By Lisha Gomes | Opening Doorz Editorial | June 24, 2020

Being locked up during this pandemic, everyone is discovering skills they weren’t sure they possessed while some are polishing up on skills they had put on the back-burner.

Krutik Mukesh Panchal, a B.E. Graduate, Nashik, took this free time locked inside, to refine his art of sketching. Being caught up with college, a diploma in Mechanical Engineering followed by a degree, didn’t give him enough time to work towards his talent. Back at home in Mumbai since the last three months, he made it a point to put in at least half an hour daily working towards bettering his sketching skills.

Raised in the ‘City of Dreams’, Krutik has big dreams for his future in Art. Backed by his mother, his constant critic, along with his father who has been his support, he has found his passion and is working diligently towards making those dreams a reality. As Krutik says, “A few good friends is all one needs,” and he has a handful of them encouraging him, after seeing his talent.

Opening Doorz caught up with the ‘self taught’ artist who is as passionate about Sketching as he is about his Engineering. “I think it is good to have two jobs or passions—you don’t get bored doing the same thing on a daily basis and you also have time to indulge in your passion,” he says.

Excerpts:

Krutik Panchal Mechanical Engineer
Krutik Panchal’s sketch of Kiara Advani from a Dabboo Ratnani photograph and Shrikant Patil.

How did you develop a fondness for sketching?

Art comes to me from my mother; she is the one who has inspired me to pursue it. When I was in school, I wasn’t really interested in arts; I was someone who scored my highest in mathematics. When I developed an interest after school, my Mother continuously pushed me to be better. I remember when I was doing a portrait of Kiara Advani, my Mom kept pointing out places I went wrong and made me redo it, especially her face. I kept working on it and did not stop till my Mother was satisfied. I re-worked the jaw line, the eyes and every minute detail until she gave me her approval!

You have been sketching for the past 10 years, when did you start sketching?

When I was in school, from STD III to V my mother used to do all my paintings and I used to get complimented for it in class. I wanted to keep the compliments coming. I recollect this one time when my Dad’s friend was home and a picture of Preity Zinta caught my eye. I started sketching her thinking to myself, if my Dad and his friend recognize the sketch, it meant I’m good. After sketching for 3-4 hours I showed it to them and they recognized the actress. That gave me a boost.

Has your Dad too been instrumental in your sketching journey?

My Dad is a mechanical engineer and so he’s not into sketching and painting, but he is excellent at mechanical and geometric drawings. When it comes to painting and sketching, I get from my Mom, whereas when it comes to mechanical and geometric drawings I get it from my dad.

What inspires you the most when it comes to sketching—a piece of art, a person…

Krutik Panchal Mechanical Engineer
Laxmi Agarwal and Thakur Anoop Singh.

There is no such particular thing that inspires me. If something or someone catches my eye I won’t think twice before sketching it. When I was in Grade XI, we were in a Biology class for an hour and I was very bored. A girl I liked very much was in the same class. Instead of listening to my professor I sat sketching her for an hour! So I try sketching anything that catches my eye.

Did she see the sketch and did your love story go beyond the sketch?

[laughs] After I finished, I gave her the sketch. We are friends even today. What makes me happy is that she has kept the sketch safe, even today.

You have done your mechanical engineering, but you want to take up sketching as a profession, do you consider continuing with engineering alongside?

Absolutely! Sketching is my hobby which I would love to take up as a profession, but I am definitely going to continue with engineering. Currently, I am doing an internship in Nashik which is on pause because of the pandemic. I will be resuming work soon. It is good to have two jobs or passions—in the end, you’re not bored doing the same thing on a daily basis and have time to indulge in your passion as well.

Do you only do portraits?

I am focusing on sketching at the moment but I do plan on exploring colour board and painting. I have begun learning charcoal painting, which is more challenging because it is a one-shot thing. You cannot erase or redo anything. After this, I plan to learn painting.

You have done sketches of Laxmi Agarwal, actor Shrikant Patil and even 2015 Mr. World Thakur Anoop Singh, and they have even commented about how much they like your painting, how does it feel to be appreciated by them?

It would make anyone happy to converse with a celebrity. I was very nervous when I started sketching Laxmi Agarwal because she is someone who has kept such a beautiful smile on in-spite of everything she’s gone through and when she replied to my message after 2-3 days I had tears in my eyes. She expressed how touch she was with my sketch. Shrikant Patil and I spoke for over 30 minutes, thanks to a friend.

You are currently participating in an online drawing competition at the National Level could you tell us about the competition?

A friend of mine sent me a link and asked me to participate in this competition. I submitted a sketch. It’s been a few days and I have gotten a good amount of “votes”. I want to win, but I’m glad I participated, because participating in these competitions with people of different ages really keeps one inspired. Click here to vote for Krutik.

Your portraits cover even minute details and look exactly like the reference pictures, this is definitely a natural talent, but have you attended classes as a child or later?

I’m self-taught. I looked up tutorial videos and observed my friends when they were sketching. No elementary or intermediate exam has been given by me. My goal was simple: if there was a circle with different shades, I would try to sketch it as identically as possible with my judgement and skill. Of course, my Mom helped me in every way.

(Lisha Gomes is a third year BMM (Bachelor of Mass Media) student at St. Andrews College, Bandra, Mumbai. She is passionate about reading, enjoys singing and has also participated in a few dance shows. She plays soccer for her college. She was a star performer for her schoolMary Immaculate Girls High School, Borivali).

Also Read: Do not allow others to decide you self-worth

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