A Market in India

I worked on this commissioned piece a couple of weeks ago, and really enjoyed it. I love painting markets and this market in Colaba in Mumbai took me right back to a place I miss.

Here is a little bit of my process (from when I remembered to take shots as I worked through this).

I started this one with a series of little thumbnails and then a rough drawing. More notes to myself than anything. Because this was a complex piece, not based on a single image, and I wanted to make pull together thoughts on layout as well as things I wanted to include in my final piece.

When I draw on location, I don’t always use a pencil to start with. If I do, it is only to roughly indicate perspective. Here, I marked out a lot more in pencil. Then I inked it in. I still keep my pencil lines loose so it doesn’t feel like I’m just copying them over in ink: That sort of re-drawing seems to make my drawings go lifeless.

The first bit of color on the piece is always exciting. I like working things wet-in-wet, with passages of color changing as they go along, but being continuous.

I took this shot at a point at which I paused in the piece. You can see there are no big passages of color in how I build this piece. In painting a landscape or any piece in which I feel there is a big dominant swatch of color, I might put that down first but in busy crowded places, I like working like this: creating little passages of color, recording the patchwork like quality and chaos of it, yet holding in the back of my mind the fact that they need, ultimately, to come together.

And here is the finished piece.

One of my favorite parts of creating this piece is that I could pull ideas and objects I wanted into it. Little things that made me happy, that you might not notice, like adding an Atlas cycle to the scene, hinting at the names of the stores (spot Mahavir and Jay Bharat?), deciding what fruit and vegetables to add to the market.( I resisted the urge to add mango, because when the mangoes arrive, everything else takes a back seat!), and lots more stuff that you cannot even clearly “read” in the image.

And to make it really immersive, I found a video with street sounds in India and played it while I worked on this.

Here is a little video tour of the piece with the soundtrack that played while I worked.

One day soon, I hope to be back sketching in my happy place in person. But until then, I’m enjoying hanging on to and recreating the memories.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
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24 Responses to A Market in India

  1. I really like your processes, and the work. Maybe, I’m leaning towards liking the one with more white, as the colour really pops with that focus.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paul Koontz says:

    Suhita…that’s a fun post and beautiful piece. Thanks.

    What pen did you use? (I like the character of the lines)


    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jaya Samant-Lal says:

    Beautiful – you’ve perfectly captured the scene!


    On Mon, Mar 15, 2021 at 5:22 PM Sketch Away: Travels with my sketchbook wrote:

    > Suhita Shirodkar posted: ” I worked on this commissioned piece a couple of > weeks ago, and really enjoyed it. I love painting markets and this market > in Colaba in Mumbai took me right back to a place I miss. Here is a little > bit of my process (from when I remembered to take sho” >

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Dee says:

    Love this watercolor!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Nancy Cunningham says:

    Suhita, I regret that while living in Mumbai for two years I never went to the Colaba market. Your piece makes me want to go back and see it! Question? in my observations I rarely saw ladies in saris in the daytime; more likely they were wearing shalwar kameez, but you show the shoppers in saris. Maybe this is a reflection of who the shoppers are. Anyway, I love the work!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nancy, since this is done in a studio and not on location, I put together images, people, clothing and items that resonated with me. I think my bias in dressing is to a kurta but in how it looks, I love the sari. and that might be why i have so many saris in this picture. also , most vendors would be in saris, I think. the shoppers might be in a mix of clothing but I wanted a slightly nostalgic feeling,throwing back to my childhood. so more saris.


  6. maggiedot says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Blogs-R-Us says:

    This is so good Suhita. You have captured and painted it very well.


  8. Komal Shinde says:

    Hello Ma’am, This is Komal Shinde. Am a Masters student pursuing Communication and Journalism. Currently, I am doing research on Challenges female faces while sharing their experiences while blogging online.
    I want to conduct an interview of the same on Zoom call if you are okay with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Komal, while Id be hay to help I can truly summarize gender and zoom blogging in one short statement for me: gender in no way poses any challenges for me as a blogger. My blog, while read by others, has always been first and foremost a way to be accountable to myself and put words to what I make. I never think of gender in any way impeding or easing the experience of blogging for me. Good luck with your research.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Komal, sorry but I can’t at this point.


  10. raoulworks says:

    Good Evening ma’am. As a person who always believed art was just about visuals , I am amazed at how much effort and planning does one single piece of art needs . This post really made me appreciate art . Thank you soo much!!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. stuff and poems says:

    Amazing! I love how beautifully the art came to life. One stroke at a time 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. amithspike says:

    Wow 🤪 I enjoyed

    Liked by 1 person

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