Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Shoes by Van Gogh

Why would Van Gogh paint shoes?  Shoes! That also jagged, worn out.  Rejecting sublime and heroic themes why would an artist choose to paint something which can't be considered a thing of beauty.  How important is the choice of subject in the creation of artwork? We know well that a maestro can render even a flat composition marvelously owing to his dexterity and uniqueness.    But VanGogh wasn't even trying a feat like that…he wasn't confident of himself as a master who would perform such a stunt to display his prowess.  He painted pair of shoes many times during 1886 to 1888. This one was done in 1888.

To understand this we have to bear in mind the social background of the artist. After all the creator as we see him laid mythically in the books had all the common feelings of a human being.  
Van Gogh's life was marred by poverty, loneliness and insanity.  That his poverty lead him to insanity and insanity to his poverty is a complex issue.   A lone, idiosyncratic fellow who is feels the fangs of poverty on his flesh in order to paint it faithfully will literally be drawn to floor.  Sitting in his room he had beds, chairs, or as in this case his shoes as his only companions.  It was VanGogh's constant engagement with these things that made him look for animation in these objects who started resembling him. The shoes are disordered and haggard. The pair appears to contain two left shoes, allegorically telling the grotesque tale of his life.   Painted in brown monochrome they are like an art movie shot in black & white to beautify the poor and pitiable.
These can be read as portraits of the artist. Swollen at different places as they take shape of his feet they remind his presence even when removed.  
Again it's the self-righteousness of the painter who takes pride in this state of his for the sake of art and this he does by suggesting a halo around his shoes through short strokes which were later to found in his larger and famous works like Starry Night.
Compositinally speaking they are arranged cleverly against the direction of square pattern of the floor. Their curvilinear contours defy the geometry of floor in form and movement. Place in the centre of a square canvas the shoes form a hill like triangle.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Joyflips- convert your photo prints to digital memories

Robert Salaverry is my client for whom I made some explainer illustrations some time back.

He has developed an amazing iphone App to store your memories. The App is called Joyflips. The App works through the video camera in your iphone.
You can stack your old printed photos on a table, and then start the video recording of the photos by simply flipping the pics one by one.

There is a video on the official website to show this easy process.

After you have scanned all the pics quit the camera. JoyFlips App will then automatically separate the pics, correct their orientation, color correct them, enhance their quality and make your online album which you can share with your friends and family. They can download it with a click or view your album on their internet browser.

Link below is a completely safe way to get the app now on any iPhone, before it goes to the app store. 

Learn more at: http://joyflips.com

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Designcrowd_ my favourite crowdsourcing website

I stand as no. 1 illustration designer at designcrowd.com on this day. It feels good.
But it took over 1400 design entries over a period of 3 years to reach this spot.

Designcrowd is a leading crowdsourcing platform which is a nice way to find projects and new clients. Although their is competition and one doesn't win all the contests.
Infact, if you are a newbee designer and you want to take part in design contests be prepared that half of them will be lost, not because of lack of your talent but because there are different clients with different tastes and needs and they pick what suits them best.

There are many talented designers competing there everyday on hundreds of design contests.
Designcrowd has been one of my favourite crowdsourcing platform since last few years.
I keep checking in for some interesting contest and when I do find one I put in my entry and when I win it gives me a sense of achievement and sometimes I also win returning clients.

Check out my profile:

Using Ergonomic vertical mouse

The Sleight of hand of a digital artist can be marred by the writer's cramp ;) and it's a mess when you have to deliver something urgent (which is always the case with me as a freelance artist).

Being a digital artist I have to use a lot of mouse in a day. Although I use a Wacom Intuos tablet also to do digital painting and illustrations in photoshop and illustrator but there are softwares which require heavy use of mouse such as Autodesk Maya and Final Cut Pro.
During some longer sessions at either of these softwares where I have keep using the buttons pressed and moving things such as footage in timelienes of After effects or Final Cut Pro, or modelling inside Maya... I tend to get what could be termed as "graphic artist's cramp" inspired from the "writer's cramp" . 
Basically it means a painful hand especially the palm, the thumb and/or the wrist. 

I started using the wrist support bands and almost felt like an athlete sitting on computer. At times when pain travelled up to the elbow I would use an elbow support pad as well.
Then I searched about this topic and found many articles and remedies for this.
Not to forget the homeopathic medicine Ruta  G. which gives immediate relief to tired eyes from long computer sessions and relief from wrist pains. I am a homeopathic enthusiast also so keep studying and practising a lot of medicine as well.
Anyways what I was going to suggest in this post was using an ergonomic vertical mouse. I purchased one vertical mouse from Amazon. It is  named Circle Sniper gaming mouse. And after few minutes of use I am finding it very comfortable.
The round button on the top is for quickly improving the cursor speed on screen. I am using the lowest which is the normal cursor speed and sometimes use the middle one. The fastest one is too fast. May be best for gaming sessions. But I am not a gaming person.
So far so good. It feels the mouse should have been designed like this only. And though the vertical mouse looks funny in the beginning almost that one feels one would never be able to use it as a replacement for normal mouse. But as the name suggests, it is actually ergonomic and you will forget that you are using something different as far as usability is concerned. And definitely as they say while using the normal mouse the long bones of our forearm get twisted and remain in that position for a long time which is unnatural and thus causes muscle pain and sometimes serious problems like tennis elbow (yes it can happen even without playing tennis) and the painful Ulnar Nerve disorder.
So, using an ergonomical mouse and keeping Ruta G near you will go a long way.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Latest & great Adobe Alternatives for Mac users.

Something to rejoice for professional illustrators and designers who use Mac.

An England based company is creating illustrator and photoshop alternatives for Mac.

And these have exactly the same interface as Adobe programs, but claimed to be with a fast coding method to perform better on your Apple computers. And psd, Ai,pdf formats are supported.

The vector version is already out on App store for just Rs. 3100.
and photoshop version will be out soon for approx $49.  

Needs to be checked out by all mac users.

To buy the vector app visit :

To download the Free beta version of the photoshopping app visit:

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fixing error while using multiple themes in powerpoint for Mac

While working with Microsoft Powerpoint on Mac

A common problem faced while using multiple themes in a presentation is ...Once you drag the slide from source file to destination file the new slides pick up a theme randomly and mess up the presentation. 

If you are facing this problem then a fix for this is :

While the newly dragged-in slides are still selected you can go the "themes" tab above and "right click" on the desired theme and choose " apply to selected slides". 

Right Click is important step here as normal clicking on theme sometimes doesn't behave the way you want.

However if the destination file doesn't have the master slide of the new slide...then you will have to drag the master slide also from the source file into the master slide section of the destination file.

 And then repeat the same steps ie., :  select slides ---go to themes tab--- choose the appropriate theme (now new master slide will show under themes tab)--- Right Click on the desired theme----choose "Apply to selected slides".

This is the method which works for me all the time.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Mediterranean

Maillol only  became a sculptor when he was 40 and based his works on the infinite variations in female body.

Since classical antiquity, the image of the healthy nude woman has symbolized, among other abstract ideals, beauty, truth, and innocence. Aristide Maillol (1861-1944) , a French Sculptor; Painter; Wood cutter; Lithographer; Etcher and Illustrator , who came to maturity as an artist at the end of the nineteenth century, devoted himself to ever more graceful expressions of this theme so widely treated by artists of that era, from Rodin and Degas to C├ęzanne and Renoir.
In 1905, when he was acclaimed for exhibiting his first over-life-size seated female nude, the symbolic embodiment of the Mediterranean Sea.  He concentrated almost exclusively on the nude female figure in the round, consciously wishing to strip form of all literary associations and architectural context. Although inspired by the Classical tradition of Greek and Roman sculpture, his figures have all the elemental sensuousness and dignity associated with the Mediterranean peasant.   The brooding posture of the stocky woman can be held a parallel to Rodin's 'thinker'.  But the accidentality, immediacy, and strong emotion of Rodin are replaced in Maillol's statue with the revived classical values of balance, repose, and restraint.
The quiet, understated forms of the body, the limbs, and the head of Maillol's reposeful figure reveal to a great degree the geometric shapes of cylinder, sphere and cone sought in the natural world.   Andre Gide, a French author and a nobel prize winner, said, " The 'Mediterranean' is beautiful; it has no meaning; it is a silent work. One would have to go a long way back to find so complete a negligence of any preoccupation foreign to the simple manifestation of beauty."
The power of Maillol's art resided partly in the fact that it had no need to express itself as power.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Landscape after Night Rain Shower

Artist: Kuncan

A chinese painting is always less descriptive and more metaphorical. Here the creative act is not limited to exact imitation of nature.  It’s innovative linear and formal abstraction is used to connote the exact essence of the theme. The present example, a hanging scroll, done with ink and color on paper, is painted in 1660, by Kuncan (1612—c.1673) and is a perfect example of the symbology practised by these logician painters.
In the seventeenth century several Buddhist monks emerged as masterful and inventive painters.  His paintings display uninhibited brushwork, quantities of ink, quirky, dynamic compositions and recondite content.
Man’s presence is thus diminished like an ant in comparision to the magnitude of hills, thus reflecting his monastic thoughts.  The rising movement of hills and trees drawn sketchily yet retaining the character is met by the downward flow of Chinese script (which is an intrinsic part of Chinese art).  The writing seems like rain much in consonance with the subject of this work. Unlike a western artist, Kuncan has not split the earth bound elements from the ether. The regular depiction would be of a sky separated from hills or land something what the children draw with a typical setting of triangles set firmly on their flat base to the ground. But that is abstraction of, even if it is mostly ‘realistically’ finished. In nature we can face anything on the undulating curves of hills that would sometime appear higher than the clouds. So, here we see the left corner filled intricately right to the top with hills, foliage and huts.  A very subtle presence of a distant hill is achieved through a smoggy outline, a true watercolour effect.

The pristine delicacy and charm rendered in this work at once gives the feel of solemnity experienced in the lap of hills.

Art of seeing the Abstract Art

Artist: Raman B

Abstract art is now generally understood to mean art that does not depict objects in the natural world, but instead uses colour and form in a non-representational way.
 In the very early 20th century, the term was more often used to describe art, such as Cubist and Futurist art, that depicts real forms in a simplified or rather reduced way—keeping only an allusion of the original natural subject. Such paintings are often claimed to capture something of the depicted objects' immutable intrinsic qualities rather than its external appearance. Although this abstract art is nothing new but humans have made non-objective art since they first drew pictures in the dirt or on the cave walls.

But like we studied in the classes of Art history, “the pendulum of art goes from abstract to realistic and vice versa”. Be it an individual’s art or the Art movements of the world.
Now how to see abstract art?  What I mean is how to appreciate abstract art?  Renowned Art Historian Professor Goswamy once told all images remind us of something. So when you stand in front of an abstract painting trying to figure out its meaning try not to figure out the meaning but try to feel what it reminds to you. It might not always remind you of any object but it can remind you of a feeling. A feeling that aroused in you by meeting someone, reading something, touching or smelling or looking or hearing something. 
That's how abstract art acts on you.

woman sitting on panther

Artist: DANNECKER Heinrich

There is a popular belief that Britishers and other Europeans who came to India in the British Raj era found the images of Indian Gods and Goddesses horrifying and irrational!
How could a female ride a lion, they wondered taking Indian art as unreal. But a similar combination of a female with a feline has long been a part of Greek myth and art. And this is self-explanatory that thought patterns are repeated among individuals and even cultures irrespective of temporal and spatial differences. The purpose varies but the feelings remain same.
This masterpiece of Dannecker, “Ariadne on the Panther” (1812-14) is considered by some to be a modern classic, and is perhaps one of the best-known German sculptures of the 19th century. Dannecker follows none of the mythological precedents in his representation. He shows Ariadne riding, lying in divine nakedness on one of Dionysius' panthers. Overall, the pose creates a contour of extended repose, embracing the whole sculpture.
Ariadne was one of the many children of King Minos 2 of Crete. During her time, the naval power of her father decayed, and she contributed to it by providing aid to Theseus, prince of Athens. And it is when Theseus came to Crete that Ariadne came into the story. Eventually Theseus left her sleeping as he feared shame and the reproaches of the Athenians.
As an early Minoan Goddess her myth was centered around the joyous and sorrowful aspects of marriage and death.

Raman Bhardwaj