DOODLES · illustrations · RADHAKRISHNA

Janmashtami: Birth of the Lord

Happy Janmashtami! (A very late post)..

The blessed Day on which the Dark Lord advented, blooming in the ocean of worldly trials and tribulations, spreading bright lustre, dispelling the darkness of doom, annihilating ignorance and uniting the mankind as the star Rohini arose in the zenith! He who taught the mankind the meaning of Divine Love! Jai Krishna!
Here is a quick doodle of Baby Krishna reveling in the cosmic sea of illusions!

Hope you guys liked it!

The Cosmic Child

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.

illustrations · My paintings · Sketches

Onam illustrations: Watercolour experiments

August 15 2018 was the first day of Onam which is the festival of Kerala, my home state… Sadly, this time Kerala was suffering due to a disastrous flood..May God keep everyone safe..Slowly but steadily, Kerala is getting back on her feet with help from kind hearted souls!! I was thinking of making this into a series but couldn’t do so. Maybe i will continue this some other time. But for the time being here are the two paintings i tried. This is my first ever tryst with watercolours by watching videos on Youtube and those by fellow artists on Instagram. I hope I have done justice as a beginner. Hoping to improve with practice.

  • Day 1: Atham:
    This one is my first ever watercolour and pen painting☺☺..So please pardon any mistakes…Hope you guys will enlighten me on how to improve!
    This was supposed to be a mini series related to Onam depicting various festivities associated with it.. The first one I am posting here is of Onapottan or Onesvaran who is a folk character enacted by an artist who visits homes during the previous day and on the day of Thiruvonam who bestows prosperity.. This character does not speak and hence the name pottan which means deaf and dumb.. With elaborate face paint, headdress and vibrant dress, this sight is common in the Northern part of Kerala..Reference from google..
    #onam #onam2018 #onapottan#onesvaran #kerala #festival #watercolour#artblog #desisoularts #indianart#artistoninstagram #watercolourbeginner#watercolourblog #watercolourpainting


  • Day 10: Thiruvonam:

Floods may have dampened the atmosphere but not our spirits.. Malayalikale tholpikkan avilla makkale😉😉 (a movie dialogue reference)!! Let everyone have a compassionate onam this year filled with peace and communal harmony❤❤. So you see it was a quick leap from day 1 to 10. We were all worried due to the floods and the safety of our near and dear ones back home and didn’t feel like drawing or painting at all. My pookkalam (floral patterns in circular form put on the ground on all ten days of Onam festival) along with a quick sketch (please pardon the mistakes) of Mahabali, the mighty Asura king who ruled Kerala and in whose remembrance Onam is celebrated… (Please google Onaam to get the gist of the story).
#onam #watercoloursketch#penandwatercolour #sketch #mahabali


Hope you all liked these! Please do comment n share your views!

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.

DOODLES · illustrations

Of dreams and visions

Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Most of us are aspiring souls who sometimes follow rigid paths laid down by the society often following set standards… But hope is one thing that keeps us going.. Hope is the fuel that keeps motivating us to become someone better.. We are constantly spiraling towards unfulfilled dreams, unkempt promises, unspoken words, unrequited love and unheard pleas.. Often we follow a certain set of people who are so called highly successful forgetting that each of us are unique and we all have the potential latent within us.. Having a role model is great but blindly idolizing without doing anything is not totally fine.. Till we realize that we will continue to fly, spiraling inwards…


Here I have represented the birds as our fleeting hopes and dreams following ones before us to achieve goals in the positive sense. Do comment your views on this one!

Linking to the wonderful ladies at PPF.

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.


Book Corner: Freehand (Sketching tips and tricks drawn from art)

Today in Book Corner, we have a tiny book (only in terms of size!) with drawing instructions in bite-sized chunks of artistic wisdom called Freehand. Curated by Helen Birch, who is an artist and a drawing lecturer in the UK and published by Chronicle Books, San Francisco, this little book offers a view into the various drawing styles and techniques as well as sketching tips n tricks for all of us to get inspiration from.

Each of the techniques is beautifully shown using brilliant examples of art ranging from the traditional pen, paper, pencil and paints to digitally created art by some of the coolest contemporary artists. Birch has given a brief analysis of the different techniques employed by the artists and the impact they have on the final piece of art.


This book is a pleasant read for all the aspiring artists who have an eye for details and impeccable illustrations. Also, towards the end of the book, the artist lists some of the basics of art like the techniques, types of papers, pencil grades, a brief information on colour theory as well as international paper sizes. At the end of the book are given the names and the respective profiles of the artists who have contributed to the images in the book so that it is easy for us to follow their artworks through their online presence.

Digital art is one of the most popular media that is being used in the art domain. In fact, many traditional artists are using digital softwares and applications to manipulate and enhance their images for better quality. In this book, several such innovative works are featured imparting all the fundamentals like line, tone and colour. “Freehand” will definitely inspire you to discover your personal style of drawing and will boost your confidence to create art like the pros out there.Go check out this book and start creating wonders!

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.


Book Corner: The Maharajas (Treasures of the World)

Books are an essential part of my life- mysteries, comics, romance, fantasy, horror, thrillers, religious, conspiracies, detective, science fiction, mysteries, you name them!  Besides giving us a lot of information, books transport us to a parallel world, transcending us from the mundanity of existence to an ethereal universe. Recently I started borrowing  books related to art more than before from my library and so I thought why not review (not exactly a review but sharing a few points which caught my attention) some books that I found useful in my art journey and hence, this space “Book Corner”. I am so glad that I could get a few quality books on Indian art, architecture and sculptures from here!!!


The first book that I am going to introduce to you is called The Maharajas (meaning the great kings or rulers). It is a beautiful book with an equally lovely cover- a maroon coloured one with an old world feel and elegant look- with intricate golden patterns and a silver Ganesha statue in the centre (as you can see in the photo here). As the book is about the glorious Maharajas and their opulence that prevailed once and still continue to do so, the cover itself is no less glorious!

The book has been written by the seven time Emmy award winning author, editor and American historian Geoffrey C Ward, and is packed with vibrant photographs exuding charm and grace taken by Seth Joel. It was published by Stonehenge in the year 1983. Grandeur is the word that comes to our mind when we hear the term Maharaja or Maharani (great queen).We imagine a hoard of treasures, fineries, exquisite jewellery and a vast trove of sculptures & paintings strewn across great temples and palaces.

Each chapter highlights a few of the prominent princes during the British rule in India out of the 700 princely states which were present during that time. The first chapter is dedicated to the history and customs of the Rajputs who were celebrated patrons of art and architecture- be them paintings, sculptures, jewellery or palaces. The chapters outline the then fabric of the Indian society and situations that prevailed, invaders who coveted India’s natural resources and great wealth; brutal conquerors who were later integrated into the existing folds of the Indian life, like the Bactrians, the Scythians, the Mughals, and the British who later had to go go back to their country. The Indian subcontinent has seen the rise and fall of many different cultures and rulers within herself. All these influences are reflected on the art and architecture of several places. The princes and kings commissioned portraits of themselves as well as sprawling palatial  buildings for them and their consorts. Often these buildings bore the influence of the foreign art and architecture.

The Rajputs being the Kshatriyas or the military caste, prized their weaponry as much as they did their jewels and fineries. A photograph shows a leather shield painted in lacquers showing the scenes of hunting – one of their favourite pastimes, painted in such miniature lines and curves (look below). Details on such things as these nefarious weapons of warfare are themselves so intricate and gorgeous. The gold inlays, the immaculate polishing, the vibrant colours and the jewel encrustations fill us with an inexplicable awe, just by looking at the photographs. Just imagine the pride and the twinkle in the eyes the rulers had when they held them in their hands!! Or even the satisfaction the artisans had when they finished a piece of meticulous craftsmanship!


The Benares rulers were no less flamboyant than the Rajputs in their lavish lives. They too spent their wealth creating wonders. Each page of this wonderful book is covered with incidents in history about both the magnanimous and ruthless kings and their treasures. But not all kings were wise enough in their use of money; many of them squandered their wealth on erratic whims and fancies, as outlined by the author. This book is a virtual treasure chest showcasing portraits and personal belongings of the rulers, all studded with gems and jewels in the form of photographs.

Similarly the other rulers like those of Baroda and Mysore were also ostentatious in terms of the wealth and the commissioned articles of luxury. The Wadiyars of Mysore who are still a continuing royal family (sans the old positions) in India, boast of a number of artifacts dedicated to the Goddess Chamunda who is the presiding deity and protector of Mysore. What a sight it would have been to witness the procession of the Goddess during the Navaratri festival when all would be clad in their best jewels and the whole city would wear a festive look to catch a glimpse of the Goddess in all Her glory!!!?

‘The Maharajas’ will be a prized possession to those who love both the art and history of India equally. This is not a mere book comprising of papers and letters rather a trip through the riches and enormous wealth which once ran through the veins of the subcontinent with well laid out and close up lavish photos. A tribute to the glorious past- remnants of a withered past! Hope you all liked this discussion here and my views on this book.

Hope you liked this post. This is my first attempt at reviewing a book! Keep watching out for this space under BOOK CORNER in the menu for more posts on art books.

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.


DOODLES · illustrations

Igniting inner peace

It’s been a long time since I have posted something as I got a bit busy with a little trip. So here is a little food for thought along with one of  my favourite drawings so far- a lady who sits in the middle of a lotus flower that signifies the world we are in surrounded by fleeting thoughts and disturbances in the form of birds and nature around us, igniting peace from within. I have named it inner peace- but inner is a redundant word in this context in that peace has to stem from inside; peace is not something that we can buy from outside or dig up from the ground. I would love to know your views on the same. Please feel free to comment in the comment section.

Inner peace

Peace is an absolutely important ingredient to live our life to the fullest. Of course, we being humans, it is only natural that we are subjected to circumstantial stresses and tensions and succumb to it. But controlling it to an extent can give us immense relief. Meditation is a great way to attain peace. We do not have to go through any complicated techniques or mumbo-jumbo; even a simple 5 minute relaxation by closing our eyes will do. A simple technique which I did when I was in school was called Jyothi or Light meditation. It involves sitting cross-legged preferably on the floor in a quite corner and obviously closing your eyes. Then imagine a flame of light passing slowly through your body and dwelling in each and every organ and tissue of your body. This is a slow process which helps you relax and breath slowly but steadily in a rhythmic manner. Finally the flame should rest in the middle of your forehead at the position of the third eye which is the seat of wisdom and spiritual enlightenment. Breathe out and slowly come out of it. I am sharing this so that all can benefit from it.

Self introspection is a great way to look into ourselves and to diagnose the problem that is disturbing us or talk it out to a trusted confidante like your best friends or family. Stop criticizing yourself because come on, there are hundreds of others outside at your disposal to do just that. Don’t ever listen to slander- it is just a waste of time. Believe in yourself and you don’t need a stamp if approval from anyone but we being a unit called society, have to adjust at times to fit the norms; we are social animals.  We lose peace when we try to impress everyone every time which is not possible. It is nothing short of conquering the Everest for the layman.

Dream, dream and dream, travel to places that call out to you, explore, experiment, try new and bold, expand your territories, push out of your comfort zone and cut the crap out!! For most of us it is easier said than done but still it is worth giving a try for the prize that is peace. Being content is another aspect of peace. When your mind is in turmoil, try to calm the turbulent waters by praying to God for assistance- He is the One who will ferry us across the storms. Soak it all in and bask in the peace. Anxiety coupled with pessimism will lead only to further trouble. We must develop equanimity  in these days of increasing insecurity and intolerance. Get a grip on yourself and act as one cohesive unit when in a family which is where our heart will be. Armed with self esteem and copious amounts of optimism, go conquer the world overcoming existential crisis. Prove no one else but yourself by being true to your self and being unique. Leave your mark and signature and cultivate peace!!

Linking it to the amazing ladies at PPF.

P.S: I will be introducing a new section “Book Reviews” where I will be introducing art related books that I have read or currently reading along with its details and recommendations. Do watch out for it here!

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.

DOODLES · illustrations

Miniature May: A brand new challenge!

I am back with a new challenge again, for May 2018 by the amazing Kick in the Creatives team!!! This time the challenge is to create miniature artwork of size less than 5×5 inches. I have taken up my own theme- miniature mandalas! Tadaa!! Mandalas as everyone know are designs in the form of circles with multiple concentric I am also going to share different mandala facts with each posts which are inspired by what I have read and collected from books and the internet. I have also experimented with a different photography style!! Enjoy!

  • Miniature May: Day 1/31: This mandala here is of size 4”×4” and has a Ganesha in the centre.

#Mandalafact: Mandalas are basically spiritual and ritualistic symbols used in                    Hinduism and Buddhism representing the universe.


  • Miniature May: Day 2/31: Here is another miniature mandala to drive away the Wednesday woes!!😁 holding the mandala in hand will show the scale..#Mandalafact: The word Mandala is generally used to denote any pattern or diagram that depicts the cosmos- it is in fact the microcosm that is picturised.


  • Miniature May: Day 3/31: Mandala mandala everywhere!!😁 Mandala within greens to cool your eyes!!

#Mandalafact: Mandalas exhibit radial balance since they usually originate from a            point and spread outward.


  • Miniature May: Day 4/31: Look inward into the microcosm that you really are and unravel the spiritual wisdom within!😁 Mandala amidst blossoms to cheer your mind!! Today’s miniature mandala with triangles, spirals and lines in a harmonious geometric interlude.

#Mandalafact: Mandalas are often used as a spiritual aid in focusing attention, for             meditation and to establish a sacred space.


  • Miniature May: Day 5/31: A half mandala for the weekend!

#Mandalafact: Historically and politically, in ancient India the term mandala was                used to denote political formations such as states.


  • Miniature May: Day 6/31: A half mandala again..#Mandalafact: In certain sect of Buddhism, the mandala is used to represent the divine powers of the enlightened mind.


  • Miniature May: Day 7/31: A quarter mandala…This is the smallest drawing I have done so far..

 #Mandalafact: The outer circle of fire in certain mandalas represent wisdom.


  • Miniature May: Day 8/31: This mandala did not turn out well because it was done in a hurry😶😑 Mandala for #miniaturemayby @kickinthecreatives#Mandalafact: Sand mandala is an interesting Tibetan Buddhist tradition which involves creation and destruction of mandalas using coloured sand.


  • Miniature May: Day 9/31: A white on black mandala with a lacy look.#Mandalafact: There is a mandala ceremony performed by monks. Once a mandala is finished, however long it takes them, they pray over it and destroy it as the ceremony signifies that everything is transient- nothing is permanent. It is in fact true as we know everything in this universe is subject to change. Change is inevitable. Change is the only thing that is constant!


  • Miniature May: Day 10/31: A monochrome sunflower mandala for #miniaturemay

       #Mandalafact: The famous psychiatrist Carl Jung was the one who introduced the             eastern concept of Mandalas to the western thought as a means of psychological                 well-being.


Hope you all liked these miniature mandalas!! More to follow!!

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.

My paintings · The 100 day project 2018

The 100 day project!

As I always say, Instagram is a great place to meet new artist friends and get loads of inspiration. And that is exactly how I came across The 100 day project which was all over insta where artists were creating particular pieces of art or repeating a particular action for 100 days! I found it cool and so far the only longest challenge I took part in was the 5 Minute March challenge. This project I found was an extra challenging one and I also wanted to attempt something which I hadn’t done so so far. That is how I decided to do a 100 coffee paintings for this one. I did try coffee painting a few years ago but it didn’t turn out well. So after a hiatus, I tried it out again and voila, it produced some amazing results which surprised me. The shading and emotions on the face are so tough to express!! I am sure that by constant practice anyone can improve their art. The only things required are passion and constant perseverance! The first and third ladies below are inspired by the super talented and amazing artist Mona Biswarupa Mohanty.


The 100 day project is currently hosted by artists Elle Luna and Lindsay Jean Thomson who are doing their own exciting 100 day projects. According to the rules of the challenge, we need to decide upon the action that we would be continuing for a 100 days starting from April this year- in my case the coffee paintings. I was already a bit late but nevertheless decided to give it a go because I was so much captivated by the idea behind it. After deciding upon the project, we need to create a unique hashtag (follow my hashtag #100daysofcoffeepainting on Instagram to view all the art in one place) for the project so that all the works can be seen together when searched. Announce the project on insta and keep posting the works like I am doing now.


I am a big time coffee lover and adore it, both in its hot and cold avatars but my favourite is the cold coffee. It gives you a sort of kick to keep you awake and get the ideas running around!! Creating magic with coffee is an art which I wish to sharpen. Let us see how it goes..I will keep you guys posted on my progress in the coming posts. I might give a couple of tutorials once this project is done. I am trying to learn the techniques by watching tutorials on youtube and following some articles on Google.

Linking this post to the ever supporting and lovely lady bloggers at the Paint Party Friday blog!

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.

DOODLES · illustrations

Nocturnal love!

Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Who doesn’t love the young night clad in a sparkling starry cloak and reigning over all things mysterious n unknown? Well I am a nocturnal person and most of my ideas come alive at night. It is almost as if the brain gets active at night!! Though night is usually regarded to be the playtime of ghosts n ghouls n all things creepy (“for the night is dark and full of terrors” to quote Melisandre from Game of thrones!!!), most of us in fact love that part of the 24 hour cycle simply due to its sheer beauty. In fact we acknowledge and appreciate the day because of the presence of the night and vice versa, don’t you think? Here is a doodle and a little poem of mine depicting this nocturnal love! Enjoy!

Nocturnal love

Gazing up at the rotund moon,

basking in her glory in a starry knit cloak,

surrounded by stellar comrades,

reigning over in glorious royalty,

Silver streaks come dancing down,

carrying drops of blissful elixir,

raining down glistening jewels,

waltzing down with murmuring leaves,

gentle breeze playing the interlude,

Inner recesses of the mind,

blossom forth, blooming in pure joy,

pouring out as poetry, sublime and subtle,

in an expression of nocturnal love!

Hope you guys liked this poem and doodle!! Do leave your precious comments if you also feel the same about night!

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.

DOODLES · illustrations

5 Minute March Challenge ends!

The 5 Minute March challenge ends with this post. Those who haven’t read the first and second part of this post please go here and here. You can also visit my Instagram account @desisoularts to view the sketches. All the reference photos are from Google.

  • Day 21/31: Thechi/ Chethi (Ixora plant-Ixora coccinea): This is in fact a bunch or cluster of little red flowers often used in temples for worship..There are a variety of these flowers according to colour and arrangement of the flowers like white,red,pink,yellow and also umbrella shaped clusters…Well,this sketch took over 5 minutes😁
  • Day 22/31: Day 22/31: Thottavadi (Touch me not plant- Mimosa pudica): This is a very well known plant.. The plant whose leaves droop on touching them.. In malayalam we often use this name thottavadi for people who are too sensitive to harsh words😀these plants have beautiful delicate flowers too.
  • Day 23/31:  Thulasi (Indian holy basil- Ocimum sanctum): This is a very holy plant and sacred to India ..Thulasi is considered to be the avatar of Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu.. they have such tiny n beautiful delicate flowers ..the smell is so heavenly and intense. It is also called Krishna thulasi.
  • Day 24/31: Vaka (Royal poinciana- Delonix regia): These flowers are also called Gulmohar and are strikingly red in colour…In full bloom, they are a sight to behold!!
Thechi, Thottavadi, Thulasi, Vaka
  • Day 25/31: Kulamariyan (Chinese creeper- Quisqualis indica): This is an invasive creeper with dark pink pendent inflorescence with some medicinal qualities.The bright pink flowers are beautiful to look at.
  • Day 26/31: Thumba (Leuca indica): Thumba is a delicate white flower. It is the flower used in Athappookkalam, the floral decoration done on first day of Onam festival. There is an interesting story in the Puranas, which states why Thumba is not used for the worship of Lord Shiva. Once Lord Shiva manifested as a large pillar or column of fire in front of Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu who were arguing over their position. Shiva then asked both of them to find the top and bottom of the column. Brahma took the form of a swan and flew towards the top while Vishnu assumed the form of a boar and started digging downwards. Both of them traversed a long distance but could not find the end. On the way Brahma saw a Thumba flower which claimed to be coming from the top of Shiva’s head which was a lie. So, Brahma took the flower along with him and returned halfway to present as the evidence. Vishnu too returned without any luck. In Shiva’s presence Vishnu accepted defeat while Brahma presented the Thumba flower as the evidence which angered Shiva as he knew it was a lie. Lord Shiva cursed Brahma that he will not be worshipped on earth and the flower too saying that it will not be offered in worship to Him. Hence ,these flowers are not taken for worship in temples.
  • Day 27/31: Kadaladi (Mexican creeper- Antigonon leptopus): This is a medicinal creeper with teeny weeny flowers used in many medicines of Ayurveda.
  • Day 28/31: Neelakkurinji (Strobilathes kunthiana): This is a wonderful flower belonging to the mighty Western Ghats region especially Munnar in Kerala which is a touristic hotspot as well..The speciality of these are that they bloom only once in 12-16 years and at that time people flock to this area to watch the vast tracts of blue sea of these gorgeous beauties.
Kulamariyan, Thumba, Kadaladi, Neelakkurinji
  • Day 29/31: Brahmakamalam/Nishagandhi (Night flower- Epiphyllum oxypetalum): This is a highly sacred and mysterious flower…It is pure white and blooms only once at midnight every year…It is named after Lord Brahma who is the creator of the Universe…It is believed that these flowers should be gifted and not sold or bought… 
  • Day 30/31:  Orchids: Though orchids are not indigenous to Kerala, they are still extensively grown in many places.. They are very beautiful to look at because of their lilac and lavender flowers..
  • Day 31/31: Anthurium: Like orchids, anthurium is also not indigenous to kerala but is a very popular garden plant with variety if colours like red,white and pink…
Nishagandhi, Orchid, Anthurium

And so now it is a wrap…March went by so fast and I am so glad that I could finish a whole challenge which is something new..Starting a challenge is fine but to complete it takes real patience as you tend to move away from the subject at hand..It is not everyday that you feel like drawing..Thanks a lot to @kickinthecreatives for organising this challenge..It definitely improved my sketching skills in very less time and with very few strokes❤.. I am glad that i could share some interesting facts and stories or local myths about the flowers too.. 

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.