We all had plans for 2020, but 2020 had different plans for all of us. In retrospect, I didn’t really had any ‘plans’, for the first time perhaps. I’d always have some travel planned, but for some reason after spending 2 months in Assam for a project when I returned home I decided not to plan anything for a few months at least and just be. And the rest, as they say, is a history.
So while initially I was okay with the whole stay-at-home thing, at some point, finally, it started bothering me. I had to keep myself creatively busy, but couldn’t focus on anything creative. I let it be, just tried to while away my time by setting up a little garden (I thoroughly enjoyed it, my garden is still alive and thriving, thankfully), giving a shot at photography and reading sometimes. Soon that too seemed to weigh me down, something else had to be done.
One day, while scrolling aimlessly through social media I came across photographs of some beautiful Himalayan birds and just like that, I suddenly felt an urge to paint them. But I didn’t have any good art supplies. I had some old acrylic paints but most of them had dried out. And this was the peak lockdown period and there was no way to get fresh art supplies.
I decided to paint with whatever I had, and mind you, it was very unconventional. But I had to paint, right? It may sound strange but I literally mixed and matched from the available fabric (acrylic) paints, glass paints and poster colours. I also used some crayons and pencil colours. When using the fabric acrylic colours, I diluted them nicely in water. The colours remained bright and vibrant and quite opaque.
So here are my pretty birds painted unconventionally with creativity and imagination 🙂 I did not shoot the process of painting these, but here’s how I did it:
For the body of this pretty bird, I have used glass paints – green, blue, dark blue, red, brown, and a mix of brown+golden yellow. I used a cotton swab to dab the paint on paper, as you know the paint is runny but thick. And of course, since it is for glass surface the paint hardens on drying.
For the beak, legs, and the petals below, I used pencil colours and normal 2B pencil.
For its body, I have used glass paints – blue, dark blue, white, and a mix of red and golden yellow to get that orange. I used a cotton swab to dab the paint on paper, as you know the paint is runny but thick. And of course, since it is for glass surface the paint hardens on drying. I used a toothpick dipped in metallic pearl white acrylic paint for the dotted patterns on the kingfisher’s body.
For the beak and the branch it is perched on, I played around with sketch-pen, pencil colours and a normal 2B pencil.
See some more here, where I experimented with different art supplies and mediums.
This one I did mostly in poster colours – which are quick drying and not as smooth as other mediums, along with colour pencils, and a normal black writing pen.
The crimson sunbird was entirely done in nicely sharpened pencil colours – crimson, vermillion and red shades for that beautiful red plumage. A mix of black, grey and 2B pencil was used for the rest of darker areas, beak and eye.
Here’s the complete list of supplies I’ve used
- Water-based glass paints, brand – Fevicryl
- Fevicryl brand’s Acrylic/Fabric colours
- Faber Castell Bi-colour pencils
- Camlin brand’s student-grade poster colours
As you can see, I have used varied medium, some very unconventional too. Don’t be afraid to experiment while creating, just go ahead mix mediums, mix colours, experiment, create your own art, create your own style and express in your own unique way, confidently. And remember –
Thinking back now, I’m glad I didn’t let that obstacle (of not having the right art supplies) deter me in any way – because I’m still painting pretty much consistently and also getting better at it. No need to mention that I’m thoroughly enjoying it, learning and growing with it and finding my calm. Of course, I now have new and better art supplies but now I know one thing for sure – lack of art supplies is not going to stop me, never again. Without sounding preachy, all I want to say is, don’t let little hurdles stop you. It may slow you down, sure, but keep going, because that’s the only way forward.