Sunday, August 24, 2014

I used to sketch?

When I was in Nursery School, I was jeered by my teacher for painting the sun blue and for colouring the roofs with multiple colours. I didn't understand then, and I haven't understood till date. 

Why? Because you see, when I was taught that sun has to be yellow, I got that point. Then later on, while I grew up, few of the free thinkers would vouch for the idea that it could be of any colour in that art. Perhaps, nothing is fixed here. :p 

The Fourth King of Bhutan. Sketched in 2014
Anyways, I started to sketch and paint when I was in Class II. I had imposed to interest upon myself because my next door cousin, Lok Bahadur Mongar was a great artist. He was a year or two senior to me and he could even paint Sharukh Khan or Sunil Shetty with water colours. I would learn from him or just be in his room and try to draw and paint. I never became like him. I will never become like him, for he is a legend for me. He landed up being a civil engineer today and killed the artistic part of him. I have always followed his footsteps. I give him the credit to teach me and let me watch him while he painted with his brushes. I would watch and learn. But the sad thing about my brother? He would stop painting. I believe I still have his last painting, a Sun set. 

While I reached Thimphu, I was taken to VAST by my another cousin, Mahesh Kumar Tamang, who happens to be a Professional Artist now. I still remember it was one of Saturdays. I had sketched Rabindranath Tagore. I still remember the founder of VAST introducing the first ever computers they had installed. He briefed me about how to sketch. He then gave me a task to sketch the Main Traffic at Norzin Lam. It was too much for me then, I couldn't concentrate nor was I that bold to sketch the Traffic. I would never go to VAST because I was given a homework I never did. 

The Fifth King & Queen of Bhutan. Sketched sometime in 2011
But Mahesh and I, we would discuss about art and he would teach me terms like highlight, shading, margin, reflection, etc. I went back to Phuentsholing, and there again, my uncle, my mother's brother, Pema Jamtsho had come to stay with us for a while. He was a traditional artist. He could draw Thangkas and his coordination with the brushes was simply great. He was a class nine or ten student then. He would teach me how to hold the brushes and how to mix colours. But he wasn't around for much so, I was left all along. Later years, when I came to Thimphu, me and Mahesh would tie up together and paint banners. The funniest incident: One cold winter, while we were trying to help one of our friends to paint a scouts flag. We wrecked our heads to mix the colour for scouts logo. It would take hours, unless we got the colour. I still remember how dead serious Mahesh was. It was Tempa's flag, he was always into social works and that flag too was for free. Later days, I heard Tempa became President in Sherubtse, I never heard  from him.  

I had sketched more in college, and when I was done with college, I wanted to do some charity work. I even opened up a facebook page called SKETCH FOR CHARITY. I thought of bringing in some of my artists friends as well. We would sketch people and collect some amount and donate it to schools for underprivileged kids. And it doesn't have to be in Rural areas I learnt later. Because even in Thimphu itself, there are so many students. But later I would learn that it would be better buying them uniforms and books rather than giving them cash amount.

I sold few of the sketches at 100, 300, 500 and 180. The total amount I collected was Nu. 1080 and I still have that money. But I had to discontinue because later days, I learnt the real world. I learnt that people asked for portraits and didn't pay, and the amount they could pay wasn't fixed. They could pay any amount from Nu. 20 bucks. I was disheartened then because I took this sight as selfishness. I was immature then. But it is so tough to know everybody's stories. I however am thinking of buying some notepad and pens with that collected amount and donate it to some community school. I have seen one, near my site but I don't know the name of the school. That suspension bridge surly will give chills down my spine while I go there. :) 

I then totally lost my touch with sketching and painting. I was then becoming this corporate chap who needed to give more time towards job. I was doing fine then and I am doing fine now. But I feel the adventure is missing now. Writing is different from sketching. Writing is sort of addiction, if I don't write I feel so much suffocated. Henceforth, I don't care whether I wrote for the right cause or wrong. I just write what I feel like writing and I usually don't edit my writings. What I write once, I post it directly. But sketching is different. Every stroke, I have to be careful and not much I can modify later. Once I might be erase, but eraser on a plane time and again would spoil the paper itself. It teaches me some sort of discipline. And while you do sketch celebrities, you ought to be more careful. Because those are the faces everybody has seen. And while you do portraits, always try to subtract those unwanted features like wrinkles. Because even if you draw exactly how a person looks, the subject never gets satisfied. Everyday, one looks in the mirror, and rejects all those unwanted features and tells himself: I am handsome. So we ought to be very careful.

With all this energy, that I had in morning, I sketched my friend Tsheku with his wife. I surly am out of touch. I gave Tsheku the nose of his lifetime. Perhaps, now he can now go settle down in Israel? :p 

I had left sketching. But after about two years, I have this energy in me to sketch again. This time, I won't do it for charity. I won't ask people money. I am just planning to sketch those people who would do some charity works. Eg:- If someone donates something and messages me their picture, I would make their portraits and even mail it to them. The social work could be of any era, present past or future events. I will try my best to sketch them.

So, please donate text books, notepads, pens, pencils, erasers, water colours, brushes, or anything else to schools. Anywhere, and mail me your photo, I will sketch it and post it on facebook. If possible, I will even personally deliver the original copy of your portraits. I think, this could be done. And if you are an artist, please help me in this voyage. I am very much ready this time. :)

And if you had read my blog in past years, I am still ready to sketch for the 100,00th visitor of this blog. And finally I am ready to sketch all those people who asked me at one point to sketch them. I am so sorry folks. A debt of a decade I presume :p

Ps: My sketches might not turn well, but I promise you that I will erase your wrinkles for sure. :) 


  1. Hey, your sketches are awesome Dawa! Is very clear and in details. If you are willing to spend more time on it, I'm sure you can be a professional artist. Where to send my photo to? Address please! And you will personally deliver the sketch to Singapore? ;)

  2. Dawa such noble intentions. I commit to donate books, brushes, water colour, crayons to schools , I will send you the pictures of happy school children and I would be most appreciative to receive potraits of my family members in a series. DEAL?

  3. Appreciate your talent and your new intent.

  4. Sir,
    I sincerely appreciate your sketch and your idea. I enjoyed reading through your blog post