Tete-a-Tete: Aditya Shankar Prasad
A Watercolour Artist from India
Tete-a-Tete: Aditya Shankar Prasad
The Wise Owl talks to Aditya Shankar Prasad, an Indian artist based in New Delhi. Aditya Shankar Prasad excels in watercolours and creates street scenes as well as portraits of Buddha and other Indian Gods and deities with delicacy and panache. Aditya has participated in various solo and group exhibitions in prestigious galleries in India. He has also participated in several Art contests and has been honoured with prizes for his skill in watercolours.
Thank you, Aditya, for taking time out to talk to The Wise Owl.
TWO: Let’s start at the very beginning. How did you turn to Art? Who were the main influences in your life who encouraged you to pick up a brush and dabble in colours?
ASP: When I was in Grade 2, there was an Art institute near my home. I would see students at the institute drawing and painting. I would stand there for hours watching them work, fascinated with their craft and skill. This was how I developed a curiosity and an interest in Art. Seeing my interest in drawing and painting, my parents encouraged me to pick up the brush and dabble in colours. During my journey as an artist, my parents always supported and encouraged me to hone my skills as an artist.
TWO: You are essentially a watercolour artist. What made you gravitate towards this medium? What challenges did you face in mastering this medium?
ASP: Whenever I add colours in water, they emerge with a distinct flow and texture. Water seems to give the colours a magical energy and life of their own. The flow of the colours as they blend and merge with water fascinates and mesmerizes me. This is why I love this medium above all.
I did face some challenges in mastering this medium. There were some financial problems I faced of course. Also, I did not have any guide to support me or mentor me in my craft. I mostly learnt my Art by reading books as at that time internet was not that pervasive or popular.
TWO: Your series on Buddha are beautiful. The watercolours exude a sense of calm serenity that symbolises Buddha. Our readers would love to know how you achieved this.
ASP: I am from Bihar (India). Bihar is famous for Bodhgaya, the place where Gautam Buddha is said to have attained Enlightenment. I would often visit this place with my parents, and I used to make sketches of statues placed within the precincts of the place. Even when I was in college, I would often bunk my classes and visit Bodhgaya to make sketches of Buddha. Gautama Buddha inspires me a lot; I follow his life teachings, which have benefited me in my professional as well as in my personal life, His calmness and serene approach towards life always inspires me. This motivates me to execute my Buddha Watercolour Art.
TWO: I also loved your watercolours of street scenes. Our readers would be curious to know how you create such realistic paintings. Please share your creative process with our readers– from the time you conceptualize an idea to the finished product.
ASP: When I was in college, I used to often visit the market to do street sketching and one day I decided to add watercolours while doing street scenes. People liked it so much, they used to give me spaces over there to sit and make live sketches or paintings. This encouraged and motivated me to do street scene watercolour painting.
TWO: While going through your gallery of works I realized that you paint mostly portraits of Buddha, Shree Krishan and Shree Ram. Our readers would be curious to know why.
ASP: My mother, being a very religious person, used to ask me to draw pictures of various gods for our house. So, at the age of 8, I drew my first religious painting which was of Shree Krishna, which led to a few pandits asking me to draw something for their mandir too. Painting gods and goddesses became a habit for me since then, which has kept me very positive throughout my painting career. I've had a special connection with Lord Buddha since my teenage days as I used to frequently visit Bodhgaya where Lord Buddha attained his enlightenment and I've always found him and his life very fascinating and inspiring which translates into my paintings.
TWO: Are there any artists (Indian & international) that inspire you? If so, why?
ASP: If I need to specify one artist then it would be Mr. Winslow Howler. I find his style of water colour painting very impressive and inspiring.
TWO: You are an experienced watercolour artist. What advice would you give budding watercolour artists?
ASP: One advice I would give to budding watercolour artists is that they should really focus and stress on the flow of the paintbrush when they are painting.
Thank you, Aditya, for taking time out to talk to The Wise Owl. We wish you the best in all your creative endeavours.