Standing on Dastur Meher road in Pune, staring at a giant star hanging in the middle of the street, my hands automatically reached for a bright orange sheet of paper. I just felt like that colour was needed and a white paper wouldn’t allow me to capture the festivity I was seeing.
This was the first time I had used Colored paper to sketch and the floodgates had opened. I was very excited about the possibilities that were open to me and I worked on figuring out how to use colour to enhance the scenes I was capturing. I’ve constantly been evaluating how the sets I design for theatre plays need to be adapted to different lighting. I’ve always had to ask myself how the colours change based on the lighting and how to bring out the exact hue I needed to convey the feeling and intensity of what’s happening on stage. This exercise of adapting and moulding colour to shape the work I was doing led me to formalise my thoughts and create this workshop.
DESIGNING THE WORKSHOP
I wanted to demonstrate that one can use ANY colour paper for their work and feel free to express how they feel through that selection. I didn’t want them to be limited by the colour of the scene they were working with or capturing but rather, using it as a way to express their own emotion. While the object stays the same for everyone who’s viewing it, Wearing Colored Lenses allows them to project their individuality and have fun with colour.
CHOICE OF LOCATION
The urban sketching workshop Wearing Colored Lenses was held in October and November on location on one of the busiest arterial roads of Pune Cantonment, India. I chose a main arterial road of Pune as that allowed us a range of subject matter from people to heritage buildings juxtaposed with modern buildings and teeming with urban crowds.
LEARNINGS FROM THE WORKSHOP
My workshop demonstrated how to use varying media to capture the essence of the location in an observe and create process that took people through a 3 step process.
As people went through the workshop, they expressed a sense of freedom. Freedom to use colour freely and wildly without sticking to the norms or expectations that people initially come with to sketch.
Participants said they felt free of precise preconceived notions and a childlike sense of excitement and wonder. Most participants talked about how their initial skepticism was turned into confidence as the workshop progressed.
Gayatri @gayatrigodse expressed this progression on her Instagram feed “Right from starting, till the end I was so doubtful about the colour of the paper, the choice of chalks, the thickness of the markers, the unseasonal rains and what not…. but after finishing the sketch I experienced immense confidence with the pleasure of achieving the unbeleivable.”
I have a lot of gratitude for the openness of thought that the participants came with. One participant told me that while he had worked exclusively in black and white, he was now going to experiment with colour. I truly enjoyed how a little bit of confidence and gentle nudging to experiment brought out such creative and diverse perspectives being expressed. It was an absolute expression of individuality – the workshop was simply a catalyst.
I want to thank the art material sponsors of the workshop for providing an interesting set of colors and materials to allow people to truly experiment with things they typically wouldn’t pick out. Thank you KDS art, Daniel Smith India, Hobby craft India and Creative Hands – your support was immensely appreciated!
Continue scrolling to see the visual output of the workshop.
This is the final output of my demonstration sharing my perspective on Wearing Colored Lenses”
The workshop began with everyone choosing the colored paper that they connected with. Various excercises threw up new observations by the participants in the way various media can be combined on colored paper.
Vinita @thecrazy doodler who was sketching on location for the first time used the technique very effectively with luminescent watercolours.
New stencils were custom made specially for the workshop in the local Devnagari script. Here’s how Reshma @reshmanabar incorporated it in her sketch.
Rohit@therohitkulkarni used his patterns and the colour of his paper to develop his sketch of the location.
Sanjeev Joshi @sanjmita blended his inimitable style with the learning’s from the workshop.
Manish@manishbytes applied this technique to sketch people standing at the rickshaw stand.
Gayatri @gayatrigodse despite her initial scepticism was thrilled with her final output.
The Mungyo board and chalk markers were used by the workshop participants to provide that zing to their colour.
Age and experience had no effect on the output of the participants . All works turned out spectacular.. This was done by a 10 year old girl Friyana who was sketching on location the first time.
Both this sketch and the sketch above have used the same patterns and yet such different outputs. This is by a young art college student Mackwin@mackwin_baptist.
Colour harmonies were dictated by the paper colour. even when sketching the same structure as seen in the following two sketches.
Sketch by Niloufer@niloufer.sketches
Sketch by Anagha@@anagha_chitale
Introducing light in the sketch @pauravimahajan
The work by the workshop group in October
Group picture of October workshop posted by Vinita @thercrazydoodler
The work done in November workshop
Group Pic of November workshop
Third workshop held in November
This is done by Sirish@huesandtones1 at the workshop
This was done by him after the workshop. It is extremely gratifying to see the learnings of the workshop taken beyond it.
Some more links to workshop testimonies