Finding faces in music

Sketches of popular Indian classical musicians like Pandit Ravi Shankar and K J Yesudas are on display at Music Sketches,

Published: 21st December 2013 11:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st December 2013 11:54 AM   |  A+A-

Sketches of popular Indian classical musicians like Pandit Ravi Shankar and K J Yesudas are on display at Music Sketches, an exhibition at the Indian Cartoon Gallery. The collection shows some of the drawings made by Keshav, a cartoonist based in Chennai, of the musicians at their concert. Today is the last chance for collectors to buy any of the 64 sketches.

“I approached Keshav and asked him to display some of his sketches since there are lovers of music and lovers of caricatures here in Bangalore. The response has been excellent so far,” said Narendra V G, managing trustee of the Indian Institute of Cartoonists which is hosting the exhibition. Apart from the lead singers, sketches of a few popular mridangists and violinists have been presented by Keshav.

The sketches are all on the spot drawings of the singers whilst performing. Since live drawings are considered to be a good exercise for a cartoonist, Keshav began attending Madras music festivals to capture the intricate expressions of the singers on stage. “In a caricature, you have to distort faces. The problem is that when they sing, they go through so many moods and emotions that getting the right expression for the drawing becomes a challenge,” said Keshav who began this unusual tryst with music in 1983. Caricatures ideally involve an exaggeration of facial structure and features, and since Keshav chose to retain their original features as it is, he prefers to call them line drawings over caricatures.

“If it is a continuous drawing, it will get over in three to four minutes. I wait until they come back to the same posture, so it is a tedious process,” said Keshav of his sketches. While he doesn’t present the sketch to his subjects after their concert, due to the crowd surrounding them, he added that other musicians who are familiar with his work sit next to him as he sketches their fellow artistes.


Stay up to date on all the latest Bengaluru news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp