Tag Archives: portrait

Loving Art Books

Loving Art Books

If you so much as dabble in a  bit of art, chances are that you own at least a few books or treatises on art. You may have looked up many more and will definitely stop by the art section in a book store and browse intensely through books that may look interesting. A painting on any wall will elicit more than a passing interest. And you have tried once, if not often, to draw like one of the masters whose works you have seen and admired.

I picked this up when I was just 12 years old and wanted to draw 'just like that'

I picked this up when I was just 12 years old and wanted to draw ‘just like that’

I have to stop and stare if I come across a bookshop, more so if they have an extensive art section. It’s been a while since I’ve stopped buying such books. For one, they are expensive. Apart from that I have a fairly decent collection of books on possibly every thing I need to know…how to do water colours, how to create portraits, how to make pencils sketches, an art encyclopedia that lists different types of art work, a directory of different international commercial artists with samples of their work and a printer’s colour-chart book.

Why do I need these books?

Here’s why. It’s inspiring. Thoughts and ideas lead to similar or even different strains of thoughts or ideas. The book of portraits (and some of the other how-to books) is a good way to exercise and limber your creative muscles. Lastly, but not least, in a way an artist communicates through his work. When you’ve looked at an art work, you’ve actually spoken to a master or someone who is slowly lumbering his way up the ladder of success, and there’s much to glean from such a conversation.

Some of the amazing art books picked up from various places

Some of the amazing art books picked up from various places

On an average day, I like to turn the pages and pore over the contents of some of these books, and if I was uninspired when I started looking at the book, usually I’m brimming with ideas by the end of it.

I usually pick up these books during any one of Bombay’s popular bookstore, Strand’s biannual fair. The books are reasonably priced and a section is dedicated to an extensive collection of books on art.

Danai bookshop, which is now closed, also had a good collection when I first went there over fifteen years ago. The first few books I picked up from there are still a source of inspiration. Just before it closed, I bought a book of Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings at a throw away price.

And what brought me to this topic. Just yesterday, I was out clothes shopping and came across this little shop in the same complex.


It was getting  late, so I didn’t get much time to browse, but among the many titles on sale were collections of work done by popular artists, books on architecture and sculpture and framed prints of works by Mario Miranda.

Not just an art book section, but a whole shop dedicated to art!!!