ABCP — Any Body Can Paint

Oh yeah, you read the title correctly. A year ago even I would not have believed this, but yes it’s true(Yayyyyy!!!).

Summer camps for kids ain’t any rare sight today. But it WAS, during my school days, in my native especially. I have been told by few that I’m a hyperactive fellow. Well, all credit (and blame) goes to my parents. Even I was giving a hard time for them because I get bored so easily that I wanna try and learn everything. My mom refers to me the jack of all trades who ain’t mastered anything. So there came a summer vacation where my mom was wondering what to do with me. Then my Carnatic Music Sir took the avatar of superhero. He told my mom about the summer camp he’s running where a kid could enroll for a maximum of three activities. As I love colors I asked my mom, “Shall I enroll for painting?”, to which she replied “First you need to learn to draw outline inside which you need to color. So join for drawing session”. And so I did but my mind yearns for colors no matter what!

Years later, I enrolled for my college. I was the most introverted human being you could find in that campus. To kill time, I jumped again into the world of colors again. But this time my weapon was wax crayons and sketch pens. I loved how colors overlap with one another and created the magic! But I still have the guilt inside me that I couldn’t learn it in deep. I was actually afraid to do water color for this reason. I literally couldn’t understand the flow of water and how people are able to tame it and create miracles. And I stayed away from water coloring for a long time.. Until I had my first painting workshop.

So it was a Saturday and I definitely did not want it to be drowned in the city glamour. I wanted to do something different. Thanks to SAP, I have got a partner with such exact mind — Nileena! So we both registered for an Inkwash painting workshop via bookmyshow though we both have zero knowledge of what that’s gonna be. We both reached the spot online and was wondered to see just a black photo ink as the core material. For the lover of colors and who had a perception that its the colors what made the pictures, this was a huge slap on head. I was literally wondering how are we gonna make “picture” with this one solid block color!

And then the session begins and the instructor took us to the history of inkwash painting. Ink wash painting or sumi-e (墨絵), is a type of East Asian brush painting that uses black ink — as used in East Asian calligraphy, in different concentrations. All we need to do is, make different concentrations of the black ink in the mixing palette. The gradient of concentration should differ in a big way, because its with this different concentrations of same color we’re gonna paint a picture. Once you’re done with the mixing palette, next we have to draw the outline of the picture using the thin brush and the lightest color. And there you can see how water guides the color to flow. then while painting the picture all you’re gonna do is brush the part to be colored with water and just drop the color onto it and see how the color spreads and the magic is created. Trust me its a miracle. Its a therapeutic art form I felt. You just are taken to a complete different world without any hustle bustle of your daily life. So here are my first two inkwash paintings I created part of the workshop.

Just remember, its just water and a drop of photo ink that creates such magic. And actually its after this workshop I started looking around, and tried spotting inkwash painting. And I could find two or three at my home itself (sigh)

But I still wanted to learn about water color and recently I saw an advertisement for water coloring workshop. I didn’t think twice. I just booked and went alone. And the crowd was a perfect mixture — from newbies like me to expert artists; teenager kids to people in their forties who came just to give company for their spouse. And then the session began where the instructor taught us the color theory, the painting techniques (in a nutshell) and then asked us to chose the painting we wanna give try. She told the lighthouse is the hard one but assured to help us if we get stuck. Even after being a complete newbie, I thought what am I gonna lose in taking chance and went for the hard one. Then she asked to outline the landscape. I was literally stuck. I could see the girl next to me drawing the detailed outline where as mine looked like a scribble. But to my surprise, my instructor came next to me and told, ‘Its the color that is gonna speak, so looks like you’re done. Now go ahead with coloring.’ And the one thing she told still rings in my ears that never ever use white color for water coloring, the white color should be that of the paper you use.

And ultimately with shading, outlining, sprinkling — Ta-Da here goes my artwork,

I do not claim that I drew the best when I clearly know I did not. But it was my honest trial on something that I didn’t know. These workshops were more than a mere class to me. It taught me art is indeed a therapy. And these days, keeping away the fear of taming the water, I started enjoying its flow; how it interacts with the color pigments and how it finally weaves a frame of memories.

To more workshops.. (Cheerio)

And yes, if I can – Any Body Can Paint!