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Keya Mahata is an Indian artist trained in various forms of applied art. She specialises in character design and goes through her journey in the gaming industry.

Character Design by Keya Mahata

Keya is an Indian artist who creates unique pieces of art through different mediums. She considers painting to be her purpose, passion and all her pieces of art are indicative of that. The colours that she uses for her paintings feel like a reflection of her colourful soul, inspired by rustic, rural backgrounds.

Character Design by Keya Mahata

She began her journey into art at the tender age of 12, and her brother was the first to notice her talent and skill set. He pushed her to explore her creative side, while she enrolled in a fine arts college where she goes on to discover multiple facets of her passion. Having graduated in applied art, she explored drawing, oil colour, and digital painting, while also beginning to work in gaming as a concept artist. She herself is inspired by the paintings of Karla Ortiz, Jason Seilor, and Tianhua Xuz, where she looks up to the fine quality of work that they provide.

Character Design by Keya Mahata

She has worked on interesting projects for Zynga Games, Aristocrat Games, Googi Games, Dragon War Games, and Ubisoft Games. She feels more inclined to character designing where she feels that she can give a lot of texture and style to her work. Being fluent in realistic, semi-realistic, and cartoon styles, her defining factor is her working style. Her process involves the creation of a mood board first, and then she slowly moves on to exploring the basic shapes of drawing and then working out the colours.

Character Design by Keya Mahata

She gives a lot of detail into the character design while looking out for the story, creating new styles, and adding more intricate work. Caricatures focus mostly on a character’s facial expressions, but with the whole design, the thinking of the designer changes. “Relatability is an important factor”, says Keya as she puts a lot of her skill in designing and colouring a character. She aspires for more and more people to relate to it.

On current trends, she feels that art is art first. One should look to explore their creativity with their art, practice, and hone their skills. Using softwares like Photoshop comes next, even though the digital world is changing so rapidly. She urges people to get the “art part” right, and you can achieve the outcome easily by using any of the zillion updating available tools.

Character Design by Keya Mahata
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Siddhant Jumde weaves a story through with each textured caricature he creates while balancing the reality of his creations with a sense of humour.

by Cartoonist SiddhantJumde
Yogi Adityanath.
Illustration for India Today magazine.

Siddhant is an illustrator and caricature artist who is inspired by his family and what he grew up watching on the telly. Find out more about his creative process as he answers the burning questions regarding his creative process.

by Cartoonist Siddhant Jumde
Mamata Banerjee.
Illustration for India Today magazine.

CG. When compelled you to pursue being an illustrator and cartoonist as a career?

Siddhant. When I was a kid I used to watch Disney cartoons which had a huge influence on me. Even though I still watch cartoons and animated movies. Eventually, I started drawing on the papers and walls of my house. My mother plays an important role in this. She has a good command of Rangoli, which gave me the knowledge of lines and how it works as a structure for any art. When I got admission to Sir JJ Institute of Applied Arts, where I chose illustration as a subject to specialize in, I used to go to events as a caricature artist. This helped me to build my observation skills. I studied the artwork styles from the Mad Magazine itself. That gave me a perspective to draw things differently.

by Cartoonist Siddhant Jumde
Narendra Modi, beard man.

I follow The great Balasaheb Thackeray’s cartoons, Rajsaheb Thackeray’s cartoons. They inspire me a lot. Their work shows me the weight of lines and the character designs of political personalities. I was seeking an opportunity to show my art skills and wanted to establish myself in the market. So that’s the time I got an opportunity to work with Hindustan times as an illustrator and cartoonist. And now I am working in the India Today group as a Chief illustrator. I think these masters have made me jump into this beautiful profession.

by Cartoonist Siddhant Jumde
Tribute to late Balasaheb Thackeray



CG. What does the creative process behind creating a story based character look like?

Siddhant. Well, I do lots of scribbles for a story(like every artist does). First of all, I get the stories from the editorial team and then the fun part begins. It’s an exercise for me to experiment with the characters or the situations. I do options for a story then I get the inputs, suggestions to make the artwork beautiful and appealing. It’s like teamwork that nurtures me to bring out good results.

by Cartoonist Siddhant Jumde
Illustration for a story

Earlier I used to draw on paper then I scanned it, transferred it to photoshop and then with the help of Pentablet the rendering part started. And now I work on an iPad Pro which saves a lot. There are the rough pencil drawings with the rough executions which goes to the approval. Then I have to decide which art style will look perfect with the particular story. So I keep trying and searching for references which motivates me to develop a style for that story.

by Cartoonist Siddhant Jumde
Mahatma Gandhi, tried to capture the calmness

I do ask my colleagues, my seniors, my mentor Nilanjan Das(Group Creative Editor) whether the character, the idea, the visual look okay or not. It’s an interesting part of my journey where I learn the different aspects, like how others see your art. That improves you better according to me. These things help me to develop the character or visual for any story. So once it gets approved then the most exciting part starts i.e. the inking & rendering.

by Cartoonist Siddhant Jumde
Balasaheb Thackeray

CG. What sparked the creation of textured caricatures?

Siddhant. As I said, I am a fan of Disney Animation. And now there are many animation Studios with their unique style, also I search and follow many artists and their art styles. I somehow try to capture their mind, like how they develop these amazing artworks. I started seeing the softness in every charm just. Earlier I was distorting them differently but somehow I felt that the character must attract the audience or the reader, they just adore them at least in caricatures.

by Cartoonist Siddhant Jumde
Nirmala Sitharaman.
Illustration for India Today magazine.

Whenever I develop a political personality I make sure that they look cute and lovable. I don’t want to make them ugly or make them look bad(people don’t like the ugly versions of themselves). So I understood the requirements and mixed all these things to develop these textured characters. Making style is an Accidental part. I was not sure about the style I am working with but once I started creating it, I experimented with it, looking at these Pixar, Disney, DreamWorks movies helps me to develop it. It’s like going with the flow.

by Cartoonist Siddhant Jumde
Illustration for India Today magazine.

CG. What do you hope to communicate through creating caricatures of political leaders for the India Today Magazine?

Siddhant. I believe India Today has allowed me to explore and expand my work in front of readers. My job is to deliver beautiful work with some addition of cuteness and humour in it without disturbing the image of politicians. Whether the story is positive or negative, the character must look cute. As I said, I create caricatures according to the story. It’s like the transformation of words into visuals.

by Cartoonist Siddhant Jumde
Ashok Gehlot. Illustration for India Today magazine.

CG. How does sketching the faces of characters aid in relieving stress?

Siddhant. For me and every artist, it’s a boon. Sometimes you capture the features, sometimes it is difficult. It acts like a stress buster somehow if you captured it quickly or easily. Or you have to keep struggling with the prominent features. But yes, it is an exercise for your brain. It gives you happiness once you get the character perfect while drawing.

by Cartoonist Siddhant Jumde
Prakash Javadekar. Illustration for India Today magazine.

As an artist we(artists) look at the people differently. We are just studying their faces, expressions etc. I keep on thinking about the faces and bone structure etc. And then drawing them on my iPad. It keeps my brain functioning properly.



CG. How do you conceive the idea for a concept for an illustration?

Siddhant. When I get the story I started searching for the words which helps me to draw the small thumbnails of it. Once I got the required thumbnails, I combined them into a single piece of art. And based on more options. Then it goes for approval. After that If my seniors think that there must be some addition to it then they give me the inputs.

Considering all the info and inputs I get, I started modifying the visual to look appealing to the readers. As I said to get the best result, we must discuss our visions with seniors or colleagues. And keep them asking until they get bored. For any creative mind, this is mandatory according to me.

by Cartoonist Siddhant Jumde
Sharad Pawar. Illustration for India Today magazine.

CG. How does the process for creating illustration art for a digital Magazine differ from the process of developing art for a newspaper?

Siddhant. Yes, there is a difference in the process for both platforms. In magazines, we usually get time to work. But for a newspaper, there is a limitation of time. Because the stories are fresh and it’s going for printing today for tomorrow, hence we get less time to work minutely on artworks.

SiddhantJumde
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Illustration for India Today magazine.

Magazines are published weekly or monthly, so you get a lot of time yet you can experiment with styles also. Earlier for newspaper, I tried a fixed style just to deliver it on time. It’s like a quick job. Now for the magazine, I get enough time to experiment with the styles also.

SiddhantJumde
Mamata Banerjee.

CG. As you play with textures and styles throughout your artistic creations, how do you ensure the texture and style matches the objective of the outlet you are creating for?

Siddhant. Well, that depends upon the brief. I have to decide which style looks good for that particular story. While doing scribbles I can judge how the final artwork will look. Sometimes it gets tough for me to visualize, so I redo it. It must look convincing to me. If I am getting stuck, I search for inspiration.

SiddhantJumde
Yogi Adityanath. Illustration for India Today magazine.

CG. What do you hope to relay to spectators of your art through the cover illustrations for India Today and Reader’s Digest?

Siddhant. Basically to give the information about the story. Visuals can tell so many things without mentioning any word. I like to tell the base of the story or the scenario in a funny way to the readers. Creating cover illustrations gives me the freedom to put the vision in front of them. At the end of the day, a reader should smile, laugh looking at the visual. My motive is to give a good visual treat to the audience/readers.

SiddhantJumde
Arnab Goswami. An"chor"

CG. What is the difference between geometrical caricatures and textured caricatures?

Siddhant. Geometrical caricatures are flat vector drawings. It includes different shapes like triangles, circles, rectangles etc. Textured caricatures are more like 3D drawings or 2D drawings where you can play with the dimensions(light, shadows, mid-tones).

SiddhantJumde
Time lapse life after lockdown.

CG. How do you imagine the different characters that can be a part of a story before you start illustrating them?

Siddhant. Well as an artist I must say that if you want to develop a character you must see yourself like that character and try to act like it. I have to observe my facial expressions. It helps me to visualize the character. I still follow Disney artists theory. I observe lots of people and their behaviour while travelling. I observe faces around me. Also, the practice makes me sure about the character while drawing.

SiddhantJumde
Illustration for India Today magazine.

I make lots of rough sketches, watch Jim Carrey movies, acts, old animated series, cartoons before going for the final approach. It’s a warm-up for me. There are so many tutorials available which helps to motivate me. That’s how I imagine different characters. All credit goes to these masters and their masterpieces.

SiddhantJumde
Illustration for Business Today magazine.

You can chuckle along with the textured caricatures of Siddhant Jumde on Behance, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.

 

And for more exciting behind-the-scenes coverage of other artists & illustrators from around the world be sure to follow Creative Gaga on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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Today, caricatures are not only synonymous with political and social commentary in newspapers countrywide but also an inseparable part of various digital expressions. Their conscious and sub-conscious existence in our psyche and social interactions cannot be ignored. All thanks to a wide range of talented caricature artists India continues to hone. We highlight 11 of them.

“Caricature – a picture, description or imitation of a person in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect.”

Colloquially also labeled as cartoons, the word “Caricature” comes from the Italian words “Carico” and “Caricare”, translating ‘to load’ or to ‘exaggerate’. Having gained momentum since Italian siblings Annibale and Agostino Carracci applied this semantic to their proportionally blown-up portrait sketches in the 1590s, caricature today as an art form enjoys exclusive social appreciation worldwide.

While India has a vast history in the evolution of its art, transition in the consciousness of modern-day caricature here came to be at different times and places through the course and context of Indian politics, particularly as India’s independence movement gained momentum through print.

The British Punch had begun to print and circulate Indian vernacular editions in colonial India since the 1870s. Soon, an increasing number of Indian artists began to make their presence felt in print and caricatures started to take nationalistic tones as their impact on the movement came to be realised.

Fast forward to contemporary times, illustrators and caricaturists are increasingly flourishing across the landscape of Indian design. Here are 11 of these noteworthy caricature artists:

1. Bharat KV

Bharat KV is the founder of BKV Arts as a caricaturist. His works present a light-hearted, vibrant and easygoing approach to things. He does this using multiple shades of bright colours fused with a particular emphasis on expressions. One can easily grasp the nature of his subjects without having to worry about whether they know the actual personalities in reality or not.


2. Chetan Patil

A BFA from Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art, freelance Illustrator and Visualiser Chetan Patil from Mumbai has worked with Hindustan Times Newspaper and CreativeLand Asia. His caricatures are deeply graphic with the use of sharp colour tones, shapes, fonts and geometry. Unapologetically un-minimalistic, he mixes a range of complex elements within one frame. Almost a ‘not for the faint hearted’ kind of boldness in depiction.


3. Keya Mahata

Keya Mahata is a caricature and a concept artist presently working in a gaming production company. Her work exclusively features many-an influential fantasy and real-life women representing and exuding inspiration. Colours full of life and vigour, though with subtle lighting, represent the essence of her style. The dominance of the characters against their surroundings is a constant across her range of work, largely influenced by gaming.


4. Manoj Sinha

Manoj Sinha is currently associated with multiple Indian newspapers at the Hindustan Times group. His caricature works include not only portraits but also full-length representations of characters. Unhesitating to draw them as he sees them, he is a keen advocate of pencil-work in his displays. Though seeming to stem from a considerable influence of politics, his work also includes global influencers from various other areas such as sport, film and the likes.


5. Mahboob Raja

A self-taught caricaturist, Mahboob Raja’s nature of work features diverse mediums in the form of watercolour and oil works, both digitally and on canvas. Apart from having being an illustrator art teacher, he has been associated with making some popular Indian animated TV commercials. Raja’s caricatures significantly bear the strong application and impact of watercolour effects in his interpretation of personalities, adding a touch of innocence to his subjects as a whole.


6. Prasad Bhat

Prasad Bhat is the sole proprietor of Graphicurry, an independent artist design studio based in Bengaluru. His caricatures prominently exude a strong presence and application of digital elements, leading to a graphic comic-like presence. Prasad’s work predominantly features characters from a seemingly strong influence of many-an-international TV series, films and celebrities – Pulp Fiction, Friends, Brad Pitt and the likes. The use of deep, high contrasting colours uniformly exists across his depictions.


7. Ramanjit Kaur Gabri

Designers - Ramanjit Kaur Gabri

After long being a visualiser in an advertising agency, Mumbai-based, Ramanjit Kaur Gabri turned into a freelance illustrator and caricature artist. Her choice of subjects prominently features many-a-powerful women in clear reflections of their real-life personas – Saina Nehwal, Sudha Murthy, Mary Kom, Arundhati Roy and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw to name a few. Equally effective in pencil and colour, Ramanjit’s portraits are dynamic depictions against contrastingly no-nonsense plain backgrounds.


8. Shijo Varghese

A Fine Arts graduate from KSS School of Arts, Kottayam, Shijo Varghese started his career as an art teacher in his native village. The illustrator now based in Bengaluru is not shy to take outright liberty with asymmetrical geometric interpretations of his characters. His caricatures unapologetically present personalities beyond their socially perceived aura of “perfection”. Having authored three books, he now heads the design department at Planetsurf Creations.


9. Shesh Kiran

A Bengaluru-based caricature artist and Flash animator, Shesh Kiran, bears a decade of experience working with various multimedia outfits. Fun and quirky with vibrant colours, his characters come alive not just through their wide eyes and keen expressions but also through a keen amplification of their persona by effectively incorporating related accessories and surroundings elements as part of them. Simplicity that would especially appeal to the childlike; the not-so-serious kind.


10. Uday Mohite

Mumbai-based freelance Digital illustrator and caricature artist Uday Mohite’s strong depiction of hyper-realism evokes a mixed feeling of looking at a painting, sketch and photograph at the same time within a single frame. Caricatures of his subjects are not typically limited to the political arena but make for a good mix of characters from all around, especially film, television and social situations. The Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art grad has also been a part of several leading newspapers like DNA and Mid-Day.


11. Varun Rao

Varun Rao, identifying himself under the title of Vartoons, features portraits of various forms – humans, animals, pop art and so on. Mostly influenced from real life, he exaggerates facial features while attempting to bring the desired effect upon the viewer. With a conscious effort to maintain the primary essence of the character, he highlights significant traits, be it the comical or elegant sides. Acrylic paints, oil paints, colour pencils and digital mediums are his usual ‘weapons’ of choice’.

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When we look at great art we are amazed by its perfection. But what is carefully hidden from us is the toiling and hard work that goes behind the perfect piece of art. Chetan Patil unravels his thought behind the expressive caricature and his art in this insightful piece.

The Perfect Caricature
Hawaldar by Chetan Patil

The Perfect Caricature
HAMAL

Very few find their calling at a young age. The professional illustrator, Chetan Patil, is one such individual. Chetan has been enthusiastic about art since childhood, and a further push by his school teacher, sent him rolling in the direction of the world of art. He went on to take professional training in the commercial field of art, and there was no looking back.

The Perfect Caricature
Kasai

The Perfect Caricature
Kamwali by Chetan Patil



Human Shapes Patterns

Chetan makes great use of expressions in his work. He believes attaching emotions to an idea makes it far more impactful and believable. In most of his illustrations and his caricature art, he tries to create a connection by expressing his own emotions in the idea through appropriate visuals.

Human Shapes Patterns

Monday Love

Expressions, emotions and experiences are aspects that Chetan takes very seriously while creating his art. He pays a lot of attention to detail in his work and tries to make it as expressive as possible. Chetan believes that the quality of art and amount of work put into a project makes it a treat for the viewers.

Human Shapes Patterns

The Perfect Caricature
Chef by Chetan Patil



An underlying element in most of Chetan’s work is the exaggeration. For Chetan exaggeration takes art to the next level and gives it a larger than life feel. It intensifies the expressions of the subject and is great opportunity to demonstrate an entirely different perspective. A great story or a certain character can be represented only through exaggeration, believes Chetan.

The Perfect Caricature
COOLI by Chetan Patil

The Perfect Caricature
Garegewala

The Caricature Illustration Campaign

Chetan has created a spectrum of amazing work, but his caricature illustration campaign project is his favourite, which he did in college. The series illustrated common people from different walks of life, and he completed this series of 17 caricatures within a 10-day deadline. This particular project is special because it involved observations of different people – their daily life, habits, behaviours and professions.

The Perfect Caricature
Camera Boy

Chetan sees art and design emerging in India. Digital art is gaining traction and is rapidly developing. But still there is a long way to go before people truly understand the creative field, feels Chetan. There are plenty of opportunities to explore the creative industry in India, however, the focus should be design education awareness. The design field is constantly changing and evolving. Amazing art collaborations, conferences, creative events and discussions will certainly push the boundaries of the design world.



In terms of technique and medium, Chetan loves both the traditional hand-drawn and the digital one to create illustrations. Hand drawn techniques to provide a wide canvas to explore. However, for professional speed and quality, Chetan prefers the digital medium.

Inspiration is the backbone of creative work. Chetan draws his inspiration from nature, people, cultures, and everyday events. He also takes inspirations from all that is related to living and non-living. Some of the master artists that have been an influence on Chetan’s work are Steve Simpsons, Pascal, Jason Sellar and many others.

Malika Sarabhai

Drunk Man

Finally, the advice that Chetan would like to give the budding artists is that art is a never-ending learning process. Whether it is college, a job, a freelance project; at every stage learning occurs. Hard work and being abreast with new techniques and technology is part and parcel of the creative journey. It’s also important to have a social media presence for your work. Looking at the bigger picture, taking risks and embracing setbacks will only build you as a professional.



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Published in Issue 48

A Freelancer’s Life in India! Every day, with a dream of ‘Being Your Boss,’ many creative professionals jump into the pool of freelancing. But many are not well prepared for the life of the freelancer, which brings many challenges along with benefits. So to explore further, we interviewed many freelance illustrators and designers to get answers to the question you should ask before taking the final call of becoming your boss! So, if you are planning to or have already become a freelancer then this issue is a must-read for you.

 


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Painting characters as they are art. Discovering features that define the subject and exaggerating them is communication. Illustrator Uday Mohite explains how manipulating proportions helped him to create a caricature portrait of actor Naseeruddin Shah.

Caricature by Uday Mohite
Caricature by Uday Mohite

Step 1.

Opened a light blue coloured A4 size document in Photoshop. Picked pressure brush size 9 or 13 and painted the canvas light blue to give it a gradient feel. This would help in sketching in the middle.

Caricature by Uday Mohite

Step 2.

Picked light grey on the colour pallet. Created a sketch of Naseeruddin Shah with the same brush. Kept about 30% details on the sketch. This would help in selecting the dark and light parts of the sketch.



Naseeruddin Shah

Step 3.

Gave the skin a basic tone. Mixed orange, yellow, brown and white to render a light tone. Followed by a dark tone by mixing brown and blue.

Naseeruddin Shah

Step 4.

Post the texture, worked on the details of the face.

“Mixed orange, yellow, brown and white to render a light tone. Followed by a dark tone by mixing brown and blue. Post the texture, worked on the details of the face”

Naseeruddin Shah

Step 5.

While detailing further kept a separate colour palette on the side. This would help in matching colours and guiding colour selections.

Naseeruddin Shah

Step 6.

Took note of skin texture and colour tone of hair from a reference image of Naseeruddin Shah, while working on the details. Chose ultramarine blue, greens, oranges, greys and cobalt blue as they would go with the texture on the face.

Caricature by Uday Mohite

Step 7.

Worked more on the details at the final stage. Painted the moustache, beard, skin texture and fold in tee. Picked brush number 31 and lightened the background to highlight the final caricature. The final caricature is done.

Published in Issue 14

We dedicated this issue to Digital Art where we explored the connection between our dreams and imagination and how the flexibility of technology can be used to document that. In his exclusive article, Android Jones explains the broader perspective of digital art. Featuring Ankur Singh Patar, Archan Nair, Harshvardhan Kadam and Aamina Shazi Arora, every article discusses how each of them has an individual way of working and yet they all look at life beyond the obvious to appreciate it’s beauty.


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A visual artist in the form of a cartoonist and animator, Manoj Sinha shares his process and details of one of his digital portrait, one bit at a time, in order to achieve the right balance across aspects such as the tone of colours, the shades of lighting.

Portrait Tutorial Details

Depth in Details.

Manoj Sinha likes to play with simple elements in a rather detailed and no-nonsense way to create a portrait that is very much life-like if not larger than life. He starts out with the basics and rough works, turning basic aspects of the persona more and more real with each step as he progress towards the final outcome. The result is a sharp artwork with lively qualities.

Portrait Tutorial Details

Step 1

Started with a simple, rough sketch. Since this involved a pretty basic shading-like technique in order to give the portrait an outline and overall context. This is good enough to start with and build upon.

Portrait Tutorial Details

Step 2

This step involved applying the base colours on the face alongside some light shading. The rest of the elements i.e. the hair, the dress and the earrings were kept the same as in the rough sketch that was the starting point.



Portrait Tutorial Details

Step 3

Further details were added to the lips and teeth. The smile brings out the core of the personality’s expression and so it was highlighted.

Portrait Tutorial Details

Step 4

Just one ear of the subject has been made visible in the portrait and so it was important to provide it the right amount of attention. So, more detailing was done on the ear.

Portrait Tutorial Details

Step 5

Dark textures and sharp lines were added around the eyes to give the persona a practical look. Similarly, the eyeballs were also given details highlighting the reflection of light in the eyes.

Step 6

Shadow of the hair falling over the right eye was done. Which enhanced the lighting effect that was given to the image in the previous steps, thus bringing about an actual feel of the subject by making the portrait more realistic.



Step 7

Details were added to the earrings, hair and face in the form of greater definition, colour and texturing.

Portrait Tutorial Details

Step 8

The final details to hair and skin colour were then added with fine lines and rough stroke smoothing. Reached the final desired result, bringing out the real personality of the subject.