Favorite Cafes in Japan 2017

This is my third trip to Japan and it’s as though I saw it for the first time! The only difference this time is the season. The first two times I visited Japan during Spring but this time I visited it during Fall with my family. And I was so excited that my sister finally joined us in our trip this time!

Although our whole visit was month but I still feel it wasn’t enough, lol. Especially when you’re already familiar with the language, culture, and places you don’t feel yourself out of place or a complete stranger. Japanese people are extremely friendly and they get extremely excited when I talk to them in Japanese. I really had a great time using Japanese language there more than I did before. I still need to work on it but I’m really happy that my understanding is growing.

Since I’m a coffeeholic, I set my mind to visit whatever cafe I saw interesting. I still have few places that I yet to visit but I’m leaving them for next time ;). I will share with you the wonderful cafes I visited and loved:

  1. Granny Smith

This has to be my favorite cafe. Usually, I avoid visiting the same cafe unless it was good enough that I’m willing to visit it repeatedly. Almost overtime my family and I visited this cafe there is a full line of people waiting to be seated. What they serve is coffee (obviously) and apple pies. Since it was fall season, the menu was different. The new flavors had to reflect the season. I remember trying their chestnut flavored coffee … it was extremely delicious!

Location: Aoyama 〒107-0062 東京都港区南青山5-8-9

2. Almond 

IMG_7488

My second favorite cafe. I loved the cafe’s atmosphere and they had beautiful selections of desserts and coffee. When I visited Japan last year, I tried their almond rose latte and since then I fell in love with this cafe! Again, since the season is different there were new items added.

Location: Ginza 東京都中央区銀座6-9-13

3. Honey Toast Cafe

Honey themed cafe. I loved the concept of this cafe and enjoyed their honey latte. They also served honey toast but I didn’t try it. It was huge and suitable for two or more people.

Location: Akihabara 1 Chome-1-10 Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo 101-0021, Japan

4. Arabica

I knew the origin for this cafe was Japan but I had no idea that I might come across it! While my family and I were walking towards the Bamboo forest, we came across Arabica. The concept and theme were similar to the one here in Kuwait but sadly they didn’t serve Spanish Latte which was strange. Still, I loved their coffee. The other thing I had to mention is that the place is too small so grabbing the coffee to go is a better choice!

Location: Kyoto, Arashiyama 3-47, Sagatenryuji Susukinobabacho, Ukyo-ku
Kyoto 616-8385 Japan

5. GongCha

Sometimes when you get lost searching for a place has its own benefits. We came across this bubble tea cafe/store in Shinjuku. It was in one of the inner streets but was full of customers. I really loved their selections and their hot bubble tea was delicious.

Location: Shinjuku 6 Chome-6-2 Jingumae

6. Azumabashi Parloir 

Again, a cafe surrounded by some restaurants and stores that anyone can miss. I didn’t that it was a cafe until I peaked through the windows and read the name. Curiously, I entered and was right about it. It was a quite and cosy cafe that feels like home. I extremely loved the ambiance and would certainly visit it again in the future if possible.

Location: 3-6-15 Azumabashi Sumida Tokyo

 

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Copic Markers and Acrylics in Fashion Illustrations

I used to paint my illustrations with comic markers (especially when I first knew about them) before using acrylics and watercolors. Whenever I explore a new painting technique or new paint/marker, I notice how the final result for my illustrations change as a result.

Since I used to daily draw and paint, I don’t always notice the changes in my illustrating style. However, when I finish painting I always get amazed by how I improved. Also, I noticed how different the feeling of each illustration is when using copies vs using acrylics and watercolors. If you paint a lot, you noticed which is painted with copics and which was painted with acrylics. I’ll post my recent illustrations which you can look at and compare the results:

 

copics
Pink dress designed by Malyarovaolga

 

 

fashion illustration
Zendaya at Met Gala 2017

 

 

marchesa1.png
Marchesa resort 2018.

 

 

 

marchesa4
Marchesa resort 2018

 

Those were my recent illustrations where you can view them on my Instagram account: @Anwaar.saleh. Also, whenever I draw a new fashion illustration, I usually cover up the whole painting process on Snapchat: Artistakw.

Below are few illustrations using acrylics.

 

gemini1
Gemini Inspired Fashion Illustration

 

purpledress
Cancer Inspired Fashion Illustration using acrylics

 

Did you notice the difference?

instagram: Anwaar.saleh

Twitter: Anwaar_saleh

Snapchat: Artistakw

 

 

Fashion Illustration with Copic Markers

It’s been a while since I used copic markers for my fashion drawings. I was so fascinated by the metallic and pearl pigments which made me divert to acrylics and watercolors. But yesterday, as I looked at my fashion drawing of Demi Lovato at the VMAs wearing Zuhair Murad’s black lace bodysuit, I thought why not paint it with copies this time? And that was basically it. I loved my painting in this particular drawing which made me think of recording a new video for my Youtube channel. I was abroad in the past two weeks which explains the lack of videos and tutorials. But since I’m back, I’ll try to post as many as I can. I also decided to give a short one-day workshop to teach people how to draw fashion illustrations (I really hope it goes as planned this time, though).

dl1

So, I used a lot of markers to add more details on this illustration. I published this post to show you my way of painting and mention the exact markers I used. By the way I usually record the painting process on Snapchat: Artistakw. You can follow and watch the stories before they disappear.

Basically I start with a pencil drawing. The more details I draw the better when painting and coloring. Because it’ll show you exactly where to add darker and lighter shades.

Colorless Blender 0
Pearl White E41
Salmon Pink RV42
Warm Gray No.00 W00
Cool Gray No.9 C9
Barley Beige E11
Baby Skin Pink E21
Light Orange YR02
Dark Brown E47
Black Bullet Nibb PITT artist pen 1,5 from Faber-Castell
Grey Cold Grey VI PITT artist pen B from Faber-Castell
Cold Grey III PITT artist pen B from Faber-Castell
Patio Fineliner 0,4mm light brown
Staedtler brown fineliner
White Gelly Roll marker

markers2

I used almost 4 markers for the skin while the rest are for the bodysuit and hair. The finaliners are normally used to outline the illustration and for drawing small details. IN my previous illustrations I used less markers but sometimes I use acrylics to add more details and give my illustrations that metallic and pearly effect ( which is my favorite btw 😀 ).

You don’t have to use the exact same markers I used for there are different colors and shades you can use for your illustrations. You just need to know which tones work well when painting. And if you have any question about the process or the markers please leave a comment or email me with your inquiry.

 

 

Face Painting with Patterns

So … I’m out of country and that’s the main reason for the lack of updates. I really was planning on writing a different post but it’ll take longer to finish. That’s why I decided to update my blog wit this post instead.

For the past few months I experimented painting on different mediums. That includes paper cups, mugs, and my face! Because of the past few trips I wasn’t able to record a lot of videos, but I’m planning on shooting a new one with me painting my face.

Since it’s all for fun and to both experiment and develop my art skills I used cosmetics to paint patterns on my face. Some of the products I used aren’t pigmented enough for the kind of patterns I drew and the artistic effects I wanted to apply on my face.

Here are my latest attempts with the products I used:

I entered MAC’s competition with this image <3.

The one below is digitally designed using Adobe Photoshop:
IMG_5012

 

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Twitter: Anwaar_sale

Positivefull

I can’t believe it!

I had a lot going on this year that I seem to forget about my blog!!

Although I’m active on social media but I don’t know why I’ve been posting less in my blog during the past few months. I’m constantly trying to balance between life, and work but I can’t seem to find that balance yet. Every once in a while I’m introduced to new experiences, meeting new people, and advancing in my own business especially through developing my artistic and designing skills. Lately, I’ve been experiencing constant changes a lot. And you know how much time it takes for you to adapt to the new changes only to be introduced to yet new changes. But the good thing is that I got back to reading books like I used to but this time I’m reading new genre which is Self-Improvments books.

I feel that at this point in life, I truly need to read such books. They help regain our balance from time to time. Sometimes, we’re just busy with life and such that we forget about tiny things that affect our lives. Getting caught up while running my own business makes me really want to reflect back to my life and evaluate the life I’m living right now. Did I achieve my goals? Do I need to change my goals? Am I happy with the life I’m living?

When we’re a little bit down we become pessimistic. That’s why at such time we only reflect on the bad experiences we encountered, negligence, or even the things or people we lost. But believe me, if you put those thoughts aside and think positively on how to change your life to a happy and healthy life, these pessimistic thoughts and memories soon vanish.

If you watch me on Snapchat or Instagram I always post the books I’m reading and sometimes I review them. But here I’ll post the book(s) I’m reading as well as a couple of other books that I want to read:

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey (currently reading)
  • Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins (currently reading)
  • True Happiness by Dr. Mark Atkinson (read)
  • The life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Konda (currently reading)
  • Spark Joy by Marie Konda (to-read)
  • How to Get What You Want and Want What You Have by John Gray (to-read)
  • Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray (currently reading)

I will try to review each book in upcoming blog posts and perhaps even capture few pages from the books. And just like how I am alway inspired by people around me, I want to inspire you too and help you find your happiness.

Since I wrote a lot in this blog post, I will post my newest designs and illustrations in a later post. Meanwhile, you can follow me on Instagram and Snapchat to know more about my daily activities.

Instagram: Anwaar.saleh

Snapchat: Artistakw

Painting Hatayi Motifs 2

 

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Last week I finished recording the last video from painting my Hatai motifs. I used different materials to show you the difference in each one of the painted flowers. You can’t tell the difference until all the paint dried for sometimes when painting with pigments, the paint seems pale a little but when it dries you see it shimmering wonderfully!

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Also, there are types of pigments which I’ll talk about in one of my Youtube videos soon.

For the third motif I used the following materials:
—————————————————–
+ Giotto brush n.4
+ Solo Goya gold acrylic
+ Gold pearl pigment ( 鳩居堂:KYUKYODO ) // You can substitute this with any other gold pigment from another brand.
+ Brilliant gold pearl pigment ( Jacquard Pearl EX Products )
+ Winsor and Newton mini watercolors palette
+ Liquid Arabic Gum
+ Auto eraser

And this is the painting process video:

As for the last video here are the materials used:
—————————
– Liquid Arabic Gum
– Solo Goya gold paint
– Japanese gold pearl pigment
– Plakkaatverf light gold 802
– Winsor and Newton mini watercolor palette

And this is the video:

Stay tuned for more videos!

Instagram: Anwaar.saleh
Snapchat: Artistakw

Painting a Hatayi Motif

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I uploaded two different videos of me painting the Hatais that I practice drawing every now and then. Ottoman patterns/motifs do require a lot of dedication, and patience. So when I have a busy schedule I tend to practice less and less. Yet, I always force myself to draw a simple motif so that I don’t forget the way to draw them and their shape. Although Hatais are flower motifs, yet they have a specific structure and drawing technique. I’ll post a video with a blog post later showing how you draw a Hatayi from the scratch.

 

How to Paint a Hatayi Part 1

The tools I used in the video are:
+ Winsor and Newton watercolors mini palette
+ Gold ink from Kuretake (Japanese brand) Website: http://www.kuretake.co.jp
+ Pencil to draw the motif

How to Paint a Hatayi Part 2

The Hatayi in this video is different from the previous one. Actually, there are many types of Hatayis which you can find in Ottoman Illumination Books but for a beginning, you can stick to few shapes until you’re confident enough to learn more.

The tools I used in the video are:

  • Liquid Arabic Gum
  • Winsor and Newton mini watercolors palette
  • Solo Goya Gold Acrylic Paint
  • Giotto Paint Brush n.4
  • Empty small container (to mix the paint with the Arabic Gum)

 

 

Instagram: @ Anwaar.saleh

Twitter: @ Anwaar_saleh

Snapchat: Artistakw

Art Commission

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I’m doing a special art commission offer before the end of Ramadan where I’ll draw your outfit and as an optional choice I can even illustrate a light background like my latest fashion illustrations. If you wish to know more about the price, send me an email and we can discuss the details through it: anwaar(dot)a87(at)gmail(dot)com.

Below are some of my latest fashion illustrations where I illustrated Ramadan Kaftans and other fashion drawings from Met Gala and Cannes Film Festival 2017:

I constantly show the painting process for all of my designs on Snapchat: Artistakw. This is both my brand’s and my personal Snapchat account so you can follow me to watch more painting processes and tutorials in the future. Also, there are a couple of other images especially for the brown Kaftan illustration which you can see on Instagram.

If you have any further question(s), request, or wish to learn how-to illustrate a fashion illustration send me an email at any time. I already posted my email address above the images.

 

Instagram: @Anwaar.saleh

Twitter: @Anwaar_saleh

Snapchat: Artistakw

Islamic Patterns & Tezhib

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Beginning 2015 I joined Turkish illumination/gilding course with my wonderful teacher Dilara Yarci. It simply means painting with gold. This requires special gold ink and technique to paint old Ottoman motifs. The complication of the process lies in drawing the motifs first, then at painting them. And one of the rules of illumination is to paint the full pattern with gold first then apply colors to it.

When I first started drawing patterns I discovered a way to draw corner patterns myself. From there it was easy to map the way I want to draw my simple patterns. So when I got into the Ottoman motifs I had a slight idea on the shapes but it wasn’t easy.

From there on, I bought several books to educate myself on how to draw Ottoman motifs. It was so challenging to learn everything myself but after years from reading, drawing, and watching other motif designers I began to know the technique behind drawing a full Ottoman motif.

Visiting Turkey helps with the learning process too! Visiting Camii’s (Masjids) with all of their beautiful patterns and decorations really inspire designers a lot.

In my last visit to Turkey I got to see yet new places and visit new Camiis. It was such a wonderful and amazing trip. Also, I managed to buy the most important tezhib/gilding tool which is the Muhre. This tool is used to brighten the gold letting it shine. And while I was looking at the other art tools in the store ( It’s called Guven Sanat: http://guvensanat.com ) I saw small watercolor palette that most artists and motif designers are using all over the Instagram. It’s really helpful to carry such a set with you anywhere even when traveling. At this point, I can’t seem to leave without my sketchbooks and markers.

Instead of leaving all of my materials behind I’d rather bring small sketchbook, markers, and this new small set of watercolors with me.

I’m posting photos of my pattern designs below. And if you have any question do not hesitate to shoot me an email at any time: anwaar.sa87@gmail.com.

newpattern22

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