Cairo-Mustafa Khodeir, a 22-year-old artist from Port Saeed who chose an independent path far from his father, “Sheikh of calligraphers,’” has excelled in the fountain pen’s painting technique. He has drawn more than 40 portraits for celebrities and ordinary people, and has shown a special skill in highlighting facial features and skin colors.
In an absolute seclusion, Mustafa holds a pencil to draw the main lines of his painting. Then he uses a fountain pen to draw the features by contouring lines that give portraits amazing embodied dimensions.
Mustafa found that calligraphy doesn’t fit his creativity although his father is one of the most famous calligraphers in the Arabic world. The young artist told Asharq Al-Awsat that his father discovered his talent in painting since he was a small kid and provided him with the psychological and moral support. He helped him in learning drawing techniques and the types of the Arabic calligraphy. Yet Mustapha preferred drawing on calligraphy, and started by using simple fabrics, wooden colors, and pencils then he moved to pastels and water colors.
Mustafa participated in many contests but always looked for a technique that distinguished him from others. Therefore, while searching on the internet, he found the fountain pen painting’s technique and communicated with artists in Europe and Africa to learn it.
The Egyptian artist sees himself realist painter for preferring to draw portraits and natural landscapes. He also describes himself as a spontaneous artist who rejects the constraints of the academic style in drawing. He publishes his works on social media websites to measure the people’s perception of his paintings. Sometimes he receives supportive and encouraging comments while at other times he receives destructive criticism from people accusing him of publishing altered images. According to Mustafa, these paintings require 50-70 hours, and that they are better drawn on soft, thick paper.
Concerning the difference of the fountain pen painting from other artistic techniques, he says that it requires a deep knowledge in shades and needs patience and focus because any small mistake may ruin the whole work.
In a big number of his paintings, Mustafa, who lives in Al-Hussein region, has drawn African faces, saying that the dark skin is much harder to paint, which offers him a bigger chance to emphasize his skills.
The young artist wants to move to paint topics related to the popular Egyptian culture in his portraits. Although Mustafa has studied technology at the university, he rejects to merge technology and painting, which he considers the strongest expression of human feelings.
While the young painter participated in a collective exhibition in 2015 to prove that his paintings are not altered works, he intends to show his drawings in an individual exhibition in the beginning of 2017.