My Experience at Chitra Santhe 2016

I’ve always given excuses for not displaying my art; “It is not good enough”, “I don’t have enough paintings to make up a collection”, “I don’t know how to approach art galleries”, etc.

Well, a few of those reasons are genuine but I had to get out there. I needed to experience it. So, I decided to participate in Chitra Santhe. It is an art fair held once every year in Bangalore at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. It is for the common artist, especially those who cannot afford to have a solo exhibition and as it is a fair, it is open to all audience. Thousands of people come to this event in the hope of buying art at a price they wouldn’t hope for in a gallery.

I went in the end of October to get an application form and I was delighted when I was told I was lucky as it was the last one available. I submitted the form the next day. They cannot accommodate everyone and hence you have to wait until the end of December to find out if you made it to the shortlist. Sure enough, just four days prior to the event I got it. I went with my dad for site inspection. It was a very tiny little space because they accommodated more number of participants that year.

I went home and bought some brown paper. Dad and Mom helped me make brown paper covers big enough to pack my paintings in (in case I managed to sell any). I packed them all nicely to be able to take the paintings safely to the venue.

My very resourceful mom kept a watch out for delivery vans and convinced one of them to let us hire the vehicle for transport. He backed out later because he was not comfortable with the timing. We had to reach the venue before 7:30am as the road would be blocked for vehicles after that time. Anyway, Dad managed to hire a vehicle to transport the paintings. My uncle, my cousin and I managed to move the paintings to the location and set up by 8:30am.

Tips: Carry smaller size paintings so you can just take them by car and also don’t take more than 10 paintings. Carry a sun Umbrella or wear lots of sunscreen. Handout visiting cards even if others around you think you’re being stupid.

At Chitra Santhe 2016

Don’t lose hope even if you don’t sell anything. It is a good experience. You’ll know what to expect for the next time and you’ll get lots of feedback. You’ll also get to meet experienced artists and know more about the art world.

My parents came by my stall in the evening and I got my first customer then. The woman bargained a lot and my dad convinced me to sell a painting to her at a reasonable price. I sold one more painting after that. Selling two paintings was not so bad after all. And I managed to sell one more painting online when I put up an invitation to Chitra Santhe on social media.

So start with a fair like Chitra Santhe, Kala Ghoda arts festival, Sunday soul Santhe or any art fairs in your city and you’ll have a great time and gain confidence to exhibit more of your paintings.

P. S: The packing and unpacking at the site is quite a task.

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All you need to know about PAINTBRUSHES

Paintbrushes are very important to an artist just as much as paint or canvas. You can’t paint without one. When I first started painting, I just had 2 brushes. Size 4 and size 8 flat brush. It was so difficult to get work done with just two. I then bought a set of round and a set of flat brushes. Things improved. I could get a lot more done with so many brushes.

Paint brushes to me are like little magic wands. I’ve bought so many, that now I’ve lost count of how many I have. With every new kind of brush you use, it is like you’ve learnt a new spell. As you paint you’ll become familiar with the way each brush handles paint and what it can create if you guide it.

The photo below shows you the different kinds of brushes that you can choose to work with.

brush-blog-photo

You can see I’ve labeled each kind of brush in the image above. They have different purposes. I have to also mention that a particular kind of brush may do a kind of paint stroke, like the fan brush is very useful in landscapes when you’re painting trees or waterfalls. A wash brush can help you spread a lot of paint on the canvas. These are very helpful especially when I’m working with acrylic because acrylic dries fast and the brush helps in spreading paint faster. But as you continue working with these different brushes, you’ll find your own way of using them.

The brushes I commonly use are ‘The Filbert’ for almost everything, ‘The Wash brush’ for backgrounds mostly and ‘The liner brush’ which I use for most of my fur paintings and tiny detailing.

You don’t need a whole lot of brushes to be a good artist. You can manage fine with just a few. Although when you are working towards a deadline you may want to have a few extra to save you cleaning time while you’re painting. For example, say you’re painting a tiger and working with liner brushes for fur. Now if you’re painting white fur and suddenly have to switch to say yellow ochre, you have to keep a spare liner brush because getting the white paint off the one you’re holding is time consuming. So if you have say, two or three liner brushes, you can just switch back and forth and it’ll be a whole lot easier.

I just want to mention a few more things that you need to know about paintbrushes. The image below is labeled for better understanding of the parts of a brush.

paintbrush

Bristles:

The kinds available are Synthetic hair (taklon, nylon, etc) and Natural hair (Hog, Sable, etc). I prefer using the Taklon brushes as I feel they hold more paint and are less prone to damage as compared to the natural hair (plus they’re cheaper).

Ferrule:

There is just one thing you need to know about the ferrule; when you’ve washed your brushes and they’re still wet, don’t place them straight up in a stand which will cause water to collect in the ferrule resulting in shedding of the hair/bristles, instead place them flat on a surface until they’re dry.

Also when you don’t wash your brushes properly, the paint may get collected in the ferrule causing your bristles to fan out and lose its shape.

Handle:

The handle is usually made of wood or fiber. All you need to know is ‘the lighter the handle, the better’.

Few more things to remember:

  • Never let paint dry out on the brush.
  • Don’t pull the bristles.
  • Don’t get paint on the ferrule.
  • Don’t rest your paint brushes bristles-down.

Tip: Don’t hesitate to buy extra paintbrushes when they’re available cheap especially if you’re seriously considering being a professional artist. The prices of paintbrushes only keep increasing.

I think that is loads of information to begin with. I hope it helps.

P. S: Brushes are available cheap on eBay.

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My crazy collection of paintbrushes…

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