphere full of unabated revelry. There is something of interest for every one, be it young or old. Come join the fun through this watercolor.
     And yes, in another two days I will be leaving Africa for home : India. Will take some time to settle down. Lets see if I can manage something in between. Have a nice weekend. See you soon.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Watch Out !

     This is another street scene from one of the by lanes of Old Delhi. Essentially these lanes are more than 300 years old, dating from the Mughal era. They were designed catering for mostly pedestrians or an odd horse rider. The old structures have either been re-re-repaired or have been replaced by ugly modern structures. The population of the city has grown manifold. Some of the best and cheapest markets of the city are located here, attracting hordes of shoppers looking for bargains. You are always jostling for space.  You actually have to watch every step. But do not get scared. It is a shopaholic's paradise. Capturing the scene in watercolors was fun. Hope you like it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


     This watercolor should bring a smile on the face of every Mumbaikar (As the residents of Mumbai or erstwhile Bombay call themselves). High tide coupled with strong winds make large waves crash on the pavements of Marine Drive. Its freak out time for children. Sporting adults are not an exception. The spirits are not dampened by the large amount of sand that these waves carry with them. This is what I call the 'Spirit of Mumbai'. If you happen to visit Mumbai and get a chance, make sure you join in the fun.
     The reference picture was borrowed from the net.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Stop, Look, Go

     After a one year sojourn in Africa I am heading back home to India shortly. The one thing, the thought of which is giving me jitters is the traffic there. In Congo, either the roads were non existent, or if they did exist, were mostly empty. So either you didn't drive or if you did, it was mostly peaceful. But Indian traffic is quite notorious. A peace loving person can really get nightmares! But for a person who loves to see things around, and is not in a hurry, it can actually be quite interesting. The number of different types of transport is itself phenomenal. From bullock carts, cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws to the most modern cars and pedestrians, they all peacefully co-exist. It is chaotic, but it moves. Fortunately the accident rate is much lower than most countries.
     This is a watercolor rendition of a road scene in India. If you really want to enjoy this, do visit us and see it for yourself.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Digital vs Manual

     In Hinduism, 'Sadhu' is a term for a mystic or a wandering monk. They are ones who have left behind  materialism and live in forests or temples all over India and Nepal. They are still widely respected for their holiness and also at times feared for their curses. They wear saffron clothes and at times nothing but their own locks of unruly hair! Smoking hash and opium is very common among them. It is considered a means to forget the world and attain nirvana! If you want to know more about them click HERE.
     I found a picture of a sadhu in total bliss. Painted it first in watercolor and pastels. This was a quick sketch but some how got over worked. Could not get the fluidity of water color. Was not entirely happy with it. Decided to give it a try digitally also. Both are there in front of you. What do you think?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Portrait

     I had been watching with envy some of my artist friends using the digital media with aplomb to create lovely pieces of work. Could not help but give it a try. The tools were confusing and the hands used to holding a brush were a bit foxed when told to draw and paint with the mouse! Finally managed to make something. This is a portrait of an African woman in all her finery. Hope you like it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Valley of Flowers and transport to take you there!

     On one of my previous works, Kim Rempel had made a statement, 'There are no lines in nature, just color next to color'. Found the statement very interesting. Poppies are lovely flowers, are colorful and a vast expanse can make fascinating viewing. It was a lovely subject to explore the statement with. This painting was made without any planning, without any drawing and without actually referring to the reference photo. Just one glance and thereafter the aviator in me took off! Just kept placing blobs after blobs of color on the canvas. This work was a real adventure! Thanks Kim.
     And yes, my seven year old son also seems to be taking off after his Dad. His latest work has been transmitted across the globe all the way from India, online. Am posting it here and am really proud of him.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Dilli ki Baarish

     'Dilli ki Baarish' means 'Monsoons in Delhi'. What you see in front of you are North Block on your right and South Block on your left. These are the seats of power of New Delhi as some of the important ministries are housed in these blocks. As you look at this work, you are standing on 'The Raj Path' which literally translated means 'The Royal street'. A friend of mine had clicked this picture on a rainy day and kindly consented to let me use it. I hope you enjoy the rains. I definitely do.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Nice and Bright

     My last work was Japanese Maple leaves. Got such an encouraging response that I decided to paint the entire tree. Again wanted to try something different. This work has not been done in the classic water color style. It looks something like an impressionist kind of work. Frankly speaking, I am not sure. Can some one help me? All that I can say I really enjoyed myself doing this one. It reminded me of a quote by Jerry Fresia 'The point is not to intend a great painting but to intend a great experience. Look for pleasure, not results. Get to the pleasure and the amazing thing called art will follow'. Have a nice and bright and sunny weekend friends.

Monday, August 30, 2010


     After my struggle with my last work, wanted to paint something simple, something nice and bright to get the mood upbeat. Nothing to beat the lovely colours of the trees during fall. This watercolor was done from a reference photo downloaded from the net. Nothing very challenging, but the bright colors do brighten up your day and of-course your mood.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Celestial Buddha

     Some times things just do not work out the way you want them to. I had something in mind. Buddha is considered an apostle of peace. Buddhism propagates love peace and harmony. I wanted to project Buddha as a heavenly body, but try as I might, the painting did not turn out the way I wanted it to. After several hiccups, this is what emerged.  I am not happy with the result but am still posting it here. After all it is a part of my journey with colors.

Friday, August 20, 2010


     I am not an abstract expressionist but am an admirer of Jackson Pollock. I find his work and his technique really interesting. Wanted to give it a try. The result is in front of you all. This canvas was not touched by brush or by any other instrument for that matter. The entire painting was done by spattering or pouring paint. The branches of the tree and signatures were done by pouring through a paper cone! Am posting another close-up showing the details of a section.

Thoroughly enjoyed doing this. Believe me, my friends also joined me in splashing paint all over the canvas! A small experiment .... a lot of satisfaction!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Times Square

     I was generally bored with painting my usual landscapes, or as Ron Morrison says 'Landscraping'. Was looking for something different. My friend AD Roy had just returned from the US and was literally forcing me to see all the photographs he had clicked. This picture of The Times Square, 42nd street, New York caught my attention. I had never painted a night scene in watercolors. Decided to go ahead and give it a try. This made my friend AD also happy and I could get rid of him for some time (pun intended). I believe, he is ready and waiting with his next set of pics!

Monday, August 9, 2010


     Have been really fascinated by calm waters. The blue waters and white sands of Mombasa were a real treat to the eyes and therapy to the soul. Pastels, water colors and then could not help but paint it in oils also. But wanted to try something different so this time I treated the subject in an abstract style. Just close your eyes and visualize the cool blue waters, the sunlight reflecting on the ripples. The water turning a magical blue green at places. The white sand peeping through the shallow waters closer shore. The only thing missing is two children playing oblivious to the surroundings ! Now open your eyes, look at the painting and tell me what you think.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

White Sands: Mombasa

     It was a fantastic trip friends. One week extended to nearly two! But I managed to achieve what I had intended to. Saw the great migration of the Wildebeest in the Masai Mara game reserve of Kenya. It was an amazing spectacle: the battle between the Wildebeest and the Crocodiles. I would love to share a video that I managed to capture with you all. Click on this link: An amazing Fight. The trip was really inspiring but could not get much time to paint while at the reserve. But I did manage to do something at Mombasa, a port town of Kenya.

     The sand on the beaches of Mombasa is pure white and the water - a glorious blue. The color of the water changes with the sunlight and time of the day. The waves do not reach the beach but break in the distance at a coral reef. So the color of the water gradually changes from blue to green to white. Amazing is the word. Managed to find time to finish these two quick works. The top one has been done in soft pastels and the bottom one in water colors. Hope you like them and get inspired to visit this part of the world. Believe me the phrase 'The dark continent' is a misnomer and totally untrue!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Great Migration

     The Great Migration of the Wildebeest from the Serengetti National Park of Tanzania to the Masai Mara of Kenya began earlier than expected this year.  Thousands of these animals will be migrating in search of greener pastures. With them come the predators...Lions, Cheetahs, Crocodiles of the Mara river. Party time for all of them! Thousands of wild life enthusiasts land up in the region to see this wonder of mother nature. Amongst them is going to be...your's truly!!! Am leaving for the Masai Mara tomorrow to spend some time in the wilderness. Might as well do it now because the way things are moving, this amazing feat of nature might not last long. Mankind has been trying to destroy nature in every form... the construction of The Serengetti Highway is one of them. Please log on to!/pages/STOP-THE-SERENGETI-HIGHWAY/125601617471610 and contribute to the voices of reason. Thanks and take care. Will be back with more after about a week.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Good Morning Nile - 2

     The Nile, as I have mentioned earlier, has many interesting facets. At places it has ferocious rapids and at places it can be very calm. In Jinja (Uganda) it's banks are mostly covered with thick vegetation. Both sunrise and sunset are beautiful, if you have the time to wait and watch. I have already explored a sunrise scene earlier on this blog. This is a follow up of the same sunrise some time later though at a different spot. The mist clearing up, calm waters disappearing into infinity, the sun rising, its light playing tricks with the leaves of the thick was a breathtaking scene. I was more or less satisfied with the results. What do you think?

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Lions of Rwindi

     Got a chance to visit the Virunga National Park on the Congo Uganda border. Was hosted by some friends at a small place called Rwindi earlier famous for a lovely forest resort (now in ruins). Could not go empty handed. What better gift than a small watercolor of a Lion......Rwindi is famous for its ferocious lions. These lions are not used to humans like in many parks of the world. I think it was a good omen. We were rewarded by a nocturnal visit by four lionesses. We were surrounded by more than 300 shivering antelopes and the predators at some distance. It was so surprising, the normally shy antelopes, knew very well that as long as they stayed close to humans the lions will not dare attack...and they were correct. After a 45 minutes stand off the lionesses left. Survival of the smartest!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


     The ocean can be a very exciting subject when in an agitated state. Crashing waves and surf have been painted very often. However I came across a picture of calm waters that caught my eye. The water was forming such interesting patterns that I could not resist the temptation to paint it. However there is a gap between the cup and the lip......I faltered many times during the painting. Gave up entirely a few times..... but then something forced me to continue every time. Had started with acrylics. Somewhere down the line switched over to oils. Had no intentions, but ultimately finished it in a semi abstract style. However the most important thing is that it is finally over.......!!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Good Morning Nile

     Around Jinja, the course of the Nile is really interesting. At places it is calm and quiet and at places it narrows down, gains current and makes some really ferocious rapids. The character of the river changes with the time of the day also. Had a chance to walk on its bank early in the morning. This spot caught my eye. The calm waters were suddenly gathering speed. The rocks were forcing the water to make some interesting patterns. The morning mist over the calm waters in the background was making everything fade away. Overall it was an interesting picture. Do let me know if you feel I have been successful in capturing the scene in this watercolor.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Heart in Mouth

     Ever tried white water rafting ? That too in the Nile! Let me assure you it is a fantastic experience. The most exciting part is when you hit the rapids. Exciting - of the 'Heart in Mouth' kind!!! At this point the raft is mostly out of control. You are hoping like hell that it does not overturn. To tell you frankly it is a relief when the rapid ends.  This pic was clicked by the life guard who was ahead of us and attracted my attention. To tell you frankly again, through-out the painting process this one was mostly out of control with my heart in my mouth. I tried every trick in the trade- sponging, masking, plastic wrap, splashing, capture the white waters in action. When I finished, it was actually a big relief. But believe me both the rafting and the painting were fun!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Morning Light - 2

     Thanks Padmaja and Saini for your valuable inputs. Decided to tweak it a little more. Initially tried watercolours, but the paint was turning muddy. Tried soft pastels instead. The result is in front of you. I think I did come a bit closer to my aim. What do you think? PS: Padmaja, you had not even seen the original pic. But your inputs were bang on. That just shows your understanding of light and its nuances. Saini, keep contributing. Ill improve!!! Yr next pic is welcome!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Morning Light???

     I am really fascinated how some of my friends manage to capture light at various times of the day in their paintings. Have always wanted to do the same. This watercolour sketch was made from a photograph clicked by my friend KS Saini who is very fond of roaming in the hills. However it is a failed sketch because the aim of capturing the morning light could not be achieved. Just could not figure out the reason. Can someone help?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Simply.... A Rose

     Since the time I have started blogging, have been learning a lot from fellow bloggers. Carol Schiff had mentioned in her blog that to break the monotony of a big art work try doing a small work in between. It acts as a therapy. It definitely worked for me. I had been working on a large piece. Then due to my primary profession pressures could not paint for a few days. Was finding it difficult to get back to my work station. Decided to do a small sketch. This rose outside my door caught my attention. Double benefits. I have a new painting for my already charged up for my next painting.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Saviour

       Picking up a survivor from a stormy sea is a very difficult task. A helicopter pilot has to muster all his skills to accomplish it successfully. It can be both emotionally and physically draining. But once the task is done, believe you me, it can be an all time high of ones lifetime. There have been numerous daring rescues on the high seas. However there are no photographs to document them. How can there be, when you are all alone there. All your attention is focussed on the task at hand. Where is the time to take photographs. All that you can do is come back and tell the story. This is an attempt by me to visualize and  document the scene. This is a salute to the entire breed of 'Helicopter Pilots', the unsung heroes, who keep risking their own lives, so that someone else can come back home to their loved ones. This painting was done sometime back but I thought it prudent to post it here as this blog is an attempt to bring my profession and passion together.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Kivu Revisited

     Another weekend. Another weekend outing. All outings in this place revolve around Lake Kivu. Resort Kivu Serena is an ideal and favourite spot with all friends. Carried my watercolours along. Good I did. It was a really windy day and it was actually difficult to swim. But it was an ideal day for surfing and sailing. All the catamarans and surf boards were out. The catamarans in the foreground and Lake Kivu with the hills in the distance as the backdrop made a lovely subject. All in all, a fruitful outing.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


This watercolour was made by me for Virtual Paintout for the month of May. This is a shot from the city of Prague. I selected this particular shot over lot of other sights that this lovely city had to offer on Google Street View because of the interesting shadows and reflections that fall all over the place. Capturing them in watercolour was really challenging.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Solitary Voyager

An old friend of mine, Commander Dilip Donde started on a solo, round the world voyage on a sail boat 'Mhadei' in August last year. He will be finishing this rare feat in another two to three days depending on the Weather Gods. Mhadei will be sailing into Mumbai harbour to a tumultous welcome. Long live the spirit of adventure. His travails are there for everyone to read on This is a toast to his achievement- a painting of Mhadei and Donde on the high seas.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Thousand Suns

Mankind has given some very apt names. Sunflower is one of them. Have you ever driven across fields of sunflowers.  It is just yellow and yellow till the eye can see. The whole earth seems to be on fire. A Thousand Suns: sounds apt. This was made from a photograph downloaded from the internet. The painting has been made in an abstract style, in acrylics. The style is more like watercolours, with the fluidity of water being utilised to create the uncontrolled dripping effect.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Kathakali is a traditional dance form from India. Costume and Make-up are given a lot of importance in this dance. The colours used for the same are bright and eyecatching. When a dancer is ready for his performance, he is a sight to behold. From top to bottom he appears to be made up of interesting patterns. I have tried to catch the essence of the same in this watercolour. The subject has been treated in a semi- abstract style. The wave patterns in the background have been added to give the subject a sense of motion.

Friday, May 7, 2010


      Many of us have often stood and admired the colours that a sunset sometimes throws up. We feel lucky if we manage to capture it through a camera or colours as in this case. I was also trying the same. However I made one mistake- I picked up a drink while painting this one and it was one too many even as I was just half way through. The philosopher inside me woke up! 'He' asked me the reason or logic for this extravaganza at the last minute. I had no clue. "This is the final scream before the final moment. The end is nigh, the end of a dream. All the colours together make the 'White Light'. At this time they all start falling apart. A dream falling apart. This is a 'Scream' of anguish of not being able to last forever" he said.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


     Chikdu is a funny sounding name and is a funny looking contraption. However it is a source of livelihood for many families in these parts of Congo. It is made of solid wood including the wheels. Unimaginable amount of load is strapped on to it and transported to unimaginable distances. This is a watercolour sketch of the engine behind the machine, taking a nap, while waiting for business.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


       In the Great African Rift Valley there are a number of huge lakes. Lake Kivu is one of them. However inspite of being one of the biggest and deepest fresh water lakes of the world it has no marine life. It is because of a huge store of carbon-di-oxide and methane at its mysterious bottom. Scientists have said that in case of a phenomena called lake overturn, the carbon-di-oxide will gush out and all life on the banks of the lake will also be destroyed due to suffocation. There happen to be a number of towns and villages all around the lake! Am I scaring you? Anyway it is a blessing to have an opportunity to fly in this great continent. It has been well endowed by  mother nature and so many of its mysteries have not yet been solved.
       This is a painting made from an aerial shot taken by me of lake Kivu. Watercolour was the best medium to capture the mystery of this great lake. I want to paint a series on Africa. Wish me luck.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Child is the Father of Man

As a child, sunrise and sunset were my favourite painting subjects. Decided to relive those days and paint the same subject again. The urge to make it really good did me in. Somehow just could not get hold over the painting. It was really frustrating. Then my seven year old son gave me the clue. I have often watched him paint in gay abandon. Not a care in the world. Never worried about which colours to use and least bothered about the final outcome. But the final product was always amazing! So I stepped into his boots and decided to enjoy myself. It worked! I actually managed to salvage a painting, I had nearly given up on. This sunrise scene is very different from what had actually been planned. Good or bad...judge it. Your comments are welcome.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Flaming Flamingos

I am not an ornithologist. I do not know why these lovely birds are called 'The Lesser Flamingos'. They are one of the most exotic birds on this planet. They are generally seen in large flocks. With their bright colours they actually set the place on fire. A large flock in flight is an amazing sight specially if you have a chance to see them from air. I, as a helicopter pilot have been blessed with this opportunity many a times. God has actually been partial to these creatures in blessing them with so much grace and beauty. I, as an aviator, was once a part of an outfit which called itself 'The Flaming Flamingos'. I think this is a much more apt name and I am sure you will agree with me. Many artists have painted this subject and I am no exception.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Morning Mist

This is a familiar sight for every Helicopter pilot who takes off in the morning into the hills. "Penetrating a thin layer of mist you see the morning sun rising on the horizon. The bright yellow light gives you a ray of hope- 'All is well'. The valley bottom is shrouded in mystery with a layer of fog. Somewhere in the distance is your destination. Another long day. At the end of the day I shall have another interesting story to tell". I saw a photograph clicked by a colleague and immediately wanted to paint it. The subject has been treated in an abstract style. Have tried out acrylics for the first time.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


No one can beat amchee Mumbai in the fervour of celebrating festivals. Was on leave in Mumbai at Ramnavmi time. Came across this procession carrying the palanquin of Sai Baba. The euphoria was spontaneous and infectious. Wanted to step out and join the dance. Picked up my colours instead. This high speed sketch was created in minutes to catch the moment.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


The source of the White Nile is in Lake Victoria near a place called Jinja in Uganda. While proceeding to the source in a boat we came across a lone tree on a platform in the middle of the river. The evening light was playing tricks with the leaves. The reflection in the water was mesmerising. On the whole it made a challenging  subject.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

At ease

DRC is a strife torn country. The police have an unenviable job. This gentleman was cought in a rare relaxed moment.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Valley of flowers

Flowers have always fascinated me. The riot of colours that a vast expanse can create is mindblowing.

Water Lilies-2

I was so fascinated by waterlilies that I decided to paint one in watercolours also.

Water Lilies

Inspired by Claude Monet. Decided to paint water lilies. Wanted to do it in the impressionist style! My fastest oil so far. Done in three hours!

Jungle Book

We had a nice sitout on top of a container (called The Machaan) in our camp. Decided to turn it into an actual Machaan. Junglebook was the ideal subject. The result is there for everyone to see.

Call of the Wild

Just arrival in Africa gives you a connect with the wild. Our Gazebo in Focolori camp had been renovated and one of the sides was covered with white plastic sheets to keep out the rains. It made an ideal canvas. My friend Yella had a brainwave. We decided to paint the entire length with animal skin patterns! The outcome was fantastic.


These flowers are popularly known as Christmas flowers. They bloom during this period. This subject was picked up from a book on Indian flowers.


These two small children were clicked by a colleague during christmas celebrations in a nearby church. The innocence on their faces was eyecatching. Could not help but pick up my brushes.