GUEST ARTIST: “A Love-Hate Relationship” by Emaan Imtiaz

Lighthouse Watercolor Painting by Emaan Imtiaz

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.

Cars In Street Watercolor Painting by Emaan ImtiazI 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.

Building in the Mountains Watercolor Painting by Emaan Imtiaz

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.

Mountains and Water Watercolor Painting by Emaan Imtiaz

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.

Peaches In Basket Watercolor Painting by Emaan Imtiaz

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.

Colorful Sunset Watercolor Painting by Emaan Imtiaz

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.

Emaan Imtiaz
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(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 Featured Artists
41 Comments
  1. Linda M. Gigliotti 3 weeks ago

    Emaan Imtiaz Your work is wonderful. I always said I can’t draw til a seasoned artist and crafter encouraged me. Even I like my work now! Just keep doing it, you are already way ahead of me! Your mom is right.

    • Emaan Imtiaz 3 weeks ago

      thank you so much for the encouragement Linda!

  2. Mary Roff 3 weeks ago

    Your work is wonderful! Art is a journey and you are well on the way; there’s nothing lacking in your work at all, it’s beautiful!!

    • Emaan Imtiaz 3 weeks ago

      Thank you! 🙂 😉

    • Julie E.H. 3 weeks ago

      Emman— I love your all your work. The peaches are lovely! There is a lot of light in the painting as well as a very delicate touch. Great stuff!

      • Emaan Imtiaz 3 weeks ago

        Thank you Julie I try my best! 😁😁😊😉😘

  3. rubiescorner 3 weeks ago

    I love your style, and that the paintings don’t appear heavy. There is lightness about them. I love everything I see here, and that is not always the case.

    • Emaan Imtiaz 3 weeks ago

      That means a lot to me thank you so much! 🙂

  4. Karen 3 weeks ago

    Thank you for sharing your story, Emaan! First of all, your paintings are lovely. And you are absolutely right about the joy AND stress we can experience in our watercolor journeys. Especially when we are trying to learn a new technique or aspect, right? Keep at the painting — as much as you can in between studies — and keep sharing your beautiful work.

    • Emaan Imtiaz 3 weeks ago

      its a strange mixture of stress and peace that infuriates you but doesn’t let you stay away from a brush for too long 😀 thank you for your appreciation <3

  5. Laura Kate 3 weeks ago

    Emaan – you are deserving. Keep believing in yourself.

    • Emaan Imtiaz 3 weeks ago

      Thank you so much Laura 🙂

  6. Karen Fortier 3 weeks ago

    Emaan your work is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Emaan Imtiaz 3 weeks ago

      Thank you for reading and liking it 🙂 🙂 <3

  7. Zertab Quaderi 3 weeks ago

    Awesome work! Hope to see more!

    • Emaan Imtiaz 3 weeks ago

      thank you and definitely! :p 🙂 😉

  8. Pam Love 3 weeks ago

    I think your work is pretty amazing and you are only 19. I like your style all ready. Nice and light and clean. I a sure you may discover new styles with more practice and daring to try new things even though they won’t turn out perfect. Its learning what you can make work and what doesn’t. Practice practice practice will make it happen. You are off to a great start. I think your mother may have recognized this talent in you when you didn’t. Mothers are like that. You are lucky.

    • Emaan Imtiaz 3 weeks ago

      thank you so much for the appreciation and advice! I’ll keep it in mind 😉

  9. Mahi's Dunya 3 weeks ago

    Way to go girlie XoXo

    • Emaan Imtiaz 3 weeks ago

      Thank you maham 😍😍😘😘😘

  10. Linda Coffey 3 weeks ago

    Emaan – I love your paintings. I think with time you might try loose painting & soften some of your edges! I am a retired & almost 68 year old & just beginning to learn how to paint using water colors. I love the medium.

    You have talent & willonly get better with practice!!!

    • Emaan Imtiaz 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much for the advice and love! 💜💜💜

  11. Sharon Nolfi 3 weeks ago

    Lovely, soft colors, and nice lines! Keep up the good work. Mastery only comes with practice.

    • Emaan Imtiaz 3 weeks ago

      Thanks for the appreciation! 😘😍

  12. Doua 3 weeks ago

    Hope to see you shine brighter and brighter everyday emaan❤️

    • Emaan Imtiaz 3 weeks ago

      Thankyou 😍😍

  13. LoriCtoo 3 weeks ago

    Your work is amazing! You are very talented and too hard on yourself. Your heart is obviously in the right place. I love the style you are doing. I like traditional watercolor paintings, however I get real joy in the style you create. Continue with your passion, it is what makes us happiest. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Emaan Imtiaz 3 weeks ago

      Thank you so much that means a lot! 😍😍😊😊

  14. Jerson Antao 3 weeks ago

    Your work is wonderful…keep up the good work!

    • Emaan Imtiaz 3 weeks ago

      Thanks! 😉😊

  15. ebaucheart 3 weeks ago

    Such wonderful water color paintings!!

    • Emaan Imtiaz 3 weeks ago

      Thank you! 😍😘

  16. Janneke Booister 3 weeks ago

    Your paintings are great and just think of all the time you have to improve yourself. In three or five years you will be way beyond where you can imagine yourself now! – If you don’t let a carreer interfere, then it might take up to ten years. Anyway: keep painting!

    • Emaan Imtiaz 3 weeks ago

      Thank you and definitely!😉😊

  17. Robert J. Coleman 3 weeks ago

    Emaan, you are off to a great start as a watercolorist! The perspective in your buildings is well executed and gives your paintings real depth. And I like how you used the sun in the background in a painting on your Facebook page. We will be watching for you in the future; and be sure to stay in touch with Doodlewash so we can all enjoy your paintings and hear the continuation of your story.

    • Emaan Imtiaz 1 week ago

      Thank you so much! Ur appreciation means a lot 💜💜

  18. naca A 3 weeks ago

    Oh I never would have guessed that your work isn’t as good as other doodlewash artists… I love it! Frankly, I love the peaches best, and the water with reflections in the harbor is glorious. All is beautiful and feels real, feels like I’m there and can touch it, smell, hear, and taste it.

    • Emaan Imtiaz 1 week ago

      Thank you so much for the appreciation! It really made my day 😊😊💜💜💜

  19. Lisa L 3 weeks ago

    Your work is beautiful! I hope one day you will find more joy than stress in the journey and the process! After all, to me life is stressful enough, my hobby shouldn’t stress me out! But, that being said, I understand what you mean.

    • Emaan Imtiaz 1 week ago

      Thank you! I will definitely keep working hard😊😊

  20. Ahmed Shah 4 days ago

    Love your articles doing check out my blog too and follow back if you like

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