Charm of the monochromatic

Charm of the monochromatic

Realism or naturalism, where art is but a reflection of what the artist sees around him. As a stream of art that has been around through the journey...

Realism or naturalism, where art is but a reflection of what the artist sees around him. As a stream of art that has been around through the journey of art, and like the various schools of thought in art; realism too has acquired many faces including photorealism and hyperrealism that gives the painting a character and a story to tell.

Young artist Sumant Marda's canvasses are larger than life. His subjects are picked from rural India, that he discovers during his travels (a young mother with her kid, an elderly woman smoking a cigar in the quintessentially local style by putting the lighted tip in the mouth – a sight, once common yet quickly vanishing in fast-east coastal Andhra, an old man from rural Rajasthan with all his worldly-wise wrinkles adding to the charm).

"I went on these travels to Visakhapatnam, Jaipur, around Hyderabad, and took pictures of everything that I found interesting. Then there are these rare moments that I see and capture, which I choose to recreate," he shares.

This realistic artist uses charcoal and pencil, which add monochromatic charm to his paintings, and the enhanced features add an element of hyperrealism to the image. If the photograph is about a good moment, Sumant's paintings strike a conversation, and the larger frames make for arresting impressions. "I like doing larger paintings.

The goal is to emotionally drive people and make the painting look beautiful. I mostly work on paper, but I like experimenting, and my next works will have colour. I will be working with charcoal, acrylic and canvas. I feel the artist should always experiment," says the artist, who found his calling much early in his life.

Sumant studied 3D animation in the US and was trained in animation by Pixar Studio and Disney. And during the same time, he studied art at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He came back to India and set up an animation studio in 2010 and ran it until 2016.

"I was not satisfied with the quality of animation we were producing. It was very difficult to get good animation artists. And also, I realised, by being in business, I was moving away from art, so I quit animation and settled as a full-fledged artist."

Leaning towards realism has been a natural progression for the young artist. It took a lot of work and practice. He also undertook some interesting workshops, "I recently undertook a 10-day workshop in Germany by the very famous hyperrealist artist Dirk Dzimirsky. All day we were working on a single piece. I ended up learning very good techniques.

When you are working in your studio, you make a lot of mistakes, and through them, you end up learning something as well," he adds. As Sumant goes forward on his journey of discovering art through his own experimentation and influences from the masters, this computer-engineer-turned artist makes for a perfect example of an artist's dream well-lived. And one of his dreams continues to be - to produce world-class animation in Hyderabad. "This may also happen soon," he shares.

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