Skip to main content

Three very quick portraits (Blog marathon post 26)

Pastels is a medium that I find extremely difficult. The above picture was done very quickly. I did not even take 20 minutes to complete it. The reference photo was a model from an ad for Mascara and so she had exaggerated eyes which I managed to capture. She has a kind of startled expression. Since I find the medium very difficult, I am kind of content with this attempt. (Not too bad for an almost first time in pastel)

This picture took me more than two hours to complete. This was again a completely new medium called water colour pencils. (click on link to know more) One uses it like an ordinary colour pencil but the effects ar amazing when one runs a wet brush over it. I loved the hardened expression of this wise old red Indian who seems to have really seen the tough side of life.

This is what I like about portraiture. I  make portraits of subjects that I find arresting. Sometimes it is a a strong urge that I feel which makes me want to paint something.

For instance, when I saw this profile picture of  Janani who blogs at pretty woman, I simply had to paint it. I immediately asked her to send it to me which she did. Again it was a relatively quick picture.(sometimes a picture takes more than 4 hours) This picture was done using Acrylic on paper.

I have no idea why I feel a compelling urge to paint something and am repelled and I cringe before painting another thing. In my portraiture course, we have different models who model for us, live. I know instinctively  that if I like the model, I would get a great portrait. Sometimes I dislike them (for really no reason as we don't even speak to the models when we begin making a portrait of them) and then I can be certain that my picture will not turn out well. Basic thing is I should want to paint someone --it has to come from within.

Perhaps this is what they call an Artist's muse. I do not know.
All I know is that when I paint, my heart sings in joy. :-)
Addendum: I am copy pasting Suma's (who blogs at aalochaney) comment here in this post as I liked it so much. This is what she said:

"love it!!!!! all three of them for different reasons :)

unrelated, but just got reminded of this:

i have an artist friend here and she was cribbing that she gets upset because people think that they can get freebies from her, or shortchange her, they dont realise how much (emotionally sometimes) has gone into each and every artwork."

I want to add that this is exactly how I feel too. There is a LOT which has gone into my pictures emotionally. No amount of money can  really compensate that.  For me, my paintings are like bits of my soul, really. That is how strongly I feel about my pictures (no matter what others think of them). I too, like Suma's friend, feel very upset and irritated when people ask me for freebies and ask me to 'make a painting for me na' so casually. For an artist or an artistic soul, a painting is a gift from the heart. If you  really and badly want a picture then please honour that artist by acknowledging that and  paying the price they demand.


  1. oh wowow.....all of them are simply awesome!! Love janani's portrait!!! It is just too real!!! Hats off Preeti!


  2. All the three are fantastic paintings.. :)

    I liked the second one the most.. :)

  3. love it!!!!! all three of them for different reasons :)

    unrelated, but just got reminded of this:

    i have an artist friend here and she was cribbing that she gets upset because people think that they can get freebies from her, or shortchange her, they dont realise how much (emotionally sometimes) has gone into each and every artwork.

  4. Suma: You said it!!! I liked your comment so much that I have put it as an addendum in my post. I can totally relate to your friend. I think many people do not realise the emotional aspect of it as they don't themselves paint.

    Rohit: ???????

    Prats: Thank you!!!

    Sushobhan: I also liked the second one most :-)

    Durga: Thank you so much! Do you know Janani or only through blog?

  5. Dear all,

    Do read the addendum in this post which I added after Suma's comment

    I had to explain after I read her comment


  6. Very, very nice Preeti. They look beautiful, and have a personal touch.

  7. wow di..
    just beautiful espcially the last one.. :)
    I hope some day I ll be able to get a live potrait of mine from you and also be able to afford commissioning you( u may be the best in the country by then..u never know..) :)
    - swathy.

  8. Lovely. Esp liked Janani's potrait the most. Maybe cos I share one of my names with her :)

  9. :)

    thanks, and i hope people do get the message.

    and i think rohit's comment meant that he was speechless!

  10. Only a skillful and true artist can draw the first picture in 20 minutes while experimenting with something new.

    And after reading the explanation at the end, I feel even more glad for the portrait you have done of mine :). Especially the fact that it has come out so good :).

  11. Liked the variety in the medium and the expressions. The second is my favourite. U r multi-talented!

  12. Nice portraits, especially the first one since u used pastels for the first time.

    I agree with you totally, there's a lot of an artist that goes into a picture and a lot of people just think art is just something tht u can have made to order.

  13. All the pictures are superb...Wonderful job!! :)

    Loved Suma's comment...I'm not a painter as such but I do write poems sometimes...and am very emotionally attached to my if at all someone simply calls me up and asks me to write for them, I get upset too.

  14. PS .. Awesome work! Especially the 2nd and 3rd one! As for your addendum, I am no artist but I totally understand. It sounds like they think artists have nothing else to do with their time than "doodle", so why not I get something out of it!

    I just looked back on your replies to my comments: Havent left blogging for good or anything but as of now, I am just letting it be.

  15. Preeti,

    Thank you for all the attention! :)...and I am glad that I was a 'muse'...sweet of you to mention and link my blog pleasantly surprised.

    I strongly believe ' If you are good at something, NEVER do it for free'!!! :)

  16. Oh so beautiful!!!! :) Kudos. I can't believe the first took just 20 mins. You're on the highway route to becoming a professional.

    Suma's comment touched me too :) Thanks for sharing your portraits & thoughts. I'm seriously gonna try with all the tips you keep providing.

  17. Great portraits Preeti...My favourite is the 1st one...The attitude of the model comes through the portrait :)

  18. Palsworld: Thanks! I liked the red indian the best though :)

    Lostworld: pls do try! :)Thanks so much :)

    Pretty woman: U're more than welcome and I must thank you! It's really not about the money or doing it 'for free'.. I have gifted my paintings to ones i truly love as for me that is the most valuable gift i can give.

    Ashwini:Thanks a lot! Happy you haven't stopped blogging.

    Varsh: Oh yes--a poem like a painting is from the heart. It truly cannot be demanded!

  19. Thinker: i agree so much. Thanks

    Sindhu:Thanks a lot.

    Brownphantom: Thanks! :-)

    Suma: may be :-) And i should thank you!

    Anusha: i liked the red indian..Did not know you share a name with her. Are you called janani at home?

    Swathy: :-) Thanks :-) am not all that expensive to be unaffordable :-)

    Partywithneha:Thanks a lot

  20. No Preeti, I dont know Janani personally, but I read her blogs on n off ;-)!!

  21. One of my names is Janani though not used much. Officially its Anusha

  22. The first one was done in 20 minutes? And you say it's difficult? It has come out SO well!

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. Meira: thanks! But i can see so many mistakes in it :P Critcal moi :)

    Anusha: I love the name 'anusha' :)

    Durga: Ok :)

  25. Truly awesome!! Its so nice to see the portraits...superbly done. :) Keep drawing!!

  26. Chandni: Thanks a lot! You truly are one of my biggest motivators and 'encouragers'.

  27. I loved all 3, but the last was my favourite - though the actual photo is not very clear - I find the portrait more naughty than the real one... :)

    I loved the watercolour pencils and will surely use it soon :) I have never been able to do anything decent with paints until now. This might make it a little easier for me! :)

  28. I came thru your blog on those last lines here pulled me to leave a comment before leaving this page !

    Well i could almost relate with everything i wrote !
    People visit your home, see a big painting on your wall which took days and just say paint one for me na, and you don't know even how to react that one !
    I just smile ! It is so consuming, and if other person knows how much goes in one painting, i don't mind it but not just because one loves to paint means you ask and that one will jump out of joy at the opportunity to paint for someone !

    And sometimes they even think, they are doing some great thing for you by providing an opportunity to showcase your work ! Grrrrr !

  29. Loved the third portrait (The black and white one). esp, the eyes have come our very real, life like! Thanks for sharing...

  30. wow i really loved the last portrait...excellent job...


Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate your leaving a comment! Okay--I appreciate your leaving a comment if you have something nice to say ;-)

Popular posts from this blog

Preeti Shenoy--New novel releasing soon!

Preeti Shenoy--Cover releaseCountdown
There's some exciting news for you :) My new novel is releasing in November. The pre-order link will be up on October 7th.

The cover  (and the title) will be unveiled for the very first time in Birmingham UK.
I am a keynote speaker at the Birmingham Literature Festival.

Desi Blitzwhich is Britain's  award winning, leading  Asian web-magazine, has been co-ordinating the whole event, and have been corresponding with me over the last many months to make this happen.

I am very very excited about it. I will be travelling to UK in October. I used to live in UK, andone of my novels features Norwich, the place where I used to live.
(Yes, I will be travelling to Norwich too, later, after the cover release).

You can watch the unveiling of the cover --LIVE by following myFacebook author page. (Hover over 'like' and enable 'see first' to not miss any notification)
You can also follow the page as there will be a lot of fun stuff happenin…

Greetings from Cherrapunji --A heart shaped rock and other true stories (post 28)

We began our day with a trek down the mountains, through the pine forests. We didn't have a guide. Satish and I decided to explore the path on our own. It was slippery in many places, and we had to be certain of our footing, else we would have tumbled down. Tall coniferous trees formed dense canopies, through which sunlight couldn't trickle down. Ferns, spider-webs, mushrooms and pine-cones dotted the path. It was dark, damp, green and oh so pure. We walked down slowly, and a magnificent sight greeted us. I am sharing a picture I clicked.

We climbed back, contented happy souls. We found a vantage point from where we had a view of this very lake that we had trekked down to. I stood there and made a painting.

After breakfast, we left forCherrapunjee.

Just before we reached Cherrapunjee, we took a diversion went to The Garden of Caves in Laitmawsiang. The sight is mesmerising, stunning, fascinating. It is a must-do if you ever visit North-East. The main attraction is the natural…

Meghalya --kissed by the clouds (post 26)

Greetings from Meghalaya. True to it's name, it is a place kissed by the clouds. As I type this, from my picture window, the rain falls gently outside making a pitter-patter sound. It feels like I am living inside a poem.

We drove from Shillong to Mawlynnong, which has earned the moniker of Asia's cleanest village. The drive itself was arduous, as the mountain roads are terrible. Since I ave been so many times to the Western ghats in South India, this just seemed like a poor cousin in comparison. The roads in South India are much much better. After a bone-rattling torturous car ride, we arrived tired and hungry. We ate at a small restaurant (sticky rice, watery dal and some kind of delicious chutney made of onion, tomato and green chillies loosely pounded). Then we began our walk to see the living root bridges.

That was AMAZING. It is a sight worth seeing. I felt the forests in Avatar movie had come alive from the sets and had been resurrected here. I couldn't help marve…