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February Sketchbook Challenge. Kismet El Husseiny

My limitations for this February Sketchbook Challenge are time and watercolours becuase their unpredictability just downright scares me. I've always avoided using watercolours for that reason, and it's about time I face my fears! 

Day 1: Roots

When I think of roots, I think of teh things that made me become the person I am. Or the things that make anyone become who they are. Whether or not you have these roots affects how your bloom.

They are also the same things that I believe ground you and bring you back to reality. 

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Day 2: Place

The first thing that came to mind when I read the prompt for day 2 was the beach. I though that the beach is the place where I feel happiest and safest. That I feel comfortable and serene there. And so I decided to allow the watercolors to flow into each other just like the colors of the sea, the sky, and the sand seem to flow into each other.

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But then I realized that it wasn't the beach that made me feel the most serene and comfortable. It was actually the star filled night sky that I could see so clearly when I was by the beach at night. At times when I was upset, worried, or simply feeling unsettled, I would go outside and just gaze at the stars. The mere fact that I can see them shining down on us night after night after night always gives me a strange sense of security. 

The stars of the night sky have heard wishes, cries, giggles, and sighs. Throughout the years I have collected so many strong memories related to stars and star gazing that I decided that this has to be the image to illustrate for Day 2's project.

I tried to put in my favorite constellations; the Big Dipper, Cassiopeia, and the Belt of Orion.

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Day 3: Music

Music has always been essential in my life. I listen to music when I'm working, studying, driving, taking a shower, even in the classroom while my students are doing independent work. 

As I sat down to work on this project I found myself thinking of Joss Stone. Joss Stone? I don't know why she came to mind. I haven't heard her album since 2006! Anyhow, I got her Mind, Body, and Soul playlist off of YouTube and got my watercolors out. 

It seems that each song/artist is associated with a certain color in my mind. So for example, whenever I listen to Michael Jackson, I think of a deep electric blue, whereas Joss Stone is a deep purple. When I think of Rock legends like Queen, I think of wild and unpredictable blotches and splashes of color flying all around the place. Meanwhile, when I listen to songs by Egyptian artists like Om Kolthoum or Abdel Halim Hafez I can see swirls of burghundy and royal green. This is not to mention the Regae inspired music that paints a yellow ocre background to surround whatever it is I’m doing while listening to it.

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Day 4: Light

Light is essential in our lives for many reasons. We need sunlight for our livelihood and our emotional wellbeing, we need light to power our houses, and we use lights in almost every celebration. In Egypt, where I am from, it is common to see colored light bulbs like the ones in the painting attached to a string and lit up brightly. These lights are used to decorate weddings (especially those in rural areas), to celebrate the opening of a new store, or during religious celebrations like Eid. I’ve always liked how these lights look and spurt bright colors into the night. After painting this picture, I wished I had painted it on navy blue paper, but I’m not sure how watercolors would have reacted with that. One way to find out :o)

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Day 5: Comfort

Nothing beats going back home after a long day at work, slipping into your pyjamas, and tucking your PJ trousers into warm comfy socks. As I attempted to paint my view in my comfy outfit, while sitting on my favorite couch, I completely messed up the painting of the background. So with the time limitation, I cut out the part that I did like, and took a picture in some sort of perspective. Mixed media art perhaps?

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Day 6: Shadow

One of my main limitations is time. And on this day, my time was especially limited. The first lazy idea that I had was to trace the shadow of my hand on the paper and paint the different shades that appear on the paper. Needless to say it was an epic failure! So I settled on painting a tube of yellow acrylic paint and more importantly the shadow it created on the table. I think I ended up paying more attention to the tube and not it’s shadow.

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Day 7: Composition

When I heard the word composition, this is what came to mind. A composition that exists in the reality of a time past. A village man infront of his house. In my imagination this composition is usually in the beautiful Nubian city of Aswan. I find myself drawing this image or ones similar to it all the time.

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Day 9: Texture

I decided to play around and try a few things out. So I tried out making different textures by scratching the top layer of paint with a fork (the top two squares), and suctioning some paint with cotton swabs (bottom two squares).

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Day 10: Time

Time! What an interesting prompt! There are so many things tied to time. For this sketch, I though of how my 24 hours are usually structured. Routine is the key word here. A routine that I'm thankful for. 

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Day 11: Perspective

My father is an architect and he taught me a little bit about perspective drawings. I decided to draw this one point perspective scene of a winding road as it is an image I see every day. I live in the suburbs, so I often see the city coming up and drawing close as I travel down the highway. I wasn't able to finish the sketch, but it's on my to do list.

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Day 12: Memory

My prep 2 English teacher used to say this sometimes when we got noisy in class. I've always remembered it and have found it to be oh so true!

Day 13: Open

This sketch was made with no sepcific prompt in my mind. I didn't make it for any of the days' challenges. I only let go and tried out something new with an open mind. And so it seemed to be the most appropriate one to post for this prompt. It's also open to different interpretations. Is it the way the brain looks when its got a million thoughts and tasks and worries circling it? This seems to be the interpretation that comes to my mind when I look at it.

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