Beginner’s Art – Portrait Drawing

Drawing after a long break. Hoping to find some time regularly now in future to polish it as still loads of room for improvement. Drew a sketch of Al Pacino…. first drawing in about six months.

Al Pacino


Beginners Art – Portrait Drawing of a friend

The last few weeks have been quite busy due to work. It’s a typical Chartered Accountant’s work season at the moment. Got some time today to draw a portrait of a friend on his request.



Still learning and still loads of room for improvement.

Beginner’s Art – Portrait Drawing

Utilising some time during the Eid holidays, made my third attempt. Have received good feedback on this one. I am gradually getting sense of shading and tones. Here is portrait of my sister which I drew:




You can see the progress here:

First attempt: Beginner’s Art – A first attempt at portrait drawing

Second attempt: Beginner’s Art – Portrait drawing

Beginner’s Art – A first attempt at portrait drawing

“Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets; art deserves that, for it and knowledge can raise man to the Divine.”

– Ludwig van Beethoven

So I am continuing my practice and trying to improve at drawing. Today I made a first attempt at making portrait drawing. Here is the drawing of my 2 year old nephew.



There is still lot of room to improve but I guess I am improving gradually.

My Drawing Adventures – NCA Summer Camp

I started blogging on regular basis about two to three months back. I normally write articles on topics of politics, history and sports. In order to polish my writing skills and step out of my comfort zone I started following The Daily Post blog. I try as much as possible to respond to The Daily Prompts. It is certainly helping me in improving my writing skills and thought process.

On July 1, 2014, The Daily Post issued the following Daily prompt:

“Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but never got around to starting (an activity, a hobby, or anything else, really)? Tell us about it — and tell us about what’s keeping you from doing it.”

I have varied interests and set of hobbies. I like reading books, watching movies, listening music, travelling and exploring, watching and playing sports, exercising and recently blogging. But here is this one hobby which I have always wanted to pursue but have not been able to start: the art of Drawing/Sketching.

So here was my response to the aforementioned prompt: Back of the Queue – Sketching.

I received very encouraging responses and feedback on my post. I would specially like to mention Kate who encouraged me not to wait and start drawing right away. So straight after leaving the office I went to shop and bought pencils and sketch book.


It has been at least 16 to 17 years since last I made any drawing. It was during my school days. So I made a couple of simple drawings to see where do I stand.

Foto 2



I felt it wasn’t bad considering the first attempt. I also received encouraging feedback from friends and family.


“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” It was a perfect execution of this proverb. On July 3, 2014 I came across following ad on the facebook.


And yes, you have guessed right. I immediately rang the phone and got myself registered for the course. My partner at office was kind enough to let me take Friday off. He encouraged me to attend the course.

National College of Art (NCA) is one of the oldest and leading arts institutes in Pakistan. For over 130 years, the College has been educating top architects, artists and designers in the region and the country. It was the first time this kind of summer camp was introduced, which basically was a community outreach program.


Day 1: July 4

After the introduction and getting to know one another, the drawing students were taken to the computer lab of the college. Our instructor, Mr Ahsen Asif, is one the leading painter and artists of Pakistan. (Read a recent article on Mr Asif here). We were asked to browse the internet and explore about ‘The Art of Surrealism‘. We particularly studied about one of the leading artist who excelled in this art, René Magritte.

After discussing the works of Rene Magritte and concept of Surrealism we moved to the main studio where our class was to be held over the course of next few days. Being day one, we were asked by Mr Asif to draw whatever objects we find in the studio. It was a sort of test to check where the class stands.

Here are the drawings I made on the first day:




Not bad I guess for an amateur trying after many years. Mr Asif liked the drawing and provided a very encouraging feedback.


Day 2: July 5

“The way surrealist painters twist the meaning of ordinary objects from mundane life, just by changing their context, is quiet thrilling to me” said Mr Asif.

So here was our assignment for the day. We had to pick and observe the real objects in our surroundings and had to present them by changing the context. I looked around and saw a sculpture and then I looked at my Iphone. An idea immediately sparked in my mind. Here is my execution of the art of surrealism:


I received 7 out of 10 rating for it :).


Day 3: July 6

Assignment was to visit the college, select a scenery and draw it. Focus was particularly on drawing foliage. However, there was a twist in it. We had to divide our drawing paper in three parts. Each part had to be made using a different medium. I used pencils, pencil colours and ball point as the three mediums. Here is my awful drawing:



Reason for this going bad was I lost interest half way. It was a hot day and sweltering heat just didn’t allow me to focus. And I learnt a good lesson from this experience. One should never continue with a drawing if you lose focus during it. Take a break, relax and resume later.

Overall the class was very good and some very fine work was done by all the students. An encouraging announcement was made by the admin staff that college will be giving us two bonus classes. So the workshop was extended from 6 to 8 days.


Day 4: July 7

Taking off early from the office I reached the college around 12:45 pm.

Assignment of the day was to draw objects placed in the centre of the class with crayons. It was a freehand drawing. Today’s twist was to draw it off-centre of the page by touching any three borders of the page and cutting few of the objects. Here is my work:


It was first time I used oil pastels. It went ok I guess.


Day 5: July 11

After a break of three days we were back again. We had some instructions from Mr Asif to collect specific materials for this class. It included large sheets of 40 by 30 with ads on it, white and black paints and brush. It was time to try some ‘Pop Art’.

A table with chairs on it was placed in the centre of the studio. Here is my really bad ‘Pop Art’.


I guess no need to comment on it any further :P.


Day 6: July 12

We were told to bring our portfolio of drawings made during the workshop to-date. One of our drawings was to be selected for the exhibition to be held on July 13. My ‘Art of Surrealism’ on day 2 was selected by Mr Asif for display at exhibition.

The assignment of the day: We had to draw some objects (boxes, bottles and balls) with pencils. Light source was placed on one side and we particularly had to focus on shading by observing the light and dark areas.

Here is my drawing:


Not bad for an amateur I guess.


Day 7: July 13

Today was exhibition of our works. Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Mr Pervaiz Rashid was the Chief Guest. The pop art drawings and one of the best drawings from the remaining works were selected for exhibition. The exhibition included works from all classes i.e. drawing, painting and sculpture.

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Day 8: July 14

A very interesting assignment was waiting for us. We had to use the cotton buds and three inks i.e. Red, Blue and Yellow to make a dotted drawing. For making different colours we had to make dots with different colours. And here is another miserable piece from me:



The only thing I was able to get right was the name ‘Fanta’ on the bottle at the top.

Making a mess of colours

Making a mess of colours

So this is how our workshop ended. I had a great time there and learned a lot. It was good to be back at college for some learning and fun after some years.

So I have concluded that I am better at drawing with pencils than using crayons, colors or inks etc. I mess up the drawing when using colours. So here are the few drawings I have made after the classes. I am regularly practising at home and feel my pencil work is improving gradually.

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Chartered Accountancy and Creativity/Arts do not go well with each other. Well I am trying to defy that :).