Monday, November 7, 2011
Nib Painting - "The Pen is Mightier than the Sword"
It so doesn’t happen quite often, that you pause by to admire or appreciate the worth of “trivial” things, such as a pen, in life. Right from the time I learnt to clasp a pen and scribble some nonfigurative forms on walls, to the present times where I write for reputed concerns and leading magazines, I hardly cherished the “power of pen”. Perhaps, I remotely aspired to be neither Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai (for those of you wondering who the hell are they, they are top-notch journalists in India), who utilized the might of the pen to enlighten several dreams, ambitions and thoughts and re-write the destiny of many, nor to follow the footsteps of J.K.Rowling and Chetan Bhaghat, who leveraged this powerful tool to unleash their power of imagination and emerge as trend setters, thereby earning laurels and conquering millions of hearts through their series of books and publications.
While I was too busy in love with my paintbrush, experimenting different strokes and styles of paintings, the breakthrough innovation that came my way was “nib painting”, where I learnt the nuances of using a “pen differently”. Painting is the art in which colors and lines make the visual impression and it is interesting to note that besides a paintbrush, objects like nibs, knives, spatula and even twigs can also be used to accomplish this. All that nib painting required was to apply the mixture of oil colors in right consistency – white and pink for the buds, yellow and orange for the flowers, shades of green and florescent for the leaves and stalks, on the black felt cloth (on which the design was traced previously), prefixed to a wooden board, following which two different kinds of pen nibs were put into use to complete the painting. The one with a round tip was pressed against the surface to form the petals as seen in the buds and the stalks and the other nib with a pointed tip was used to score evenly on the paint to form the intricate lines on the leaves and the flowers. Once dried, the design resembles a neatly knit embroidery work due to the distinct impression of the nibs on the thick oil paints with the uniform black spaces in between. And, needless to say, this “pen”ultimate artistic creation of mine, inked my cerebral folds to comprehend that “the pen is mightier than the sword” not only because it confers wisdom but also because it underlines beauty.