Little Captures: India 2017

I’m starting posting my sketches from a few weeks in India with the littlest sketches. Normally these end up being my last post from my travels: the stragglers, like this post from Italy last summer. But I’ve come to realize that these are often my favorites. They capture  singular little observations, moments that go by too quickly for a bigger sketch. Like this spread below, one bull, one cow, one unfinished little figure and a sketch of a woman bending over to choose vegetables in the market. Nothing special, but stuff I’m glad I recorded.

Here are the books I used on this trip: My biggest black book, a 9×12 inch Stillman & Birn Beta Sketchbook (at the bottom of the heap). I’ve tried going smaller for portability. But I miss this book, so it’s staying. But for these quick captures I used one of two books: In the middle of the pile, in grey-green, the 8×10 inch Stillman & Birn Softcover Delta Series sketchbook. And the smallest blue book, a Handbook Journal in the 5.5×8.25 size, with a thin paper. Not a watercolor book, but I kinda like what it does with washes. And being a thin paper, one journal carries a LOT of paper.


Traveling to India from the US is a very long trip. Made even longer when the very last leg of your journey is postponed by 8 hours. For such a long journey, though, I don’t sketch a lot. I just zone out, watch movies I’d never watch otherwise, and read a bit. Below are a few airport-sketch pages. No airplane sketches this time.



The three sketches below were made in front of Caranzalem Church in Goa. I thought I’d go sketch the church, but found that I’d caught the tail end of the Feast at the church. I missed the procession, but caught one last piece by the small band. And an old lady praying at this little cross. And balloon vendor.


The little sketches below are of people on the streets of Bijapur. On the left, men wearing that distinctive cap and dhoti I associate with the Deccan. On the right, two Muslim men walking past an auto that delivers gas cylinders.

On the left, a minaret at the Ibrahim Roza monument. And on the right, a quick little capture of a scene at the Sunday market. Cows will eat anything.

This is what you see any place with a lawn or a public park. Lots of people sprawled on the grass. They might look like they’re doing nothing. Wrong. They’re deeply engaged in a very enjoyable activity called timepass, which is exactly what it sounds like.

One last little spread. On the left, an unsuccessful attempt at drawing pigs. The pigs of Bijapur roam around eating any garbage they find. They look nothing like Babe the pig. They are black, bristly-haired and thin. Still, they don’t look as rat-like as my sketch makes them out to be. On the right, a quick calligraphic capture of the incredible Gol Gumbaz. More about that building in another post, though.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in India, people, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Little Captures: India 2017

  1. dinahmow says:

    I like the quick captures. Just enough to suggest the subject.


  2. Annie says:

    I’ve been reading your blog and enjoying your sketches for some years now and realise that I’ve never take the time to say thank you! So thank you very much. Your enthusiasm for sketching and for the things and places you show us is always inspiring and you’re a wonderful artist.

    Thank you also for the information on your sketchbooks. May I ask what pens you used for these sketches? Your lines are so fluid and expressive.


  3. Pete says:

    Great sketches! I’m in the Deccan on holiday now and was at Bijapur last week. Your people, monuments, cows and even the pigs are spot on!
    Unlike you, I tend to overcolour my sketches – Gol Gumbaz and Ibrahim Rouza too, and despite trying to find an inconspicuous spot from which to sketch, I always manage to attract a very appreciative crowd of onlookers- which I find difficult to deal with but nonetheless find very encouraging.
    I shall look forward to more of your sketches from your holiday.


    • Pete, the crowds never go away. And it’s not just you: my niece and I always had a big chatty crowd around us wherever we sketched. Especially in Bijapur. More sketches coming soon. Have fun on your trip, would love to chat more about it when you are back!


  4. M. L. Kappa says:

    Love all these little sketches! They capture moments much better than photos


  5. Elena says:

    These are lovely! Can you share your palette colors? Really interesting darks.


  6. miatagrrl says:

    Delightful little sketches, Suhita! I find that these types of small moments are often my favorite travel sketches, too.



  7. Margaret Hunt says:

    Marvelous sketches. Love them all.


  8. rosjenke says:

    Fabulous sketches. So full of life and energy. Love them.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Elizabeth says:

    These are delightful tastes of India. Thank you for sharing them, I’m really enjoying them.


  10. mossandmabel says:

    I love the pigs! That sketch would make such a beautiful simple print. Loving your blog!


  11. Veerpal says:

    wonder ful sketches and good job in water colors


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