Monday, 11 May 2015

Behind the scenes...From an idea to Finishing a painting

Detail of a painting of mine, which I will explain from before conception
till execution.
I thought I'd give an insight into what happens behind the scenes, inside my mind. Please note, each artist has a different thought process.

So, I am at the moment in between series. I am brainstorming. Basically using a chopstick to pick through my brains!

Inevitably, that is what I look like while doing so! Often mistaken to be a grouch! However, how else am I supposed to look like while finding a needle in a haystack??

The problem with ideas is that they show up at unexpected times. Here are a few examples:

  1. in the loo
  2. while drifting off to sleep
  3. while jogging
  4. during a movie
  5. during a conversation
  6. while cooking 
I have pathetic memory! Therefore, ideas don't last long. If an idea pops up, I need to jot it down ASAP. These days, I have a memo app on my phone and just jot down ideas in it. Yes, I take my phone with me EVERYWHERE. :D

I have watched many a horror movie and when I'm alone and hear a strange noise, surprisingly I remember every single scene in every single movie! I see the mirror, I think of Candyman! Not to mention that scene from Grudge 2 where the kid is clicking the picture of the spirit's reflection inching towards him! *shudder*

However, one such moment I decided to not make the mirror out to be a gateway towards evil but a gateway away from negativity. Horror movies always disturb my sleep just as many unnecessary thoughts from day to day life do for most human beings. This got me to the idea of broken sleep. 

This was what my preliminary sketch looked like. 

Used a EE Staedtler pencil, dry pastels and black gel pen.
Never start a painting to replicate your sketch. This will hinder your free flow of thoughts. As my mentor, AV Ilango, always said, do not consciously create something, let your subconscious creativity take over. However, consciously keep away your negative thoughts which might stop your positive flow of thoughts. (it was something along those lines).

When I started painting, initially I replicated the sketch to some extent. Then, felt the mirror need not show the existing reflection. What if, the existing environment is not real? What if reality is what is shown in the mirror, if you chose to see it? What if a different world existed beyond the mirror? 

With these questions in my mind, I added a couple of more elements to my painting. It now looks like this.

Broken Sleep
Acrylic on canvas
30 in x 36 in

Detail of the slippers

Detail of the cactus
My thoughts work differently in different situations. Each painting is a new process. So, see what you are comfortable with and enjoy what you do! 

Until next time...


  1. Great work! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and process. I am also an artist :)
    ~Soheila Amin,