Google+ House Revivals: Inspiration From India's Colorful Trucks

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Inspiration From India's Colorful Trucks

We recently traveled to India for part of my son and daughter-in-law's wedding celebration. This was the trip of a lifetime, and we will treasure the memories always. After the celebration, both families road tripped around South India together. Our families bonded as we visited palaces and temples and beaches.

One of the things we began to notice, on our road trip, is that Indian trucks are often decorated.

Some of the trucks have only a few small painted embellishments, while others are draped with garlands or have draperies in the windows. Color is used with exuberance!

You can see that the truck owners take great pride in their vehicles.

No color is too bright to for these work trucks. We were completely charmed.

Even this humble produce truck is decorated with a few painted flowers.

Of course, work trucks weren't the only decorated vehicles we saw on our trip.

We were lucky enough to pass this wedding procession in Tamil Nadu.

How amazing is that?

When we returned from our trip, I wanted to remind myself of India's beautiful decorative vernacular, so I began sketching a series of doodles inspired by Indian folk art and religious art. The great thing about doodling, is that you don't have to be a great artist to draw the basic forms. You don't have to worry about perspective or shading (unless you want to), so it's a great way to be creative, even if traditional drawing feels a little intimidating.

For this doodle, I began with no plan, other than wanting to jot down some reminders of the decorations I'd seen.  I like to start my doodles using a mechanical pencil, with a white eraser.

Next, I traced over the sketch with a non-bleeding, non-smearing black pen. I added details at this time, and eliminated details that weren't working with the white eraser (red erasers can leave smears). Notice that nothing is perfect or measured in my doodle. Yep. Not perfect. Again.

To color the doodle, I laid down some base color, using alcohol markers, but you can use any media you have on hand. My favorite "doodle" markers are actually those fat Crayola markers. The ink is not precious, so I'm less afraid of "messing up".

I then punched the doodle up with colored pencils. I used Prismacolor pencils for this, but half the time I just grab the kid's Crayola pencils. Being creative doesn't need to be expensive -- it's fine to use the kid's supplies.

Do you find creative inspiration from your travels? Let me know in the comments.

You might also enjoy this post about how to draw a spring tulip.

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