My name is Hridaya Keerthana and I’m a research scholar by profession from India. I started my journey with art at a very young age as my mother was an artist herself. Whenever I made any tantrums, some color pens or crayons would simply make me quiet. As a child, I would immerse myself in drawing and painting and that became my favorite extracurricular activity. As I grew older, I was very much interested in acrylic painting and craft making. This continued until my Masters.
Once I joined a Ph. D program, my responsibilities grew. I had to give much time to my studies, and I just could not do any art. There was a time where I was so busy, and I was not finding any time for myself. Because of the COVID 19 lockdown in India, I got an opportunity to revisit my passion. My real journey with watercolors started last year after the lockdown. The pressure at work increased as we had lost a lot of time because of lockdown.
At that point of time, one of my friends gifted me a student grade Camlin watercolor paints set, a local brand in India. That was a game changer for me. I never explored watercolors before that, they gave me all kinds of textures I wanted, and I could do a lot, which I was not able to do with acrylic paints. In other words, I would just simply say it was like love at first sight for me. From that moment on I decided, I had to explore watercolors and started a social media page which could be like my own personal art gallery.
I have not stopped painting from that time. I would make time now instead of finding time for painting. Painting has become a part of my daily routine. Watercolors gave me the opportunity to paint daily as it has simple and complex techniques to master.
Mastering watercolor art is difficult and the only key is practice. I would say there will always be much more to learn, and the learning process never ends.
Art Supplies And Subjects
The moment I started exploring watercolors, I began to search for the right subjects I wanted to paint. I would observe nature keenly so that I could recreate it. The quality of watercolors depends on the right materials. I have explored various brands of paints, brushes, and papers. I would like to tell you that they are very important.
As a beginner I started with Camlin artist grade watercolors, Brustro brushes and papers (25% cotton, CP, 300 gsm). It was good for a time, but I wanted to explore other brands as well. I got a few primary colors from Winsor & Newton Cotman colors and yeah, I really liked them and explored color mixing and I could make many shades. Then I bought White Nights and Daniel Smith essential set watercolors. I could see the difference in my art once I changed my supplies.
Currently I’m switching between Chitrapat 440 gsm 100% cotton papers and Baohong Artist’s grade 300gsm rough papers for my artworks. I prefer cold pressed and rough papers for my work as I love the textures that they provide. My subjects usually include objects of nature.
Being in the academic world full of competition can be tiring and exhausting. After a tiresome and stressful day, I would simply make some loose roses and my day is set. As I mentioned earlier, stress is an integral part of being a Ph. D scholar. Stress management is very important to have a work/life balance as it helps in all round wellbeing of an individual. Watercolors really take my stress away.
I have used a few watercolor techniques like wet on wet and loose washes to create. When I’m cheerful, I would go for painting aesthetic scenery and detailed subjects. As a gist, I can tell watercolors have really changed my perspective and the way of thinking. I have even converted my workspace in my laboratory into a small gallery. Whenever I see them, I kind of feel motivated to work more. In the end, I could say it is because of art that I’m staying healthy mentally and emotionally.Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in