Thrissur, Kerala based watercolour painting artist, Kannan Chithralaya is an experienced portrait artist. He has been using water colours from the age of fourteen. He has a special love for colours and he has done over hundred paintings. He began as a small passion and it is now his full time profession.
He has created a niche in the art world for himself and his work features in the ongoing exhibition with different artists at Oberon Mall ‘Chitrachanda”. There are several mediums such as acrylic and oil, while the watercoloring works of Kannan are outstanding. Curated by Asif Ali Komu, the ongoing exhibition has five watercolor paintings displayed of Kannan Chithralaya.
Kannan is a self-taught artist and is practising art for over 15 years now. He participated in school-level and district-level painting competitions. After Class X, his financial problems did not allow him to pursue his education. He wished to acquire a degree from Fine Art College to know more about art. However, he could not make it and faced difficulties, but the artist 37-year old did not give up.
He made flex boards and hoardings, and it was the time Asif Ali Komu, the artist saw Kannan’s works. Komu invited him to the exhibition with his paintings and in the exhibition everyone appreciated the works of Kannan that he gave up hoardings and flex board works. He started giving more attention to paintings.
His water colour paintings explore several themes. It includes popular figures such as Mohanlal, Mammootty and Kamal Haasan or a poverty-stricken African child and a bull race scene, there is a lot to explore for the artist.
The colours he uses in his paintings offer a natural look. Besides water colours, he experiments with different mediums, such as oil and acrylic and does pencil sketches. He says oil paintings are in demand but he does more of watercolour paintings.
Kannan has participated in group exhibitions and planned to conduct a solo exhibition of his
watercolour paintings in New Delhi in August, 2018. The artist made sketches of people visiting the exhibition. The exhibition was till January 20, 2018.
Kannan is a gifted artist who paints without any training in art classes. He explored several art dimensions through his works and his colours have a special effect. He says his elder sister is his inspiration. She used to draw a lot in her childhood days and so he started experimenting with pencils and paint. Besides, his sister and mother supported his passion to become an artist. He became serious with painting during his ninth grade school holidays. He undertook board paintings, banner works, and hoarding, but the demand decreased and he began working on portrait paintings.
Actually, this style of watercolour painting for him evolved with experience. It was not intentional. His love for watercolour portrait paintings gave an excellent medium to create his expressions.
He conducted many exhibitions and won several awards. He feels art can transform anything into special as it has a unique relationship with the artist. Art is a form of expression and is also a means of escape. Though he continued with his watercolor painting besides his hardship and promoted his artistic abilities tremendously, the commercial art scene saw a drastic change by moving to print media.
It affected his family and his livelihood, but he focused on perfecting his techniques. His determination and love for the art helped widen his skill set. He does not restrict his talent to watercolors, by takes to acrylic, oil, charcoal, and lots more. He uses round brushes, loves watercolors, acrylic, canvas brushes, high-quality watercolor papers. For abstract pictures
he uses pencil, knife, charcoal, and soft pastel oil colors.
His advices the new learners and aspiring artists to stay firm and to dedicate to the art field seriously. He says develop your own ideas and improve art, instead of imitating the existing. He conducts live workshops on portrait watercolor paintings.