CHENNAI:The magic starts when the random strokes by a pencil gracefully move to sketch the expressive eyes. The pencil then draws the fine lines of the nose, cheek, chin and hair to ultimately complete a well-proportioned portrait of your loved one. No, this story isn’t about a possessed magical pencil but a 24-year-old techie, whose love for pencils has made him a proud owner of around 150-200 portraits.
Being a Tamil movie buzz, Sai Siddharth, aspires to become an art director for Tamil movies. Sketching portraits, setting up a studio and publishing his works on social media platforms are his efforts to get closer to his dream. “I never feel satisfied with my work. I am still learning and there are a lot more techniques that I need to master,” says Siddharth, who has never been taught or trained to draw. YouTube tutorials and advice from a close friend were his only guiding tools. While Siddharth loves to try new forms of drawings like pen, charcoal, acrylic, doodling and paper cuttings on canvas, his genre is portraits.
From his studio at Madipakkam, Siddharth takes orders from customers and couriers the final framed portraits. A sketch that is closest to his heart? “I once sat for 27 hours straight and drew five sketches of Kamal Hassan on a single canvas.”
Determination and patience are his two favourite fonts to pursue his passion. According to him, an art piece can never look extraordinarily beautiful. It’s purpose is served if it gives you joy and contentment.
Like most other Indian parents, Siddharth’s parents were initially a cynical about seeing their son indulge in art extensively. But his friends always goaded him on. “Even if I draw a small line, they say it’s awesome, which has been the biggest encouragement,” says Siddharth, whose love for hand-drawn sketches is eternal. “Hand-drawn sketches can never lose their admirers because it takes more effort and there is nothing that a pencil-finger combination cannot do,” he shares.
The time taken for each portrait depends on the detailing ordered by the customers. He reminisces the moment when his dad had once accidently spilt coffee over a Nelson Mandela portrait, which in turn led to a coffee experimented painting. Siddharth credits his talent and art to his collection of 300 pencils, which he collected during the course of his life as an artist.
His happiest moment? When he presented a portrait of Vijay Sethupathi to the actor himself. The actor was overwhelmed with the warm gesture. He hugged and appreciated Siddharth for his talent.
Siddharth often publishes his portraits on his Facebook page, ‘Sid book of art’. His most recent portrait was a tribute to the late actor Sridevi.