Exploring the ballpoint

Shirish Deshpande is my elder brother. His book “Exploring the ballpoint” not only exhibits his artistry but also brings out the engineer within him. I have been witnessing his art since my childhood. The precision with which he works is not only limited to the art but, to every aspect of his life. He is not only a painter, fine artist, or an abstract painter, but a scientist, explorer, and an ever-inquisitive person. I have seen his precision in making a large reflective telescope himself, the woodwork required for making the telescope, to his precision in even making a perfect parcel!!

The delineations, a complete 3-dimensional to-the-scale model of a complete colony, which he undertook for a builder, show, how he can read the engineering drawings, understand the material characteristics, and visualize the intricate architecture of the buildings which is not yet come into existence.

The precision with which he accomplished the pixel-level image editing on the computer, exhibits his micro-level visualization. Be it designing icons to digital fonts. He can visualize the minute modifications which are required for the font to be rendered from 6 points up to 144 points. This is possible because he is also a very fine calligrapher. The calligrapher has the precise study of the pen or the tool which he uses.

I mention all the above, because, after reading “Exploring the ballpoint”, I remembered his precision and studiousness. Some years back, he gave me a book to read titled “Drawing with the right side of the brain”. This shows, how deep he thinks about the involvement of human components in creating the art – right from the brain to the fingertips. When he was young, looking at his precision, our uncle – Shashikaka - had predicted that he would become a neurosurgeon!

The art created using the ball-point pen is possible because he not only understands the color mixing but also understands the engineering behind making a ball-point. The in-flow, the pressure required on the ball-point as well as the viscosity of the different inks used in the ball-point pens. Apart from this engineering, one can see not only the likeness in the portraits but the fine expressions which he brings out. These expressions are so intricate that one can actually experience the thoughts of the subject !!

I would conclude, by saying, we have here not only an artist, but another Leonardo-da-Vinci, the engineer, the visualizer, and the finest artist.

-Ravi Deshpande,
Software Engineer, Mumbai


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