These are a few of my favourite things

Choosing a feature image for this post was the second hardest thing I had to do recently. The hardest was choosing to leave behind every cool toy of mine from childhood that I discovered yesterday while cleaning out some shelves at mum’s place. I could have carried them back to my home and bought a few cargos so that I can fit them into my pockets and carry them around with me forever but maybe they’re better off and safer at mum’s place. Haha!

I mean look at them!

With every toy I found, I could not help but keep exclaiming, ‘Srishti, you’re such a hoarder and I’m so proud of it’ out loud in my mind 😌

Childhood was good!

Now Reading: Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami

You remember this.

And after that, I explored a couple of other genres with Nobody Will Tell You This But Me by Bess Kalb, The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell, and Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell. They were not in the least disappointing. But I think I recently realised why my next (now current) read was Mieko Kawakami’s Breasts and Eggs.

If there’s one thing that’s getting a little too on the nose about English fiction writers, specifically crime, horror, and thrillers, is their desire to write a book in anticipation that it will get picked to be made into a movie. You get what I mean? They paint such a dramatic picture that there is no room for any imagination, sometimes. This genre is soon becoming Netflix during lockdown.

Japanese Literature lacks that entertainment desire and factor, and I love it for the very same reasons. Crisp and wise, they are only concerned with telling you the story as though the author and you are having a conversation, as you both do something on your own, not looking at each other, on a lovely day. Maybe a a lightly noisy fan running on speed 2, because we all know that speed 1 is useless.

Or maybe this is just me.

Update: New Paintings

Brushed my hands and these two flip-flapped out about a week ago.

Dog

Gouache on Premium Quality Paper wrapped with newspaper
Landscape – 8 in x 5.5 in
(inspired by an old photo of my Shadow 😘)

Close

Gouache on Premium Quality Paper
Portrait – 5 in x 4 in
(5 points to Gryffindor for guessing this scene)

It’s Japanese literature this lockdown

This lockdown got me reading like how we did when we were ten – a book in one hand, chips in the other, and not a boy to care about in the world. And I finally got tired of crime fiction.

AI must be getting better because when Facebook ‘randomly’ suggested that I join this really active and knowledgeable Japanese Literature Facebook group, I didn’t blink twice. And yes, dare I say, Murakami is not the only Japanese author. This group had some great suggestions and am officially in a Jap Lit phase.

The Japanese have got a lot of things right and one of them is their style of literature. It’s… freeing. Or at least lets you glimpse into the freedom of simplicity. Freedom to take ordinary instances and turn them into extraordinary stories. Now why can’t I think like that. The language is crisp and paints a nearly perfect picture.

Of the mere handful I’ve had the chance to read, here are two books that I recommend.

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

Before the coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Before the coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

If you do like Before the coffee gets cold, there’s a sequel too, which I’m currently reading.

Before the coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Simplified Gouache Landscapes

There is so much one can do with gouache. It is easily one of the most versatile mediums I’ve used. These simplified landscapes were a delight to follow after watching Minnie Small, one of my favourite gouache artists.

There is so much one can do with gouache. It is easily one of the most versatile mediums I’ve used. These simplified landscapes were a delight to follow after watching Minnie Small, one of my favourite gouache artists.

This one goes out to Minnie:
Minnie, I’ve been watching your videos for at least four years now. When I watched your simplifying landscapes video I knew that one day I would be able to paint along. And I did 🙂 Thank you so much for continuing to contribute to this community and teaching us along the way!

Related Posts:
Two and a Half Men in Gouache
Gouache for an eye

Two and a Half Men in Gouache

We’re in that stage of lockdown where we’re re-watching Two and a Half Men and laughing at every joke. This scene, where Alan threatens to leave Charlie’s home, Jake in tow, and is standing at the door, made for a lovely composition.

We’re in that stage of lockdown where we’re re-watching Two and a Half Men and laughing at every joke. This scene, where Alan threatens to leave Charlie’s home, Jake in tow, and is standing at the door, made for a lovely composition. As I watched this scene, I could visualise how it would look if I painted this composition using gouache. I think that’s the thing about Gouache. It gets you observing everything around you in the form of whole bunch of odd shapes.

A still from Two and a Half Men

This painting surprisingly succeeded more than half my expectations. No doubt, it was challenging, especially the walls, where my lack of experience in mixing the exact shades and understanding light is extremely evident.

🥴

Enjoy the super speedy video 👇🏼 At the humble request of the artist, we wont be discussing the faces tyvm 🙏🏼

Related Posts:
Gouache on my mind
Gouache for an eye

Gouache on my mind

I think it’s been a month since I started taking gouache seriously. If I’m browsing online, I’m trying to find good photographs that I can translate into a gouache painting. I am searching for random photographs in my library, that I may find interesting, to study colours, layering the paint, how to approach gouache in the first place.

Previous studies below. I can’t believe how much magenta I DID NOT add to this entire painting 😳 almost like I’m blind or something.

blind blind blind

Below, is my first photograph study for gouache. I used the Arches Watercolour – Cold Press – 300 GSM paper for this one. If you’re also a fellow gouache discoverer and painter like me, I urge you to try different papers, especially the ones specially made for water colours. Since gouache is a water-based pigment, and since it’s beauty lies in layers, water colour papers of 300 GSM tend to work best with it.

As for the paints, Brustro Artists Gouache Colours do the job best for beginners.

Better?

Despite my growing efforts, I have entrusted my paintings to bring home some loose change while they’re being affordable and hence, the original paintings are for sale here. Please do have a look. If this sticks, I’ll have an income from doing something I absolutely love doing 💜😂😭

This is my latest gouache study from a photograph. Cow 😘🐮

Paneer Bhurji with Ranveer Brar and Srishooo

Paneer Bhurji is the vegetarian sibling of Egg Bhurji. Ask me to make it the way Ranveer Brar does and I’m game!

Paneer Bhurji is the vegetarian sibling of Egg Bhurji. There are no two things about it. Personally, I’ve loved eggs ever since I can remember. So if you’ve asked me to eat Paneer Bhurji, I’ve definitely rolled my eyes at you/your back. But ask me again, and ask me to make it the way Ranveer Brar does and I’m game!

This recipe cannot get simpler and that automatically makes your week night dinner plan easier!

I also tried Traditional Amritsari Chhole from Archana’s Kitchen for Bread Chhole Chaat.

Gouache for an eye

There’s only one word that comes to mind when I used gouache for the first time – unlearn.

There’s only one thing that came to mind when I used gouache for the first time – what is this nonsense!

Remember poster paints? And remember how we said goodbye to them one day, without even realising, and moved onto more sophisticated paints, forgetting about them altogether?

Then one day we wake up and hear there’s a new paint in town. It’s so fancy that everyone even pronounces it’s name differently. Gouache.

And we decide to give it a try. And it sucks. The paint mixes weird, the water consistency is off, and don’t even get me started on how long it’s been since I watched this episode of Friends. But, you give it sometime and something familiar kicks in.

It takes an entire second round to realise that gouache is the more sophisticated version of poster paints. And gouache is beautiful. The more you use it, the more versatile it gets. I have to actively stop myself from wetting the paint too much, as I am used to doing with water colours. At the same time, I’ve to also remember to use water as I barely use any with acrylic. Unlearn.

I definitely want to spend more time with gouache. The Brustro Artists Gouache Color Set is great to begin with.

You can purchase this original painting here.

It was so much fun painting with you @_hyemina 😀 and I’m in love with your style!