Banana leaf chronicles – SS20 and SS21

Here is the actual post about all things banana leaf in my artwork archive.

Banana leaf chronicles August 2020

Last year, I sat in California imagining the components of a full spread banana leaf meal, a classic South Indian spread, a culinary delightful adventure that calls to me every so often! it so happens that it called to me this week too!

See below for some chronicles from spring summer 21

Features Banana Leaf Chronicle SS’21

With this scene in the watercolor workbook, as many of you have been following along, I could not help go down to South Indian rice paddy fields, wrapped in a cotton podavai (saree) and hug a potted banana plant to bring with me everywhere I went. And this was just a nostalgic from the past week of watching so many Tamil movies, rearranging my sarees and thinking of elai saapad (banana leaf meals)

These layers of nostalgia are always with me, in my explorations and in my everyday thoughts. I am glad I found a venue to express them through art and am very grateful to have been given this gift of learning via the #watercolorworkbook by Sarah!

I’ve had such a blast creating this piece that I happily got lost in those folds and layers surrounding the potted plant! 😂 see below for some layer and process pictures!

Scene building – pen and ink render – banana leaf chronicles SS21
Layers and colors for banana leaf chronicles SS21
Layers and pen and ink

Hope you enjoy this piece as much as I did creating this piece! ❤️🙂

PS: if you have not gotten yourself one of these workbooks, I highly recommend it for any watercolor party you want to belong to! Head on over to @themintgardener ‘s handle to see the genius behind this beauty!


with gratitude
#watercolorstories #radindiscity #watercolorpainting #artistsoninstagram #imaginearuralsouthindia #sareenorsorry #penandink #watercolorcomposition #artistsoninstagram #watercolorillustration #asketchadaykeepsthedoctoraway #watercolorworkbook

Chalky palette and chapati’s

It has been two whole days since I painted and the palette colors are chalky and falling off! And I sat down to think what could be done to possibly prevent that from happening.

Then, I spend about five minutes in the kitchen thinking about it some more, while making chapatis. Then I cleaned up for the day, loaded the dishwasher and fed my boy!

Then I brought my supplies to the dining table and tried to drop large drops of water into the palette cubbies to charge the chalk and coax it into watercolor. I was tempted to look for my mister and water dropper, etc. to create paint out of chalky bits.

Exactly five minutes later I realized that the only way one could actually stop color from chalking in the palette is ….

By painting every damned day.

Simple and effective, right?

But then, life gets in the way!



Watercolor workbook and palette for #Worldwatercolormonth 2021

I’ve been happy to recuse myself to this palette this weekend! In celebration of world watercolor month, I have chosen to work on a watercolor workbook by Sarah Simon

If you scroll below, you can see for yourself the absolute joy it has been to share this beautiful weekend with this workbook.

In the beginning, I flipped through the sheets and was a bit hesitant to use this beautiful book as a workbook, but Sarah’s writing and step by step guidance nudges you into a world of fun and exploration in a way that is pure joy! It’s probably the most clean and organized color swatch cards I have of my paints! Kudos to this workbook.

Day 1: Paints on the palette, look at that glory!
Day 2: The adventure of paints and color mixing begins
Day 3 – Do not disturb this palette, artwork in progress

I bought the workbook in celebration of #worldwatercolormonth and I am chuffed that I did. I mean, it’s been just a few pages in and I’m having such a good time!

As a self taught artist, all my learning and growing comes only with experimentation and making mistakes. I grab every opportunity that leads me towards a space of learning and growing, and this workbook is one such example.

I also am part of local group of artists who gather every week online to be guided by a teacher / mentor about watercolor paintings, and it’s been endearing. We are all experimenting with our colors, learning and making beautiful pieces along the way! More of that later I guess.

The beauty of this workbook is that it already puts together a process in place for a nice clean flow of work that will become a beautiful collection of watercolor paintings by the end of this month and end of the book!

Day 2: Flexing the colors
Day 2: learning about wet on wet and and wet on dry technique
Day 3 of watercolor workbook art
Day 3: eucalyptus composition and those beautiful leaves
Day 4: Dahlias with a loose and fun floral technique
Day 4: Dahlia, the spills and some pen and ink texture
Day 4: Dahlia page side sketch

I hope to share more as I work my way through this book, I hope that you can ride along with me on this adventure.

Happy July the fourth weekend and have a good world watercolor month celebration.

Day 5: Another eucalyptus on Day 8 instead of Day 5 Because, you know, life happens!
Day 6: staying indoors in the crazy heat wave, staying hydrated and painting with watercolors
Day 6: cleaning up and loading a new palette, my hope is that it does not dry out too much! Let’s see!
Day 6: completed two pages and feeling awesome! Had a very productive watercolor day today!
Watercolor workbook sneak peak of just the first few pages
Day 7: it was a quiet Sunday morning of coffee and breakfast and watercolor! Perfect!

Cheers, Radha

Day 7: watercolor workbook sketch spread!
Day 8 came late: watercolor workbook
What day is it? It’s paint day!

A critical moment in my work was this morning. It was when the author of the workbook Sarah’s Simon shared my work on her page! Also, so much inspiration can be found on social media, particularly from artists, which is why I love Instagram and am truly grateful for the connections I have made there.

The Mint Gardener is Sarah Simon!
Painting on July 22nd was fruit blossoms
June 23rd Lupines
June 23rd lupines and it’s sketchbook page in pen and ink
June 23rd – Lupines, gladiolus and irises
Video of the gladiolus, Lupines and Irises
Month of Leo and Goddess Lakshmi
Story about the fisherwoman and Patru vada.
South India nostalgia
Still going strong and keeping no track of which day it is.

The picture above is the last but one composition and page for the watercolor workbook, it’s taken me so long to even get to this page, but it’s the work of everyday.