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Ahmad’s | SF | ’15

Cutting to the chase, the reason I want to start drawing Islamic geometrical patterns is my brother! He’s good! He really is good! Check out his Instagram if you don’t believe me! He started learning Islamic geometry back in 2014 in San Francisco. He surprised us with a mural on the wall of our apartment. It was the most beautiful art piece I’ve ever seen in my life back then! Ever since, he’s surpassing his own excellence piece by piece! 

I received my drawing kit; sketch book, graphic pencils, and compasses set. I started right away. I googled a tutorial by Lex Wilson. I tried my best to follow his instructions. 

In my first attempt, I only used a mechanical pencil. Therefore, I couldn’t tell the lines apart from each other. The shape became filled with lines intertwining. I couldn’t tell where a line would start and where would it end. I realized that my problem is fixable, or so I believed! 

Falsely realising that the solution is simple for my next try, I managed to land on a great set of colored pencils! There, if I draw my lines in different colors, I will be able to tell them apart! Easy? Not really! Because I restarted another sketch. I rewinded the youtube tutorial. I followed with different colors. Yet somehow, I managed to mess it up! I believe Lex Wilson jumped a step. He didn’t tell me what exactly I am supposed to erase. He jumped from the lines intertwined to a clean obvious shape! It is something he acknowledges in his comments. He made a better tutorial to fix that problem. So it wasn’t my fault this time. 

I put away my drawing kit. It was getting late and I was getting frustrated. I decided I will try again tomorrow. Next morning, after I had my breakfast and coffee, I grabbed my kit again. But this time, I used my brother’s instructions and pictures of pages he sent of some exercises I could follow. He sent me the most simple drawing to try out. (It’s the one you see in the feature picture of this post)

Attempt #3 was also a nonsuccess. I used the most complicated exercise to start with. For another time, the colored lines weren’t the problem or the solution. This time, it was the lingo of geometry. Some wordings and instructions weren’t clear to me. Therefor, I messed up! I learned that I will have to teach myself some geometry lingo!

Finally. attempt #4 was a success although it’s obvious in the picture that I have some minor mistakes. But it’s okay, I’ll receive a large 18-inch ruler and then I won’t have problems with paralleling lines! 

Tips :

  1. Use colored pencils at first. They won’t come off easily with an eraser, but it’s no problem. Remember you’re still learning. The most important thing is not to confuse lines!
  2. Buy a large long 18-inch ruler.
  3. Use a large-range compass.
  4. Use a mechanical pencil. Don’t press too hard when you draw. It will come off easily when you erase the lines.
  5. Start with the most simple geometrical shape.
  6. Learn geometry lingo.
  7. Familiarize yourself with the concept of Golden Ratio and google “elements of islamic architecture”

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