Enjoy the translucent, stylistic and emotional watercolor portraits of Ashba Zulfiqar. To see more of her expressive paintings, please visit her website.
I started creating art with devotion in 2009, during my senior year in high school. I began by practicing photorealism to master technical skills such as proportions, values, and detail work. I grew fond of drawing in pencil. I then started using other mediums, like pastels, acrylics, colored pencils, and watercolors. I enjoyed all these mediums in creating photo realistic artwork. After mastering those skills, I felt confident to explore creating my own style of work.
My love for watercolors truly began in 2012, when I started to use them loosely, with more water and less pigment.
I was inspired when I saw many artists creating artwork that was derived from their own imagination and not replicated from a photograph. This led me to start exploring the possibilities of creating artwork that was more meaningful and personal. The artwork I felt the strongest connection to were the paintings that had human beings as a subject; I always was drawn to those more.
That led me to start using the human face repeatedly in my artwork, creating portrait style paintings. I not only enjoyed creating human faces, but capturing emotions in their facial features. I was heavily inspired by written word. I started figuring out ways to depict song lyrics and poetry in my work. It was challenging, but when it represented the source I was working from, it was the most rewarding.
These days I have been exploring combining geometrical shapes with the faces I create using watercolors along with markers and ink.
My goal as an artist is to create meaningful artwork that reflects the human subconscious and explores surreal concepts. I want to develop a strong unique style of work that still gives me room to experiment with a variety of ideas. I also want to continue to grow and challenge myself technically.
Another goal I hope to achieve with each piece I create is to make it memorable – something powerful enough to leave a permanent impression. That once someone sees it they won’t ever forget it. As an artist, that is the most rewarding thing.
I like to keep the titles and descriptions of my work very vague. I have my own reasons and interpretation of each individual piece, and I could explain the exact meaning behind each painting, but I want others to make their own connection to it. I want them to interpret it as something symbolic in their own life, Instead of being told what it is about in mine. Even though I begin the artistic process by focusing on my personal thoughts and experiences, in the end I want everyone else to consider it something personal to them.