Hello! My name is Emaan Imtiaz. I’m 19 years old and live in a small town in Pakistan. I am also currently studying biotechnology and want to pursue a career in teaching. I remember being quite terrible at both drawing and coloring, and was pretty sure I would have no later interest in art. Art and painting are something that run deep in my family history and it was somewhat disappointing to not have inherited the magic in my hands.
My mother, however, constantly encouraged me to do the best I could and by the time I was 13 years old, I was somewhat capable of holding a brush straight. Improving in this skill was hard since I was studying every subject that had absolutely no relation to my side-hobby and I would paint one piece every four to five months. It was not until last year that I seriously took up painting as a skill that I wanted to invest my time and effort into, so I’m still lacking. A lot, actually.
I believe I have something of a love-hate relationship with watercolor painting. It’s the only medium I’ve ever used and the only one I’m comfortable in, but as much as painting is a stress relief, it’s also my greatest stress. There’s a constant pressure to be better than I am, but also the weighty belief that I’m stuck in one spot.
I do believe every artist experiences this at some point. Looking at the work of professionals and full-time artists, you just can’t help but cast a criticizing eye on your own work and find it wanting. There are days when I don’t even want to mar the clean paper with a single stroke in fear of a bad outcome.
Finding my style took me a long time and I think I’m still in the process, but I’m almost there. I try to not be intimidated or feel small when I look at beautiful paintings (such as the extremely, extremely talented guest artists here on doodlewash). And I think with time, I’ll be confident enough in my own work and not feel the need to compare.
I think the hardest part in my painting process is selecting a reference image. They either seem too hard for me to do or too dull to be recreated. Once I’ve chosen a picture, I can muddle through the rest with relative ease. I try to keep only to paint, but sometimes clean up with pencil colors or regular ballpens.
I don’t have a specific spot for painting; a desk, a bed, or even the floor works just fine. I don’t like taking too long on one piece. If it can’t be completed within a day, chances are I’ll never look back at it again. I usually start in the morning and work for hours straight till its done by the evening.
Materials I Use
I’ve used Pelikan watercolors ever since I started, and regular, cheap paintbrushes. It was only recently that i acquired a Daler Rowney sketchbook for watercolors and Royal-Art handmade brushes. It was actually after using good material that I realized that it’s actually quite, quite hard to work in an already hard medium when you have poor-quality painting materials. Hence, my number one advice: invest in good supplies. You won’t regret it.
I’ll conclude with the firm declaration that I will keep striving to improve. Painting is something I want to be part of both in my personal and professional life. Maybe years later, I’ll look back and tell 19 year old Emaan that she’s doing just fine, and will soon be proud of the art she creates.
(A HUGE thank you to you Mr. O’Shields for giving me such a wonderful opportunity for which I feel not at all deserving. It was actually through doodlewash that I was able to incorporate painting into my regular routine again, or it would have slowly faded away from me. Thanks so much for the work you DO!)Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in