At Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati in Santiniketan, drawing and sketching were encouraged as an integral part of one's art practice. It was a lesson that artist A. Ramachandran internalised and practised relentlessly through his decades-long career in art. As a result of this constant honing of his artistic genius, Ramachandran's control over his pen has achieved a magical expressiveness. His lines are lyrical, dramatic, expressionistic, satirical, romantic and sometimes delightfully funny.”
– Ella Datta; Art Historian, Author and Critic
Deeply influenced by Indian classical art and Nandalal Bose in particular, Ramachandran is a master of Indian aesthetics by painting archetypal Indian imagery and socio-political symbols in a modernist vein. As a student at Kala Bhavan in Santiniketan, Ramachandran studied art under masters like Ramkinkar Baij and Benodebehari Mukherjee. The cultural and intellectual milieu of Santiniketan drew him closer to the art traditions of India and other eastern civilizations, and it is here that he began his lifelong research on the mural painting tradition of temples in Kerala.
From 1958, A. Ramachandran’s body of drawings consists of not only sketches and studies of his process of painting but of images developed from portraits, flowers, plants and landscapes which reoccur in most of his works. Over the span of 56 years, he created over five thousand drawings in which now we observe the evolution of his strokes of ink on a variety of paper. Following the methodology taught by his teacher, Ramkinkar Baij, he would sketch with the suggestion of three dimensional quality of a bas-relief, a projecting image with a shallow overall depth. Over time, he developed his own way of defining and contouring lines that suggested volume, angles and depth. According to the subject matter, he would use continuous or broken lines that later on became independent art expressions in his course of work. Ramachandran initially painted in an expressionistic style that reflected urban reality as well as a focus towards tribal community life, especially the tribes from Rajasthan, whose lives and culture gripped his imagination. Decorative elements, dramatic ambiences and myths became an integral part of his work along with his powerful line and a greater understanding of colour and form.