Face in the Fire – A Short Story and the Caricature of Anger Divine.

“If I could, I would kill him!” the man in the tattered jacket and stained trousers hissed as he watched the flames that danced violently mirroring his own state of mind.

He didn’t expect his cry to be heard, nor his pain to be felt by another. He sat in a small recess that was between two cliffs that faced each other, touching and teasing at times then moving away, just a little, just enough to let a man escape the freezing wind that could peel the skin off his face; just enough to let a man build a fire that could warm his chilled bones and melt the blood that had frozen in his veins.

“If they wouldn’t hang me for killing him, I would kill him,” he muttered to himself, contemplating why he hadn’t killed him. He knew they would hang him, or take him out to the fields, ask him to make a run for his life, then put a bullet in him – they’d call it encounter. They ignored the law when it came to punishing a crime against their own kind.

And now, more than ever before, he couldn’t die. He had to live. He couldn’t even get arrested and be put away for years.

He turned his attention to the fire. He needed to stop thinking about that man.

But how did you stop thinking about someone who stole your reason to live?
How did you tell yourself to go on, when your reason to go on, had gone away… taken away… wrenched away…hacked away?

He couldn’t staunch the flow of his thoughts, but watching the fire soothed him. The fire hadn’t lost its strength yet. It still burned strong, nearly white in the center; and a fiery orange outside. It threw a golden glow on the walls of cliffs that faced each other. The flames still danced passionately, angrily, demanding to be assimilated, absorbed in each other.

And then he saw a face – among the flames, made of flames; so full of anger that it could have been his own. The matted hair that coiled on the top, the impression of a third eye – he knew the face, and he knew that the anger that filled this face that was made of flames, was the force of justice.

Caricature Portrait of an Angry sadhu -

“What did he do?” he heard a voice, which sounded like it came from the face in the fire.

The calm voice from the angry face, made him feel better. Gradually he began remember everything in vivid detail – everything including that which reminded him why he couldn’t kill the man who had rendered his life meaningless. Images rushed to fill in the space that his receding pain and anger left vacant. He saw the woman he loved and their son waving him goodbye – the image was lit with the soft morning light that fills hearts with joy and hope. Then he saw the broken door, the picture of him and his wife on the floor with its glass shattered, and inside, he saw blood on the sheets. The light he saw it all in had the ink of night spilling into it – throwing his soul into the dark abyss of hopelessness. She wasn’t there, nor was his son. Then he saw her – bloodied, clutching her throat and dying near the scarecrow they had both built together. Finally, he saw in her fist, the piece of paper that stopped him from going after him and killing him. He had taken away their son! He had known him for fifteen years and considered him a friend.

“He should pay,” said the angry face in the fire, or he thought it said. But could he? If he killed him, and they killed his son, what then?!

The stream of his thoughts was dammed by a scream that came from above. He looked up and saw a man falling, hitting the walls, rebounding from one then from the other. He crashed to the ground just a few feet away from him on the other side of the fire he had built. Before his body struck the ground, the man’s face turned toward him. His head smashed against a boulder that lay at the bottom of the cliff’s wall and spattered it with blood, before his eyes closed forever. The police uniform that he had always admired on his friend was soaked in blood, even his badge was twisted out of shape.

The man watched spellbound. He had wanted this man to die – but his death didn’t soothe him the way he thought it would. His death couldn’t become life for her…and his son? He was still missing.

He turned to look at the fire.
The face was gone.
Or was it never there? 

He looked up, wondering if the face was up there among the stars, but it wasn’t. Instead he saw a tiny silhouette of a little head. He could’ve recognized it anywhere. Against the backdrop of a moonlit sky, he saw the child. They used to come here, father and son; they knew the place like the back of their hands. His son was safe. Now he had to only get up there and pick the threads of his life again. He had a reason to go on.

Before he prepared himself for the climb, he turned to look at the fire again. It was suddenly close to dying, like it didn’t have a reason to blaze and sing anymore.

But he was sure.

There was a face in the fire.

Paris Attacks – Why?

Paris Attacked

They attack everything that celebrates life.
They love to spread hatred and sow strife.

They do it…
Because they follow orders unthinking,
They walk around like zombies, unblinking.

They do it…
Because they think that the world is theirs by right.
They kill because they want to show their might.


They walk into a concert, they throw grenades,
they blow-up and smoke rises against the colonnades,

They do it…
Because venom was injected in their blood-stream,
long before they began to love, desire, and dream.

They do it…
Because caught in the web of their rote-learning,
they only want to see everything else burning.

Pen and Ink portrait of a girl - 9/11 and Terrorism. Cue-art for Creativity Carnival.

Sometimes the harshness of reality blinds us. It makes us avert our eyes, turn our back, and run away – back to the comfort of our homes, where we think we are safe.
But the reality doesn’t cease to exist.
It exists as 9/11, 11/26, Charlie Hebdo, and yesterday’s Paris Attacks.
We see the flares and wonder how it may have happened.
Then we turn and go back to the comfort of our homes, where we think we are safe.

 

Creativity Carnival: Inspiration

(Note: Please disregard the previous carnival post done today.)

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the eighth edition of the Creativity Carnival.  The previous carnival “Girl” wasn’t a bright and happy cue-art – and yet some fabulous bloggers bit the proverbial bullet and plunged in. Thank you for participating. I know that you want my dark spell to end.

I hope that this week’s prompt will accomplish that.

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

 

Here is the cue-art for this week. It’s very different from all the previous cue-arts. I must tell you that this is one of my older drawings. The cue-art that I had actually created for this week, turned out to be even darker than the one I posted for the previous carnival. I think we all need a break from me 🙂

Pen and Ink Drawing of Newton biting into an apple.

 

Here are few simple rules.

    1. Your cue is the artwork above.
    2. You have a week to get creative and make a post that connects with the cue.
    3. You are welcome to do anything creative with the cue. Here is a list of possibilities:
      • Write a Story (tiny/short/long…whichever works for you. A tip: Shorter Stories, more reads.)
      • Share an Anecdote
      • Write a Poem
      • Draw a doodle
      • Paint a picture
      • Some other creative craft that I can’t think of – but it must explore and even extend the portrayal in the artwork.
    4. Include the cue-art in your post.
    5. Link back to this Creativity Carnival Post so that a ping back is registered. It will help other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it.

IMPORTANT:

1. Links to the pages and the home-page of a blog don’t result in a ping back.
2. Links created through an image (linking an image to a post) don’t create a ping back. 

For more details (mostly superfluous) please visit the Creativity Carnival page here.

Do tag your posts “creativity carnival”. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs 🙂

About Girl

In my opinion, Girl is one my most complex drawings. The mood that I was in the day I drew it, has a lot to do with the thoughts that became the Girl. In my mind, she is the ISIS girl. A girl who either joined them of her free will, or who was abducted, used, sold by them. She is young. Fifteen. Or she is No. 15. She has been persecuted for her faith, her family’s faith, and for being a woman. She hopes for peace but finds none. She lives in a dystopian future, symbolized by the torn calendar – with no hope, she is terrorized for footsteps coming her way…

Creativity Carnival: Girl

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the seventh edition of the Creativity Carnival.  That this edition comes to you on the anniversary of September 11 attacks makes it special. A tribute to humanity, courage, and kindness, yet a warning for the times to come, if the world took just one wrong step. It appears to me that the world, as a whole, may already have taken a few wrong steps – steps that in a few years from now could change our way of living.

Thanks for responding to the cue-art Handcuffs. It was a difficult prompt. Handcuffs usually have an immediate relevance for most of us, until of course, we venture into the realm of philosophy and psychology. And yet, the responses left me speechless.

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

 

Here is the cue-art for this week. Please take it away with you, think about it, read the clues, then give a freehand to your creativity. I leave my drawing in your care.

Pen and Ink portrait of a girl - 9/11 and Terrorism. Cue-art for Creativity Carnival.

 

Here are few simple rules.

    1. Your cue is the artwork above.
    2. You have a week to get creative and make a post that connects with the cue.
    3. You are welcome to do anything creative with the cue. Here is a list of possibilities:
      • Write a Story (tiny/short/long…whichever works for you. A tip: Shorter Stories, more reads.)
      • Share an Anecdote
      • Write a Poem
      • Draw a doodle
      • Paint a picture
      • Some other creative craft that I can’t think of – but it must explore and even extend the portrayal in the artwork.
    4. Include the cue-art in your post.
    5. Link back to this Creativity Carnival Post so that a ping back is registered. It will help other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it.

IMPORTANT:

1. Links to the pages and the home-page of a blog don’t result in a ping back.
2. Links created through an image (linking an image to a post) don’t create a ping back. 

For more details (mostly superfluous) please visit the Creativity Carnival page here.

Do tag your posts “creativity carnival”. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs 🙂

And now – what inspired me to create the gun-art and what that picture means to me.

About Handcuffs.

Handcuffs were inspired by an event that I hope will never repeat itself. A rich socialite murdered her nineteen-year-old daughter. The story is complex and you can read it here. She was apprehended by the police and taken away for questioning. The image of her manacled hand, the possible reason for the murder – they didn’t leave me; they drove me to draw the handcuffs with the rose. It was a simple drawing, but a complex prompt. Thank you for participating.

Creativity Carnival: Handcuffs

Dear Creative Souls,

Welcome to the sixth edition of the Creativity Carnival. 

I finished the drawing for this Carnival just a couple of hours ago.

Thanks so much for your fantastic response on the Faces Carnival. I loved reading your entries as much as you must’ve enjoyed writing them 🙂

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

 

Here’s my cue-art for this week. The inspiration for this cue-art was in my environment – I just picked it up. I’ll tell you all about it in my next Carnival post. This week, this image belongs to you.

 

Handcuffs - A pen and ink drawing for the Creativity Carnival Edition 6.

The Rules are Simple.

    1. Your cue is the artwork above.
    2. You have a week to get creative and make a post that connects with the cue.
    3. You are welcome to do anything creative with the cue. Here is a list of possibilities:
      • Write a Story (tiny/short/long…whichever works for you. A tip: Shorter Stories, more reads.)
      • Share an Anecdote
      • Write a Poem
      • Draw a doodle
      • Paint a picture
      • Some other creative craft that I can’t think of – but it must explore and even extend the portrayal in the artwork.
    4. Include the cue-art in your post.
    5. Link back to this Creativity Carnival Post so that a ping back is registered. It will help other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it.IMPORTANT:

1. Links to the pages and the home-page of a blog don’t result in a ping back.
2. Links created through an image (linking an image to a post) don’t create a ping back. (Thanks, Meghan.) 

For more details (mostly superfluous) please visit the Creativity Carnival page here.

Do tag your posts “creativity carnival”. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs 🙂

And now – what inspired me to create the gun-art and what that picture means to me.

About The Faces.

Faces is perhaps my most detailed drawing for the Creativity Carnival yet. This drawing wasn’t of an object; it was of a thought. I had in my mind the image of a woman who has just started turning bitter, but who hides her bitterness beneath a tailored smile, and the roughness of her face under layers of makeup. But then, this woman, wasn’t always like this. There was a time in her life when she was happy and innocent, and her innocence made her feel compassion and love for others. Her face reflected her sweet nature – and she had no need to hide anything. Now she’s 27, then she was 16 – but the person she was and the person she now is; they have diametrically opposite perceptions of everything around them.

So you see, it was a thought. The pages symbolized the passage of time, and the faces belonged to a woman who had changed on the inside.

Those were my thoughts. Your responses were so beautifully diverse, so poetic – that they took the cue-art to a different, much higher plane. Thank you for that.

Creativity Carnival: Faces

Dear blogger friends,

Welcome to the fifth edition of the Creativity Carnival.

This has been a busy and tiring month for me, but I’ve loved creating the cue-arts for the carnival. I wait for Fridays. After spending the whole week reading your wonderful takes on the previous week’s cue-art and thinking of what I’d be creating next, I spend my second half of Thursday or the first half of Friday drawing that week’s cue-art for you. I draw for a story or a poem that I’d like to read; I draw for a picture that I’d like to see; I draw for an experience that I’d like to share. And it makes my drawing that much more meaningful for me.

I loved reading your interpretations of the gun-art. You wrote poetry that tugged on my heartstrings; crafted stories that catapulted me into a different time and world; and drew comics that made me laugh.  This week, among the wonderful responses on the Gun Carnival, I discovered a story and a poem – I marveled at how well the story “Hidden Murder” by Ruth Lakes  connected with the cue-art. The poem that touched my heart was  “Adieu…” by RS.

I’d also like to thank Stu for her post. If you want to visit the sites of the bloggers who have participated in the previous 4 carnivals, please click “Roll-up (Creativity Carnival Round-up Links.) on Stu’s blog

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

 

My Cue-art for this week isn’t an object. It’s a concept. There’s a mystery in it, which you can unravel at your leisure. As always, this artwork belongs to you this whole week.

Women faces in profile on the pages of a book - pen and ink drawing for creativity carnival by shafali.

 

The Rules are Simple.

    1. Your cue is the artwork above.
    2. You have a week to get creative and make a post that connects with the cue.
    3. You are welcome to do anything creative with the cue. Here is a list of possibilities:
      • Write a Story (tiny/short/long…whichever works for you. A tip: Shorter Stories, more reads.)
      • Share an Anecdote
      • Write a Poem
      • Draw a doodle
      • Paint a picture
      • Some other creative craft that I can’t think of – but it must explore and even extend the portrayal in the artwork.
    4. Include the cue-art in your post.
    5. Link back to this Creativity Carnival Post so that a ping back is registered. It will help other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it.IMPORTANT:

1. Links to the pages and the home-page of a blog don’t result in a ping back.
2. Links created through an image (linking an image to a post) don’t create a ping back. (Thanks, Meghan.) 

For more details (mostly superfluous) please visit the Creativity Carnival page here.

Do tag your posts “creativity carnival”. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs 🙂

And now – what inspired me to create the gun-art and what that picture means to me.

About The Gun.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Nancy, bought a new gun. We were talking and she brought the gun out and we talked about it. For some inexplicable reason, an image of an engraved gun that I had seen somewhere, flashed in my mind. I asked her if she remembered such a gun and she said that it must have been a Colt. Now those guns were things of beauty. They weren’t just machines made for killing – they had a certain vanity associated with them. Right then when we were talking, I decided that I wanted to draw a gun.

But a lone gun has no story, except that of death, and a death without reason doesn’t inspire a story, nor a poem or a piece of art! A death with love at its heart; a death with revenge at its core; or even a death brought about by jealousy or greed – those deaths give us stories and poetry; art and drama.

This is the story of the birth of the cue-art “The Gun.”

I’ll look forward to your take on this drawing 🙂

Creativity Carnival: The Gun

Dear storytellers, poets, artists, writers, bloggers,

Welcome to the Creativity Carnival.

Thank you so much for your wonderful response. I loved your interpretations of the Mystery Chest so much that I visited many of the posts twice. I want to mention a response that’s going to stay with me for a while. It’s a short-story by Lydia, which you can read on her blog here.  For other fabulous responses please visit the Mystery Chest post.

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

 

This week’s cue-art is a little different. After the nostalgia of the pocket-watch, the romance of the bell, and the mystery of the chest…this artwork might appear somewhat…dark. For this whole week, this gun is yours. Handle it with care. I’ll share my reason for drawing this gun with the next Creativity Carnival post.

Pen and Ink Art - Gun Drawing black and White for the Creativity Carnival.

The Rules are Simple.

    1. Your cue is the artwork above.
    2. You have a week to get creative and make a post that connects with the cue.
    3. You are welcome to do anything creative with the cue. Here is a list of possibilities:
      • Write a Story (tiny/short/long…whichever works for you. A tip: Shorter Stories, more reads.)
      • Share an Anecdote
      • Write a Poem
      • Draw a doodle
      • Paint a picture
      • Some other creative craft that I can’t think of – but it must explore and even extend the portrayal in the artwork.
    4. Include the cue-art in your post.
    5. Link back to this Creativity Carnival Post and then click on it so that a ping back is registered and other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it 🙂

For more details (mostly superfluous) please visit the Creativity Carnival page here.


Do tag your posts “creativity carnival”. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs 🙂

And now about the mystery chest that found its way into your hearts.

About The Mystery Chest

The concept of a mystery- or a treasure chest have always intrigued me. When I draw a picture, I usually have a story or at least a setting in mind. This is why you don’t see just one object in the image. You see other objects too. For instance in the mystery chest, you see an open locket with two portraits, a star-fish, some gold coins, and…something that nobody noticed. The Cryptex. It’s not easy to recognize a Cryptex, especially if you haven’t read/watched the DaVinci Code. It’s rumored to have been developed by Leonardo Da Vinci. So the mystery chest was indeed a treasure chest – and the Cryptex contained a coded message, which could be anything that your imagination would want it to be 🙂

I’ll look forward to reading your posts and visiting your blogs 🙂

Creativity Carnival: The Mystery Chest

Dear storytellers, poets, artists, writers, bloggers,

Welcome to the Creativity Carnival.

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

Here’s this week’s cue-art 🙂 As always, I’ll share my thoughts about this cue-art next week. This whole week, this artwork is more yours than mine. Save it to you computer/mobile device and do something creative with it. Tell a short-story or narrate an experience, write a few lines of poetry, draw or paint something inspired by it…and then share it with the world.

Creativity Carnival - The treasure chest. A pen and ink drawing.

 

Here are a few easy rules 🙂

    1. Your cue is the artwork above.
    2. You have a week to get creative and make a post that connects with the cue.
    3. You are welcome to do anything creative with the cue. Here is a list of possibilities:
      • Write a Story (tiny/short/long…whichever works for you. A tip: Shorter Stories, more reads.)
      • Share an Anecdote
      • Write a Poem
      • Draw a doodle
      • Paint a picture
      • Some other creative craft that I can’t think of – but it must explore and even extend the portrayal in the artwork.
    4. Include the cue-art in your post.
    5. Link back to this Creativity Carnival Post and then click on it so that a pingback is registered and other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it 🙂

For more details (mostly superfluous) please visit the Creativity Carnival page here.


Do tag your posts “creativity carnival”. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs 🙂

About the Bell

The bell was inspired by a bell that hangs in my terrace. In fact, I sat a few feet from it and drew it – but I changed the context a little. I also added that little spider, because for me romance and thrill can’t exist without each other. A bell symbolizes a call for anyone, for someone. It could be used to establish a connection between two people or even between two worlds. The creeper that you see in the artwork is a stylized representation of honeysuckle – and the spider at the center of the web, waits patiently for the bee to arrive. Beyond the apparent symbolism of the bell, exists the more mundane concept of the food-chain.

 

 

Creativity Carnival: The Bell

My Dear Super-awesome Fellow Bloggers,

Thanks so much for participating in the first Creativity Carnival – The Pocket Watch. I don’t know if it was a smashing hit by general standards, but by mine, it definitely was 🙂 I loved all your creative gems – they were super-awesome.

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

Here’s this week’s cue-art 🙂 Saying anything more would be wrong, so I’ll refrain from it. Instead, I’ll talk about last week’s cue-art, The Pocket-Watch, but after I’ve introduced this week’s cue-art, The Bell.


Creativity Carnival for bloggers - cue-art - the bell - Write a story or a poem, or draw/paint a picture.

 

The Rules are super-simple 🙂

    1. Your cue is the artwork above.
    2. You have a week to get creative and make a post that connects with the cue.
    3. You are welcome to do anything creative with the cue. Here is a list of possibilities:
      • Write a Story (tiny/short/long…whichever works for you. A tip: Shorter Stories, more reads.)
      • Share an Anecdote
      • Write a Poem
      • Draw a doodle
      • Paint a picture
      • Some other creative craft that I can’t think of – but it must explore and even extend the portrayal in the artwork.
    4. Include the cue-art in your post.
    5. Link back to this Creativity Carnival Post and then click on it so that a pingback is registered and other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it 🙂

For more details (mostly superfluous) please visit the Creativity Carnival page here.


The other suggestion of tagging our posts “creativity carnival” did well with the previous carnival 🙂 If we tagged our posts “creativity carnival” we could follow this tag in our Reader too. I’ve already tagged this post and will be tagging all my weekly carnival posts with “creativity carnival” tag. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs 🙂

How the Pocket Watch happened?

I had drawn that pocket-watch because the concept of time intrigues me. I often wonder who must’ve first thought of it and how difficult it may have been for humans to have reached at an understanding of life as a finite span of time. For me, the broken glass was life interrupted; the time in the watch was the opposite of a smile (10:10 vs. 3:40.)

 

Creativity Carnival: The Pocket Watch

My Dear Fellow-bloggers,

It’s time to unleash your creativity 🙂

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

Let us kickstart the Creativity Carnival with this cue-art.  This is a Pen and Ink Drawing that I finished this morning. I will not speak about the cue-art and what brought it about, because I don’t want to taint your interpretation of it with my thoughts 🙂


Pocket watch pen and ink drawing - Blogging Creativity Carnival for bloggers - by shafali.

 

The Rules are super-simple 🙂

    1. Your cue is the artwork above.
    2. You have a week to get creative and make a post that connects with the cue.
    3. You are welcome to do anything creative with the cue. Here is a list of possibilities:
      • Write a Story (tiny/short/long…whichever works for you. A tip: Shorter Stories, more reads.)
      • Share an Anecdote
      • Write a Poem
      • Draw a doodle
      • Paint a picture
      • Some other creative craft that I can’t think of – but it must explore and even extend the portrayal in the artwork.
    4. Include the cue-art in your post.
    5. Link back to this Creativity Carnival Post so that a pingback is registered and other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it 🙂

I have another suggestion 🙂 If we tagged our posts “creativity carnival” we could follow this tag in our Reader too. I’ve already tagged this post and will be tagging all my weekly carnival posts with “creativity carnival” tag. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs 🙂

Let the Carnival Begin!

Caricature – Sinner: The Fire of Hell burns within the soul of a sinner and singes his insides!

Another long day of sitting in the waiting area resulted in a stiff back, a head full of images that I’d rather not see again, and another caricature.

I don’t think I am an authority on religious stuff of any kind, and yet I’ve read tomes on Hindu Mythology and Indian History…and you can’t separate religious teachings from mythology…not from Hindu Mythology at least, which is intricately woven around our gods and goddesses. I mention this as in religion (and not just in Hindu religion, but other religions as well,) there’s an underlying concept of your being rewarded or punished by being sent to heaven or hell, as the case may be. I don’t know if other religions too share some sure-fire, quick-relief after-death remedies of ensuring that regardless of a person’s misdeeds, he or she may arrive in heaven, if certain procedures were followed.

Within the purview of my currently limited knowledge in this area, Buddhism is the only religion that confirms the finiteness of life in a body and speaks of your soul being the vessel that can be filled either with your reward (peace and happiness) or your punishment (pain, guilt, and humiliation,) all in your lifetime.

This caricature captures the fire of hell that burns within the soul of a sinner; fueled by guilt and humiliation, it starts in his mind, spreads through his entire existence, and then gradually eats through his sanity and darkens his visions with soot and smoke.

Caricature Cartoon of a sinner - angry mad man with a guilty conscience - fire of hell.

I am waiting for the wait to end…

There still are caricatures waiting to be drawn, hiding in the future…when they happen, I’ll bring them to you.

A Color Portrait of the Dog who walks with her nose in the Air!

Folks,

Last Week I did this Color Portrait of my Dog. You’ve already seen the Pen and Ink Portrait of my Canine Lady…now I present the color pencil portrait done using the same reference picture.

Here’s the reference photo with the final artwork.

Pet Portraits from Photos - Color Pencil Portrait Art by Artist Shafali.

Reference Photo with Final Artwork (Frame Representational) Actual Artwork: 8 inches by 10 inches. Medium: Color Pencils.

Here are some more images in a chronological order.

When I was just about start giving it the finishing touches.

Color Pencil Pet Portraits - Oorvi's Portrait by Shafali - Almost done...

It’s almost done. Final Size of the Artwork: 8 inches by 10 inches. Check out her eyes and her nose 🙂

Finished – ready to be delivered (read the story about “how this portrait came to be” at the end of this post.)

 

Color Portraits of Dogs and Pups by Pet Portrait Artist Shafali.

Oorvi’s Pen and Ink Portrait on my Desk with the reference image on the screen.

Later…after the dust settled and the portrait got framed.

Color Pet Portraits - Portrait of Oorvi - Dog and Pup Portrait Artist Shafali.

After Ms. Oorvi got her portrait framed, I took the opportunity to photograph it on my desk 🙂 (CLICK for a LARGER and CLEARER View.)

Now some backstory for those interested 🙂

Behind-the-Scenes Drama – How this Portrait Came to Be!

Some people and their dogs never cease their demands.

First they demanded a Pen and Ink Portrait of the canine lady in question; once that was done, they wanted more. This is how the conversation went between us – the pup had brought her owner and translator along.

An Innocent-eyed Pup: “Those color-pencils…”

A Curious Me: “Yes, what about them?”

A Stoic Pup: “You still have ’em, don’t you?”

A Confident Me: “Yep, I do.”

A Pushy Pup: “Why ain’t you using ’em?”

A Confused Me: “Because I’ve been busy working on my other assignments and they had to be done in Pen & Ink or painted digitally…that’s why.”

An Apparently Illogical Pup: “Don’t you think you should take ’em out…they could turn rusty, you know?”

A Gloating Me: “Pencils don’t turn rusty…”

A Persevering Pup: “or flaky?”

A Worried Me: “Come to the point.”

A Demanding Pup: “Do my color portrait.”

A Shocked Me: “What?!!”

An Ultra-specific-Down-to-the-Minutae Pup: “A color portrait – with my golden fur and green-brown eyes looking golden and green-brown.”

A Cautious Me: “What if I refuse?”

A Gloating Pup: “Remember the Pen & Inks that you are doing for that book…you’ve not scanned them yet, have you?”

A Filled-with-Trepedition Me: “No…but I will.”

A Smirking Pup: “Oh, yeah?”

So I rush to the drawer where I had them neatly stacked…only to find that the drawer had been denuded of its contents.

A Confident Pup: “You do my color portrait and you get them back. OK?”

A Defeated Me: “Hey, but color portraits are more expensive than the Pen and Ink ones…are you prepared to pay?”

A Triumphant Pup: “Sure…I’ll pay. I’ll give all those Pen and Ink drawings back, so that you can scan them, and send them to the client.”

This is how, ladies and gentlemen, A ” totally brow-beaten me” was brow-beaten into accepting a commission of a color pencil portrait of Ms. Oorvi. I did get my drawings back – all twenty-four of them…and I breathed a sigh of relief. 

 If you are interested in looking at my Pen and Ink Pet and Wildlife Portraits, I request you to visit my Pen and Ink Portraits blog here. I am open for pet-portraiture/wildlife art commissions and you are welcome to contact me with your requirements.

About the Crazy Stuff that’s been happening all over this place – A Personal Post.

The more observant readers of this blog must be seeing some changes here – and I hope that the changes meet the approval of my visitors and readers.

Let me sum up all these changes 🙂

1. The Color Artwork section of the Art Gallery has gone through a complete overhaul. I am no techno-geek but the gallery looks cool in my browser (Safari.) I’ve been told that Firefox plays its own dirty tricks on the presentation of this page – so be it. If I’ve to choose between spending my time figuring out html style sheets and drawing, I’ll choose the latter.

Click the following image to view my Art Gallery comprising my magazine/book cover illustrations, inner illustrations, and other color and black and white caricatures.

Click to view my color and black & white illustrations.

Click to view my color and black & white illustrations and other caricatures.

2. The top-bar has been cleansed of the sections that I was no longer doing justice to (I know how unfair it is – the pages pay for my disinterest) and it now has a new super cute section – a gallery of my Pen and Ink Portraits. I have another blog dedicated totally to Pen and Ink art, but as this blog is a holistic representation of me and my work, I thought it must be added here too.

Click the following image to arrive at the page.

Click to View my Pen and Ink Portraits of Pets and Wildlife.

Click to View my Pen and Ink Portraits of Pets and Wildlife.

3. The sidebar has been shuffled to present the recent changes.

4. The header image has been changed to reflect some works from this year. Hopefully it looks nicer.

The next post will present Serena Williams’ caricature, complete with a trophy and a tennis racket 🙂 (You can steal a glance at her caricature on the header image, but I’ll post a bigger one, with a closeup of the face….and yes, the post would be about my painting experience.) So if you are a sports enthusiast and would like me to notify you about it, click the Follow button 🙂

 

 

A Pen and Ink Pet Portrait from a Photograph – Guess who got framed?

Fridays are Furry Furry Furry! (translating for the un-dogly, “Fridays are very very furry.”)

How so?

Through a Pet Portrait Commission of Ms. Oorvi. (Yep! A proper commission, I got a check for it – and I’m going to buy another box of color pencils with it.) I thought it’s a good idea to show you the photograph and also the Pen-and-Ink portrait, so here it is:

Portrait of A beautiful Dog in Black and White - Medium: Pen and Ink, Done from a Photograph.

Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

 

One of these days, I am going to write a tutorial on making pen and ink portraits. This year I’ve done a bunch of them and I’ve been falling in love with the crisp beauty of the medium all over again. If you are interested in reading how this portrait happened, read about it at my Pen and Ink Portraits blog here.

Caricatures of Malcolm Gladwell & Serena Williams Coming up.

Now to the regular matters of Caricatures etc. I’ve been working on some cool caricatures (the left-brained would recognize the name of Malcolm Gladwell, and the non-studious population of the sport-loving kind would appreciate one of Serena Williams…perhaps.) I’ll be posting them soon. These portraits are special for me, because they are painted upon the sketches that I did directly in Photoshop – something that I never did before. Until about a week ago, I’d always sketch in my sketchbook, scan the sketch in, then send the sketch to the client for approval. I knew that people sketched in Photoshop, but I expected a steep learning curve, and so I stayed away…until last Saturday.

Guess what? If you are doing detailed pencil drawings (for example, the black and white caricatures that I do) where your want a finished look for your artwork; I’d recommend you stick to your art-paper and pencils. However, if you are doing sketches that you want to ultimately paint – Photoshop is cool. Just fetch a really small (say 4 or 5 point) round hard brush from Photoshop’s basic brush library, set pressure-sensitivity on, and start sketching. I found cross-hatching to result in a ball-point sketch kind of look…and I think it works. One of these days, I’ll share a few sketches that I did this way.

But enough of this…you are a busy person and you need to get back to your easel – digital or otherwise.

However, if you aren’t all that busy, do visit my Gallery. It has been refurbished and updated, and I think it looks better than before 🙂

Dog Portraits in Pen and Ink – The Beagle and the Rottweiler.

Fridays are still furry beautiful. This week, I am glad to present two portraits – a Beagle and a Rottweiler.

Beagles are scent-hounds. In my opinion, they are the cutest scent-hounds of all. They look like young precocious children – curious, alert and energetic – unlike the avuncular Bloodhound.

Stephanie Lilley, Regency Romance Author, dog-blogger, and mom to several beagles, captures the beagle-experience beautifully.

“So much to sniff, so little time to bay. A pack of beagles sounds like a symphony with individual instruments–a low oboe, a staccato bell, a bicycle horn, a stuttering trumpet, crescendo and decrescendo until there is just the oboe…and then little whoops…then silence when the scent is lost.”

The Portrait of a Beagle

Dog-portraits, portrait of a beagle - scent-hounds - cute dogs, cats, and other pet portraits by shafali

Beagle Portrait, Medium: Pen and Ink, Size: 8 inches by 12 inches.

And the Rottweilers.

The Rottweilers are dogs of a different kind. They were bred to guard and to protect. Humans being humans, first bred them for protection – because they needed their protection; now they brand the Rottweilers as aggressive and dangerous dogs, because in the protected-by-law environment of today, humans don’t see much use of them.

The press too has been unkind to the Rotties – just the way they’ve been unkind to many other dog-breeds, the worst affected are the Pit Bulls, who were bred to entertain a certain section of blood-thirsty humans. When we denigrate dogs on the basis of their breed, we contradict ourselves on our stance of the nature-vs.-nurture debate.

We don’t automatically brand a murderer’s child a murderer, because we expect that even a child with the genes of a killer father, if nurtured right, has the potential of becoming a law-abiding, even productive citizen of the world. However, we don’t think twice before giving sweeping statements that brand specific dog-breeds negatively.

Dogs, you see, are more amenable to be trained into becoming adorable family dogs. Quite like in the case of humans, dogs too respond to their environment and the treatment that their families mete out to them. A boy born of non-criminal parents, if adopted by an uncaring family could grow up to be a criminal. This is also true for dogs.

So if at all you come across a dog that’s ferocious, check out the family. Chances are that the dog is kept on a leash even when inside, that it’s not petted or scratched or hugged ever by the “owner.” Also remember, a dog is supposed to protect his family and his house. As a human you would do it too – won’t you?

Here’s a portrait of one such misunderstood dog – The loving and caring Rottweiler.

The Portrait of a Rottweiler

 Portrait of a Rottweiler dog - Pen and Ink Drawing - Pet and other Animal Portraits by Shafali

Rottweiler Portrait, Medium: Pen and Ink, Size: 8 inches by 12 inches.

If you love dogs, do visit my Pen and Ink Portraits blog 🙂 There are a lot of other dog and cat portraits, that you can view there. Some wildlife art is coming up too 🙂

 

 

Pen and Ink Pet Portraits – My New Site for Animal-lovers :)

 Fridays Just went Furry!

Pen and Ink Portrait Artist's Desk - Portraits of Dogs, Cats, Horses, Tigers…everything furry - other animals and wildlife.

My dog and I are super-happy to present my Pen and Ink Portraits Gallery and a Furry New Website to our readers.

Dear Friends, I welcome you to the new space 🙂

Pen and Ink portraits of dogs, cats, pups, kittens, and wildlife in pen and ink - created by shafali

Click to View the Pet Portraits Gallery.

Pen and Ink Portraits of Two Handsome Dogs:

Here are a couple of Pen and Ink pet portraits that I did recently. View more at my Pet Portrait Art Gallery.

The English Mastiff (The Gentle Giant)

The English Mastiff is one of the largest dog-breeds in the world. They are tall and big and heavy, but they have the sweetest temperament of all. They were bred to be guard-dogs, but they love to spend time indoors with other family members. I’ve written a detailed post on mastiffs to accompany the portrait. Read the post and see the portrait closer up here.

Portrait of the English Mastiff Dog - Pet and Wildlife Portraits in Pen and Ink by Shafali

 

The Cairn Terrier

The Cairn Terrier is, of course, a terrier; and that makes him an earth-dog – a vermin-hunter par excellence. He like his other terrier cousins, was bred to hunt foxes and other small animals including rats; but the Cairn Terrier of today is a family dog. Read more about him and view his portrait in more detail here.

Portrait of the Cairn Terrier Dog - Pet and Wildlife Portraits in Pen and Ink by Shafali

What made me grow fur?

Actually, I’ve always been furry close…I mean very close to dogs and cats. It is said that people are either cat persons or dog persons, but not both. Well, I am both…and more. I love dogs and cats with equal intensity…and every once in a while I experience a crush on a mouse, a lizard, a chameleon, a squirrel…the list is long. I guess I am an animal lover, because that makes me real cozy furry!

This Furry Artist is Open to Pet Portrait Commissions now 🙂

Now that I’ve gone furry, I am taking Pet Portrait Commissions. If you are interested in hiring me to draw the portrait of your furry son or daughter, and you don’t mind my falling in love with him or her, contact me here 🙂

 

 

Caricature/Cartoon – How Newton Discovered Gravity? The Real Story.

How Newton discovered Gravity?

How indeed.

Little was known about it until last night when I returned from a trip that I had made into the past. The real goal of my time-trip was to bring an authentic powdered wig to use as a reference for an illustration, and never in my wildest dream had I imagined that I’d stumble upon something of this magnitude.

I know that the moment I tell the truth of what I had witnessed in Newton’s Apple orchard, the Newtonians would be baying for my blood. They’d call me names and accuse me of telling lies.  Thankfully, I have knowledge of the whereabouts of a mummified apple that bears the marks of Newton’s teeth. I think this half-eaten fruit will establish the veracity of this serendipitous historical discovery of mine.

With all those claims and disclaimers in place, let me tell you what truly transpired in Newton’s orchard that beautiful autumn evening. You know that my time machine isn’t as accurate as it used to be, so I can’t tell you the exact date, but it must have been the year 1667.

My Time Machine had just ground and screeched to a halt. I got out and pulled it behind a dense grove of trees, where I thought it would be safe from prying eyes. After hiding the machine, I looked around to discover that I had landed in an apple orchard. I found it a rather nice place to spend the night. In the morning, I could go to the nearest market and buy a couple of nice powdered wigs and then leave. But before I could get back into my machine and bring out my sleeping bag, I heard the leaves rustle. A snake? With my heartbeats gone berserk, I checked. No snake, No rat, it all looked peaceful and good.

What could it be then? A man perhaps? I realized that the leaves were indeed rustling under the feet of  a man who appeared to be dressed quite properly…perhaps he was the owner of the orchard. The silhouette belonged to a tall thin man. He moved rather slowly, as if he were unhappy or depressed about something. His golden locks shimmered in the dim light of the crescent moon. This obviously meant that he wasn’t wearing a wig. Tough luck. I could’ve just snuck up behind him and stolen it, had he been wearing one. It would’ve saved me the trip to the market. (Oh… about stealing? There aren’t any Across-Time laws against it, are they?)

Any way, he wasn’t wearing a wig, but when he turned  and dropped under one of the Apple trees, I saw his profile. I knew that face so well that I almost shouted his name out. He was Newton! Yes, the guy who discovered gravity and who fought with Leibnitz over the ownership of Calculus ( but he didn’t know about any of this at the time – I had come from the future, so I obviously knew all what he was going to do in the future.) I felt sort of sad for him – I wanted to reveal myself, tell him that he was going to be famous in future and so he didn’t have to look so sad, but I stopped myself. I didn’t really want to mess up my time with any sort of butterfly effect, if you know what I mean.

So I stood in the shadows and watched him. Trust me, I had no idea that I was about to witness the historical fall of a historical apple, so when it happened, I wasn’t ready with my camera. I wish I had real pictures of the event to share with you, Sorry folks.  I’ll just narrate the sequence of events to you, and show you this pen and ink drawing that I made upon my return to our time.

Caricature Cartoon Pen and Ink Illustration - How Newton Discovered Gravity - the Fall of the Apple story

Click or a Larger View and Crisper Image.

 

This story wouldn’t be the story it is, if that apple hadn’t fallen on Newton’s head. But it did fall, right upon the middle of his head, and then bounced off, hit the ground, and rolled off a small distance then stopped. Recall that Newton was in the thralls of depression that evening. So he didn’t exclaim, “Eureka”, or “Gravity,” or even “Laws of Motion!” He merely picked the apple up, wiped it gently with his wing (ok, I am talking Newtonese, so?) and sunk his teeth into it.

This is exactly what happened, and truthfully speaking, it was quite disappointing for me who was sure that this was THE apple. Perhaps not. Perhaps this wasn’t the apple that made him discover gravity. Either I was too early in time, or too late. I experienced a very real sense of loss…I mean, why couldn’t it have been that special apple?

I looked at him again. With that sad, depressed look in his eye, he went for another bite…and then he jumped. The apple still in his hands, his eyes were fastened on to something on or in the apple! I squinted to take a better look, adjusting my eyes to the low-light conditions.

“What…who are you?” said Newton.

“I am the Prince of Worms. Now will you please put the apple down so that I may crawl back to my home. Please,” requested the worm that had pulled itself out of a neatly drilled hole in the apple.  Aside he grumbled, “It’s going to take me the whole night to crawl up now,”

“Why should I let you go?” asked Newton who was happy to have found an interesting pastime. Recall that he couldn’t have watched The Big Bang Theory to kill his ennui, because television wasn’t invented then.

“Oh well. What do you want?” asked the worm.

“I’ve got enough to live by, and I don’t have a wife nor children – so money isn’t something I want.”

“But there must be something that you’d like to have?”

“Fine,” said Newton, “can you make me famous?”

“Wow! Who do you think I am? The djinn?” said the worm, and then as an afterthought he added, “wait a minute. I have something that could make you famous.”

This obviously was something that interested Newton.

“What it it? Tell me and I’ll let you go.”

So the deal was struck.  The worm sold the secret that had remained safe with his family for millions of generations. The biggest scientific discovery of all times, Gravity, now belonged to Newton. Newton was a man of his word. He let the worm go, then got up, dusted the seat of his tights, and rushed off.

The worm returned to his family, ashamed of the deed and was naturally castigated by his family. “You should’ve become a martyr instead of giving away the family secret,” shouted his grandfather. “You’ve brought the family nothing but shame,” said his father.  All in all, his family gave him a really hard time, and before morning he had taken his own life by jumping into a cup of water.

I was there, I had witnessed it all – so I decided to set the record straight. Under the same apple tree under which Newton sat, I mummified and buried the half-eaten apple that had the wormhole, and the marks of Newton’s teeth on it. I know the exact location – right to the coordinates!

I have the proof, Dear Newtonians!

Caricature/Cartoon – Christine Lagarde – The Managing Director of IMF in Pen and Ink.

Recently, I had begun to feel the need to draw the caricatures of a few women. The readers of my blog would know that I am slightly averse to drawing the caricatures of women, unless of course, an assignment requires me to draw them. My aversion to caricaturing women comes from the extra-dose of vanity that God injected women with. I’ve burnt my hand often by caricaturing women because a caricature seldom makes a woman look prettier than she is…and at the bottom of her heart, every woman wants her picture to make her look prettier – not funnier, not stupider, not more interesting…just prettier. Unfortunately, a caricature does everything but make you look prettier.

While I have caricatured a few women too (Nicole Kidman, Sarah PalinRihanna, Oprah, Kareena Kapoor, Queen Elizabeth II, Michelle Obama, Halle Berry…and a few others,) I’ve always tried to be more of a makeup artist than a caricaturist.

And then, I read about Christine Lagarde.

Christine Lagarde replaced Dominique Strauss-Kahn  as the Managing Director of IMF, when Strauss-Kahn had to leave stained by the hotel-maid rape controversy.

Believe it or not, She’s supposed to have the walls of her office covered with her own caricatures. This, I take as a confirmation that she’s fine with being caricatured, and while I don’t think that she’s escaped the clutches of vanity altogether (she wears pencil heels despite being 6 feet tall – that’s what women want – to look taller and better – even the most powerful women of the world,) I think she’ll take my caricaturing effort kindly.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I present a simple  Pen-and-Ink caricature of Christine Lagarde, an inspiration to every woman who wants to stand tall and drive another nail into the coffin of gender inequality.

caricature, cartoon, sketch, drawing,portrait of Christine Lagarde the MD of IMF.

Pen and Ink Drawing – Actual Size: 7 inches by 9 inches.

Here’s a quick synopsis of Lagarde’s Life and work.

Christine was born in the family of a French Professor, in 1956.

She studied to be a Labor and Anti-trust Lawyer. Later she became the first woman to lead Baker & McKenzie, a huge law-firm, which predominantly had male lawyers. She also was the French Minister of Finance and was ranked at the best among all Finance Ministers of the world by Financial Times. In 2011, she became the MD of IMF (International Monetary Fund.)

On the personal front, Lagarde has been divorced twice, has two sons, and is currently in a relationship. She loves gym-ming and swimming.

Christine Lagarde and Angela Merkel?
Merkel and Lagarde are a loggerheads on the EU Financial Crisis. In a nutshell, Merkel doesn’t want all the EU nations to get together to pay the debt that’s primarily due to the PIGS nations (as Germany being one of the fittest would have to pay the most). On the other hand, Lagarde believes that they should.

The Lagarde Payback Controversy
In a remark that people thought cut below the belt, Lagarde spoke of Greeks “who are trying to escape tax all the time.” Her remarks were interpreted to say that it was payback time for Greece and they generated a lot of negative publicity for her. Lagarde’s f/b page tried to alleviate the situation by saying that Lagarde was, “very sympathetic to the Greek people and the challenges that are facing.” However, this rubbed people the wrong way yet again.

Here are a couple of interesting links:

And now, an interesting Lagarde Quote on patronizing males 🙂

The best defence when that happens is a very good and solid sense of humour. At the end of the day, they are human beings as well. They have wives, they have daughters,” According to her the best strategy would be to  “grit your teeth and smile“. (Source: This Telegraph Article here.)

Caricature/Cartoon – John F. Kerry – The US Secretary of State shares a Happy Moment with Democrats and Republicans!

John F. Kerry recently became the 68th US Secretary of State.

Here’s my rendition of the event.

Caricature, Cartoon of John Kerry being carried on a shield by the democrats and the republicans - with anne rice waving goodbye - A pen and ink drawing with color.

Nano-biography of John Kerry

The highlights of Kerry’s early life include the awards he earned during his short-service commission with the Navy, after which he joined Vietnam Veterans Against War and campaigned against the Vietnam War. Later he worked as an Assistant District Attorney too. His political journey began when he was sworn in as a US Senator in 1984.

More recently, Kerry became the US Secretary of State when Susan Rice had to face flak for her comments on the Benghazi incident. She was “forced” to withdraw from the race (now, she’s likely to become President Barack Obama‘s National Security Advisor.)

Some Interesting Facts about John Kerry

(Other than the fact that he was born in 1943, which makes him 70 now,)

  • In the 2004 US Presidential Elections he was the Democratic Presidential nominee.
  • Kerry’s father’s parents were jewish but then some time around 1900 they changed their surname to Kerry. Kerry’s great-uncle and -aunt died in the Nazi Concentration Camps.
  • Kerry is tall (and slim – what must be his bending moment?) He’s a fan of the Beatles (I did sketch John Lennon once, you can see his caricature here,) and The Rolling Stones (Keith Richards here) He loves to cycle.
  • He is married to Teresa Heinz (if you are reminded of ketchup, your gray cells are working fine,) who has a net worth of USD 750 Million. (In my next life, I’ll not let myself be flung on earth unless God promises me to make a wealthy heiress – however, so that you aren’t mistaken, Teresa Heinz “married” into the Heinz family – she wasn’t born with Heinz surname!)
  • John Kerry is the Richie-Rich of US Politics.

I guess that’s all for now. I must return to drawing caricatures 🙂

Toony Pretzels Cartoon – Essentials of Asset Evaluation by Shrew and Shrewd!

Toony Pretzels by Shafali - Cartoon of a Nagging Wife and a Cheating Husband - The Shrew and the Shrewd and some Asset Evaluation

If you haven’t done your share of Asset Evaluation, here’s a quick definition to get you going.

Asset Evaluation is the process of determining the current worth of a portfolio, company, investment, or balance sheet item. (Source: Investopedia here.)

I don’t know why but this cartoon reminds me of “The Trump Card,” a twisty tale on the matters of fidelity.

And if you aren’t touchy about the issue of fidelity (or infidelity, for that matter) enjoy some cool jokes about cheating at the following links.