Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Atlantis The Palm

The wife decided to book us a trip to the Atlantis The Palm in Dubai. A quick weekend trip, which we spent most of it soaking under the sun, gliding through the water slides, and floating along the river lagoon. Following our check-out, I decided to do a quick goodbye sketch of the wonderful hotel building.

I walked around to look for a good spot with a nice wide perspective. I found a jetty just next to the water sports club cabin, which I thought was perfect. It turned out to be a mistake from my part, as I was trying to sketch under the blistering sun, at 1pm in the afternoon, when it was 40 Degrees Celsius, on a blazing jetty that burned my behind, with kids hopping on and off the jetty splashing seawater on my sketchbook and causing the jetty to wobble, making it challenging to draw a simple straight line. I persevered with the assistance of the water sports club staff, who provided me with an ice cold water bottle that got me going, and some encouraging words from a curious 7 years old girl and her mother. Below is the outcome following 2 hours of enduring the above.

In the comfort of my home, in an air-conditioned room with the temperature set at 23, sitting on my recliner, I tried embellishing the raw sketch, adding some shades and colors here and there. Below is the result.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

USk Symposium - Manchester

The 7th International Urban Sketchers Symposium was held in Manchester, UK this year. A city that holds a special place in my heart and where I spent 7 years of my life. I was not fortunate enough to take part of this event that was held recently in July. Hopefully will be part of next year's symposium to be held at Chicago, USA.

My first sketch for my first assignment at my first day in my first year of architecture school in Manchester was Victoria Baths, a Grade II listed building. Sketch dated September 27, 2003.

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