Tiger Fire – Combinatorial Art

Tiger Fire. Mixed media artwork done by Ishan Shanavas. Visit ishanshanavas.com for more.

I have had a long drawn fascination with the tiger. Ever since I saw one in the wild (Read about it here), I’ve been captivated beyond measure. Something about their fiery eyes and lithe grace depicts wild India at its glorious best.

This piece is a testament to the glory of the tiger. It symbolises the raw wild imagery of the biggest feline on the planet.

The tiger’s body is inspired by a photograph from Sudhir Shivaram, one of India’s leading wildlife photographers and a role model for me. The open yawn, displaying the sharp canines, depicts the tiger’s sheer power and strength.

The body is detailed using a black ballpoint pen, in an approach inspired by UK artist Matthew Frame. Many of my pen pieces emulate his distinctive style.

The background is inspired by a piece I saw in the Lokame Tharavadu, an exhibition of Kerala artists late last year (Read my post on it here). The colour scheme and shapes instantly caught my attention. Like that of a tiger, the shades add a touch of drama. 

I draw on disjoint pieces of inspiration to construct something new. For me, creativity is combinatorial.

My experience at the exhibition was transformative for me. Seeing a whole spectrum of art pieces, ranging from photography to paintings, struck a chord in me. It showed me the true scope of the human mind; if you can imagine something, you can illustrate it. We are in the era of creative expression; it would be an awful waste to ignore that aspect of ourselves.

I draw on disjoint pieces of inspiration to construct something new. For me, creativity is combinatorial. I link unrelated works that have moved me into art.

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All in all, it took me a solid few months to complete it. Artistic pursuits demand time if they are to turn out well.

I have seen very few pieces that embrace the synergy between paint and pen. I endeavour to explore that possibility, starting with this piece.

The title “Tiger Fire” was taken from a book by Valmik Thapar under the same name. The author and the book are personal favourites, and I highly recommend it for all.

Size: A2 Cartridge Paper

Mediums: Rorito B MAX ball pen 0.7 (black), Acrylic paint.

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Published by Ishan Shanavas

I am a young adult, interested in nature, photography, art and culture. An aspiring polymath, I share my learnings through my blog. I also include insights from my favourite books.

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