Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Feature: Prabal Mallick

Hi Everyone,

I met Prabal Mallick through blogging.  He is a self-taught watercolor artist living in  Bangalore, Karnataka, India.  His works are beautiful and always take me away to his exotic locale.  He paints fantastic landscapes in his own unique style with amazing atmospheric perspective .  I always look forward to checking out what he's up to next.

Check out his blog here 
Untitled by Prabal Mallick watercolor 22 x 30
How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far?

Carrie, first of all it is a great pleasure being interviewed by you. Thank you.
I was drawing as early as I can remember. My father is a musician and he encouraged me a lot in my childhood. Then in high school my teachers and friends thought I was good at painting and I got a lot of encouragement there too. I had two wonderful art teachers who guided me there. But art was never a serious thing for me that time. Then I went on to do my engineering and painting took a back seat.  After engineering I got back to painting, but somehow the relationship was not working anymore. By the way I had been doing oils all this time. Then about four years back by some random coincidence I came across watercolor works of some wonderful artists and the rest as they say is history.

Where were you born?

I was born in Bhubaneswar, capital of Odisha in eastern part of India.

If you could live anywhere where would you live?

Somebody said, “its not the place, but the company that matters.” But yes I wont mind a secluded village somewhere in Goa. J
"Chilika Stills" by Prabal Mallick watercolor 15 x 22
What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?

No points for guessing this. Landscapes it is. Especially the country side. Nature’s beauty has never fails to inspire.

Could you talk about your painting techniques? 

I try to break up a painting into major washes. This part is very important for me because I do not glaze over a lot. Then come the smaller washes. And finally it is about making statement with minimal brush strokes. And yes I also rely on watercolor to paint itself like most watercolor painters.

I love all of your landscapes.  Do you paint from sketches, life, or photos or some combo?  Could you expand on this?

Thank you Carrie. It is great to know that. I love painting outdoors the most. But it is not always possible. So in that case I work from sketches done on location. In case of photographs too I make sketches first and then I work from the sketch.
"Chilica Stills III" by Prabal Mallick watercolor 15 x22
How did you arrive at your current style?

I think 90% of the style comes from the personality of the artist. It is always there. The rest 10% which is about the skill set and outlook keeps changing with time. But this 10% is actually very important and one needs to keep working on it for the 90% to present itself clearly. I think I have just started working on that 10% and it will take some good time for my style to get defined on paper.

Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Oh there are many. Van Gogh is my all time favorite artist. Among contemporary watercolor artists Milind Mulick, Charles Reid, Joseph Zbukvic, Alvaro Castagnet are my favorite to name a few. Milind sir’s paintings were the reason I got inspired to do watercolors.
"Plein Air Museum" by Prabal Mallick watercolor 15 x 11
What are some of your favorite things or things that are essential to your well being/success as an artist?

To have faith….. When you decide to embark on an artistic journey, you are telling yourself that this will be a never ending and lonely journey which will keep testing you all the time. And the only thing that will carry you ahead on your path is faith.
"Plein Air Tipu's Summer Palace" by Prabal Mallick watercolor 15 x 22
Do you have go-to paints/colors and brands, what are your favorites?

In brands there are no favorites as such. I use an Indian brand called Camel. I am quite used to it by now. In colors I use 3-4 varieties of primaries. And in secondaries I have an orange, a magenta and two greens.

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)

In no particular order
  1. Get much more painting time
  2. Study under my favorite artists
  3. Go on a painting world tour
  4. Grow as a person
  5. Improve my skills at least a 100 times over
"Plein Air Lalbaugh Flower Show" by Prabal Mallick 15 x11
What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?

An artist’s journey has no destination. It is the journey that has to be enjoyed. There is no alternative to practice, which will improve the quality of this journey. Keep reflecting to check whether the direction is your own. And most importantly have faith.
"Plein Air Ulsoor Lake" by Prabal Mallick watercolor 15 x 11
What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?

This probably is the simplest, but most profound words of advice I received.

“In art no one else can solve one’s problems. One has to find the solutions oneself. One has to find one’s own path. That is when a painter can become an artist. So just keep at it.”

"Princess Khairi" by Prabal Mallick watercolor 15 x 22
Chocolate or vanilla?


Sunny beach or rustic mountain retreat?

Hmmmmmmmm.. I think mountain retreat wins with a very small margin out here..

Book or movie?


Favorite author?

Devdutt Pattnaik

Favorite movie?

‘Leaving Home, life and times of Indian Ocean’, ‘Lord of the rings series’, ‘The Matrix’, ‘Andaaz Apna Apna’
Romance or comedy?


Favorite ice cream flavor?

Mango, Black currant

Night owl or morning person?

Strictly none. But I love to get up and see sunrise, though I don’t do it.

Cake or Cupcakes?

I love cakes. So both.

Prabal thank you so much for your interview.  I love his answer to the best advice for an artist.  Very insightful:)

I may or may not have a post up on Monday.  I'm going to a Carol Cater workshop.  But I sure will fill you in as soon as I can:)


  1. Such lovely work, and such a nice choice of words ... almost enough to tempt me into painting. Alas, so many things I would like to do ...but never enough time.

    Thank you, Carrie; thank you Prabal.

  2. I've also been following Prabal for a long time. Isn't he just such a master at painting water - oh and light too! The sunshine pours from his paintings! He's a fantastic artist :0)

  3. Carrie, this is a wonderful inspiring! I have always loved Prabal's work and love his watercolor paintings!! Thank you for sharing his incredible work with everyone!!!

  4. Carrie, thank you for this great post. I have never heard of Prabal before but find the work and the words very inspiring.

  5. Carrie, wonderful way to promote good artists. I've been seeing Prabal's work for sometime now, and he seems adept at climbing steep mountains!


  6. gracias Carrie por darnos la oportunidad de conocer a tantos y tan grandes artistas.
    un saludo desde España.