01 ‘The woman at my ancestral door’ 02 Portrait of Thakur Ajit Singh Ji 03 ‘Bright morning vista of Amber Fort’ 04 B S Hada with his painting ‘Tuskers on the Ramp of Amber Fort’ 05 In the lap of Aravali, Amber Fort
As a self-taught artist, where did you draw inspiration from when learning to paint? Right from the time as a kid when I learned to hold chalk in my hand, I was so passionate about drawing that wherever I could find space I would draw something, be it floor, walls, slate or anywhere. Elephants, horses and lions were my favourites. By the time I was 8 or 9 years old, I started drawing human faces and figures. I would copy from calendars and pictures at home on my slate with chalk. I had got good command at 12 years of age, I could copy any picture easily, and I started doing portraits from the age of 15-16 years.
What attracts you most to producing realistic paintings, and have you ever done more abstract work? When a person becomes confident doing a particular kind of work, then he tries to raise the benchmark and expertise, with time his skill keeps on getting better. This skill motivates him to move towards perfection and there is no end to it. Realistic work provides a chance to learn every aspect of the art of painting, so I believe perhaps this is the reason behind my pursuit of realistic work. However, I equally enjoy doing abstract work as much as realistic and sometimes I take pleasure in doing abstracts to change my mood. I have created a series of work with simplified figures.
Kota. At this time -Rashtradoot, a leading newspaper from Jaipur, offered me to become Head of the Art Department for their weekly magazine. I joined the newspaper in 1984 and moved to Jaipur, where I worked for 20 years. Now I give all of my time to painting.s
What has been your proudest moment as an artist so far? One incident comes to mind. When I was 9 years old, I made a portrait of my father’s close friend in person with chalk and slate. He was so happy and impressed to see it that he gave me 10 rupees as prize, which was a big amount at the time. This gave me confidence. Now the praise people give to me during exhibitions makes me happy and inspires me. Many royal families in India vouch for my name for portraits, and since they understand art their appreciation means a lot to me.
How long does it take you to produce a piece of art and how many processes do you go through to complete it?
When did you first become recognised for your work?
Since I work mainly with oil on canvas as a medium I will talk about that. It starts with sketching on the canvas. After sketching, the first colour is filled which forms the base. When it dries up I do a second coating, gradually making corrections. Balancing colour and form in this way continues until finishing. But with oil as a medium, every colour attempt is done only after a previous layer is completely dry. The painting is finished only when I am totally satisfied with it, which may take 2-3 to 4-5 weeks at a time.
By the time I was 18, I had already started making commissioned portrait works. Several design studios used to come to me for graphics design work, so during my graduation I started my own Graphic Design studio in
Do you produce your artwork from photographs, drawings, memories, or in person?
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