Friday, 22 January 2016

20 minute sketch

A quick 20 minute sketch while the Mrs does her make-up. I usually draw an outline in pencil first to make sure that I got the proportions correct. Did not have the time this time so used a pen from the start.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Little India

Sunday morning was sunny and a bit chilly, perfect for a stroll at Manama suq. The Mrs and I decided to have a quick breakfast at one of the new hip cafes in the suq, Barastea, and then check out Little India, a project launched by Bahrain Authority of Culture and Antiquities (BACA). Opened in December 2015, the project features some road upgrade works, splashes of colours on building facades, artworks displayed on the streets, and small public spaces for weekly events.

I picked a corner that I thought was an ideal spot for a quick sketch, which eventually took me 3 hours to complete while the Mrs checked out the jewellery shops nearby (Thank God I have a sensible wife). The thing about sketching on spot for hours during lunch break, is that the perspective changes as people and cars come and go, shops close, shutters come down...etc. I started while the street was busy, and by the time I finished, the street was empty and you can can tell what's for lunch by the smell on the street!

I thought I'd share my sketching process in this post, which starts with a pencil drawing outlining the key features of the view. The next phase I use a black ink pen to draw clean lines and detail the drawing. Finally, I take out the colouring markers to give the sketch the final touch. In this case, I thought I'd concentrate on the work done by BACA; the facade painting that really gave the street a new special character.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Breakfast at Hajee's

A double fried egg with a cup of tea in a rainy morning, sitting outside an old traditional coffee shop like Hajee, will put you in the right mood to kick off your day before work.

Recently renovated by Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, Hajee is one of the many typical coffee shops that can be found in Manama Suq. Come to Hajee between 6 and 7 in the morning and you'll find an interesting mix of hard working people having breakfast before going to work, and drunken people having a meal after an all night party in one of the close by bars!

Note: Sketch done in a rush as breakfast was served.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

My Favourite Mug

I love sailing. Nothing beats the feeling when your boat is tilting in the wind, while you're hanging in the air fighting to keep the boat from capsizing, as you zip your way forward. I also met my lovely wife for the first time in a Sail Design competition. We only exchanged few words and it wasn't until months later that fate brought us together. So when we were furnishing our new home, I decided to get this sailboat mug, my favorite piece of furniture in our new home.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

"Socrates Office"

"Socrates Office" is what my father likes to call his study. He lives often in his own fantasy world, where he hangs out with Socrates and Nietzsche, surrounded by mountains of books and papers, either editing books, reviewing dissertations, or writing whatever it is he is writing. Age has not been kind to him, affecting his sight, legs, heart, digestive system, eating habits, and sleeping patterns. Yet, may God bless him with strength and good health, his passion to work never dwindled. Now he has to resort to his magnifier for every little task, which often irritates him, as you can see from his pose trying to comprehend a "whatsapp" message.

A friend of my father once quoted Al-Mutannabi in an article about him, which I will not do justice by translating. Here is the verse for Arabic readers only:
وإذا كانَتِ النّفُوسُ كِباراً ... تَعِبَتْ في مُرادِها الأجْسامُ

Wednesday, 23 December 2015


Well, after putting some thought into it, I decided to go back to blogging after a 5 year hiatus. I initially started blogging back in 2007 posting images, videos, and links that I found interesting, so that I could easily refer to for inspiration whenever I needed to. Back then social media was not what it is today, so blogging seemed to be a good medium to do this. As social network websites and apps started emerging, I gradually lost interest in blogging as I found other more suitable media for my purpose. I kept the blog floating until 2010, when I gave it up as I picked up Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and the list goes on... Some I have abandoned, others I still use to this day.

So what would make me start blogging again, you might ask yourself? Well, I decided to take on a new hobby, Urban Sketching! And what does this have to do with blogging, you might wonder? Well, as the manifesto of "Urban Sketchers" indicates, I would like to share my drawings online, documenting my progress and development. I pondered whether I should do this on Instagram or another website rather than here on my blog. And I came to the conclusion that I should do all, but what I'll also be focusing on, in this blog, is to share the stories behind the sketches, which might be more interesting to some.

I used to sketch all the time during school and university, but unfortunately did not keep it up later on. Recently, however, I cam across this book that ignited my passion for sketching again, Sketch City. The book contains amazing sketches, executed in a variety of styles, with glimpses of the methods used by different artists and their experiences on the go. Among the 25 artists that came from all over the world, I found 5 particularly interesting. I did some "stalking" and found some more material online, below is a list of the 5 artists:

So this will be a start of a new chapter in this blog, where I will be posting sketches of places I visit, and anything related to sketching. Hopefully, you'll enjoy it!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

CARchitecture: Porsche

I came across this wonderful Porsche Museum dedicated to exhibiting the history of the corporation. The exterior of the building did not appeal to me, but the interior, and particularly the details on the stairs were breathtaking. Credit have to be given to the photographer Michael Schnell, however, for capturing such elegant shots of the building.

The interior of the exhibition hall is designed to "convey a sense of arrival and approachability", guiding the visitors throughout the different spaces. It is located in Stuttgart, joining the Porsche plant and the Porsche Center at the historic birthplace of sports cars bearing the Porsche logo since the 1950s.