Self-portrait

What is Stippling? It is an drawing / coloring technique using dotting as a way of shading and defining shapes in a drawing (or that’s what I think it is). The denser and darker the dots, the darker the appearance is. The lighter the dots, the brighter the appearance.

In 2015, my brother introduced me to it when he was drawing one of his masterpieces, I think. I considered the technique a stress-relieving technique as well as a beautiful art way of expressing uneasiness. You need to be patient and very focused when stippling. In my case, I am only focused and patient when I have a deadline (which I didn’t), or when I am going through a very hard time (which I was).

The name of the piece is “Attempting Self Portrait”. I chose “Attempt” to express how I am still unsure of who I am. A jellyfish representing me, because jellyfish are the oldest creatures on earth that have always been the same shape they are today! Their survival mechanism is so high. They never needed to evolve more than the primary shape they have today! It’s amazing! Something at that time I prayed to have “mechanism to adapt” with my new and harsh situation at that time in 2015.

“Don’t miss your chance To swim in mystery”

The title is a line from the song Unhappy Girl by The Doors. 

So I am back to painting ocean and waves sceneries. I just can’t get enough of blues and greens.

This is the first attempt to paint without the help of an online tutorial. Though I am not a 100% happy about it, I am proud of myself for finishing it all the way through. I wanted to quit in multiple occasions because I was frustrated. It is frustrating when I get the color wrong, or when I am waiting for a layer to dry, or when I start finishing it then realize I missed some essential layering or mess up towards the end! All happened while painting this. But I kept telling myself ”It’s okay to mess up. You can make this better” …

So here is the result! Not too bad huh!!!

“Still the searcher must ride the dark horse, racing alone in his fright”

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The title is a quote from the song Tell Me Why – Neil Young

In my previous painting I mentioned I was not going to share a painting of the ocean anymore. I wanted to share something of another concept. I started to follow this tutorial by the beautiful Katie Jobling, teaching how to paint a sunset scenery. I liked the idea so much because it would teach me another concept I always wanted to paint which is clouds. But as I was progressing with layering the sky and the horizon, I reached a conclusion; I hate this painting, not because it was hard to paint, or it turned out ugly. Nope. I just don’t like warm colors. They irritate me. I can’t work with them! I like blues, greens, colors that would ease my stress. Firey oranges and bloody reds don’t! So I think I’m gonna go back to try and excel in ocean and blue seas pictures.

What I like the best about this one, though, is the blackened clouds. I like the fact that the red underneath brings them out. It’s a great technique. I don’t like the fact that it has little bright yellow. I think if I am changing anything, or painting another one, it’ll be a little bit brighter and less red!

Attempt #Infinity!

I lost count!

I lost count of the number of attempts to make this unbelievably hard-to-master shape!

I will never master the measurements of the construction lines. It is something I made my peace with! But The fact that the continuois lines are still messed up is bothering me! But I will not give up until I make it perfectly! Just wait for it, so I could start decorating it properly!

“No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue”

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The title is a quote from The Rolling Stones’ song Paint It Black

I guess this will be the last sea / ocean / wave painting I share on my blog. I think now I learned how to work around the techniques of creating waves and using blues. I also no longer feel stiff when I am using painting knives to create waves.

When you’re painting with acrylic bare in mind layering. The more layer you put in the painting, the more lifelike it’ll turn out to be. Also, don’t be afraid in using too much color. Don’t be greedy with the paint (I know it’s expensive. It’s why artists are always broke). Squeeze that tube. Be generous so your painting is generous back to you. Believe me, if you don’t apply enough colors, it’ll look very still and cheap.

Until next time, using a different concept!

Attempt #6

Although this is not the first shape I master, but it was the first one I tried to create. The only thing I learned so far from learning how to draw these shapes is PATIENCE!

With painting, you can confidently make mistakes knowing that it would only take you two brush strokes to fix them. There is no fear in making mistakes when it comes to painting with Acrylic. However, geometry patterns are not that easy to fix. Reason being, construction lines are a bitch! Once you draw one line, you better know it went the right way, the right size! Because once those lines intertwine, even if you’re using a pencil, ERASING mistakes is not a fun job. It’s almost easier to just start from the top.

 

“Late light falls under a mile to the sea”

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The title is a quote from the song Curlews by Grasscut

I finished this painting two days ago. I wasn’t sure what to write on this post to accompany it. It is another ocean scenery that I want to master, specially the waves using painting knives.

P.S. I might edit this post into a greater one. For the moment, just adore the painting, will ya!

Attempt #4

Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 1.12.53 AM
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”

”Let’s Swim to the Moon, Uh Huh”

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The title is a quote from a song called “Moonlight Drive” by The Doors.

One of my favorite bands of all times. If they were not the best rock band ever existed, they probably are the next one!

I am not going to lie to you and say bunch of nonsense, like I was painting this while listening to The Doors, or their brilliant music and great poetry influenced my painting. I am not going to tell you the title was chosen while I was listening to “Moonlight Drive”.

In fact, I had to listen carefully to Katie Jobling instructions on how to paint waves and layering the sea-scenery. It was a online class. I also typed “The Doors Hits” on Google. Moonlight Drive caught my eyes. I clicked on it, and to my surprise, I didn’t have to look hard. The first line to the song is “Let’s swim to the moon, uh huh”. It is very convenient for my picture; swim, sea, waves, you know! The line fits perfectly!

I am simple. I don’t have a canvas stand. I don’t have rituals for when I start painting. I don’t paint in a workshop. I only have a grey Ikea rug, which I spread on the flood because it’s cold, and because I don’t want to mess up the floor and lose deposit over paint spillage! I sit on the floor painting. Sometimes, the friction messes up my knees. That’s when I know I have to take a break. And it is better for my painting, so it would dry before applying the next layer.

I did another wave painting. I will keep making them until I master painting waves, or run out of blues, whichever comes first. I love all 50 shades of blue. It’s amazing how soothing it is to drag the brush along the canvas with blues! It’s very comfortable to the eye. Blue calms my stress. I recommend buying blues and whites. Just apply them with your hand on a canvas. It’s messy but easing!