Hi I’m Shikha Garg, a watercolour artist and art educator and I live in Bangalore, India, with my husband and twin daughters. Originally a Visual Communication Designer, I worked with advertising and design agencies from 1999 until I founded my own design company midniteOil Design in 2005 and worked for the next 10 years with clients across the globe.
In 2014, while on a sabbatical, to spend time with my daughters, I rediscovered a love for (non digital) art and started painting and exploring different mediums. It was around this time that I took a workshop with the Indian master Milind Mulick. Falling in love with watercolour was a wondrous and serendipitous journey of self-discovery. It has changed me and I truly feel like I view the world differently now!
What inspires me
We as a family are mad about travelling. To different countries and cultures, to new experiences. So, everywhere we went, I carried my cute little watercolor palette and travel kit! I started writing a blog, on my travel experiences and sketches in my (then) pen and wash style!
A favorite thing to do? Trek/climb to the highest peak or view point in a new city and watch the sun go down with my husband… that inspires me, to imagine the bustling life down below slowly settling down for the night…
Creative Process and Evolution of Style
I love working from life and from my own photos. Often I visit botanical gardens in different places I visit and take tons of photos that I later refer to for inspiration and details! I also work with live bouquets and still life set ups at home.
I always start with a thumbnail sketch, often using colours on it to get a sense of a suitable palette. Another thing I do is use paper that I have lying about (that’s not great quality) to do colour studies on.
My top five rules of thumb: 1) Plan the focal point in your composition, 2) Find the big shapes and connect them, 3) maintain tonal values of light, medium and dark, 4) remember to keep lost and found edges, 5) just play with the pigments and water and don’t forget to have fun!
I am constantly working towards a style that’s more loose and spontaneous, more playful and expressive.
My Favourite Art Supplies
I use a mix of Camlin, Daniel Smith and lately Sennelier watercolours. I have tried a myriad of brushes over the years but I find myself going back to Raphael mops and flats, Silver Velvet Black brushes for their lovely soft mixed hair and great water holding capacity and Chinese brushes for painting my florals. I do plan to add on some Alvaro Escoda brushes to my stash in the future!
Exhibitions and Associations
I have been actively participating in exhibitions since 2018, including Fabriano Inaquarello, Italy 2019. During the pandemic, I have helped organize 2 online exhibitions as a member of Inwatercolour India. I have participated in 6 online exhibitions, Together 39, Wide Canvas 2020, Focus Bangladesh 2020 and SM Sultan Online International Exhibition – 2020 as an honourary guest artist, Arzole: Resurgence – The World after Pandemic and the online exhibition by Japanese International Watercolor Institute, JIWI.
I have recently been appointed as a Co-Leader India to Fabriano Inaquarello, Italy and am really excited to see what I can do in this role.
My art goals of 2021 include participating in more exhibitions and competitions, to explore and challenge myself more in this wondrous medium.
I want to continue teaching and sharing my process and journey in art with my students in my online classes as well as on my Youtube channel where I share demos, tips and painting processes.
I recently started selling my art on Etsy and I want to build more on that. I also have plans of launching my vblog ‘Studio Dialogues’ in the coming days, a space where I hope to connect with the heart and soul of artists and try to capture the essence of what makes them creators.
Thanks to Charlie O’Shields for this opportunity to share my story and I hope you enjoyed getting to know me!Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in