Today I completed my second portrait in the ‘Pencil On Canvas’ series. The image depicts actress Angelina Jolie in a glamorous pose. In nearly all her photographs, Angelina is easily recognisable by her eyes and lips and this image is not an exception. Though it has a simple appearance at first glance, making this portrait was a bit complicated task primarily on account of very fine and distinct shades. At few places, I resorted to watercolor paint for bringing highlight to her hair. Hope you like it. For purchase of this artwork please send me a direct message. Details of the artwork are given below:

Title: Portrait of Angelina Jolie
Medium: Charcoal and Graphite on Canvas
Image Dimensions: 16 inches x 12 inches
Price: ₹ 4000


To have a look at my other drawings, click here. You can follow my art journey on Instagram and Facebook.


Book Review: ‘Invitation to Draw’ By Jean Van’t Hul

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In my conversations with parents concerned about their children’s future, I always advise them to make their children invest in arts and books. Here I use art in the broadest possible sense, which includes fine arts as well as performing arts. If you indeed love your children, you must think of their future, and provide them with something which would support them whole life. 

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Book Review: ‘Every Day Is Earth Day’ By Harriet Dyer

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I frequently receive books on climate change for review. Each one of them presents the subject from a different perspective and addresses different aspects of the problem. After reading my reviews, most of the time my readers put this question to me — “What are we supposed to do?”, and ask me reference of any book which might be able to answer this question. They want to contribute in the fight against climate change but they do not have any idea how to go ahead with it. The book Every Day is Earth Day: Simple Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint by Harriet Dyer answers precisely this question. The most noteworthy feature of this book is that it does not deviate a bit from its focus and successfully delivers what it promises. It is a hand-manual for citizens to help them reduce their carbon footprint by making few changes in their lifestyle. The book is loaded with data and facts, excellent graphics, and sound suggestions and advice. There are no typographical errors. The book has been compiled very nicely and you will sense the commitment to the cause on part of the writer and publisher. As such, I do not have any criticism or negative feedback for this book; so I will give you a brief summary of the book.  

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You Are Not The Centre Of Universe

There might be several things which you do not like; however, note that the world does not run according to your preferences, your likes and dislikes. You are not the centre of the universe; so if you want everyone in the world to live as per your likes then it is too much asking. It is not without any reason that God has kept the system administration of the world with Himself, and created you and your account with selected privileges which we call as ‘free-will’. Otherwise, you would agree, given that every individual has a personal preference and wants the whole world to acknowledge and accept it, satisfying everyone is simply not possible. Any attempt to do so would only lead to utter chaos. So let the world be as it is. Of course, there are certain things which are absolutely incorrect and you are completely justified in opposing them, just as there are others which are correct and one must take every trouble to ensure that they happen. Not only that, one should be prepared to make any number of sacrifices to let that happen. Here the choice is not between good and bad — which is a matter of personal taste — rather between correct and incorrect. At the same time, such universally good or bad actions which I have named as correct and incorrect respectively, are quite few and are generally accepted by everyone. On the other hand, for most part, most of the things that you want to happen or not happen are merely a matter of personal taste. Live and let live — that is the formula if you like to call it that way. 


Transformation Within A Relationship

It may sound counter-intuitive and is definitely completely opposite to what people in general claim. But I carry the opinion that if someone tries to change you — in whatever way — it means he does not love you. Those who want to change you or want you to change your lifestyle or way of thinking, simply want you to make them happy, they are merely using you to their advantage. If people love you, they would accept you the way you are. But what advantage do they fulfil by transforming? One factor is the general tendency to enlarge and boost their own ego by pointing out mistakes and flaws of others. This helps them in forgetting and ignoring their own shortcomings. This is the most widespread motivation behind criticism.

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‘Laetitia Casta’, graphite and charcoal portrait on canvas. Artist: Amit Misra

I have been making portraits in pencil for quite a long time. In fact, I have lost count of how many of them I have made till now. With every portrait, there is something to learn, not just about the skill, but about the facial features of humans. Laypersons mostly comment on the model or the subject I am portraying. For example, once it happened that incidentally I made portraits of Kareena to gift to two different friends. The general opinion spread that Kareena is my favourite actress! I receive the same comment particularly when the subject is a female model or an actress. Here I would like to tell you that for artists the subject is not that important as is generally believed. You might have heard it from artists and photographers that they found a particular face ‘interesting’. However, it simply means just that and doesn’t necessarily mean that the artist is in any way attached to the model. In general, artists do not see face, eyes, nose, lips, hair and so on; instead, all they see is geometrical figures. Yes, you read it correct — all they see in front of them is cones, pyramids, rectangles, cubes, cuboid, spheres, and lines. And it is the amusing combination and interplay of these geometrical figures in any face or figure is what makes it appealing and attractive to them. But I am not mathematically inclined; I am a physicist. So however hard do I try, I am not able to accurately analyse any figure in terms of its geometrical components. Instead, I take the alternative path shown by physics — optics to be precise. As I told you in another post, I am mainly attracted to the interplay of light and shade, how shadows form, the various patterns formed by light, and in the case of portraits, how this symphony of light and dark brings out the volume, shape and characteristics of any figure.

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How To Make The World Happy

Everyone seems to yearn to make the world happy— the leaders, the social workers, the teachers, the youth, the parents, everybody. Nobody has the formula; in fact, nobody even seems to have any idea about what happiness implies, yet such eagerness to spread joy! It is not surprising then that in this eagerness we only end up creating more chaos, those who we try to make happy become more sad, those we wanted to make happy end up becoming more miserable. A lot of effort and pain could have been saved if instead of trying to make others happy — that too without even knowing what it actually means — we ourselves become happy first. When we are happy and full of joy and love, that warmth is spread in our environment and those who come in our contact experience it as such. A blown out match stick cannot ignite a flame, only a burning one can do. If you yourself are sad, how can you bring happiness to others? A warm and beautiful smile on your face has the strength to lift people from depths of depression and dejection, to uplift spirits and give courage to people to move ahead in their lives with vigour and agility. Gloom spreads gloom, happiness spreads happiness. Again, happiness is the characteristic permanent state of a mind at peace with itself; it is not pleasure, which is momentary, transient and is only concerned with its own interests.


Relationship And Self-Knowledge

Relationships are the mirror through which we look at ourselves. We start with trying to understand our beloved and may be our relationship, however, the farther we advance in our relationship, the more we discover about ourselves. How we relate to the other people in the course of the journey together allows us to understand ourselves. If you say you do not understand the other person, it means you do not understand yourself at all. It is not abstract philosophy, instead a plain simple fact. Conflict in relationships arises from a conflict within oneself. The world appears queer when looked through a broken glass. A twisted perspective results in a biased outlook, even simple sights are turned into complex and complicated scenes. 


Emotions And Love

Emotions are not love. As long as you are in the trap of emotion, understand that you do not love. We have been brainwashed by movies, TV soaps and novels and poetry that emotions are synonymous with love. They are not. Emotions are like waves — they have ebbs and crests, they come and go, one moment when you are with your beloved, you are joyful, the moment he is gone, you become sad, he does not reciprocate your affection, you become upset, he resists, you become offended or angry. Is that love? Love is like a steady flame in still air; it does not waver, it does not flicker. It remains constant in joy and sorrow, difficult and easy times, it only gives but does not ask for anything in return. It is only concerned with spreading happiness, and that is all it knows. Wherever there is love, there is no pain; wherever there is pain, there is no love. With emotions you are concerned with yourself, while with love you think only of your beloved.


‘Bowl In Bowl’, Pencil On Paper, Realism, Still Life, Artist: Amit Misra.

Scientists tell us that life on Earth was possible only because it is at an ‘optimum’ distance from the Sun. This energy — a combination of light and heat — was behind the creation and sustenance of all flora and fauna on Earth. But it did not stop there. In my personal opinion, light played the most crucial part in our scientific quest and discoveries. Optics is the foundation of human civilisation. Only by light are we able to see the natural world and its treasures. We looked up at the source of daylight, viz., the Sun, and the innumerable stars dotting the night sky. We were curious, and tried to make sense of it all and have an explanation of it — first from mythological stories, then by logic and analysis. Who are we, where did we come from, who created these celestial and terrestrial objects? And what does it all mean? 


To have a look at my other drawings, click here. You can follow my art journey on Instagram and Facebook.