At sixteen

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Into colours: Devanshi Dalmia
Into colours: Devanshi Dalmia


The human face is the source of her inspiration says, this young artist.

She seems like a regular 16-year-old, garrulous, fun loving and concerned about her impending exams. But make no mistake, this Std. XII student of Vasant Valley School, Devanshi Dalmia is an artist to watch out for. This young prodigy showcased her first collection of paintings titled “16” at Lodi Garden and restaurant and at the Experimental Art Gallery recently. The human face inspires her paintings, with the eyes prominently expressing myriad emotions like strength, dignity and satisfaction. The fine detailing of the eyes conveys depth as they appear almost conversational to the viewer. The meticulous line work and interesting colour schemes reflect her impressive imagination and maturity as an artist. Dalmia says she has chosen the motif of faces as “every face is unique and because it mirrors the mind.”

She started painting at four years, with simpler mediums before gradually venturing into acrylic and oil paints. Since then the canvas has been her forte. She practised painting different facial features separately before settling onto the actual works. She says, “I always used to think that painting on a canvas is so far-fetched, that it’s only for much older and experienced artists. Usually a thought comes to my mind as I look at an empty canvas and as the strokes keep coming, the ideas and the painting keep developing. Ironically, I’m able to interpret my paintings after I finish working on them!”

There is a story behind every painting, created over a period of two years. The painting “Optimism” is inspired by Robert Frost’s “The Road not Taken”, depicting the dilemma of life’s decisions. “Conviction” is a psychedelic creation, whereas “Communication” is inspired by Picasso’s style. She has employed a lot of texturing in Enjoy and Contrast.

Almost abstract

The works “Complete” and “Unpredictable” were meant to be displayed in her room but instead found their way into the exhibition. With a quirky combination of green and pink, they border on the abstract. Through the former painting, Dalmia wanted to create a pixel effect. About the latter she says, “The human spirit is wild, eccentric and untamed. This painting recognises the human spirit via the face. Nothing is normal, but in the end, it is a wholesome face.” She says about the painting “Calm”, “Physics and philosophy are exactly the same thing. In physics, I learnt that matter takes the lowest energy level. In philosophy, I have learnt that this is the right way to exist for humans as well. As the swami said ‘hasten slowly’.”

Dalmia has won many art competitions and has received accolades from eminent painters like Anjoli Ela Menon. Two of her face paintings have been displayed in the London office of Goldman Sachs.

Besides painting, she enjoys videography, writing poetry and playing tennis. An academically bright student, she aspires to pursue marketing or management.



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