Outdoor painting workshop at Borivali, Mumbai

Outdoor painting workshop at Kanheri Caves, National Park, Borivali, Mumbai

Outdoor painting workshop conducted by : Artist and Art Teacher Chitra Vaidya

Participants - Ratna Indulkar, Varsha Shukla, Madhumita Ray, Aditi Chafekar, Swarali Jape, Sukanya Nijsure

I conduct regular art sessions at my studio in Vile Parle (East), Mumbai. School children, college students and ladies attend the art sessions of drawing and sketching, transparent watercolour painting, acrylic on canvas painting, oil on canvas painting, one stroke painting, Chinese stroke painting and more.

Importance of Outdoor Painting

Apart from working in a studio, it is important to work outdoors, on the spot. It is called plein-air practice. It's a French word for painting outdoors. To learn to paint landscape, an artist should go out in the nature so as to understand the atmosphere, depth, perspective, composition and colour. This is the reason I organise outdoor painting workshops for my students.

Painting workshop details

This time I took a group of 7 students to Kanheri caves. Kanheri caves are a group of caves in the forest of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali. These caves contain Buddhists sculptures and relief carvings,paintings and inscriptions, dating from 1st century BCE to 10th century CE. The site is on hillside and is accessed via rock cut steps. It is a great place to go for a day out, to sketch and paint. You find many interesting compositions of caves, steps, trees, forms created by sunlight and shadows, and figures of visitors.

Ratna Indulkar, one of my senior students, helped me coordinating with other students. Herself and Madhumita Ray brought their vehicles, so it became convenient for us to reach there and search a proper spot for painting. We reached there in the morning at 8.30 a.m., searched for an interesting spot, where we could all sit and paint. I explained, how to choose the right spot, how to get started, plan the composition, how to draw and paint with transparent watercolors on handmade paper. I gave a watercolour painting demonstration with quick washes and completed the painting with important details. The students got inspired and chose their own composition to paint. It was nice to see them all, engrossed in painting. In spite of answering questions by curious onlookers , they could concentrate on painting. That's the thing with any art, it helps you to concentrate on your work. After they completed their paintings, we discussed each painting and got to know each other’s thinking, compositions, techniques and queries.

After our painting session, we enjoyed the vada pav and chai from Kanheri caves canteen.

All this process was so satisfying and inspiring that we decided to go more often for such outdoor painting sessions.

» more on painting demo and painting workshop by Chitra Vaidya

  • Demo Painting by Chitra Vaidya
  • Chitra Vaidya - demonstrating a painting
  • Chitra Vaidya doing final touches to the painting
  • Students working at Kanheri caves, Borivali
  • Students working on the spot
  • Selfie with students at National Park, Borivali
  • Happy students with their paintings at the background of Cave no 12, Kanheri caves, Borivali