Vikrant Shitole - Q&A
Interview with Vikrant Shitole
"An established artist, Vikrant Shitole is best known for his watercolours. He is a graduate in fine arts with merit from L. S. Raheja school of art. He paints with various styles, mediums and techniques – adopting the best suitable feature to reproduce on paper what he sees in person. Most of his achievements till now have been in fluid medium of watercolors and genre of landscapes.
Participations in national level exhibitions like Art society of India and Bombay art society were followed up with those on international level. Awards at Istanbul Watercolour Society, Palm art awards-Germany and Art Society of India, Prafulla Dahanukar foundation award for emerging artist of the year to name a few were highlights of Vikrant's thriving young career which has seen solo n few group shows as well.
Vikrant has travelled and work in Europe. Where he worked under the guidance of renowned artist Mr. Alvaro Castagnet. He also successfully conducted watercolour workshops in France, Germany, Russia, Dubai & India.
He has been invited to demonstrate prestigious watercolor event called "InArteFabriano" in Italy, IWS Turkey Bienalle, Masters of Watercolor, Russia, IWS UAE Biennial. He is one of the invited artist for InWatercolor/Taiwan-Indian Watercolor Exchange in Taiwan and several international shows. Presently he is serving as Hon. Secretary of “Art Society of India”. He is active co-ordinator of International Watercolor Society in India. He is brand ambassador of Russian paint brand “WHITE NIGHTS” Nevskaya Palitra, St. Petersburg. His works has been published in several prestigious international publications."
Hello Vikrant could you please tell us more about yourself?
I am just an ordinary person who loves to paint. Art was always my destiny. It's a part of my life and something that keeps me going. I am a fine artist and an animation film maker by profession. I like to travel and explore different places, it’s history, cultures and lifestyle of the people. And I try to express those experiences, the essence of that place on paper through my painting.
When did you met watercolors for first time and what made you choose that medium?
While studying in Raheja School of art,Mumbai, I got introduced to different mediums and materials for painting. And though considered to be a significantly more difficult medium to work with as compared to oil colors or acrylics; watercolors tend to give the most spontaneous and effective results. This developed my liking for this fluid medium.
Which are the artists that inspired you most?
Every artist around inspires me. But Vasudeo Kamath and Alvaro Castagnet has mentored and inspired me the most.
Could you explain your technique in few steps?
I try to take advantage of the texture of the paper and pigment which enhances the beauty of the colours. I use lot of water and pigments and just throw on paper to get bold and natural texture and forms keeping the drawing and basics intact. I allow my paints to flow anywhere, sometimes I do scratch on paper, throw water or do whatever what I feel at that moment. There is no particular material or tool in my collection.
What paper, brushes and paints do you usually use?
I like to experiment with different materials; it gives something new, something different every time so my material varies every time.
I like to use 100% cotton made (300 gsm) local handmade papers. But it can not protect the freshness of the colours for long period; especially in humid weather like Mumbai. So when it comes to longevity, I use 100% cotton made archival papers. Currently I am using Baohong, Lana, Daler Rowney and Langton Prestige but I do not have any specific favourite brand.
I also have different brands of colours in my paint box. You will find colours from Camlin, White Nights, Mission Gold, Rembrandt, Sennelier etc. After using shades of these different brands; I chose best paint suitable for my style and I have made my own palette.
If you have to paint with limited palette of 8 which colors will you choose?
Yellow Ochre, Scarlet Red, Crimson Red, Burnt Sienna, Olive Green, French Ultramarine, White, Turquoise Blue
Can you tell us about the watercolor culture in India?
The watercolour culture in India is very old but commercially oil paintings always had more demand than watercolours. Though in recent times people are getting more aware about watercolours as well; as a result slowly and steadily watercolours are also getting appreciated equally.
What will you advise the beginners in watercolors?
I would like to suggest the beginners to choose right guidance. Nowadays there are many options available because of internet. Each artists has his own style of painting, approach, philosophy and technique. So their suggestions and advice also varies accordingly. If you will start following all of them at the same time it will end up confusing you.
My tip for the beginners is that follow your heart & nurture your passion. Work hard. Don’t choose shortcuts. Be patient. Don’t hesitate to make a lot of mistakes. Don’t lose your confidence and love what you do.