Lavanya Siddeshwar: The Self-Taught Drawing Artist Redefining Realistic Portrait Drawing

By Ankush Bharti

In the world of art, there are those who have dedicated years to formal education and training, and then there are self-taught wonders like Lavanya Siddeshwar. With her innate talent for capturing the essence of individuals through pencil strokes, Lavanya has propelled herself into the spotlight as a renowned self-taught drawing artist. Her artistic journey is a testament to her passion, determination, and ability to transform admiration into reality.

The Emergence of Lavanyasart:

In 2019, Lavanya created Lavanyasart, an online platform dedicated to showcasing her stunning realistic portrait drawings. Through her platform, she not only aimed to exhibit her own art but also to provide custom portrait drawings for clients seeking to immortalize their loved ones in pencil. Her impeccable attention to detail and unwavering commitment to accuracy quickly attracted a loyal clientele who recognized the exceptional quality of her work.

Sharing Knowledge and Inspiring Beginners:

Lavanya's artistic prowess extends beyond her own creations. In 2021, she embarked on a new endeavor, conducting online drawing classes to help beginner artists and art enthusiasts excel in their portrait drawing skills. Drawing from her own experiences and accumulated knowledge, Lavanya designed portrait drawing courses that catered to those aspiring to create realistic pencil portraits.

Within her courses, Lavanya imparts practical tips, techniques, and an easy-to-understand communication style that caters to artists using color pencils, graphite, and charcoal mediums. Her aim is to demystify the intricate process of realistic portrait drawing, empowering her students to develop their own unique artistic styles. By instilling the importance of keen observation skills, Lavanya emphasizes that drawing what can be seen is the foundation of creating compelling artwork.

Artistic Passion Rekindled:

Like many artists, Lavanya's passion for art ignited during her childhood years. Drawing at the age of ten, she had to momentarily put her passion on hold to complete her studies and navigate the demands of a regular 9-6 job. However, her unwavering desire to create art eventually led her back to her true calling. Since 2018, Lavanya has focused on hyper-realistic drawing and, most notably, the captivating art of portrait drawing.

The Beauty of the Process:

For Lavanya, the creative process is as significant as the finished artwork itself. She firmly believes that working on different subjects may initially feel overwhelming, but the journey becomes increasingly fulfilling as each stroke brings the portrait to life. Each drawing serves as a testament to the artist's ability to observe, interpret, and translate their observations onto paper. Lavanya's work epitomizes the importance of finding joy in the process and allowing it to shine through in the final masterpiece.

Lavanya Siddeshwar stands as a shining example of how dedication, persistence, and a deep love for art can transform a self-taught artist into a recognized name in the industry. Through Lavanyasart, she continues to captivate admirers with her stunning realistic portrait drawings, while her online classes enable aspiring artists to unlock their hidden talent. Lavanya Siddeshwar's journey is a testament to the power of self-expression and the boundless possibilities that lie within us when we nurture our creative passions.

Here is an exclusive conversation with her regarding her journey:

Can you tell us about your journey as a self-taught artist and how you got started with drawing?

I was passionate about drawing since my childhood; however, after my studies, I was hustling with my professional life as a hospital pharmacist, so I could not find time for drawing. I used to feel something lacking in my life, and I was not happy with my job. To have some relaxation from all these, I started drawing again in 2018 without any idea of taking it as a profession. Day by day, my interest in drawing has increased, and I have started to learn new techniques to improve my drawing skills and have started posting my work on social media. People liked my work and wanted to get portraits drawn with me, and I started accepting orders at the end of 2019. Since I used to earn very little money by doing commissioned art, I started investing back in buying art supplies. Slowly, my work got more recognition, and I started getting more orders, and people started approaching me for drawing classes. Initially, I was not very confident about taking classes, so I just kept postponing it. Due to the increased number of approaches about the drawing classes, I just gave it a try. In my first workshop, there were only 2 students; eventually, I got more students in each and every workshop, and I started earning significant income from art. I was not able to manage my regular job and my passion for art, so I decided to quit my job in October 2021 to focus completely on my art profession.

What inspired you to create Lavanyasart in 2019, and what is the primary focus of your platform?

My passion for art is to help other aspiring artists learn the fundamentals of pencil drawing so that they can create beautiful, realistic portraits, and I wanted them to experience the benefits of practicing art every day. So for that reason, I started Lavanyasart, and I use Instagram, Youtube, and a few websites that I use for my workshops and courses.

You mentioned offering customized portrait drawings for clients. Could you share some memorable experiences or projects you've worked on?

Usually, customized art works are made as surprise gifts for my clients family or friends. Whenever my clients gift the portrait drawing, I have made to their loved ones, the expression on their faces is priceless. Like that, I have many beautiful memories. To mention one, my client from Chennai got a custom portrait drawing made for his mother as a surprise gift on her birthday. He captured those moments of happiness on her mother's face. This was very special for me. Recently, another client from Bangalore ordered her wife's and kid’s portrait drawing to be presented on her birthday. I saw how happy she was to receive such a memorable gift from her husband on her special day.

It's impressive that you started conducting online drawing classes in 2021. What motivated you to share your knowledge and experiences with aspiring artists?

As a self-taught artist, I have faced many struggles when I started to learn drawing. I could not find the right information and techniques in one place, and I had to do so much research and trial and error to figure out the techniques that work in realistic drawing. So I wanted to make this process easy for aspiring artists by sharing what I have learned through my many years of experience. This motivated me to share my knowledge and experience with aspiring artists.

Can you tell us more about the portrait drawing courses you've designed and how they can benefit those interested in drawing realistic pencil portraits?

I have designed three different portrait drawing courses.

  1. 3 months Realistic portrait drawing course: In this course, I teach how to draw realistic portraits using graphite and charcoal as mediums.

  2. 3 months Premium color pencil drawing course: in this course, I teach how to draw realistic portraits using color pencils and explain the fundamentals and basics of color pencil drawing.

  3. 2 months Pencil drawing workshop for kids: In this course, I teach kids the fundamentals of drawing, perspective drawing, landscape, and still life drawings.

How would you describe your artistic style and the mediums you prefer to work with? What do you enjoy about using graphite, charcoal, and coloured pencils in your art?

My artistic style focuses on realistic portrayals. I prefer working with graphite for details, charcoal for bold contrasts, and coloured pencils for vibrant nuances. I enjoy the tactile nature of these mediums, as they allow me to create a diverse range of textures and emotions, making each stroke a deliberate expression in my portraits.

You've participated in international and national art contests. Could you share some insights into your experiences and the recognition you've received?

My participation in international and national art contests has been a rewarding journey. It's not just about showcasing my work but also connecting with a broader artistic community. I made a few friends who are very passionate about art. The recognition I've received has also been a validation of my artistic vision, pushing me to continually refine my skills. Winning or even being acknowledged in these contests has opened up new opportunities and expanded my reach within the art world, and I'm grateful for the doors it has opened in my artistic career.

Your work was published in India's first art anthology and on 'The Heroine's Journey' website. How did these opportunities come about, and what did it mean to you as an artist?

Having my work published in India's first art anthology and featured on 'The Heroine's Journey' website were incredible opportunities that came about through a combination of networking and the online presence I've built. It meant a lot to me as an artist because it validated the impact of my work on a larger scale. Being included in the art anthology and recognized by 'The Heroine's Journey' not only provided exposure but also reinforced the idea that my artistic narrative resonates with a broader audience. It's a reminder of the diverse paths art can take and the significance of sharing one's creative journey with others.

You've also been featured on the 9MOOD website. Could you share the significance of this feature and how it impacted your career?

Being featured on the 9MOOD website was a significant moment in my career. It brought my work to a wider audience, fostering greater visibility and recognition. The feature not only boosted my credibility as an artist but also opened doors to new opportunities and collaborations. It's a testament to the power of online platforms in connecting artists with diverse audiences and has played a pivotal role in expanding my reach within the art community.

You've recently participated in the International Art Summit at IIT Kanpur and the 20th Chitrasanthe in Bangalore. What were your experiences at these exhibitions, and what did they mean for your artistic journey?

Participating in the International Art Summit at IIT Kanpur and the 20th Chitrasanthe in Bangalore were enriching experiences. These exhibitions provided a platform to showcase my work alongside talented artists, fostering creative exchange and networking. The exposure at these events significantly contributed to the growth of my artistic journey, allowing me to connect with a diverse audience and receive valuable feedback. It reinforced the idea that art is a universal language and provided inspiration for future projects, marking important milestones in my ongoing artistic exploration.

Can you provide some insights into your artistic process? What's the most challenging part of creating realistic portrait drawings, and how do you overcome those challenges?

My artistic process begins with a deep study of my subject, focusing on capturing their unique expressions and emotions. The most challenging part of creating realistic portrait drawings lies in achieving a perfect balance of light, shadow, and intricate details. To overcome these challenges, I often start with a well-defined outline and gradually build up layers to capture the subtle nuances of the face. Patience is crucial – it's about meticulous observation and refining until the desired level of realism is achieved. Additionally, constant practice and a willingness to learn from each piece contribute to overcoming the challenges and continually improving my skills.

How do you balance your passion for art with your other commitments, such as studies and a regular job?

I quit my job in 2021 and became a full-time artist before that I use to do job and in my free time I was making arts but my passion was more towards arts and I was not getting enough time for my arts so one fine day I decided to quit my job and fully started contributing my self for my passion, my family supports my decision so I’m totally contributing my time for educating people who are trying to improve their art. I establish a schedule that allows dedicated time for art while fulfilling my other responsibilities. It's crucial to set realistic goals and be disciplined in adhering to deadlines. While maintaining a balance can be challenging, the fulfilment I derive from my artistic pursuits motivates me to carve out time for them amidst other commitments. It's about finding harmony between responsibilities and the creative outlet that fuels my passion.

Can you share some advice for aspiring artists who are looking to develop their observation skills and create realistic portraits?

My advice for the aspiring artists who are really looking to create realistic portraits and build a good career, is to constantly improve their art by practicing, there is a saying practice makes artist perfect. Do learn more about their interested form of arts. Having a good knowledge about the art will give more confidence to the artist hence they can better themselves.

What are your future goals and aspirations as an artist, and how do you plan to further develop your career in the art world?

My future goals is to inspire more artists who are really passionate about the art and want to start their journey in this field, and give them confidence so they can become an independent artist and participating in significant art events. To develop my career, I'll focus on expanding my online presence and help more artists with their journey also I will be engaging with the artistic community, and exploring new forms of arts