Nameste, I am Nilanjan Guha, watercolorist from India (Follow me on Instagram and Facebook). Born in the “City of Joy,” Kolkata, India, the cultural capital and birth place of the great Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, home to Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, and many more. The city where it is very common to start childhood by learning some form of creative performance. Following the tradition and culture, little Nilanjan reached a nearby institute to learn painting holding the hand of his parents many years ago.
Yes, I am talking about my parents who always had a dream to raise their kids in the creative world beside study. Mr. Lalmohan Roy ,an eminent artist, was my first teacher, who introduced me to the world of watercolour and injected the artist thought process into me which I believe is to see around you a little differently.
I continued to do watercolour for some time like many other kids which actually established the base of the work that I am doing now. I was always encouraged to play with colors, blend them as free flow painting on papers.
Then there was a gap for academic study and career build up in some other subject far from painting. It all started again approximately a couple of years ago when I shifted for professional reasons to Bangalore, known as Garden City of India. It was one of the sunny spring afternoons in Bangalore, sitting idle at the open cafeteria of Chitrakala Parishath, waiting for my son who is learning painting in his hobby class, when my wife brought out my interest in painting and motivated me to this beautiful creative world. I started in no time my beautiful journey in the field of colors as a hobby artist with – water and color and then all is only fun.
I never bothered about my lack of academic knowledge about the art. I started painting every day whatever subject came to my mind and whatever the outcome. Yes, I mean every day and even today I paint almost every day whatever I can. I felt proud of every painting and immediately wanted to do the next one, next subject.
There was a hunger. A hunger to excel, eagerness to do better and better, compete with the best one. It is all about learning. I followed books, watched YouTube videos, saw other works but never forget to paint. Yes, I believe, watercolour is all about working and working more.
I attended the workshop of eminent artist Shri Ebby N Joseph, which actually changed my approach to watercolour. I realised watercolour is about three chances – WASH, TOUCH and FINISH,- this mantra was given to me and I am working on that even today. I learnt that watercolour is about intervention at the right time… you must be patient but a risk-taker. There is always a risk of failure, but attempting to overcome and pushing yourself fiercely is all about getting success.
Being a nature lover and having a more outward approach, I mainly work on landscape and cityscape subjects with a loose watercolour technique where emphasis is always given on bold brush work and color schemes. Vibrant colors, impressionistic works always catch my eyes and relax me from everyday stress. I prefer to work on hand-made papers that may be rough or matte but no lesser than 300 gsm. But for me it is fun to work on 440 gsm which I sometimes get, luckily.
Though I enjoy free painting, I learnt with my experience that sketching is essential for watercolour. Not always a very detailed one, but a light sketch may do. Being a landscapist, perspective drawing is very essential and necessary for further progress and to sharpen the work along with a play of right mix of colors .
Working as a professional in the petrochemical field and forcing myself through the hectic day to day business, it is watercolour which gives me immense relieve and a stress-free, relaxing night. I fell in love with the medium and always love to create a scene – every time in a new form. I love to hold an imaginary frame in front of my eyes to capture my imagination, looking at photos to develop my own composition to finalise my subject, and imagine the blend of abstract coloring to convert realism into fantasy. As a watercolorist, I believe that a beautiful way is just in front of us – what we need to do is simply to flow with water, adding your colors from your heart – to create, to imagine, to excel.
I been part of World Watercolour Group on Facebook for quite some time and found it to be one of the coolest group growing everyday with new members, amazing artists, art lovers and overall with a wonderful admin. The group with no controversy, silently worshipping this beautiful art – watercolour. I found myself one of the proud members of such a group.
Today, given an opportunity, I did not talk much of technique as I consider myself still as a beginner, but I only spoke more about approach towards my journey in the field of watercolour. I’ll conclude with a heartfelt gratitude to my parents, wife, and sister for always inspiring me and friends across the world for loving and encouraging my paintings. I also wish, at the same time, all your blessings for further progress. Thank you all for being in the world of painting. Enjoy.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!