Showing posts from March, 2009

The Other Parts of Beauty

This is a follow-up of my earlier post on Beauty.

Aspects of Beauty
There are two aspects to beauty. One is beauty of the visible, observable nature. The other is the hidden. Here is a figure depicting the hierarchy:

The observable part of beauty is a person's appearance and personality. Among these, appearance is particularly significant in the opposite sex. In fact, this is the concept of beauty as understood by most people. Such beauty possesses great power, and has driven many a man (or woman) mad. It has inspired the greatest works of art, and caused the bloodiest wars. It is a seduction of the emotional heart, which can become so addicted to this beauty, so seduced by it, that it confounds all logic, and overpowers all reason. But this is only a part of a person's observable beauty. This is why I had chosen to draw only half a face in the post 'Beauty - part I'. Including the sketch here again:

The other half of observable beauty is personality. …

The Lone Star

I love the fact that right now I can see a single star from where I lie in my bed. I sleep with my balcony open, and beyond the grass, I can see a patch of sky, and in it, there is a solitary star. Its bright light flickers in rapidly changing colors (this isn't an exaggeration, if you've observed stars, you'll know that several appear to do this) and I reckon it'll be visible to me for an hour more, before it disappears out of my view.

I wonder if that star is lonely. It must be, being so distant from even those closest to it. Countless stars all around it, but none is actually close. And is it also lonesome? Does it not yearn for company, trying as it does, to pull everyone closer to it with its gravity? Why has everyone gone away? Or has it sucked in too close, everyone it held dear, till they got burnt in its blazing love? If it did, then I'm sure it didn't mean them any harm, for it has always tried its best to spread all the light it has, burning brightly …

Beauty - Part I

This is the first of a two part series on Beauty (the second part will be an essay).

There is a reason why only half the face is drawn (apart from the fact that it saved half the effort of a full portrait!)

Don't bother trying to guess who it is. It is based on someone mildly famous, but I've intentionally not reproduced the subject accurately. The idea here was just to focus on beauty, and not the person. I'll elaborate on this in part-II.

Started off with the eye as usual. Its the easiest feature to draw and adds so much life to the subject. When I look into the eye, it keeps me motivated to do a good job with the rest of the sketch. Also shown is some light shading to get a feel for the contrast and create depth.

The final version. The hair was a problem as usual and slowed me down considerably. But I can see some improvement in my technique, which is encouraging.

P.S: Comments on the sketch are welcome, and your thoughts on the concept of beauty are sought.


I've been lately pondering on the nature of expectations that we all have; from ourselves, from our loved ones, from our friends, and in fact, from almost every aspect of our life. These expectations have an enormous influence on us; on our attitudes, on what we do, on how we deal with people, and what we make of our lives. Expectations, like with all such immeasurable emotional phenomenon, have both positive and negative shades in their influence over us. But its not just a one way street. While expectations can influence us, it is we who decide how much to expect from each. And that I find empowering.

It is a great skill to be able to set those expectations just right, in sync with reality. But more often than not, our expectations are either too high, or too low; making them either too unreasonable, or too useless.

Some might argue there is wisdom in keeping expectations uniformly low. You greatly reduce the possibility of being disappointed. You also save yourself and your r…

Good, Evil and Us

Since childhood we've been witness to the struggle between good and evil. From fantastical princes battling monsters and beasts, to superheroes saving the world from nefarious villains, to video games that let us live all such fantasies. And as we grow a little older, we're told about angels and demons, heaven and hell, right and wrong. Its all very black and white. (Interestingly, this trend is changing. The movie Dark Knight is a good example of how popular culture is trying to examine the idea of good and evil being inextricably interlinked.)

Gradually, however, we begin to recognize shades of gray. Complex situations arise where one cannot clearly locate the line separating good from evil or who's right and who's wrong. But even this is a workable, analyzable situation.

Whats really complex is the realization that good, evil and all the shades of gray in between, actually reside within every individual. Pure good and pure evil are almost non-existent in the human wor…

Visual Delights

"Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in" - American Beauty

The quote is my favorite from the movie, which is filled with memorable lines. It pops in my head whenever I find something beautiful in nature.

I often spend hours browsing through Flickr, searching for interesting subjects to sketch, or just admire the beauty of nature, and the talent of those who capture it. Here are a few I picked in the past few hours.

It doesn't have to be something dramatic or grand. Just an interesting angle or the right composition can create a true visual delight. Its like music for the eyes. Gladdens the heart and rejuvenates the soul.

You could take a quick glance at each, or you could study them in minute detail. I indulge in the second approach, taking in each colour, each texture, each shape. It is hard not to be inspired, amazed, excited and happy.

P.S 1: Most of the above pics are from Sweden or elsewher…