studio vlog #3, behind the scenes in July 2021!

Hi everyone! Here’s my July studio vlog! Enjoy!

You can also watch on and subscribe to my YouTube channel. There are subtitles available, and the transcript is below if you need to read as well as watch. I’d love to hear what you think, so leave a comment here or on youtube, or email me. Sign up to my email list as well for more at

I am not sponsored by any brands and nothing has been gifted either; just ask any questions you might have in the comments! I’ll do my best to help you out.

Items in my mini art haul
– Schmincke gouache in Van Dyke Brown
– Holbein gouache in Naples Yellow and Rose
– Winsor & Newton gouache in Indigo
– Pentel gel pen in white

00:00 Introduction 00:19 Packing Orders 02:59 Painting a Recipe 04:27 Chitchat 06:02 Painting Silk 06:36 Disasters and a Mini Art Haul 10:50 Sketchbook Time 13:26 New Gouache 14:32 Bookshelf Tidy & Shelf Tour 20:16 Hanging Storage Hack for Paper Rolls 21:07 Packing Orders 24:23 Making Cold Coffee 25:16 A quick chat 28:12 Interlude with Dog 28:27 Another chatty bit 30:17 Dog Walking in the Woods 31:00 Sketchbook Time 33:06 End Comments


Oh look at that lovely yellow! 

It’s off the floor, it’s not annoying me anymore… 

The cloth has given way, and I’m pretty sure…

Hi everyone, I’m Arati (Arty) Devasher. Welcome to another studio vlog!


It is early July, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it. One moment it’s sunny, the next it’s bucketing down a rainstorm. So it’s best to just stay in the house and kind of get on with stuff, isn’t it?! Today I’ve been painting silk. I have mostly, as I said, stopped painting silk, except for the masks that I’m still making to benefit the NHS Royal Free (Hospital). I am working also on a little video about that separately, so I’ll share my reasons for still making them, why I chose the Royal Free Charity in the first place, and so on and so forth. But in the meantime I’m getting along with my book design work, which, unfortunately, as a book designer it’s a very boring thing, and I can’t really share it with you until the book comes out in six months to a year. So that part of it I will have to kind of beaver away on my own, but I can share with you the commissioned piece that I’m doing and that’s what I’m going to share with you, now….


Hi everyone. I am off today to collect my stuff. The Crafty Fox pop-up shop is done. It was only on for two weeks and they’ve sent me a reckoning. I did sell some stuff; not as much as I would have liked to, but there was so much stuff on display there in such a small space that I’m surprised that I sold as much as I did. But I’m very happy with it and I’m gonna pick up the rest of the stuff and bring it back and then reshuffle it back into my storage system. Also I’m going to be able to pop in to Cass Art, which is an art shop in Central London – the Soho branch – and even though I’m on my no-buy year, I get to replace things that have finished. So I’m just going to sort out my gouache tubes because I’ve run out of a couple and I always prefer to go and fiddle around among the gouache and maybe see if there’s a better brown or a better green kind of situation than go through… trawl through everything on the website and buy it through there. So I’m going to be able to do that. I’m not taking my camera in because it is raining again, but I’ll see if I can film anything with my phone and put those clips in. Anyway, see you later! Bye!


Hi everyone. It’s a couple of days later and if I’m looking a little bit sad, it’s because I am. For the first time since 2013 when I first began painting silk I have had a steaming disaster. Now, once I paint the silk, I have to steam it to set the dye and that involves water and heat and so on and so forth, and for some reason today when I was steaming it, the water dried up and it didn’t beep or anything and I didn’t realize until I opened my dish and realized that all the water had dried up and the paper had started to burn… so as a result all the silk that was at the bottom of this parcel… of this parcel… started to singe and the least affected is something like this… where it’s just got bits… and then it progressively gets worse as you move through the parcel to things like this… and this… and the worst one yet… is this where the cloth has given way and I’m pretty sure if I had left it any further and my alarm had not rung, this could have started a very serious fire. But some of the pieces were all right… I managed to… these ones came out all right, because they were towards the top of the pile.

But I’m very sad about that. However, this afternoon I got a little delivery of my replacement gouache, of the tubes that are finishing in my set… not my set… in my collection and I’m just going to show them to you now, because I can actually finish my commissioned piece now that the brown has arrived. So what I got was… instead of the sepia from Winsor and Newton, which I was using as a brown, I ended up getting Schmincke in Vandyke brown. I did re-buy Winsor and Newton gouache in indigo because I use this a lot. This is my go-to blue. I replaced primary red in Winsor Newton with the Holbein gouache in rose because I don’t use that red very much. I use the scarlet red more and I prefer that, and then the last color that I got was… I replaced the lemon yellow Winsor and Newton which I’m not a huge fan of with Holbein Naples yellow. The reason I got two Holbeins, one Schmincke and one Winsor and Newton is that I know what Winsor and Newton is like, I use them all the time and there are some colors that I will buy and re-buy again because I love them, but there are some colors that I am looking for replacements for and sepia was one of them. I’ve never tried Schmincke Horadam gouache before so this is why I only bought one. I have Holbein in black and I do like it which is why I bought the other two in Holbein gouache. So I… as I’m working I’ll test these out and show them to you. And the other thing I got was a hybrid gel grip Pentel pen… there we go… and this is to replace the one that finished. 

That’s about it. So it’s not really a haul, it’s more… because of my no buy year it’s more a replacement of the things that finished. I did not replace all the colours that finished because I didn’t feel I needed them, just the ones that I use the most often. Anyway, so I’m going to do some sketching now and I’ll share that with you


Before I start my painting I’m going to open my new tubes of gouache and put them in… oh look at that pink! I don’t really have an open tub… now do I that’s just water in there… that’s just water, let’s just put that in there, just a bit… oh lovely! Then Naples yellow can go in here… that’s lovely texture, quite happy with that, and I’ve already got indigo over there so I won’t open that just yet. They go back in my gouache pile… oh look at that lovely yellow, that’s amazing. Okay, now let me get to work!

Now, I’ve got to this point but I probably won’t show you this here because I am making a full separate video just like I did with the pet portrait one. Anyway, see you later!


So I’ve had a bit of a clear out… these are all the books for which I did the covers but not the insides, so I might just keep the outer dust jacket and donate the books. There’s loads of them. These are not all the books for which I’ve designed covers. Many of them are still in India and some of them I didn’t even get copies of. And then a bunch of them… here… these… this is my first ever book cover and many of the book covers that I did… there must be over 150 probably in 20 years of designing, this is the kind of cover I usually did. It had a photograph and it had some text and they were mostly non-fiction, but there were in fact, in more recent years, a few books that I did illustrate, so I’m going to actually film a video about that today and hopefully before this vlog goes out you’ll be able to see that. And then the rest… this is just my niece’s drawings that I store and, oh gosh, here’s one… here’s a picture from when my husband and I first started dating. He was like 21 years old… gosh, way back when. Anyway, so here are all the covers that I’ve designed. Covers and other things, but I just kept… I just got printed proofs, so you can see there it’s just a printed proof of a whole bunch of covers.

So I generally store these in the bookshelf as well but let me show you the neat and tidy… oh, just ignore those… those have to go back in here… neat and tidy bookshelf. This is 20 plus years of working in publishing and designing coffee table books. So now those ones are from when I used to work full time in Delhi… all of those. And then these ones are freelance when I was in Delhi… all when I was working full-time… freelance… these were a project that I did when I worked for six months at a different place after I worked at this one, and then these are all freelance… freelance… and I’m gonna fill that up with the books that I illustrated after I’ve filmed them. So the golden hat is for our family when we play cards… whoever wins gets the golden hat! So let me just move a bit further back… if you can… it’s a bit difficult to photograph this tall thin wardrobe… er… bookshelf! 

So yeah that is a lifetime of book design work. If you’d be interested in seeing some of the coffee table books,let me know. They’re not really relevant to illustration but I’ll show you… oh, I just realized there’s this book that I illustrated as well. Okay let me just take that out. It’s not my usual style but it’s worth showing you. Anyway, see you later!

While I was cleaning out that shelf I found a couple of interesting things… the first is Indian Design and Interiors Magazine for November 2005, can you imagine?! And within this they have my work! You wouldn’t even recognize this as my work, because I no longer do pen and inks! This is a portrait of my great grandfather as he looked the last time I saw him at the age of maybe 103 or 104. My father’s grandfather… father’s mother’s grandfather (father’s mother’s father! I got a bit lost there!) to be very specific and I did this portrait for my father. And as you can see it’s my maiden name, so I wasn’t even married then… this was 2005…. I had… I think I just met my now husband, perhaps we were in our first or second year of dating, and I got featured in this. Now, it’s a pity I don’t do these anymore but they were done during a very sad part of my life and they helped me a lot. Getting it out on paper really, really helped. Anyway. 

So that’s one thing and then the other thing I found is the Canvas Project. I did these… I don’t even remember what year it was. I wonder if it says in here. It does not say… that’s a pity, it doesn’t say what year it was. But somewhere in here are my canvases… oh, there’s mine! So I sent them three little canvases and this is the one that they put in the catalogue and, yeah, the Art House Community… what is that? Oh yeah, the Brooklyn Art Library! So yeah… so that’s… those are two interesting things that I found in my clean up!

Hi everyone, I have had the most brilliant idea. You can see it back there, and I’m going to show you now. This is my brilliant idea! I used a piece of old leather belt to suspend all my rolls from the bottom shelf. Doesn’t it look cool?! And it’s off the floor, it’s not annoying me anymore… some of them used to be tucked up there which was annoying when you opened the drawers, and now… I mean the belt is a bit mismatched because it’s half and half, but isn’t that convenient?! Ha-haa! I’m so pleased with myself. Such a little thing, but I mean organization really, really pleases me! Doesn’t it, dog?!


Hi everyone. It’s been a funny old month so far. I haven’t really filmed very much for the vlog, I hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve watched so far. But I’ve s–… I’ve mostly been stuck in doing my book design work and since all you would see was me… is me sitting at the computer doing this… it’s not very interesting, but hopefully in the next few days I’ll be able to quickly polish off the first draft and send it to my client and then I’ll be able to get on with some fun stuff, won’t I?!


Good morning, everyone! It is mid to end July… I’ll put the date somewhere here, and I’ve been beavering away finishing up that book that I need to design. Hopefully I’ll have the first draft finished before I’m actually due to send it in, which will be good, and then that will free me up for a whole lot of other stuff. But in the meantime, London has got really, really hot. I mean, I rarely put my hair up, but it is just too hot to actually have it down. I’ve had to actually… let me turn you around… I have had to shut half the shutters in the studio because it is literally boiling hot and in the evening the sun comes through that side of the room and it really, like, heats the whole place up. But this room is north-facing, so fortunately it’s much cooler than the rest of the house. That’s why the dog is constantly sleeping in here. I’ve got the fan on in the other room but it’s not making a significant amount of difference, and since I have to be here anyway, it’s fine, but other than that, not much has been going on… I do have to get a… a run up on my… what am I saying, run up?! I have to get a head start on my Christmas cards because… I think a few months ago, I did a sketchbook page with ideas for them but I actually have to get them painted and then printed, and I want to do that before September. I want to have them in my shop for September, so I guess in the next few days I’ll try and do that. Also been asked to do some more commissions, so that’ll be coming up in the next few months, so that’ll be really, really fun! But other than that not doing very much interesting stuff. I have been doing a lot more sketchbooking because I’m balancing out the time on the computer with time just spent listening to music or watching other people’s vlogs in the background while I’m just spending some time in my sketchbook. Just quiet time rejuvenating myself and compensating for the time spent on the computer, so I’ll put in some of those… I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I can’t talk today! Maybe it’s the heat. I will put in some of those clips as well and you would probably have seen me packing a couple of orders, so I really need to reorder some prints. 

What else has been going on? Not a lot. We’ve been staying inside the house, taking the dog for early morning and late evening walks because it’s just… it is so hot! These houses are meant to keep the heat in and the cold out, so, what can you do? Anyway, I’ve got to get back to that book, and maybe in a little while I’ll talk about how I actually go about designing a book. Maybe I can use another book as an illustration and… where’s he off to?! I’d better check. Back door’s open. But, anyway, see you later!


Hi everyone. It is Sunday evening. We’ve had quite a relaxing weekend. It was boiling hot all of last week and then this weekend it has finally cooled down and rained. On Saturday we went as usual to our dog training class… well, puppy training class and I think there’s only two weeks left for that and then we’ll have our Saturdays free again. But we have been enjoying it and we’ve been learning a lot. It’s more training for us than for the dog, because he’s a bit old for it now, but because I was shielding and there was lockdown while he was little, we weren’t able to go then. But it’s really benefited both of us, we feel. And then today we had a couple of friends come over and the forecast was for rain but we managed to get a nice walk in the woods, of which I will insert some footage after this, … and we got a nice walk in the woods before it started raining and then we went to lunch on the high street. It was really, really nice and then they’ve just left and we’re just relaxing, having the evening doing pretty much nothing. I’ll probably be watching YouTube vlogs or something and just relaxing and then we’ve just got a few days left in July, this whole… this coming week, and I’ll probably do some more sketchbooking and in fact I’m probably going to do some sketchbooking now because I just want to sort of wind down and relax… And then yeah there’s not that much going on. I just have to finish that book this week because I have to send in the first draft. I think my contract says the 30th of the month, but I’ll probably finish it before that. I do like to do things a little bit… I’ll give myself a couple of days’ buffer, just in case I’m not well, or something, and finish it off early. But anyway that’s about… that’s about all I wanted to say and I will see you again in a couple of days. Bye!


Hi everyone. It is Tuesday, the 27th of July, and I realized I didn’t film anything yesterday at all, because I didn’t do very much interesting stuff. Again, this is the last week that I have to finish the book design that I’m doing so I’m pretty much concentrating on that and everything else is kind of like… shoving it in where I can fit it in. But, hopefully, after this week, I should be a bit more free. The book will come back to me for corrections and things but it won’t be quite so intense. But I am enjoying it. It’s so nice to finally design a book after so long, but it basically means that there is a shorter vlog for you this month. But I will make up for it next month, and I hope that you will also watch some of the other videos that I’ve made, especially my book design stuff and there’s one on how to paint a galaxy. So do check them out and let me know what you think. I mean, I keep making content but I don’t really know what people think of it unless you click like or unless you comment. So let me know. Let’s have a conversation and thank you so much for watching this one. I will see you in my next video. Bye!

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