This event was organised on Rathina Sankar's initiative. Sankar, Murali, Rajamaran, Manavalan, Nithya and I were the regulars present at the venue by around 9:30 / 10:00 am. Bharath and Elango were the two newcomers. In fact Bharath had attended one CWA event earlier - the Thapattam Dance at Lalit Kala Akademi but he had come there as artist AV Ilango's student.

This war cemetery and memorial was set up in 1952, when Chennai was known as Madras, because it had become difficult to maintain the graves of British soldiers at many outflung cantonments. But, this cemetery does not hold any buried bodies. It has plaques bearing the names of Brittish, Australian, and New Zealand soldiers who died in World Wars I and II.

The cemetery is laid out very tastefully and is maintained jointly by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Govt. of India. There were many shaded spots from which we could sketch subjects of our choice and given the summer heat we all headed for such locations. The one exception was Nithya who was moved by the sight of so many grave markers of young lives nipped in the bud. She braved the sun to sketch several of the carvings on these plaques.

Nithya and I had to leave early. We therefore advanced our usual assembly to share what we had sketched and for a group photograph to mark the event. I am posting the photographs that I took of the place and some of the members. Please feel free to use any of the photographs that I have posted as reference to participate virtually in this event. And, I request the other members who attended this event to post their photographs and artwork too in this thread.



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I had made up my mind to do a few thumbnail sketches at this event and then follow up later with watercolour artwork based on these thumbnails. I had also planned to complete these sketches fairly soon and then do one leisurely pen and ink sketch. The first part of the plan went well but after my fourth thumbnail I had a problem with my fountain pen. It sprang a leak and I had to wrap it up heavily in a newspaper and hope that I could get it repaired.

I did two more thumbnails with a caligraphy sketch pen but at that point Nithya, who had spent a lot of time in the sun unlike the rest of us, requested that we break off early. 

Here are my thumbnails. I will post my watercolour work also in this thread as and when I complete them. Please feel free to comment and critique.

Here is the first of my watercolour sketches based on my own pen and ink thumbnails sketched on location at the Madras War Cemetery. C&C welcome.

A very nice account of our event Balaji.

It was so good to be back..seeing all our friends after some gap.

So as usual I ran around in the heat and then slowly like a deflated baloon subsided , appreciating the patience of the other artists,who stuck to their spots and painted!

My quick sketch of the scene- I added colours at home. Did some logo sketching with pen direct- standing in front of the tombstones- which had beautifully detailed logos. I am a sucker for logos.These represented specific platoons or units from army , navy and airforce,

. There were soldiers who had fought and died  from units in Africa, New Zealand,England, Scotland,Wales,India and Canada. So mostly commonwealth countries- men and women.... all young! Their real bodies unsung and lost..but lovingly represented here by dear ones and comrades? Wish there are no more wars .

 Two sets of gravestone logos-

Just got the logo, name of the regiment, date of death.Left out the individual name and age- 

too personal no?

This is the second of my watercolour sketches based on my own pen and ink thumbnails sketched on location at the Madras War Cemetery. C&C welcome.

This is my third watercolour based on a thumbnail pen and ink sketch that I made at the Madras War Cemetery and posted earlier in this thread. C&c welcome.




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