The Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) is proudly showcasing emerging local artistic and creative talents to thousands of visitors, enabling emerging artists to share their work and vision with a wider audience of people. Among them is Emirati artist Bayan Al O, who is making a mark with her skills in art and portraiture. Bayan is captivating visitors to the festival with her stunning black-and-white pencil and charcoal sketches, of mostly UAE leaders and other subjects such as Arabian horses and falcons. Her stand in the the Artists’ Community section of the event, being held at Expo Centre Sharjah, immediately catches the eye with its striking portraits of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the UAE; His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; and Dubai Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum.
One of the portraits has already been purchased by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed’s Office, the young artist said. One of her paintings featuring a horse has also been featured on the cover of ADIHEX magazine (the annual Abu Dhabi International Hunting & Equestrian Exhibition).
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, where she goes by the name @bayann963. But 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, she says.