Updated: Jul 8, 2020

When I was at school, I loved to scribble on my wooden desk and then use that hardly discernible sketch to create something meaningful. I can tell you that until this very day, there is nothing more fascinating nor liberating than drawing in such a way.


I don't want to delve into the terminology or the history of this method, but I do want to highlight its powerful impact on my art and how it can help you to improve your art rapidly too.


One of the major advantages of automatic drawing is its ability to counter the artist's block. I'm sure that you just love to draw and express yourself, but often you just can't find something to draw! You can't find that beautiful scene you want, that dynamic pose or dramatic perspective you crave for, and so you just lose your motive to draw and end up doing something else.


You know what I'm talking about! We have all been there when we spent hours looking through references trying to find an inspiration, but to no avail.


Automatic drawing is the answer to such a problem. Just think of nothing and start scribbling random lines with no direction or intention, and just wait until you see something familiar. If you don't see anything that's fine too. Just flip the page and try again.


Don't go too crazy and fill the page too quickly, try to move gradually and add more lines, dots, and shapes until you see something.


I know it might not seem believable that you can create something from nothing, from void, but believe me it is possible, and it is the most exhilarating you will ever do as an artist.


I'm still surprised every time when this happens to me. I start with a white blank paper and a couple of random strokes, and all of a sudden, I see a face, a figure, something beautiful and then I just grab it and build on it until it comes together and becomes something extraordinary.


I will share with you a painting that began as random scribbles and ended up as something spectacular to look at.




It might not be my best work but it expressed my feelings that night and it was a sheer delight to make. Here is another example below with much stronger results and impact, because it just gets better with practice, I can tell you!



Unfortunately, I didn't save a copy of how I began this piece, but it was just a mess-something that no one can make anything of.


I just surrendered to my imagination and allowed myself to create, free from restrictions, free from any obligations, and I was rewarded with this painting that I just adore.


I will leave you with one final tip. Look at more references and draw as much as you can, and you will develop subconsciously and gain an ability to see meaningful objects in your scribbles. You will then be able to pull them out of the mess and make something great out of them.


Until next time, don't you ever give up. Don't you ever surrender, for what you seek is already yours.


Ahmed

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

As artists, we are all the time focused on improving and developing our artistic skills, so we practice more and take on many challenges, many of which are difficult and not particularly our favorite, but it's all about getting out of our comfort zones and pushing ourselves further, isn't?


Well, yes. But, I'm about to share with you something of an equal value, if not more, something actually that is going to influence your art and life.


Now, think with me. What does an artist actually do? They observe the world around them and attempt to replicate it on their canvas, yes?


We rely on lines, shapes, colors, etc. to represent form, rhythm, movement, mood, and so on. We're not drawing every single detail we observe, rather, we carefully select and capture those elements that remind the viewer of life or the subject matter we're portraying.


Remember, you're not a camera! You're an infinitely intelligent observer who can show their audience the things they can't see by themselves.


Now refer to the example below, and try to notice what the artist did here.


Did he paint everything with extreme detail?


Is every edge sharp and straight?


Look and try to analyze how this painting presents an array of objects that you can easily recognize before reading further.



Persian Street by Alvaro Castagnet

Alvaro Castagnet, the painter of this piece, is an expert at observation. He carefully merged shapes, blurred edges and sharpened others to produce this spectacular scene.


I highlighted two instances of merging, try to find examples of sharp and blurred edges or some more examples of merging.


Not everything has to be perfectly outlined and defined. Use that as a tool to highlight elements in your painting and to areas where you want to direct your viewer's attention.


Now go and pick up some work you like and try to analyze how that painting is reminding you of the subject its portraying.


One last piece of advice, learn to observe life. Always ask yourself why this appeals to you and this doesn't. Question your feelings towards the things you like. Why do you think, for example, you like flowers? Is it their color or scent you like, or is it the complexity of its shape, or something else?


Think of life and contemplate every object that you observe, and try to understand why exactly you feel such a way about it.


See you next time and remember - never give up!

Ahmed





Updated: May 19, 2020

Those who suffer most in life are those who cannot forgive. They cannot let go of the past and continue to linger on its wounds.


People abstain from forgiveness subconsciously thinking that this is a way of taking revenge on their aggressors, whereas it is quite the opposite. Holding a grudge is holding poison in your body and soul. It only does you harm not good.


Let us just think about it, when you remember your pain, does the other feel it? No.

Will the past change if you do not forgive? No.

Are you becoming happier when you keep remembering people's injustice? Still, no.


You will be much happier if you could just forgive. When you forgive, you arise high above those who have done you wrong and those who continue to harbour grudges in their hearts.


When you forgive you declare the superiority of your soul and empower yourself. You show the other that even if they can harm you in the physical realm, they cannot intrude on your inner peace.


Leave the past to the past and live your today. You have gone through enough hardship and pain from the other. Forgive them and move on.


Every now and then, I speak to God and say "I now forgive all those who harmed me, and wish them nothing but good".


Trust me now when I say, that I have been through the worse and I cannot even begin to count how many people have harmed me, and yet I find forgiveness to be one of the most liberating and easiest things to do in my life.


I like to think that when I forgive all those who harm me, God will easily forgive me. Those who do not hold grudges and look at the world with peace are bound to live a happy life.


Forgive and move on. Life is too short to spend it thinking of the past.


Until next time,


Ahmed


It is already yours, you just have to wake up to it.