Sunday, March 16, 2014

Royal & Langnickel Regis Oil Color Painting Box Set

This product is great for beginners since oil paint can be a tad bit messy and difficult to use. It has almost everything that you need along with an instructional book to help guide you. The only thing it needs is some turpentine, but other than that this product is great for any gift.  For more information/details and reviews on the product, Click the link below!

 Royal & Langnickel Regis Oil Color Painting Box Set

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Conclusion post

For the past 15 weeks of writing about art, I enjoyed every minute of it. I enjoyed looking deeper into something that I have a passion for and learning about the different forms of art. Writing about this topic, art, has taught me how to be a better artist and be more open about my artwork to the public. Not only did it strengthen my art skills, but it also let me see the works of other artists in my community and share things that we have in common.

The experience has brought to my attention that art can be in any form. At first, I did have a slight idea of the different elements of art, but I never knew how all of them are connected in a way. For example dance and drawing are two completely different art elements, but they share the same idea of expression and feeling. Dance displays its expression through the movement of the body while drawing displays it's own through pictures. The same thing goes with music and poetry. To me, music is poetry, but with a rhythmic beat added on with it's lyrics. Art can be expressed through almost anything, it's all about how a person perceives it.

Doing research on my topic I learned different techniques like scraping and layering with the oil pastels. This helps the picture to show vivid details and more colors because oil pastels are hard to work with when one is trying to draw a figure. I've also learned the basic elements of dance (BASTE) and how two bodies can move as one with the right exercises, time, and energy. I find that interesting because two people dancing can either look sloppy or organized; when it is organized it seems like they share one mind and move so swiftly.

Another thing I enjoyed was looking at other people's artwork in my community. By doing that, it helped me to gain new ideas about my own drawings and also leads me to experience medias in art like sand art, snow art, or even using chalk on the sidewalk instead of paper. I can image how my skillful chalk drawings would look on the streets in the public; and not only would I be doing what I love to do, but I'd be sharing my talents with other people who walk past my work.

Before all of the blogging, I used to just use other people's works as reference's and draw the exact same thing as another artist. Now I expand my mind and try to make my work original (oil pastel taught me the originality part because it falls under the "impressionist" art) as much as possible. I started practicing free-form drawings and being more original with pen, which are the images you see below.

I recently just thought about making a post about pen drawings, it came to mind last minute. Maybe I will continue with this blog and make a post about it in the near future.Though I didn't get the chance to make a post about pen drawings, I can still show people what I can do with just a regular ball-point pen.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Remember back in your elementary school days during art time when you used to play with paint? Those days were awesome and also a great way to start off a child's use of art. Defining the word "paint" in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, paint is the decorative and protective coating commonly applied to rigid surfaces as a liquid consisting of a pigment suspended in a vehicle, or binder. Paint comes a various colors, from original, basic red to an electric, eye-catching green.

Being an artist and experimenting with the different elements and compositions of art, paint has a variety of mediums. There are:
  • Oil
  • Acrylic
  • Watercolor


Oil paints are great for representing dirt, grime, oils, slime etc. The very nature of the paint is such that it mimics these effects very well. Oil paints are also easier to blend as they have a much longer drying time than acrylic paint. In The Painting Guide that I've found online, Debra Clem states an interesting fact about oil paint, which I was not aware of. 
Oil paints cannot be mixed with water or water based paints, including acrylics. Some artists, however, layer oil paints on top of dry acrylic paint. Acrylics cannot, however, be used on top of oil paints because they will not properly bind to the oil surface.
This subtopic in this guide discusses many different types of oil paints like poppy oil, cold-pressed safflower oil, stand oil, linseed oil, and sun-thickened oil. Clem goes into depth of each type of oil and their effects on the artist's canvass.

Oil Painting
Artist: Claude Monet


Acrylic paints, according to Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, are water based, and though they may not smell as much as oil paints, there are no messy solvents. During further research on this medium, "Acrylic paint is divided into different grades." states the Acrylic Paint Review. These different grades are:

  • Professional Artist Paint- contains a high amount of pigment  without  fillers that dilute the intensity of the color.
  • Student Grade Paint- contains less pure pigment and fillers are added to extend the paint in order to offer more volume of paint for a lesser price.
  • Acrylic Craft Paint- best used straight from the bottle as mixing colors with craft paint can be unpredictable. (Often used by decorative painters)
  • Acrylic Scholastic Paint- intended for elementary or high school students.
Acrylic Painting
Artist: Brian Simmons


Another form of paint in the art world is the water color paint. Wikipedia defines watercolor color paint as  the medium or the resulting artwork in which the paints are made of pigments suspended in a water-soluble vehicle. The advantages of watercolor lie in the ease and quickness of its application, in the transparent effects it gives off, and in the brilliance of its colors. Water color can make beautiful abstract artwork as well as fascinating landscape pieces. Dawn McLeod Hiem gives us an inside scoop on different techniques to use with water colors which are:
  • Controlled Wash
  • Charging Colors
  • Softening Edges
  • Lifting, Scrubbing, Blotting
  • Dry brush, Wet-Into-Wet, Salt
  • Sponge, Graded-Wash, Splatter
Hiem states, "Water techniques are the methods we use to bring shape and form to our painting, while at the same time allowing us to express our creativity."

"Dead" by Khadija Azzam

   This is one of my paintings I did about a year ago. I called the painting "Dead" because of the poem I wrote onto the painting. I used acrylic paint as the first coat of the painting. I first layered it with blue paint, then continuously piled more paint with other shades of blue and cool colors. My favorite techniques that I used when painting this was the splatter effect. This was done with watercolor and I used this effects to give the tree a look where the leaves on the branches in the background look faded. This painting won a blue ribbon in the Prince William County Art Show and is one of my favorite pieces of all time.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Right Side of the Brain

   Have you ever heard of the left-side, right-side brain theory? If so, I'm sure you know that the right side of the brain is our creative side as opposed to the left-side, which is our intellectual side. In this post I will not discuss the brain as a whole, but briefly talk about the right end of our brain.

   The right part of our brain, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is the right cerebral hemisphere of the human brain especially when viewed in terms of its predominant thought processes (as creativity and intuitive thinking). When a person is right brain dominant, they are thought of as the dreamers, the artists, and the musicians of the world. Just because they are not as good with numbers and remembering facts does not mean that they are "dumber" than a left-brain person. These people just have their strength in different areas.

   During my research on the right side of the brain, I have come across Barbara Pytel's article called, "Right Brain Characteristics" and she goes into depth about the traits and characteristics of the creative half of our brains. Pytel talks about how right-brain people learn, deal with work, their careers, and additional interesting information.

How They Learn

   In Barbara Pytel's theory, a person who is right brain dominant learns through visualizing things. They don't memorize too well and need a visual thought to recall facts. She also mentions in this section that when one who is right brain dominant answers a question, they tend to look to their left. From what I've heard from many people, looking to your left while answering someone's question generally means that the person is lying. That creative person isn't looking to their left in terms of being dishonest.

Dealing with words

   In Barbara's post, she provides an interesting and comprehensive example of how some right-brain people with words, or work in general:
On a spelling test, a right brain hears the word "dog." Their mind wanders to the thought of the neighbor's dog which barked most of the night, that reminds them of the fact that the neighbors are in the Bahamas, which takes them to an island with palm trees and sandy beaches, which reminds them that they need a bathing suit for this weekend, which reminds them that they will need to take spending money... Teacher says, "Word #7 is house." Student raises hand and asks what word #6 was. They've checked out for a while.
   I personally love this example because this is exactly how I act when I am trying to get work done. I'm right brain dominant and I get easily distracted by almost anything. One thought leads to another and it goes on for so long to the point where I ask myself, "How did I even get to this topic? Back to work!"

Perfect Careers

Some perfect careers for the right brain people include:
  • Craftsmen
  • Sales
  • Athletes
  • Dancers
  • Artists
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Musician
In the study of the right brain in psychology (Kendra Cherry), some abilities that is associated with the right side of the brain include:
  • Recognizing faces
  • Colors
  • Expressing/Reading emotions
  • Music
  • Images
  • Creativity

Our creative side, I believe, is what started art.Without it, what would art, or even feelings and emotions, be in this world?

Works Cited
Pytel, Barbara. "Right Brain Characteristics." Suite 101, 28 June 2006. Web. 10 Apr. 2013.
Cherry, Kendra. "Left Brain vs Right Brain." Psychology., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2013.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Body Art is one thing the fascinates many people. In fact, according to Statistic Brains, 14 percent of the U.S. population have at least one tattoo on their body. Their survey says that the total percentage of people in the United States who says they're "addicted to ink" is 32 percent. What makes these people say this? Well from my prespective, these designs and art on the human skin expresses one's creativity and artsy side with the others. Kind of like graffiti, tattoos are a way share the meanings of the body art with the public; only difference is that tattoos are permanent.

Researching the body art, I came across an article, What Are Tattoos and Where Did They Originate. The article says that the word tattoo derived from the Tahitian word tattau, which means "to mark". The article also give a brief description of how the process of getting a tattoo is done. Tattoos are made by penetrating your skin with a needle and injecting ink into the area, usually creating some sort of design. What makes tattoos so long-lasting is that they're so deep, the ink is not injected into the top layer of pone's skin. Instead, the ink is injected into the second layer of the skin which make the tattoo practically permanent.

Today, tattoos are done by a modern tattoo machine. Be aware that in some countries in the world, tattoos are still done manually, and I know this by living in another country (Liberia). In Tracy V. Wilson's article "How Tattoos Work", she provides the component's of a morden tattoo machine, which are:

    • A sterilized needle
    • A tube system, which draws the ink through the machine
    • An electric motor
    • A foot pedal,which controls the vertical movement of the needle.
In contrast to the previous article, Wilson goes into great depth about creating a to tattoo and many facts one should know about the art.

Tattoos can have over a million different designs; from tribal, to abstract, to a portrait, to words. The ink shows a variety of colors and will forever stay put.

Tribal Tattoo

Glow-in-the-dark Tattoo

Quote Tattoo

From my personal experiences, I have taken a friend of mine to get his tattoo done. It took about 4 hours to get an image of the Greek God Poseidon tatted on his arm. The tattoo artist, Archelle, started off by tracing the picture onto a piece of paper, then afterwards she traced the stencil drawing onto his arm with a marker. After the outline was completed, she went right to work with the needle. The outlining of the tattoo was the longest part; the shading took about 30 minutes.

My friend, Marcus, getting his tattoo.

From my own knowledge of tattoos, high-paying jobs in the United States classifies tattoos as some sort of "bad image" to an individual. You don't see too many doctors or lawyer with a whole sleeve tatted on them, but if you do, it is covered up or in a place where one would have to search for it. I think it's like this because many people who have tattoos are affiliated with gangs or some sort of violence. Tattoos seem "unprofessional", but if those people can only open their eyes to see the true meaning of the art, tattoos should not be a problem.

My opinion on tattoos is that they are a work of art, especially when they have meaning to it. Im getting a couple tattoos myself on my 18th birthday in August. One is going to be The Seed of Life with the quote "Everything is connected. We are all God's children.", which will be located on my side where my rib cage is. The second tattoo is going to run down my spine stating, " My mother is my backbone" in Arabic. To me, the body is a canvass.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Opposing Graffiti

Is graffiti art, vandalism, or both? The bright colors and designs that cover the streets' walls may look appealing to the eye, but also a sign or gateway to petty crime. According to Jeanna Bryner's article: "Graffiti Triggers Crime and Littering" graffiti that is present in the public increases the crime and litter rate. A group of researchers did a few experiments to test out this theory, which in fact, turned out to be true.

A passage from Jeanna's article tells us some of the experiments the researchers did:

"In two other experiments, the researchers found that graffiti and litter can lead to stealing. They stuck an envelope that contained cash partway into a mailbox so that passersby could see the envelope and the money within. In one scenario, graffiti covered the mailbox. And 25 percent of passersby stole the envelope from the graffiti-covered mailbox, while just 13 percent stole from the clean mailbox.When litter was scattered around the clean mailbox, nearly 30 percent of passersby stole the envelope, compared with the 13 percent in the litter-free and graffiti-free scenario."

In another article that I have read, the author dives into the modern day perspective of graffiti. Killian Tobin states that graffiti started off as a form of artistic expressions from young people. It was a way to get kids, especially young boys, to show off their artistic skills and thoughts to the world, until it started getting onto the walls of private property owners. This is where things got out of hand when graffiti artists had to compete for space and private owners were offended by their markings. They started to categorize artistic graffiti as gang graffiti. It is very unfortunate that something so beautiful could have a bad reputation because of what other's judge.

"Artistic Graffiti" 
This is art.

"Gang Graffiti"
This is not art.

I, too agree that this form of art grew into an activity that vandalizes personal space of a private owner, but I don't think people should be scared every time they see a design or a basic word written on the wall. Spray painting art in the public may be illegal, but it won't stop those who rebel against it from expressing themselves to the public.

Though graffiti is a crime, it is still art. Maybe we should try covering up those gang signs instead.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Words of Art (poetry)

Roses are red, violets are blue
What is poetry to me and you?

   Poetry, in actual definition, is the literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm. It is a way to write out one's thoughts and emotions to relieve an internal conflict, whether it's positive or negative. When people think of poetry, they often think of it having a rhyming scheme. This does have a lot to do with poetry, but this is not always the case. My previous English teacher once told me that poetry has no rules or regulations; it comes from what you think is poetic and expressive from your own mind and heart.

   How can one understand the basics of poetry or even make it? Well, poetry is broken down into many different elements, just like how art, in general, is divided into many parts. According to the Lifestyle Lounge in their article The Basic Elements of Poetry, the main elements of poetry are:

  • Theme
  • Symbolism
  • Meter
  • Rhythm
Other elements include:

  • Rhyme 
  • Alliteration
  • Simile
  • Metaphor
   I've also stumbled across an interesting slide-show on Google where they included personification and repetition as other forms of elements. The list still continues because again, poetry has no specific rules or regulations; it can be composed with a lot of things.

 "To climb steep hills requires slow pace at first."  -William Shakespeare

   A couple of my favorite poets are William Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson. Shakespeare is well-known across the world and has composed over a hundred of poems in his lifetime. Majority of people are familiar with his famous plays Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth. The quote underneath his picture above is one of my favorite quotes by him. It is a simple statement that means so much and can be used for motivation in any situation in life.

Emily Dickinson
   Emily Dickinson is another one of my favorite poets because she was a private poet and lived a reclusive lifestyle. I find that interesting because I'm the same way, but with my poetry. I never seem to share my poems and I keep them locked away. What's unique about her poems is that they often lacked titles, contained short lines, and used unconventional capitalization and punctuation. This is specifically why I believe poems should not have any restrictions. Emily did it without a care and all because she was expressing herself and was not doing it for any reward or "academic writing skills".

   As an artist, I am a very sensitive and expressive person. I've previously stated that I express myself through my art and poems. This poem was constructed by me some time in the beginning of the year 2011. The poem in entitled "Dead" and it is based of a heartbreak that I have experienced in the past.

"Like a dying rose your words still untold
As my heart squanders and tries to unfold
Your presumptuous heart is highly elated
While my heart is truly devastated 
Will be dead.
Your love, evanescent, was very inconspicuous and brash
The burning flames confiscates my lungs with the burning ash
But my own solicitude for my fervent heart will stay
As your delusions and lies will be vanished away
Beginning to be dead
Looking back at the memories but on a new quest
My spirit is ascending, and my mind is more deft
As my journey comes to an end, I've finally arrived
You're still buried in your lies, because you never even tried

   Words are beautiful, and poems say so much with just a few lines. Reading them, and picturing it can really make a person feel the pain or happiness of the writer.