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Rupy's Studio Diary - Mirror Mirror

Very often I share "in progress" pics but sometimes I like to give my audience a look into my little creative world. I named this series of intimate details 'Rupy's Studio Diary'.

Here, I share all the little steps it takes to begin with an idea and end at a finished labor of love. I hope you enjoy it! Leave plenty of comments and share this with anyone who might enjoy this peek into my studio.


It feels as though Gurbani speaks to you at the right time and place in your life. In a time of self doubt and reflection, I found myself looking in the mirror.

Here's what I found:


ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਆਰਸੀ ਕੋਈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵੇਖੈ ॥

इहु मनु आरसी कोई गुरमुखि वेखै ॥

Ih man ārsī ko▫ī gurmukẖ vekẖai.

"This mind is a mirror; how rare are those who,

as Gurmukh, see themselves in it."



The composition of this piece definitely took plenty of time. I had to get it just right. (OCD much?!)

I was always inspired by the beauty and balance in arabic calligraphy and couldn't wait to apply some of the principles to Gurmukhi. After plenty of starts, erasing, and restarts, I ended up with this. It was created on tracing paper like most of my pieces are (I dunno why, its a weird habit!).

The artwork sketched out on tracing paper with pencil

Transfer to canvas

A large canvas is what I had in mind so I scanned my composition and using a projector, I transferred it onto a 3 foot by 3 foot canvas.


Paint background

Time to mix paint! I used acrylic paint because a fast drying time was a blessing in this case. The beautiful red rust and orange felt nostalgic and spoke to me with it's earthy tones and warmth.

The different shades of orange and red felt like an explosion of summer. While I always tell people not to worry about painting outside the box, I definitely had to keep my paint where it belonged with this one. I couldn't wait for the next step!


Paint Letters

Giving life to the letters! This took lots of time and lots of tea. Even though I was seeing doubles at the end of it, the black provided such a beautiful contrast against the warm red and orange tones.

Oh, did i mention lots of neck pain and hands forever frozen in Frankenstein mode?!

I swear I didn't eat any paint while munching on cookies but looking at my face here I am not so sure!


Finishing the details

The final phase required lots of patience and very stable hands. It was probably the fifth all-nighter I was pulling on this painting. The white outline was going to illuminate every letter and make it magical.

Speaking of magic, I would love to tell you that there is a magical tool that lets you outline without messing up. BUT, sadly there isn't! The only magical way is practice.

It took years of practice but finally I can use a brush (and a pen) to outline neatly. Did I mess up??! I dunno! You be the judge.

Here is the final labor of love, thought, and passion. It looks beautiful on the wall right?

I also recreated this composition using gold on black. It was a little bit faster the second time around.

I hope you've enjoyed this quick diary entry. Stay tuned for more and I hope you have plenty of questions and start typing!(unless you have Frankenstein hands)

Think this piece would look good in your house? Click here to see how you can get it.

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