Participants got to learn the basics of ‘impasto’ at a workshop hosted by Daira

“An empty canvas is the scariest thing an artist would hope to see,” said art historian Professor Ahmed Shareeff, as a small gathering waited in anticipation at the Daira art gallery on Sunday. The art historian gave the audience a brief introduction into the origin of the impasto painting technique and it was their chance to fill their plain canvases with bright strokes of colours, guided by artist Konda Srinivasa Rao.

Rao painted a simple landscape on the easel-mounted canvas as the audience grew absolutely silent and observed his every move. These weren’t simple strokes that would teach the audience to fill colours into a form. “Be bold and paint,” said Rao as he demonstrated the impasto technique of applying a series of coats, drawing attention to uneven textures that allow light to bounce off the colours, thus adding depth to the landscape.

Soon after, the participants that included school teachers, school and college students took their positions around low and high tables at the gallery and put their brushes to work.

The workshop complemented Rao’s solo exhibition of paintings titled ‘Auto, chalte kya?’ In these paintings, the artist gives his audience snapshots of commuting through a metropolis packed to the brim. He presents an aerial view of one of the many flyovers in Hyderabad where small and large vehicles whiz past, leaving streaks of lights behind. Through good use of colours over many layers (impasto), Rao conveys the sense of light, shade and depth. The auto series is an ode to the ubiquitous mode of transport that’s part of the social fabric of the city. Besides these, he also presents images of dreamy getaways through landscapes. The exhibition will be on at Daira art gallery, Road no. 5, Banjara Hills, till February 12