Interview: Reshma Puthran | A Chat On Travel Sketching – Ananya Grover

Reshma Puthran is a Graphic Artist, Web designer and Clay Florist but first and foremost, considers herself an artist. She has worked with companies like Pixel Point, Hungama.com, as well as on her own as a freelancer, craftsperson, and chocolatier. Here, she talks to Ananya Grover about making art while travelling.

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Q. What was the most memorable trip you undertook for the purpose of creating art?

Sketching trips were all fun during my college years. Spending time with friends and getting to go to different place was what we always looked forward too. Although sketching was a part of our regular class activity, doing it outdoors was way more exciting, always.
A trip to Matheran ( a hill station, near Mumbai, in the state of Maharashtra) to capture the beauty of nature, surrounded with monkeys all around, was so much fun– sometimes they would come up to us and run away with the water bowl, which we needed for water-colouring. Then, we would have to chase them to get it back!

Konark Temple, Odisha

Another memorable trip was the one to Odisha to sketch the grand temples, especially the Konark temple.
When you sketch, you tend to observe the carvings in vivid detail as opposed to when you just click a picture.

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Q. Did you use a canvas and easel to paint? Or did you sketch in sketchbook journals?  What mediums are best suited for travel sketching?

Mostly, our sketching during such excursions was done in a sketchbook or on papers of different textures to achieve varying effects. The medium we used was different every time–  charcoal, watercolour, stippling, colour pencils, dry pastel, etc. are some examples of the many mediums we used.

Q. What makes sketching while travelling different from sketching normally at your home, on a desk? What are the biggest challenges that you faced?

Sketching while travelling was always enjoyable. But yes, it’s a big challenge when you sketch in the great outdoors– as compared to sitting at a desk– because you don’t get much time to get into fine details. If you are sketching some person while travelling, then you need to get the contours right first. Later, you can spend time completing the detailing.

Also, if you are out, then natural light plays a major role– you need to complete your work fast to get the lighting and shadows right.

Q. These days, trips are recorded through a thousand photographs, which are then carefully sifted through, preened and curated for Instagram. While no one would dare to argue that photography is a much faster and convenient way of recording moments, do you think keeping a mini-sketchbook or journal of your travels can be a unique way of keeping memories?

Photography has always helped one to restore memories. But when you sketch or create something yourself, it really gives a great pleasure.

An artist can never stay away from his/her passion and love for sketching and painting. Sketching can never be limited to only when out, or on an excursion, or during classes– an artist keeps on sketching and drawing all the time.

Q. Do you have any ideas/suggestions for how a non-artist could be creative while travelling?



A travel scrapbook

Any non-artist who has a hobby or passion for creativity can just keep a sketchbook with him/her always. No need to get into detailing, it’s simply a good way of keeping yourself busy and passing your time while doing something interesting. Like some people like to read or listen to music, sketching also relaxes your mind.

~Ananya Grover, Amity International School, Noida

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