Anura excels in drawing picture stories
A picture, it is often said, is worth a thousand words. It captures
the mood, the event and the subject with such vividness so as to explore
and expose the trait of an artist.
Anura Wijewardena a painter excels in the art of picture story
illustrations. He is comparatively not interested in international art
movements. He has continued to follow his own style with a dramatic
Anura has emerged as an exceptional picture story illustrator and
painter. He usually paints in water-colour, acrylic and oil. Born in
Kelaniya on Marhc 14, 1937 he hails from an artistic family. Anura was
greatly inspired by one of his uncles, to be a master of the brush.
Anura’s father too was a reputed artist.
Anura completed his schooling at Dharmaloka Madya Maha Vidyalaya,
Kelaniya. His observant father helped him tremendously to promote his
In 1958 he joined the Heywood School of Art in Colombo. He was
fortunate to come under the tutelage of reputed painters such as David
Paynter, J.D.A. Perera and Stanley Abeysinghe. He did portrait painting
and sculpture under P.A. Karunaratne Wijewardena. As a student of the
College of Fine Arts (Heywood School) he had his first caricature
exhibition at the Ceylon Society of Arts gallery with S.C. Opatha. It
included famous political figures and leading film personalities.
It was a tremendous success that paved the way to do newspaper
illustrations. After obtaining a Diploma in Arts at the College of Fine
Arts, he was trained under Kalasuri G.S. Fernando, one of the remarkable
water-colour artists. Later Anura was introduced by G.S. Fernando to
D.B. Dhanapala, the editor of the Lankadeepa newspaper. Dhanapala was
highly impressed and asked Anura to do illustrations for the Vanitha
Anura has worked in many leading advertising agencies in Colombo. He
established himself as an excellent illustrator for picture stories,
designer for book covers and a cartoonist.One of his stories was made
into a film titled Kela Kella (The Jungle Girl) which was later featured
in the Sinhalese weekly Madura published by the Lake House Group.
Some of his popular picture stories were Pulli and Sena, Robbin Hood
and Andhakara Raththriya. Anura was the first artist to do a series of
picture stories for the Sathuta weekly published by Lake House. He
joined Lake House in 1972 and worked for all its publications until his
retirement in 2005.
Anura mostly works with water-colour, oil and acrylic. His paintings
aim to please the eye. The unique feature as an artist is his choice of
subjects. They include sandy beaches, wildlife, ancient cities, birds at
Kumana and the Yala sanctuary, cascading waterfalls, elephants at
Pinnawala, historic Buddhist temples, Hindu Kovils and churches. He
loves thick brush strokes.
His colours vary from dry, thinly applied tones in brilliant, heavy
textured patches from an all enveloping silver glow to a sudden frenzy
of wild emotion. Anura’s paintings compel us to recognise the uniqueness
of shapes, colours, density and the scenic beauty of nature. His
paintings titled The Hunt Ruwanvelisaya, Mona Lisa, Women carrying water
are in modest colours dashed off with an inspired stroke of the brush.
At present Anura is engaged in a historical picture story called
Soora Rana for the Silumina newspaper which is very popular among