“My dream is to become a famous artist and sketch expensive paintings like Pablo Picasso, one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.”
This may seem slightly far-fetched but Shareef Shan, a budding artist from India, is not the guy who will shy away from his tasks at hand.
An artist of perseverance best describes his works as he uses social media to learn and promote his works.
He did not learn drawing from any art institutes or from any individual but his sheer passion to observe and learn made him an artist.
Thus drawing and painting continues to be a challenge and a passion for him.
Shareef is especially adept in the technique of negative drawing. Here the artist uses white space of the drawing paper (negative space) surrounding it with positive marks (positive space) to build up the darkest values with layers of graphite.
Negative drawing, he explains, is exactly like a photo film when one can convert a picture into real ones with the help of a mobile application.
Invert or negative sketching as the name suggests draws from a reference using colours that are the exact opposite or complementary of the colours that are present in the reference photo. These opposite colours are called complementary colours.
For the 50th National Day, it was his idea to draw Oman’s tri-colour which was a big draw at LuLu Hypermarket.
This he did with the help of dry coconut mix and coloured them.
What began as a time pass during his free hours later turned into a serious hobby and passion.
Shareef says he began drawing during his free time after work but began to sketch just as a relief from boredom.
“Soon I became fond of drawing. When I first drew pictures, I used to be mocked and received very negative comments,” says Shareef with regret.
Later, in order to promote and educate himself about his art and its intricacies, he joined two mobile applications and various art groups on WhatsApp.
Joining the group called ‘Kerala Artists’ and ‘Peaceful Space’ particularly inspired him and opened up his mind for more ideas.
From here he learnt to draw with the help of a lot of friends and colleagues.
He was able to meet a number of peer group artists from these groups and by noticing their works of art he became inspired.
His favourite medium is acrylic painting and graphite pencil drawing.
He also does his works on pencil, colour pencils and watercolour medium.
Despite his present work in the sales at Lulu Hypermarket near Seeb, he does not waste his spare time and involves himself in drawing.
“Drawing and painting is my favourite. I started drawing in my free time after work. My dream is to become a famous artist and I want to do more expensive paintings and make a name for myself in the art field,” confesses Shareef.
Positive comments and appreciation have come his way.
A group of foreign visitors from the UK saw his caricature of Mickey Mouse, the famous cartoon character.
“I just sat and completed the drawing. I never thought that it would change my life,” he says.
Shareef casually drew the picture which was noticed by few foreigners. They loved and appreciated it very much and the travellers advised him to draw more and improve his skills. He presented his drawing to a little girl in the group.
After he moved to the Sultanate from UAE, he was able to meet and network among his peers and artists in the field. “Their attitude was very supportive and my new friends began to appreciate my drawing. They gave me advice and motivation to continue my practice,” he says.
It was at this time he began to move to draw realistic drawing. Some of them took a month for him to complete for which he earned a good response and he was content.
Shareef admits his dreams are big and he still has promises to keep.
It was not only his friends circle but also his family friends who backed him. His wife Aneena and son Aydhin Zaman also lend him their encouragement.
His Instagram handle is @ shareefshan790 and YouTube as Shan Art.