13 Jun 2023Mont Marte

It’s easy enough to mistake one of Shilpa Rajan’s (@shilpartworks) small paintings for a photo.


The Kerala designer turned artist is now based in Dubai, painting photorealism. Whether it’s landscapes, food or lifestyle, Shilpa’s art is always packed with detail and care.

Coming from a creative family, Shilpa always dabbled in art, but it wasn’t until she saw a video on social media that she decided to pick up the brushes again --and we’re glad she did!


Itching to know more, we asked this month’s feature artist, Shilpa about her creative journey and how she started painting her small scale works.



1. Artist Shilpa Rajan smiling and holding two realistic artworks with art behind her on a wall.


1. Tell us a bit about yourself!

Hi, I’m Shilpa Rajan, Designer-turned-Artist from Kerala, India but now based in Dubai. I love painting as it gives me immense joy and makes me feel content. Even though I enjoy every art medium, I prefer to use acrylic paints. Photorealism is my area of interest.

2. How did your creative journey unfold?

Art has been a part of me since childhood. But I was not keen on practicing it until recently. In 2020, during the lockdown phase of the pandemic, a lot of art process videos on social media caught my attention. Those videos inspired me to pick up my brushes again.



2. A realistic painting of a night scene with rain, next to a white paint brush.


3. Your work ranges from food to candles, to cityscapes and nature, how do you decide what you’ll create?

I paint anything that inspires me. I do not constrain myself to a particular theme. Sometimes it can be a particular colour or lighting that inspires me. Most of the time it also reflects my state of mind.

4. Your works are small but packed with detail. How do you go about creating your smaller works?

Creating smaller works are mainly due to a lack of time. I would love to paint on bigger canvases, but smaller paintings are easier to complete quickly. This also helps me to be consistent on social media.



3. Painting of a woman in red tying up her hair, artwork is next to a white brush.


5. How do you steer a project that isn’t working?

I have been through that a lot of times. Sometimes it happens when I’m not clear on what I’m doing. In such cases, I take a break from that and come back to it later.

6. How about growing up, did you come from a creative family yourself?

Yes. Coming from a family of art lovers have influenced me to a great extent. My brother used to sketch and paint effortlessly from a very young age. Being the younger one, I always looked up to him to get inspired.



4. A realistic painting of ice cream in a cup with caramel drizzled on top.


7. What’s something you were nervous about starting, that turned out amazing?

I’m always nervous before painting portraits. The challenges are high when we draw the facial features. A slight change of angle can make a huge difference. I keep working on it until I’m satisfied. 

8. Do you have a favourite Mont Marte product?

Most of my art supplies are from Mont Marte. Canvas panels, paints, brushes etc, so to choose one is difficult. I love the colour vibrancy of the acrylic paints. I also love the detail and liner brush set.



5. A realistic artwrok of a red apple with two paint brushes beside it and three Mont Marte acrylic paints near the art.


9. Where do you create? What’s your space look like?

I don’t have any studio set-up as such. I create artworks in my living room where I get ample sunlight.

10. What’s your favourite time of day?

Any time is good. But if I really have to choose one, then I would say the golden hour of the day, as it’s beautiful.



6. A painting of a landscape at sunset with a white paint brush next to it.


We hope that you feel inspired by feature artist Shilpa Rajan. You can read more about her art here or check out more of our featured artists.

We’d love to see what you create! Show us and #montmarteart or tag us @montmarteart on Instagram or Facebook, so we can check it out.