Category: My Artwork

Photography 101: Mystery

Today’s daily prompt challenge was to create mystery in a picture. “Show us something uncertain, and manipulate light around you to enhance the mood of your image.”

How so enlightened baba? What's your secret?
How so enlightened baba? What’s your secret?



Don’t waste time. Make bookmarks instead!

Hi you,

Hope this blog post finds you well bored.
My intention is for post to inspire you, to create something extraordinary sufficiently imaginative.

Usually when I’m bored, or on my day off from work, I like to read. One day, I decided to make a bookmark for the book I was reading. And then it turned into a wonderful habit! So now, I make bookmarks for every book I read, corresponding to the content of the book. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

A crown for Game of Thrones: It all started off with this book. I already knew what would happen in the book because I’d seen the TV show, so I had to do something interesting to motivate myself to pick up the book and read it. So I made this bookmark. It’s a bit childish and too colourful, but it worked and I finished the book.



A lipstick for The Bell Jar: This idea seemed so ironic that it made me extra excited to make it. I love how it’s so glossy, in contrast to the content of the book. But then again, Esther Greenwood, the protagonist, is working as an intern at a fashion magazine. So this one kind of made sense. (PS: I didn’t find this book as depressing as people made it to be. It’s an interesting read.)



A football field for sports books: I made this one while reading My Story, by Gazza (Paul Gascoigne). By this time, it had already become a habit – a sort of gift to honour the book. I quite like this one and it suits all my sports books, and football is the only sport I really read about. I read It’s Not About The Bike by Lance Armstrong, and then felt horribly let down after the drug scandal. I don’t trust any other sport other than football, although Arsenal have so far only let me down. Let’s not get there.




Do not read the text in the book.

A shirt with a tie for Trainspotting: I don’t remember why I chose to make a formal clothing bookmark for Trainspotting of all books. I must have probably drawn a syringe or something. But again, I think I fancied the irony of it. Besides, the book probably starts off with an interview that Spud goes to.




Hearts for romantic books (Like du’uh): I usually don’t like hearts but I LOVE these. They’re so easy to make and look really pretty! I tried making these as a gift for Nuvena’s birthday. I made a few for myself. It’s just origami and doesn’t even require glue. It takes two minutes to make it. It’s a pity that I can never get myself to start romance novels.





This one is for fun fantasy fiction books, like 13 and a Half Lives of Captain Blue BearThis book by Walter Moers is one of my favourites because it’s just so ludicrous! I can’t get enough of the book. This bookmark seemed fitting, because it’s equally absurd and the book has so many funny monster-ish characters. I felt it perfect.




Vegeta’s space pod for Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy: I think this one is my favourite one so far, maybe simply for the last picture. I’m currently reading this book and also currently obsessed with Dragon Ball Z. And the two of them seem to have so many similarities. In both the series, people are set out to destroy the Earth and have extra terrestrial creatures, from Magrathea, Namek, Planet Vegeta, Earth, etc. It is a fairly simple bookmark, but I loved editing it on Pixlr Express.




This flip bookmark for Memoirs of a Geisha. It looks like a geisha on the surface. When flipped opened, she’s a normal girl, with the exact same eyes.





A kite for Kite Runner: What a book! I just couldn’t put it down. I read it even as a PDF during work hours. Sshhh… Obviously, it’s a kite, with a little thread (not made of powdered glass) hanging from it. :)




Let’s PAWS here

My puppy’s paw for animal books: The next one I made required some thought. It was a book about animals. All kinds of animals. It was Beasts in my Belfry by Gerald Durrell. Before this, I even read The Lord God Made Them All by James Herriot. I couldn’t figure out what kind of an epic bookmark will do justice to animals. So, after a lot of thought, I went to my doggie, painted her feet read, and got her pug-mark for my bookmark. I asked my friend, Aditya, to come up with a cool line to put on the bookmark. So this is what came out of it.



The Star of David, sacred to Jews

The Star of David for Exodus: The next bookmark I made was for Exodus. I’ve written my thoughts about the book here.




A mountain for Into Thin Air: I borrowed Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer from Justbooks (with my brand new membership card)! It’s a very interesting book and has a lot to do with the work I do – about trekking. So I decided to draw a mountain. I almost made it very childish, by throwing some glitter into the picture.





A bookmark as a gift for a friend. I really loved making this bookmark because I’m a tea-lover myself. And thanks to this, I got another idea for another friend.





This was a coffee bookmark that smelled like coffee. Well, at least for a week. I painted it with coffee decoction and let it dry and then wrote on it. It was a big hit at office. I had to make one for everyone.





A cartoon-ish rocket for Surely You’re Joking, Mr.Feynman. This was such a pleasurable read! It was funny and sciency at the same time. So I felt this bookmark with formulae I don’t understand scribbled on it apt. That little blue arrow-like thing acts as a clip on. Cool no?





A dagger for Aarushi. This might seem quite morally inappropriate, but I couldn’t think of anything else. It seemed apt for that “khukuri” that kept popping up in the book.





A quick sketch of River Siene in Paris for All The Light You Cannot See. This might be one of my favourite bookmarks. I loved the book, it had a lot of little life lessons. I can still hear snails sighing and crabs scuttling about when I think of this book. And this pretty bookmark did justice to the book.





A sketch of Mars for The Martian. Well, du’uh. And that’s mitochondria or anything of that sort. It’s how Mars looks, ok?





Annoying Orange for Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit. This bookmark is no not the book, but having “orange” in the title was the perfect excuse to make an Annoying Orange bookmark.





A leaf from Dehradun for Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra. When I went on a trek to Kedarkantha, I picked up a leaf and brought it back home. I made a bookmark with it. It says “Protect the forests just as they protect you.”





A playing card for I Am The MessengerFor a guy who finds messages hidden in playing cards, this one couldn’t have been easier.





This pathetic philosopher’s stone for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It was a re-read of one of the most epic series. And I thought I’ll make a grand bookmark with a 3D effect. Finally the bookmark sucked.





A Swastika for Alone in Berlin. I hope my blog doesn’t get reported for this bookmark.





A pretty cool flag of China for Wild Swans. This book by Jung Chang is one epic read! This bookmark was also pretty nice because I made it with cloth. If you look closely, the stick has Cantonese inscription on it.





A seahorse for Love in the Time of Cholera. Well, this book has nothing to do with sea horses, but my colleague Seersha drew this beautiful seahorse and I had to make a bookmark out of it! Also, I tried to draw a relationship with how sea horses are asexual animals and how Florentina Ariza has to go on living like an asexual creature for 51 years despite his mad love for Fermina Daza. His love remains unrequited, so I guess a sea horse is a good bookmark. :P




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Towards the end of 2015, I made around 40-50 bookmarks for charity. They were sold at a corporate company for some small amount and the amount was given for charity. I drew warli art on all these bookmarks. Soon, I began improvising and drew footballing warli people. It was so much fun and also fulfilling!



That’s all I’ve made so far. The best part is, I’ve recycled random cardboards for all the bookmarks. See? They’re random boxes in which I get clothes, chocolates, etc. I save them for future use. Try not to buy new materials for these purposes. : )

Also, my friend had once done something very brainy. To invite us to a dance, Supriya had made invites, except they could be used as bookmarks. It’s a very thoughtful thing to do if you don’t want to waste paper.

It makes for a lovely bookmark for an Indian novel

Also, I’ve been gifted these bookmarks by Supriya and Anand, and I think they’re the cutest ever!

So I hope I’ve inspired you to do something creative in your free time.

Because every good book deserves a good book mark. : )

If you’re all fascinated by my creativity and want to see some more, check this out.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

Art 13
A watercolour painting I made of the Deadwing album by Porcupine Tree
Silhouette 1 birdie
A bird on a tree. I feel this picture is so Twitter-esque.
silhouette 2 hrishi
Sunset at Paradise Beach in Mangalore. It’s all about timing.
Silhouette 3 bessie
Sunrise at Besant Nagar beach, Chennai
silhouette 4 hand
Love sunsets in Kerala

Looks like I love sunsets and sunrises too much. But mostly, I love silhouettes. 

Thanks for dropping by! 

Helping fellow Ugly Indians

This morning, I helped fix a road in Malleshwaram.

I volunteered with The Ugly Indian and picked up a paint brush and went to one of the dirtiest, stinkiest streets on 8th main road – the road that connects the main road to Renaissance Park and Brigade Gateway. It’s a small road, which is always shady because of the trees towering over it. It’s a beautiful road. It ends at a railway crossing, and trains pass frequently, maybe twice an hour. The sad part is, people get bored waiting for the train. So they get off and go take a leak, spit around just for fun and stick disgusting Kannada movie posters on the walls. One of those movies’ names was Pungidaasa. I don’t want to speak of that further. Ick!

ugly indian
That road didn’t look that clean before. It was strewn with garbage. My sister in the blue kurta. And the father-in-law in the green t-shirt.

All credit for the now pretty road goes to my sister. She has been planning this for more than two months, inspired by seeing pictures of The Ugly Indian’s work on Facebook. She is the social work types and just the HR work in office won’t suffice for her. So she actually got in touch with The Ugly Indian, clicked pictures of the road and sent it to them and got them to agree to help out. She took print outs and put them on all notice boards a work and mailed those who’d be interested. In a way, this must have made her feel a sense of achievement. Even if she doesn’t feel it, I’ll feel it for her. Every time I ride on that road and see the beautifully painted walls and the clean road, I will know that it is only because of Su that people can walk on that road and breathe clean air at the same time.

I didn’t know this street could look this pretty!

Just for this, I woke up in Jayanagar at 6 in the morning and rushed to Malleswaram to be there, to participate. By the time I reached, they had already done some cleaning and were just getting started with the paint work. There were around 25 people, right from 6-year-olds to 60-year-olds, all sweating it out to have a clean neighbourhood. While some scraped posters off the wall, some walked around with small paint buckets and paint-blotched brushes in their hands, and some sat in what was garbage until half an hour ago, dusting the ground and cleaning off the grime.

This is probably the most over exposed picture in the world. A bunch of us volunteers who wanted to pose

I’ll admit I’m the kind that wouldn’t like to get my hands too dirty. I even cringe if I have to clean the table after dinner. Yes, I’m horrible like that. But I overcame that a little today. As I painted the wall, standing close to it, thinking how many people had peed there, how many people had gotten rid of their wet, rotten and stinky garbage there, I was disgusted in the beginning, but overcame it eventually. What matters is, it’s clean now and we won’t let it get dirty ever again.

What I liked about it was that it was so much fun, to stand next to a stranger and paint a wall. It builds a sense of community. Also,  I always fancied graffiti but I’ve never had the kind of talent. So this is what I settled for. I left a heart-shaped gap in the blue Pungidaasa poster and fascinated little children until they grouped around me and gaped in awe of “Sunayana aunty’s sister’s masterpiece.” I was their artistic hero that morning.

Wearing my heart on my err… wall. A fascinated little girl clicked this picture

This was only until The Ugly Indian squad came and stood behind me and said to not leave any patches and “paint it completely.” Oh well.

It was interesting to also see the reactions of passers by. While one guy commented, “People these days do anything to be on TV.” Another kinder-hearted person, said “You guys are doing a great job!” Other people wanted to know just what on earth is going on.

Nice people or not, I had a fun time anyway, and it was totally worth it waking up that early and riding 18 km to do it, despite having to go to work in Koramangala after. I want to ask all of you to help around in your area, not for your road’s sake or anyone else’s sake. Do it for you. Do it to feel good about yourself. Do it to leave your mark in the city.

My precious!

A month ago, I went fishing with my friend. Close to where Isildur died. As we swam in the river, looking for lunch, a rough torrent came along and took my friend with it. I panicked. I swam after him but in vain. He was gone forever.

While swimming back to the bank, I saw something at the bed of the river glint in the sun light.

One ring to rule them all

Absentmindedly, I picked it up. It was a beautiful gold ring. I was mesmerised by it. Alas! If only my friend were here to share this joyous moment with me, because I swear that is how he died. *Evil grin*

Ignore the rough, hobbit hands

Ever since, I have worn the ring on a chain around my neck, never taking it off. I think it has some sort of effect on me. Every time I’m about to take it off, I feel sick, I get a head ache and get dizzy. It belongs with me now. And it can never be taken away from me.


Interesting thing is, I dropped it in the fire place the other day.

And voila!

Nothing happened to the ring at all!

For some reason, I’d never thought to wear the ring. Something in my mind told me to never wear it. But it always called out to me. When it lay on my heaving chest, when I was asleep, while I ate, and especially when in danger. Soon enough, I understood what it did to me.

It made me disappear!


I wore it often, but even wearing it around my neck made me feel tired and stretched.

When I once met this hobbitses called Bilbo – Ok enough fiction.
Wait, really? Can we ever get enough of fiction?
Anyway, I did find this ring. In the Misty Mountains. Ok fine. I’ll tell you for real. I found it in Mordo- OK! I found it at The Entertainment Store, Church Street! Hmpf.
It does, however, have the same effects as those on Gollum.
I even began speaking like him!

Ok don’t freak out. I still sound normal, although my throat feels weird after doing that impression. My colleagues are fed up of the ring. Not of it’s existence, but of my banter about it. They think it’s mindless. Little do they know how many people want to get their hands on it.

Oh you beauty!

Of course, it made a great prop for pictures. It looks so effortlessly beautiful.
If you’re wondering what the inscription is, it says,

One Ring to rule them all,
One ring to find them;
One ring to bring them all,
and in the darkness bind them.

It’s written in the Black Speech of Mordor, since Sauron forged it himself.


Ok if you’re not a Lord of the Rings fan, it’s going to sound like geek talk to you. So never mind. Just look at the ring and feast your eyes.

Favourite picture

Also, if you don’t know Lord of the Rings, get to know it. Don’t waste your life without reading it.

Thank you Mr. Tolkien!

My not-so-sophisticated-or-intellectual art gallery

Of late, I have been very productive; or so I’d like to think. I’m either working and interviewing people, or I’m reading a book, playing keyboard, trying to cook (that isn’t so productive) and sketching/painting. I guess it’s because all my friends are out of town, I’m making the best of my alone time. Anyway, I used to go for art class when I was 11. (I’m 22 now). I was clumsy. I always got my thin lines messed up, painted the sky a bit too dark or a bit too light, spilled drops of watery paint while getting the brush across the page after having dipped it in a bowl, or spill the entire bowl of water onto my sketch… I figured it wasn’t my thing. Then I had a ligament tear in my right index finger and that turned out to be a cheap excuse to never go to drawing class again. I wouldn’t say I regret it, because I don’t regret too many things.

But my drawing teacher, Supriya’s mother, she is my favourite artist. I have seen so many artists do their thing, but everytime I see Supriya’s mother paint, I’m inspired. She is always bent over her desk making incredible paintings – Tanjore paintings, blade paintings, I don’t know the names of the others. Pardon my ignorance. But she can do wonders with simple colour pencils. You have to see it to believe it. She stays up all night to just get that perfect lip or eye. There is absolutely no painting she can’t rectify! Give her a five-year-old’s house painting and she’ll turn it into a classy frame-able one! She’s the most meticulous person I know, when it comes to art. And my little bit of talent comes from her teaching.

Unfortunately, I’m not sharing her artwork here. I’m sharing some paintings I made in drawing class. Also, after eleven years, I picked up a pencil with the intention of drawing again, stuck to cartoon characters for convenience. I’m saving the best (my favourite) for the last. The paintings are below, in an approximate chronological order.

Little red (squint) riding hood
Little red (squint) riding hood
My first or second pencil sketch
My first or second pencil sketch
A fairly simple boat. See how the lines are all messed up?
A fairly simple painting. But see how the lines are all messed up?
I really used to like this one
I really used to like this one
Gosh! I remember how I hated painting this. Aunty had told me that cartoon characters shouldn’t have visible strokes and that the paint should be solid. It was so bloody difficult!
Art 4
I like this one. Aunty helped me make the thick snow. The end product turned out well I think.
Art 2
I made this for my dad’s birthday, with an UGLY signature at the bottom. Don’t miss that smiley. Come to think of it, it looks a bit like Austria, like Salzburg, with the alps and the river.
A random sketch of birds. I'm not too fond of birds. Meh...
A random sketch of birds. I’m not too fond of birds. Meh…
I remember that I really didn’t enjoy painting this. This was my last painting before I left drawing class.
Art 1
My friend Dhanya (who is Tamil and Telugu actor now btw, ok fine I won’t show off) and I made this painting and grandly named it The Second Edition. The First Edition was a painting of the Titanic and like ship, it is long lost in an ocean of things that disappear and are never found.

In between, Supriya and I used to paint this Jumbo colouring book I’d bought from Disney. Although it doesn’t count as entirely our art, since the outlines were already there, we’d take hours together, spread out newspapers all over the room and paint these, Aladdin and Jasmine being our favourite.

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This was the age when my love for reptiles began to grow. I drew this. Rather kiddish, but I just wanted to do something simple on a dull someday afternoon
After doing the previous one, I thought I ought to try something more complicated. This was the outcome of it. However, I must say that I didn’t draw this from my imagination. I copied it from some tattoo website.
Art 9
Five years after the lizard, I found time, patience and interest to draw something. Here’s what I did about a month ago. With colour pencils. Bulma, from Dragon Ball Z.
Art 11
Of course, I followed up Bulma with Vegeta. But I think I made him a bit too lumpy. Nevertheless, I like the wicked smile.
Art 10
The cartoon madness continued, when I drew Candace, from Phineas and Ferb on a friend’s birthday card.
Art 12
I drew this on the inside page of the same birthday card. Vanessa, from Phineas and Ferb. Just to show my friend how she was all grown up now!

Now for something I made today. I finally decided to actually paint a scenery of sorts. After beginning to draw again, from a couple months ago, I’d stuck to water colour pencils. Today, I bought paints, a palatte, borrowed paint brushes from Prerana and made this. I was confused about what to paint and while listening to Arriving Somewhere But Not Here, happened to notice this album art on glancing at my phone. So I decided I’d draw this. It was a bit messy. Almost tore the page because I used to much water. But I’m not too let down.

Art 13
One of my favourites, I think

And then I made these.

A sketch of Alter Bridge (And my friend Rahul performing with them). This was just a scribbly sketch. Just lines and lines in all directions
A sketch of Alter Bridge (And my friend Rahul performing with them). This was just a scribbly sketch. Just lines and lines in all directions

This was followed by this typical landscape scenery painting. I love the tree on the right. I clicked the picture after it was framed, so it’s not too clear.

A landscape painting I made for Nuvena

I still can’t paint stuff from my imagination. I need a picture to copy from. So until I get better, I intend to keep it going. Anyway, I have a  box of paints to finish now. : )

You can come back here for more. I’ll keep uploading them.
Or in the category box, click on My Artwork and you’ll be directed here in future.