Landscape painting of Dzongs is of great significance and sacred to both artists as well as viewers.
One - it exhibits the rich and awesome architectural art of Bhutan. Two - it adds great value and splendour to the overall landscape painting composition. Three - it inspires and disciplines artists to maintain the originality of the scenery.
In the past ever since I took interest in landscape paintings I had painted numerous Dzongs such as Paro, Punakha, Jakar, etc. But I had never painted the Trongsa Dzong. Not only I did not come across a sample picture of the Dzong suitable to my interest but even the thought of painting such a massive and extensive stretch of the dzong rather deterred me from giving an attempt.
Finally I came across with this image of Trongsa Dzong which inspired me to test my skill and patience. I have used this as a sample picture for my painting.
Thus I started off with determination and gusto. Sketching and drawing of image on canvas size of 4x3 ft was indeed a gigantic task for me. It took almost two days of getting all structural elements of the Dzong drawn onto the canvas with pencil.
Here are the various painting stages with relevant images for the benefit of viewers:
1st Stage: The foundational outlay of basic shapes and elements of the sample image has been painted with Acrylic (though the rest of the work is usually done in oil) in this preliminary stage. This is the first coloring of the painting or underground painting as artists usually refer to.
As you see the first stage of the painting you will observe that although the basic shapes of Dzong structure are more or less done in the eyes of viewers, the background and foreground sceneries are nothing more than some patches of blues and greens in background and yellows & whites in foreground scenes without any details.
2nd Stage: The viewers would now see a more refined painting with all shades of contrasting colors from dark to light.
In addition, the viewers might also observe that a trunk of the big cypress tree seen right in front of the dzong has been painted.
3rd Stage: The viewers would notice that some trees have been added in this stage of the painting. It is quite a laborious task indeed for artists to finish the painting at any one stage. Every elements of detail has to be judged and painted as they would appear in any given scene.
4th Stage: The 4th stage of the painting will now present the viewers with great details and addition of live figures in the foreground. The painting might now appear completed in the eyes of viewers but it is still yet another stage for the artists to proclaim it as finished.
5th Stage: At last after series of painting stages this is the final image of the Trongsa Dzong painting which now stands completed. This painting has taken almost 8 months to transform to its final shape including few months of break in the middle.
Among all landscape paintings especially Dzongs, the painting of Trongsa Dzong (on large canvas size of 4x3 ft) has by far been the most difficult and gigantic task to for me to paint. The reasons are obvious – the whole architectural structure of the dzong is extensively long and complex, let alone the other scenery patterns supplementing the overall beauty of painting.
Here again I have used my artistic license to translate the overall composition of the painting to an artistic scene of which I wanted to project it to the viewers while at the same time maintaining the originality of the image.
Albeit the final painting image shown above is copyrighted one I will certainly share the original image of the painting without the copyright marking once it has been sold off. Till then, my friends, bear with me!
“My Way of Painting” will be my next post………..