I was first introduced to pencil work out of sheer curiosity. It astonished me how people could represent depth, structure, shades and textures (pretty much all aspects of a 3D image) using a pencil. I was first introduced to the form by my tutor who asked me to draw a canister, which I absolutely hated. I hated it with an ardent passion because, well, I couldn’t do it. Then I practiced it and continuously tried to improve. After a point of course, I felt like I couldn’t take it any further so I abandoned it like a petulant child.

While it still remains a route to creativity for me, I prefer working with abstract or expressionist pieces. A major reason for that is when you work with greatest sincerity, you can finish a painting in almost no time. With a sketch however, the absolute detail and intricacy of it takes about a week to a fortnight to perfect. You finish a sketch pretty much at the sacrifice of everything else. I still, however, take time out to excel at it. I am constantly trying to merge my abstract ideas with pencil drawings and vice versa.

One of the most exciting elements of pencil work in fact is the presentation of extremely intricate things using pencils. Human anatomy has been one such fun endeavour for me. I started with drawing bodies that were blown out of proportion and in no way ‘human’. It wasn’t until later that I started to figure out how the bone structure of a human actually is or how a particular muscle wraps around a bone (there’s that gruelling intricacy I was talking about!).

The female form has definitely been a very exciting experiment for me. I started with making the very moreish mistake of drawing breasts that were way out of proportion in terms of size. I later started to figure out the curves and understand how a natural female body could be drawn in all its majesty. The amount of detail it took to perfect a bodily curve was astonishing and it really pulled me in. For similar reasons, I’m obsessed with hair right now. The different textures and shades that go into creating hair that are say, braided or tied a certain way is astonishing.

I’m currently working on the texture and volume of hair with respect to changes due to ethnicity and geographical location. It’s this intense, intricate work that goes into making this kind of art that makes me feel like it’s worth my while to practice it.