A play of light and shadow

Unique hobbies

A play of light and shadow

The word ‘paintings’ generally evokes images of bright colours and happy themes in one’s mind. But precede this with ‘charcoal’ and what you get are an artist’s powerful impressions of the world around him in black and white. This is what Mohit Negi aims to present to the world.

“My charcoal paintings give effect and shape to my thoughts. I express myself best through my paintings,” says the TCS professional who has been pursuing this hobby for around two years now. He started making pencil sketches initially but quickly became enamoured by the properties of charcoal. “It works on paper, canvas and can be mixed with paints as well. In fact, charcoal goes well with everything. And unlike pencil sketches, this gives an effect of a painting with different layers,” says the artist enthusiastically.

Alright but if you have the ability to sketch, why not add some colour? “The main problem is that I am colour blind,” Mohit says with a shrug. “It is difficult for me to recognise colours and distinguish between them. So black and white pictures are what I see the clearest, with their prominent lines and vivid imagery.”

Portraits and female subjects are his forte and when not looking at people around him for inspiration, Mohit turns to social media for ideas. “I have made portraits of my niece, my second cousin, my brother’s girlfriend and so on. Apart from that, I keep an eye out for striking snaps on Facebook and Instagram that I can recreate with charcoal.”

“I am intrigued by pictures of dust dancers — dancers who kick up a pile of dust with their arms and feet while dancing. I made a painting on these women. Then there was another picture which showed a girl behind a window. Water was flowing down the glass and as a result, her features appeared distorted. It was a challenging subject for a painting,” he adds.

The art comes with its own share of challenges. “It is a dirty skill,” he says with a laugh. “Even if you touch a part of the painting for a fraction of a second, it becomes smudged and all your hard work goes to waste. Also charcoal pencils apply more friction on paper and are more difficult to use.” But challenges are what keep an artist going and Mohit is no exception.

“Even when people tell me that a certain painting is marvellous, I still feel I can do better. Also people tell me to take my time while painting and not to finish a work in one shot, so that I can do a better job. But I still tend to finish it in one sitting. Leaving a thing incomplete is not something I can do.”

His creations, pleasing to the eye for the viewers, are a source of relaxation for him. “This helps me keep calm and focussed. I forget about the nitty-gritties of life when I am sketching. And I also love watching people’s reactions to my paintings.”

Looking to hone his skill, Mohit has now started painting with colours. “I read the name of the colour on the tube and paint. Now I want to focus on landscapes.”
Rajitha Menon    

(Mohit can be contacted at 9741723584)

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