Maheshwar MT, the 10 year old boy from Thrissur district in Kerala is turning heads with his realistic portraits. His latest — that of football legend Pele — took him just one and a half days to complete, amid virtual classes and assignments. He used a graphite pencil for that. Having done over 200 portraits using different mediums so far, Maheswar has received an entry in the Indian book of Records for ‘Maximum Realistic Sketches and Paintings by an Individual’. “I love drawing pictures. It makes me happy,” he says.
Though he has been doing portraits for a few years, a recent Facebook post by Higher Education Minister R Bindu has brought greater attention to his skill. Belonging to Kizhuthani near Irinjalakuda, Maheswar is a Class 6 student of Government HSS, Karalam.
“He started drawing at four,” says his mother Jini. She says little Maheswar was ushered into the world of portraits by his grandfather, Raju. A self-taught artist, he has been bothered by age-related ailments including unsteady movement. But he spent time with Maheswar passing on his techniques.
At the age of six, Maheswar did a portrait of Madhu, the tribal person who was beaten to death by a mob in 2018. “When I shared Madhu’s portrait on social media, many people appreciated his talent. He then started focusing on famous people like Mahatma Gandhi, Ayyankali and Jawaharlal Nehru,” says his father Manu Rajan, an NRI. Among his creations, Maheswar loves the portrait of the late poet Sugathakumari the most. “I have been trying various mediums, from wax crayons to oil colours. I seek my grandfather’s advice in such matters,” he says.