Sonu Sul­ta­nia

WKND - - On The Canvas -

“It is a wild, ver­sa­tile medium. Its rich­ness lends a unique ex­pe­ri­ence to the process of paint­ing — and be­cause it is bold and dra­matic, it al­lows me to be more ex­pres­sive,” says Sonu Sul­ta­nia, who has been ro­manc­ing char­coal for four years now. “I like work­ing with a va­ri­ety of medi­ums, but when it comes to in­stinc­tive draw­ings, I al­ways reach out for my sticks of char­coal.”

On a few oc­ca­sions, Sonu says she has cre­ated a ‘con­vinc­ing’ art­work within min­utes; other times, it has taken her hours, even days to achieve the same re­sults. “The amount of de­tails in the sub­ject and the de­sired re­sults are the two de­ter­min­ing fac­tors.”

Sonu sees the medium as one in which shad­ing and smear­ing can work both as an ad­van­tage and dis­ad­van­tage. “You can achieve un­lim­ited light and dark tones with it, but it is also very tough to make changes once you’ve added a dark tone to the work.”

Proper care of a char­coal draw­ing is very im­por­tant, she be­lieves. “There are fix­a­tive sprays avail­able in the mar­ket, but I feel at times it is not a wise idea to use those, for it can change the look and sur­face of the draw­ing. Also, it can change how light in­ter­acts with your work. Store it and frame it well, and it will last for many gen­er­a­tions to come.”

And how much does one have to pay for a char­coal art­work? “Art is very sub­jec­tive — I don’t think there can be a fixed price range… It de­pends on the in­ten­sity, unique­ness, and de­tail­ing of the work.” anju Ra­man feels char­coal gives her a chance to add depth to her works

an artist to con­cen­trate more on the sub­ject or char­ac­ter. “At times, colour can be dis­tract­ing. Black gives both the artist and viewer a chance to un­der­stand the sub­ject mat­ter on a deeper level and evoke a myr­iad of emo­tions.”

Does it not get lim­it­ing? “I have al­ways found a cer­tain beauty in black-and-white pho­to­graphs, sketches, ink draw­ings, etc. Char­coal is a very bold and ex­pres­sive medium and, at times, I do add a splash of colour to my works.”

On av­er­age, it takes Anju any­where be­tween three nights to a week to fin­ish an art­work. The risk of mak­ing a mess is the big­gest chal­lenge of work­ing with char­coal. “At times, I end up with black hands, face, and fur­ni­ture — with my kids rolling their eyes at the mess I’ve made!”

Anju has been work­ing with the medium for a year — and for any­one look­ing to work with it, she rec­om­mends a care­ful se­lec­tion of the theme. “Mostly, I work with char­coal blocks and soft and hard char­coal pen­cils.” The eraser pen is her most trusted tool, fol­lowed by white char­coal for high­lights. “I use graphite pen­cils to de­sign and draw ba­sic lay­outs.”

As for the price tag, Anju shares, “The price is in­flu­enced by fac­tors like size, sub­ject, artist’s rep­u­ta­tion and the cur­rent mar­ket trends.” Min­isha Bhard­waj has been ‘paint­ing’ with char­coal for over two years and loves the way it al­lows her to blend hues bet­ter

Vic­tor Si­tali started ex­per­i­ment­ing with char­coal last year and feels it al­lows him to cre­ate pow­er­ful works

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