Emirati artist Bayan Al O is making heads turn at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) 2023 with her pencil sketches and oil paintings of various subjects related to UAE life and culture.

Bayan’s black-and-white pencil and charcoal sketches of UAE leaders are just stunning. Among her portraits are those of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan; the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

One of the portraits has already been purchased by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed’s office, the young artist said.

The portraits, which are almost lifelike in appearance, give off the feel of monochrome photographs, feature intricate details and the finest of lines to render the appearance of skin, facial features, hair and clothing.

“My mother, who is an oil painting artist herself, is my inspiration and taught me my skills,” said Bayan, who has done a few colour works in oil as well. “While I prefer to work on portraits, my other artworks include still life, animals and mixed media ones.”

The young artist also said she prefers to keep a low profile and show her art mostly only on Instagram.

She has shown her works at several local art events and hopes to continue honing her craft, taking anywhere between a few hours to a few days to finish a piece.

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