Sharjah: Vijesh V.V is an Indian watchman in the UAE with ‘two brushes’ — one that he uses for cleaning the building where he works and the other one for creating amazing art works.
When he first landed in the UAE to work as a technician four years ago, the Keralite thought he would no longer be able to draw and paint like he used to in the past.
“I thought it would be the end of my hobbies,” recollected Vijesh in an interview with Gulf News.
“I thought I would have a hectic work schedule and I wouldn’t get free time or convenience to draw, paint or read.”
But his job turned out to be that of a watchman in a residential building in Sharjah.
“It is just the opposite of what I thought would happen,” he said.
“I get a lot of free time after the morning routine of cleaning the common areas of the building. Occasionally, I have to carry out urgent maintenance works. But I have to be always alert and be available in the building all the time to take care of any emergencies.”
Thus, Vijesh started brushing up his artistic talents during the time he has to while away at his room. And he now dabbles in painting, sketching and, of late, stippling during the static time his job offers.
Stippling the Rulers
Having tried his hand at different techniques of drawing and painting, his latest craze is stippling — an art technique using small dots made with pen and ink.
His latest work is a stipple portrait of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, using around 9,000 dots.
He says it took only about six hours for him to complete the portrait. “I feel it is more effective than pencil sketch. I feel more satisfied with this technique which is new to me.”
Vijesh’s first attempt in stippling was by creating an intrinsic image of a centuries-old temple in India known for its elaborate stone carvings and sculptures.
To complete the stipple image of the 12th century Chennakeshava temple in Karnataka on an A2 size Canson paper, he said he took around 15 hours over 10 days.
All that he did during that time was making around 1,45,000 dots to create the magnificent architectural design of the temple.
Once he was impressed with his first attempt in stippling, he said he wanted to do more works using that skill.
As an Indian expat thankful to the UAE for all the blessings that he is counting, Vijesh last week embarked on the next project—stipple portraits of all the leaders of the country.
It is as part of this project that he first finished the portrait of Shaikh Mohammad. And since this interview, he has now completed the series.
Apart from his abstract paintings, the wall paintings and mural works done in some UAE offices and the portraits of people he has met showcase the versatility of this born artist.
He never got any formal training in painting and doesn’t know Photoshop or digital art. But he said he has sharpened his skills by watching YouTube videos.
He has also chosen some inspiring images that captured his eyes from the Internet and painted them in A2 or A3 size papers.
Like many others, he uses graph measurements to perfect the image sizes. In addition, Vijesh has also developed his own tool — a wooden proportion divider – to make it handy for certain works.
Many of his works adorn the walls of his room that soothes one’s mind with warm lights and calming music.
Vijesh also possesses a huge collection of colour pencils, graphite pencils, charcoal pencils, oil colours, acrylic paints—everything that literally adds colour to his life and his paintings.
“I never imagined I would be known as an artist one day. I don’t have big ambitions. I have got such an exposure after coming here and I will always be indebted to the UAE,” said the 34-year-old whose limited wishes include holding an exhibition of his works and bringing his family here on a visit.