Portrait of an artist

Tissa started as an advertising Artist at world renowed advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson Far-east in 1958. From St. Thomas College Mount Lavinia and Pembroke Academy, where he completed his school career and went straight into "University of Life" in search of his themes. He had not deviated from the Life and people around him and draws sustenance from aspirations, hardships, and events of the men and women who came into his life. 

He tried his hand at black and white sketches in India ink, under the guidence of Mr Sarlis, the well known artist, who introduced him to his son Susil Premaratne and later his guru G.S. Fernando lent a paternal hand of assistance. Then he graduated into wider techniques; poster painting, scraper board work, cartoons and newspaper work were all part of the busy life of Tissa, mean while his paintings during this period showed the unmistakable lines of maturity.

Finally he settled for water colours his main medium which he took great pains to master. He tended to show partiality for naturalism which he overcame later on as he became more fluent and experienced.

Tissa's life itself is a good topic of study. The carefree and independent life of the late fifties led to harder and more competitive existence in the sixties as he tried to make ends meet. From Walter Thompson's he went to C.W.E.; Advertising Department, Ravi Advertising Ltd., as a junior executive and then changed roles to do part time work for Lankadipa. At Udaya and Virakesari Newspapers, he was one of the key artists and his experience gave him valuable lessons not only in his sphere of work but in the more mundane matters of facing life. The brief spell at Sri Lanka Mahajana Newspapers Ltd., saw Tissa at a desk job as Advertising Manager where he was extremely successful. He also worked in the Ministry of Education in charge of its Advertising section of the Akura newspaper.

Tissa's next role was working in the Advertising Department of the Associated Newspaper of Ceylon Ltd., (Lake House). In 1981 he left for Bahrain where he worked as a draughtsman in the ministry of Works and Agriculture. Tissa's artistic expressions extend to the field of caricatures as well. He contributes cartoons to a leading newspaper in Bahrain.

He has held several international exhibitions including in Munster West Germany, Bahrain and in Sri Lanka.

Original water colour paintings are available at "Tissa's Gallery."

Tissa Hewavitarane, 69/4, Templers Road, Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka, Phone: 94-11-271 0837 or 94-079 973 486.

Today he is the managing partner of his firm T & S productions, designing and printing his own seasonal greeting cards. He looks back with sense of satisfaction and pride, I wish him all success.


Carol Aloysius
Former Associated editor


Sunday Observer.