I was at Pensacola Beach, Florida for the ‘Geometric group theory on the Gulf’ conference. The weather was windy and stormy for two out of the three days I was there. The beach is known for its white sand.





My stay in Berkeley is almost coming to an end. I was at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), Berkeley for a semester.  During my time in Berkeley I did some sketches on iPad pro using the app called Procreate.

the_eyeAddison and Oxford Street: ‘The Eye’. It is part of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA). They were showing the presidential debates on this screen.

solano_aveAt Solano Avenue and Colusa Avenue.


From the stairs going down from MSRI building to the parking lot, looking at MSRI.


Cordonices Park. There was a lot of foliage but I took too much time drawing the tree trunks that it started to get dark before I could draw the leaves. Hence the trees were left bare.


View from Berkeley Rose Garden.


View from MSRI.


View from MSRI. The sunset was gorgeous that day. We went to look at it from Ken’s office and then later from Mark’s office.

Watercolors – Wash 2

Here are some watercolor paintings I painted in the class I took in Spring 2016. We were using the technique of wash in layers.


The last painting is a sunset I saw at Wisconsin Madison last summer (plein air attempt is here) when I was visiting for a math workshop. I made this painting from a photograph I had taken then.


I have been on some hikes this summer in and around Salt Lake City. I take a picture on my phone and come home and sketch it on my iPad pro with the Apple Pencil. Ideally I would like to carry my iPad on the hike but I am afraid to spoil it.


Church Fork, Milcreek Canyon


I don’t know what this hike is called but the trailhead was on 18th Avenue in Salt Lake City. This is a sketch of the City Creek Canyon as seen from the hill we were on.


Living Room, Salt Lake City. This hike starts on campus. It is called Living room hike because there are stone structures on top which resemble a sofa, chair etc.


Days Fork, Big Cottonwood Canyon. We did this hike in the middle of May and there was still so much snow!

I don’t have sketches from two other hikes, ‘Mill B North Fork’ in Big Cottonwood Canyon and ‘Bowman Fork’ in Milcreek Canyon.


City Creek Canyon


View from 11th Avenue, Bonneville Boulevard in Salt Lake City.

Sketched using Apple pencil.

Watercolors – Wet-on-wet

The idea is to apply water in blocks and apply paint in the block by pressing against the edge of the wet area so that paint flows in on its own. This technique can be used very effectively to create clear boundary lines without actually using a thin brush. In the first painting below I tried to control the flow of the paint too much which should be avoided for more interesting results. I also learnt that hot press paper is better for wet-on-wet compared to cold press. Hot press paper is smoother than cold press so water doesn’t get absorbed as fast.


This was the final assignment. I took an image from the internet, increased the contrast in GIMP and then traced the image. I really like the idea of painting a portrait using this technique. I could have filled in the whites in the fabric to have the face stand out more.


Watercolors – Wash

This is a great technique to paint a calm sky (though I haven’t done one yet!). We practiced flat and gradient washes. The instructor suggested ‘rough paper’ for this technique though I am using ‘cold press’ and I think it works fine. I have not tried ‘rough paper’.


Here is the in-class practice painting.


And the final assignment: I chose a photograph of ‘Lakeside’ from IIT Bombay campus where I did my undergrad. Lakeside was one of my favorite places on campus. The photograph was taken by Abhey Grewal. It seemed hard to do a single wash with the circular sun in the sky so instead I decided to break the sky into pieces and I like the feel it gives.


The two paintings are done with single washes.

These are some tips/reminders for myself to implement this technique effectively – ‘Keep the bead going’. Easier to go from water to pigment for gradient. When painting a gradient of two colors, mix puddles of both colors separately and a small puddle where the two colors mix on the palette. For a smooth transition use all three puddles. Also avoid going back to water if you are in the process of the doing the wash.