GUEST ARTIST: “A Friend In Watercolour” by Vidya Lalgudi Jaishankar

London Eye Watercolour Painting by Vidya Lalgudi Jaishankar

My name is Vidya Lalgudi Jaishankar. I am an Indian watercolour artist residing in London. I finished my Bachelor of Fine Arts at Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai in the year 2013 and have been a full time artist for the past 3 years. I predominantly paint landscapes but also occasionally do figurative and portrait works.

My journey with watercolour is a very intimate one. Growing up, I was this weird little lonely kid who stammered frequently and hence had a hard time making friends. Even though I was an extrovert at heart, I struggled to communicate my thoughts to my friends due to my speech disfluency.

Kochi boats watercolour painting

But now, at the age of 33, a glass of wine is all it takes to let go of my anxiety and express myself and. Sometimes it gets a bit too much. Yeah! But no. Painting is the only real way I express my thoughts.

After the rain watercolour painting by Vidya Lalgudi Jaishankar

Through my paintings, I try to capture my experience and mood that I had while visiting a place. The reason why I took watercolour as my medium of expression is that it truly resonates with my nature. I love taking risks. I started as an engineer, like any typical Indian born in the 80s and moved towards graphic design and finally became an artist. I quit some stable jobs to follow my dream of becoming an artist. Watercolour is a daring medium.

brassband octoberfest watercolour painting by Vidya Lalgudi Jaishankar

When I initially started with watercolour, I tried a lot to have a control over it but failed. But then through lot of attempts, I learnt that the more you let go of control and allow the water to do its magic, the more beautiful the process gets.

Venice canal watercolour painting by Vidya Lalgudi Jaishankar

One should be aware that water has a mind of its own and one needs to befriend the same. The surface (paper or board) becomes a place where you share your thoughts with the colours, using water as a medium.

My choice of material

I use a minimal palette which consists of 5 to 6 colours. Cobalt Turquoise, Burnt Sienna of Winsor & Newton, Cadmium Orange and Ultramarine Blue of Daniel Smith and Violet of Mission Gold. I use Escoda’s Joseph Zbukvic signature brushes and Arches cold pressed paper.

Cotswold villages watercolour painting by Vidya Lalgudi Jaishankar

A friendly squabble and reconciliation

During my learning years as an art student, I tended to overwork my landscape paintings and ended up making a huge mess. But down the years, I learnt a way to tackle my urge to over do a painting. I took a small break from landscapes and did many abstract works.

This gave me an opportunity to appreciate the spontaneity of the medium and enjoy the process more without worrying too much about the end result. I adapted this property to landscapes and tried to visualise a place as shapes and forms filled with mood and colours. Instead of the accuracy, I went for essence and vibe.

switzerland landscape watercolour by Vidya Lalgudi Jaishankar

Eventually, I started to have an original say in the painting. Water lends its fluidity and spontaneity and in return I give forms, shapes, mood and colours.

Vidya Lalgudi Jaishankar

Recommended7 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists
  1. Karen Fortier 3 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful paintings, your passion for your art and your story!

  2. Laura Kate 3 years ago

    Wonderful lights and gorgeous shadows. I particularly like the London landscapes.

  3. Mary Roff 3 years ago

    Love your use of watercolor!!! Thank you for sharing your story and your beautiful paintings!

  4. Sandra Strait 3 years ago

    Vidya, your paintings are a joy to behold! I love those sheep! Thank you for sharing your artistic journey with us!

  5. Kathy Delumpa Allegri 3 years ago

    Vidya, I enjoyed reading about your continuing creative journey. You’ve discovered that the learning process is most profound when you learned to teach yourself, through patience, experimentation,discernment, and most of all, practice. Your paintings are beautiful and exprsss the wonderful person that you are. Thank you for sharing and inspiring me!

    • Thank you Kathy for appreciating the process. It took a lot time to understand the innate nature of watercolour paintings.

  6. Margaret Mallows 3 years ago

    Beautiful work and well deserved 😊

  7. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 years ago

    It is so wonderful to read about your art journey Vidya!!! Your art is so beautiful. It has the beautiful softness that attracted me to watercolor, lovely!!! 🙂

  8. Sharon Nolfi 3 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your story and lovely work. I especially like the moody softness in your painting.

  9. LoriCtoo 3 years ago

    Your work is beautiful! So soft and calming. Good for you for following your heart in your career choice. Lucky for us to be able to see it!

  10. TSR Raghavan 3 years ago


  11. Ariel Blocker 3 years ago

    Wow, such beautiful work!

  12. Laura Hale 3 years ago

    Vidya, your art is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your insight and talent with us.

  13. Thank you Laura 🙂

  14. Atique Ahmed 3 years ago

    Thank you Vidya for sharing your beautiful paintings! your art journey is interesting. your talent shows your inner beauty.

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