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…
I am in awe of nature. From its variety and its bounty, to the beauty of light and contrast to the diversity of colours and topography.
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 enjoy working with Arches for my florals. I use Chitrapat, an Indian handmade paper for all my student demos and landscapes. I often work on Saunders and Fabriano also.
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!
Tremendous work, Shikha. Absolutely beautiful. Greetings from Linda in Canada
Thank you so much Linda. I must say the best part, for me, about being an artist, is when my art travels the world :-)!
Hello Shikha, thank you for sharing your art journey, your creative process with us. I work is fabulous and fresh. I like the florals you have painted. All the best for your art journey.
Thank you so much Manish for taking the time to read about my art journey and for your kind words about my art!
Wow, absolutely beautiful works!
Thanks so much Heila!
Thanks a lot Victoria!
Thank you Zertab! 🙂
Your work is so beautiful! I love your soft edges. I will definitely check out your YouTube channel and Etsy. Thank you for sharing your story and your beautiful work!
Thank you Lori! Yes, I do love painting wet into wet which causes soft edges (we call them lost edges in watercolor)…it would be great if you could check out my channel and shop on Etsy! Thank you for reading about my journey and your lovely words, I’m truly humbled 🙂
Beautiful work! Warm greetings from San Antonio, Texas.
Hi Marisela! Greetings to you from Bangalore, India! Thank you so much for your kind words!
Shikha, thank you for posting your works, they are so evocative! The sketches are so “right there at the moment” while the floral, still life and landscape works have a dreamlike feel to them. Super paintings, best of luck on your journey!
Thank you Robert! I’m really so happy to hear your words about my work because they kind of sum up my own feelings when I’m creating art… the sketches are a reflection of my observations and joy when I’m travelling and when I paint in the studio I’m mostly dreaming :-)!! Good luck to you too…
Thank you so much for sharing your story and all of the information. Your work is awesome. 😊
Zoie, thanks for reading and it’s my pleasure to share anything about art and watercolours specially! I’m glad you liked my work 🙂
Greetings from Vashi, Navi Mumbai. Thank you for sharing your wonderful journey and paintings – and your great tips! I hope to someday be able to capture the same rustic grace that your paintings portray, specially the food. Any tips for that? I will also be checking out your youtube channel.
Thanks & Love,
Hi Mugdha! Greeting back to you from Bangalore! You are welcome, I love sharing what I know about watercolours and can talk about art all day and night 😀
Sure I would love to share tips with you on how I paint! I will be posting more regularly on my Youtube this coming year… you could also follow me on Instagram (@ShikhaGargArtStudio) where I am quite active and would be happy to answer questions via DM!
Good luck, and yes, I’d like to share something a wonderful artist said to me at the start of my jouney – “just paint. after you have painted a 100 artworks, look back at your first few, that itself will be the biggest learning and motivation1” – so you can do it, just keep painting, playing and having fun!
Thank you so much Jessica!
Beautiful art! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you Mary and you are most welcome!
Shikha, your art is beautiful!
Thank you so much Laura!
You work is beautiful Shikha, it soothes the soul.
Thank you so much! That sounds so lovely….im glad that my work was able to touch you 🙂
Shikha, all I can say is WOWWW! Each one is amazing!
Totally in love with the style you paint roses! Beautiful!