Amrita Sher-Gil: Pioneer of India’s Modern Art

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Self-Portrait, 1930 (Courtesy: National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi)

While she might not be a popular name, Amrita Sher-Gil is believed to be one of the most influential figures in Indian modern art. She is, to date, the most expensive female painter in Indian history, with her artwork selling for as high as $1,554,019. However, she gained most of her fame and recognition after her death.

Born to a Sikh father and a Hungarian-Jewish mother in 1913, Sher-Gil began painting as a child. Her uncle, the well-known Indologist Ervin Baklay encouraged her work, which led to her being trained by Major Whitmarsh and Beven Pateman in her early childhood. At ten years of age, she briefly moved to Florence with her mother and studied the Italian masters. At sixteen, she studied at Académie de la Grande Chaumière and École des Beaux-Arts in France under famous tutors such as Pierre Vaillent and Lucien Simon.

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Creative Travel Journals to Inspire Your Wanderlust

The most enjoyable thing about traveling is the memories you get to collect. Most of us document our travels with photographs. As much as photographs help us capture a moment in time, they can sometimes seem impersonal, and if you’re like me, you might not always remember why you took a photo in the first place.

Travel journals and scrapbooks help with remembering, while also making your documentation of the trip more personal. Not to mention the fact that it provides you with an artistic outlet. If you’re looking for travel journal ideas for your next trip, here are some of the best ones out there:

  1. Mapping it out

You can hand-draw a map of the place you’re visiting..

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By painted_illustrated (Instagram)

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LGBTQ+ Artist Spotlight: Rosa Bonheur

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Source

Rosa Bonheur was a French artist in the 19th century. Although not as famous now, she was widely considered the greatest female painter of her time.

Bonheur was born into a family of artists. Her father Oscar Raymond Bonheur and her siblings Auguste and Juliette Bonheur were painters, while her brother Isidore Jules Bonheur was a renowned sculptor. The primary subjects of Rosa’s paintings were animals, and this was a subject her siblings were drawn too as well.

Rosa Bonheur’s love for painting animals can be traced back to her childhood. She had difficulty learning to read as a child and her mother would make her draw an animal for every letter of the alphabet. Later, when her father began to impart his artistic knowledge to her, he would bring live animals into the studio for her to observe and sketch. Her interest in studying animals would later lead her to abattoirs in Paris, where she would study dissected animals.

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Types of Erasers and When to Use Them

Us amateur artists tend to pick up whatever eraser is within reach when we’re busy sketching. This does not always end well as we sometimes destroy the paper as well as the sketch we have been carefully trying to create. To make sure that never happens again, we’ve compiled a handy list of the types of erasers you can use:

  1. Vinyl Erasers
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Staedtler Mars Plastic Vinyl Eraser (Image Courtesy: Amazon)

These are the erasers you are most familiar with. Also known as ‘plastic’ or ‘drafting’ erasers, they are among the toughest erasers on this list. They are most commonly found in white but are also available in different colours and many shapes.

These erasers usually leave behind dust. They can be used to erase graphite, charcoal and even ink. Given their toughness, vinyl erasers should be used with light pressure so as not to harm your paper.

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Artist’s Space: Meg Wittwer

Tutor Tuesdays is a weekly drawing tutorial blog on the Thundercluck blog on Tumblr, illustrated weekly by artist Meg Witter, a traditional medium and digital artist.

Meg was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She enjoys drawing and communicating with others through art and collaboration. She also digs birds (especially chickens). Meg earned her BFA in illustration from SCAD in 2016, and she now works as an illustrator in Atlanta, GA.

Her tutorials are wholesome and very easy to understand; covering everything from fundamentals of drawing such as lighting, depth and color theory to illustrating characters by part, animals, environments and props, to the use of tools such as Photoshop and even including art blocks, overcoming fears and finding one’s own style.

Our favorite feature of her tutorials are the practice exercises the suggests, where one can test our their understanding following simple instructions such as step-by-step illustration and drawing challenges like ‘draw in an abstract shape’. For any beginner looking to learn to draw or add to their illustration style, Meg’s tutorials are one of the best reference materials out there, and her art-works are an inspiration to begin.

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Artist’s Space: Sanjana Baijnath

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Sanjana Baijnath

Sanjana Baijnath is a digital and traditional artist from New Zealand, best known for her vibrant painting process videos on you tube. Most of her art videos feature the use of Dr. Ph Martin’s Liquid Hydrus Watercolors, in combination with her fantastic color selection bring to life her vibrant artworks mostly of flowers and animals and the occasional hand lettering.

What we love about Sanjana’s Art is, as mentioned, the colors! Her illustrations are fantastic but the way she paints them bring plain illustrations to an almost fantastical life. Her videos and Twitch streams are mezmerizing and inspiring to watch. Here are a few of artworks.

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How To Store Your Art Materials Safely

If any of you are like us stationery addicts here at The Ink Inquisition, you have loads of art materials stored away somewhere. You probably don’t get to use them a lot, but they’re really precious to you. There’s nothing worse than digging them out when you need them, only to find they’ve been damaged or are no longer usable.

To make your life easier, we’ve compiled a list of tips on how to store your materials away so that they remain in pristine condition.

PENS

  1. Store your gel pens vertically, with the capped end facing down. This ensures that the ink stay towards the nib, and hopefully you won’t have to shake your pen or scribble on a paper before getting it to work smoothly again.
  2. The same goes for ball point pens.
  3. This goes without saying but we’ll say it all the same: remember to keep your pens tightly capped.
  4. People’s opinions regarding storing inked pens varies, but we’d recommend storing them upright i.e. with the nib pointing upwards. Storing it in the opposite direction or even horizontally could cause the ink to flow from the reservoir to the nib. If the ink dries, the nib can get clogged. Needless to say, if you’re using your inked pen very frequently, you might not have to take the precaution to always keep it upright.
  5. Make sure your pen isn’t near a heat source or stored in cold temperatures.

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Renaissance Women

The Renaissance art period rose with its distinct style of painting, sculpture and decorative arts in Italy, 1400 marking Europe’s transition into the Early Modern Age. During this rebirth; philosophy, literature, sciences, architecture, theology and politics saw revival and innovation; in heavy contrast to the bygone medieval and dark age. Characteristic developments could be observed in the approach to literature and the fine arts. Unlike the bygone era, art was created with more vibrant themes and colors, philosophy looked beyond the church, an interest in both history and progress the brought studies of archeology, early medicine and mathematics. Individual education became an important achievement, allowing the rise in printing presses, writers, and printmakers.

Befitting the theme of the age, women began to aspire to and set precedents in being allowed to walk and work among men, albeit these women were usually wealthy. Notably, Isabella d’Este was said to be the strongest, most intelligent woman of the Renaissance period. She mastered Geek and Latin, demonstrating her skills in dancing, acting and playing instruments in public performances. After marrying into the Mantuan royalty, she used her position and exerted great influence over the Mantua court. After her husband was captured in battle, she ruled Mantua herself, influencing the economic development of the region. Becoming a patron of the arts, she collected many paintings, sculptures, manuscripts and instruments, encouraging local artists even in the field of textiles. Isabella’s life exemplified that a woman, in any era needed no man’s approval to live the life she desired. She broke down the barriers to power and influence by virtue of her own independent spirit strength and talent. Continue reading Renaissance Women

Pointillism

Pointillism, a branch of Impressionism, is a painting technique in which the artist uses dots to create a pattern or image. Most of us would know pointillism’s modern form– pixel art.

HalLasko
Pixel art by 98 year-old Hal Lasko. Buy his paintings here.

I stumbled upon pointillism when I read about the play Sunday in the Park with George, a musical that draws inspiration from Georges Seurat’s painting ‘ A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’. George Seurat, a French post-impressionist, devised the technique of pointillism. Continue reading Pointillism

How To Care For Your Paint Brushes

As any artist knows, the quality of your art materials can add or take away from the quality of your work. Once you’ve chosen the art materials that meet your needs, it is also important to keep them in good shape. This not only helps with your art but also saves you a lot of money in the long-run.

Paint brushes do not require a lot of effort to maintain them. The main thing to keep in mind is that you need to clean them immediately after use, and store them in such a manner that the bristles do not lose their shape.

Cleaning them immediately prevents the paint from drying on the bristles. This is especially the case with acrylic paints. While oil paints do not dry as quickly, it is best to follow this step regardless of the kind of paint you have been using. Continue reading How To Care For Your Paint Brushes