Study of Figure

This full-color painting was likely completed while Sikander was teaching at the NCA, as an example to show students. Once the paper had been prepared and the design transferred to the sheet, watercolor was carefully added using a dry brush. In this technique, called pardakht, the painting’s color is built up through many layers of quick, short brushstrokes, adeptly and meditatively applied with a minimum of pigment to avoid disrupting the delicate surface. The richness and depth achieved by this method is noticeable throughout the sheet, even in the white cloth.

Shahzia Sikander (born 1969)
Study of Figure, 1992
Watercolor on wasli paper
Collection of Elaine and Barry Fain
© Shahzia Sikander. Courtesy: the artist, Sean Kelly, New York and Pilar Corrias, London.