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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A portrait experiment.

It was my Mom’s b’day last week, and I thought… a pencil sketch of one of her prized possessions – a black and white photo taken from a studio soon after her marriage would be a creative gift.

I discussed this with my hubby  and he gave me an encouraging and hyper excited ‘thumbs up’ – Of course he is thinking of the hours of peace there would be in the house once I start the venture.  Anyway I took my art drawing book, eraser and all the graphite and charcoal pencils and sat on my bed. I held the photo on one hand. Here I go…Papa stood on the left side and looked less complicated; so I decided to start with him.

 I took a deep breath.

Sketching him looked easy. The long and pointed collar of the 70’s which almost dipped into his shirt pocket, and the bell bottomed pants were not as complicated as the silk saree my mother wore.  Thankfully for me, he sported a normal moustache and not the Veerappan one which was a rage of those times. However, he had thick hair and eyebrows, and I got confused on which pencil to use. If I use the charcoal pencil it would look like a wig. I’ll go with the graphite one. HB looked fine. Few strokes on paper.  And the inevitable eraser brushed out the little that I made. Not to worry…I said to myself,  no artist ever worked without making flaws. Yes, I call myself an ‘artist’ . 

I continued to console myself, arrogantly dismissing the fact that my confidence is down by a level now . I’ll draw the faces at the last…I procrastinated, and decided to start with the shoulder. So here comes Papa’s shoulder! Oh man, he is wearing a white shirt. Or is he?  These Black and White photographs…! How complicated they are compared to the colored ones! This portrait would have been completed and framed by now if the original was taken in a SLR camera. ahem :D

Or is he wearing his wedding shirt which is actually white ? But the creases and folds are not visible. And the collar…where does it start from ? Looks like it grew from his neck. Make an outline, Anita, make an outline ! So an outline was made up to the belt. And eureka…I drew the belt too. But he is not standing straight like I just drew…he is slightly slanting towards Mom’s side. And the belt I drew was oversized and looked like hat of Santa’s. Its eraser time!!

If I complete this picture Papa would look like Shrek and Mom would get the most abusive gift of her life. I painfully realized that I can’t make portraits and went back to do what I do best better… the birthday post for Mom on my blog. I got a ‘like’ for it on facebook and a few comments.

I'm now, a happy and contended daughter.


  1. hey tat was a really good idea u thought of.. :)

    hope she is happy anyway... :)

  2. :)
    You know what you can do and you did it, in a way that I think she sure will laugh(smile).

    Blasphemous Aesthete

  3. :D,
    that was sweet of you to think of such nice gift,,

    hope the post has made her happy :)

  4. Anoop: Yes, idea was good, but its execution was a disaster :( Yes, she liked the post :)

    Praful: Thanks !

  5. Blasphemous Aesthete : She'd have laughed if I completed the portrait, hope she din't laugh at my birthday post :(

  6. Hah the thought itself is soo cute!!

    She is one proud mother m sure!


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