30 Days. 30 Eyes. 1 Artist's Journey.
I am vey happy to share my latest project with you. This is how it came to be...
I was watching an online art show and the featured Artist kept talking about the importance of drawing eyes and that practice was key to improving one's skill. That got me thinking and I began by sketching a random eye. I did this for a few days and then an idea struck me. Why can't I ask people to send me pictures of their eyes? After all if I was to improve my sketching I had to sketch "real" eyes! That is how the idea of #aneyeaday was born.
I began putting out requests on various social media platforms and the photos started coming in. I received photos of women, men, little girls, little boys and even one of a pet dog :-)
People would look forward to the posting of my sketch of the day. I was so motivated by the response that it kept me going.
When I had requested photos to be sent to me my specification was that it be a photo of an eye (right or left did nit matter) which was preferably of high resolution. I began drawing the eyes in the order that I received the photos.
I have learnt so much from the process - the different shapes of the eyes, the pupils, the shape and fullness of the eyebrows and even the reflections in the eyes (which was based on the reference photos). The challenge, apart from what I have stated, were the eyelashes and the shading around the eyes.
Do take a look at the sketches and you will see for yourself how beautiful the eyes of the participants are. You will get to to be introduced to them so keep reading.
1. She is not just a Singer and a Make up Expert, she is full of Life and enjoys a good laugh like I do too - Allow me to present Ms. NADISHA THOMAS
2. She is enthusiastic, loves art and is a young mother. Allow me to present Mrs. TRISHNA MUKHERJEE
3. I have known her all my life! She is a Career woman, a Fashionista, a dare devil (hehe) with a pechant for fonts. May I present Ms. SHEREEN HARRIS
4. This young lady is Miss. AASHIRYA. Under 10 but all set to be a beauty, especially with eyes like this. Her dad was happy to have me sketch her eye.
5. She is a Sportswoman, a lover of dogs and I have to let you know that the ref pic of this tall, leggy lass had the most clarity. She recently played & won the silver in the Chicago Open Badminton finals. Allow me to present Ms. GINA DEVADOSS NICHOLS
6. This was my youngest participant, all of 5 years. With those liquid eyes she will be melting alot of hearts. Meet Miss. KYRA
7. I have known her for more than a decade. She is a fitness enthusiast with a flair for marketing. She has a lovely sense of humour. Please meet Ms. DIMPLE PRAKASH
8. All of 8 going on 18 is this young lady who is half French-half Indian. She is a fashionista in the making (following her aunty's footsteps) loves art & crafts and her pet (toy) bear called Muffin. Meet my daughter Miss SHEREEN SAINT_SOUTANE.
9. I am quite sure that most of you know of her husband. Time to meet the lady behind the star, MRS. SUCHITRA MOHANLAL
10. This young man, all of 8 years is full of life. He is an aspiring musician, loves art and is so friendly. Meet young ZAC EMANUEL
11. Tall, slim with never ending legs and a warm heart is this wonderful momma of two. Please meet Mrs. RUKSHANA EMANUEL fondly known as Shana
12. He is soft spoken and leads a faithful flock at Freedom Church. Please meet Pastor PRAVEEN EMANUEL
13. An IT whiz, a go-getter with a sense of humor who is also a Client and a friend of mine. Jothi, his wife makes his world go round. Please meet Mr. SHIVARAM J.
14. An IT professional based on the East coast in the US, this pretty lady has a flair for art, sport, travel and blogging. Meet Ms. NIHARIKA KAVURI
15. She loves K Dramas, Books, travel, food and art. She is an amazing human being and she counsels and steers the lost with aplomb. Allow me to introduce Ms. KALYANI KUMAR also known as Kelly
16. A professional from the Hospitality Industry who knows his art, spirits and a thing or two about life (hehe) Please allow me to introduce the inspiring, friendly and kind Mr. KRISHNAN RAPPAL SUBRAMANIAN
17. An entrepreneur with a love for life, she has a positive outlook and motivates one and all to believe in themselves. Please meet Ms. ELVINA ELLIS
18. She is a go-getter who loves her son, beautiful clothes and her friends (I think that's the right order :)) This working mother believes in fitness and she loves art. Please meet Ms. MARY OMANA
19. She is a CIO and IT strategist in the US. She loves humour as much as she loves art. She remains wonderfully Indian and true to her roots (love that about her) Please meet the dynamic Mrs. VANDHANA VASHNAVI VEERNI
20. She does an amazing job handling a demanding job and her family life (kudos for that) This young mother dotes on her daughter. Out going, friendly and helpful are the words that perfectly descibe the charismatic Mrs. HEMA SHARAN
21. This "young" man is a world class DJ who literally plays music all over the world. I was so fortunate to have him allow me to use his music "Gothic Quarter's" for my recent YouTube video on #aneyeaday (Check it out if you haven't already done so) Did you notice that his sketch was the only one that showed his piercing. Please meet the talented Mr ADAM RAHMAN
22. As far as I know this young man is an IT Professional in the US and he is engaged to Ms. Niharika whom you would have met in an earlier post. Allow me to introduce Mr RAJA
23. One look at her eye and you would have guessed that she is a dancer. Yes! that is correct. Meet Dalit activist and Bharatnatyam Dancer Ms. NRITHYA
24. Believe me when I tell you that girls envy his eyelashes :-) (me too!) A quiet boy who is full of creativity, loves music (taught himself to play the guitar) and who dotes on his baby sister. The one person for whom I will go to the ends of the earth. Please meet my son Mr. CHRIS ROHAN
25. I distinctly remember telling her "I need a hi-res pic so that I can capture the details" The ref pic she sent me was on point with the tiniest of details. The only sketch that has a mole in it (I was not sure how to draw it at first but I managed) Please meet the owner of this beautiful eye Ms. FLORA
26. This pretty and lively momma of a 9 year old stays on her toes. She too has to balance work and home and do it in style. She loves muisc and majored in art. Please meet Ms. DIVYA PUNJWANI
27. This lovely lady is the wife of Mr Shivaram (whom I introduced in an earlier post). Simple, quiet and kind, she is a wonderful person. Perfectly paired with Shiv, they are a formidable couple. Allow me to introduce Mrs. Jothi Shivaram
28. Enigmatic eyes are the words that came to my mind when I saw the ref pic for this sketch. She is a kind and friendly person who readily sent me a ref pic. Please meet the lovely Mrs. SITA
29. It's been nearly 30 years since we met. This gentleman is the same, he has not changed. Down-to-earth, friendly, helpful and kind. When he is not busy running a successful business, he is cooking up a storm in the kitchen with his tasty dishes. Allow me to introduce my long-lost friend Mr. PAPU ANAND
30. Last but not least here is another son (from another mother) This talented drummer (like his Papa) and musician is also a creative, kind and helpful soul. I call him "little boy" Please meet Mr. ADITYA RAO
Behind the Scenes
For those of you who would like to understand how my sketching process was mapped, you can check out the images below that show you the start to finish for a few of the sketches.
The Details are Key
Here is a look at some of the progress shots of my sketching process
Hema Sharan - Adam Rahman - Divya Punjwani
Chris Rohan - Elvina Ellis - Nrithya
On close examination you will be able to see the most minor tweaks and edits that I had made in order to get a final image that I was satisfied with.
Here's a shot of all the sketches
The Materials Used
You may be surprised when you check out my list of materials because I have used different brands and not all of them are expensive. Knowledge of the pencils (charcoal or graphite) is important since your technique is tied to the hardness/softness of the lead.
Quality & Technique matter
Here is my list....
- Camlin Charcoal Pencils - Hard, Neutral and Soft
- Derwent Charcoal Pencils - Dark & Light
- Apsara Sketching Pencils - 2B, 4B & 6B
- 170 gsm Artist Pad (off white coloured paper)
- Doms Eraser
I cannot say enough about my Moms eraser because it is brilliant. It puts a whole lot of expensive brands of erasers to the shade. It is great for erasing and also for lightly lifting the charcoal off a sketch to lighten areas. One would use a kneadable eraser for this but the littles Does eraser worked its magic brilliantly.
(It is important that you know I am not promoting any products listed on this page nor am I receiving any money for mentioning them.)
The Next Step
Once I had all my sketches I wanted to say Thank you in a creative way to all the participants. I decided on a contest :-) I wanted it to be fun and simple but I also told participants that if they did not wish to compete that it was OK. Those who picked up the gauntlet....ran with it!
The Contest - Poll
There was some heavy polling and it was an exciting 10 day run of the Poll across Facebook and my website (poll was available on both platforms)
On the 29th of September the Poll closed and I began to tally the results.
The Winner with the most votes was Mrs. JOTHI SHIVARAM who brought home 224 votes.
The Facebook Poll that clearly shows the number of votes received. In fact on first glance her it appeared that Mr. Papu Anand was in the lead with 129 votes but the polling on my website was what helped Jothi take the lead.
The analytics for the polling on my website are given below. Every time someone voted I would not only receive an email with the number (each sketch was numbered) they had voted for but that info was logged into the analytics (presented below).
A fitting tribute to this project that not only enabled me to learn but also engaged people across various social platforms, is a video that I made.
Super thrilled to have original music for this video. Thank you Adam Rahman. His track is called "Gothic Quarter's and it was the perfect soundtrack for this video.
So thats it for now. My brain is already in overdrive figuring out what I need to do next. If you have an idea let me know. I can be reached at email@example.com. I would love to hear from you.
Bye for now.