A Cure to Insomnia: Khairunnisa’s ‘Hatches’ Her Newfound Talent.
BY: Michelle Liew
Originally, Khairunnisa Mohd Izham started painting using the 'hatching' technique to cure the insomnia she suffered from while studying at a private university, but unexpectedly, her work has now become a hot spot for art lovers in the country.
Hatching or 'hachure' in French, is a technique of drawing in lines or parallel shading that gives the effect of shadows or differences in the brightness of the sketch, depending on the density, volume and thickness of the shaded lines.
In explaining her love for painting, Khairunnisa or better known as Khai, 24, said that her interest in painting has started ever since she was a child. However, when she was younger, she used watercolor, charcoal, pencil and acrylic.
"In 2018, I was studying medical science at Management and Science University (MSU) and at the time, I was diagnosed with insomnia, i.e. difficulty sleeping at night.
"The doctor advised me to do activities that can calm the mind. From there, I started to make many small sketches of an object,"
In developing her hobby, she started learning new ways of using the technique by watching videos online.
"From there I started to practice the way and how to draw with the right steps so that I can produce good and interesting works," she said.
Eventually, she started focusing on the field full time.
"It's quite difficult to produce a drawing like this because we have to make shapes, parallel and cross lines and these lines have to be guided by direction, which is either vertical, horizontal or inclined.
"These lines will also be processed according to the desired effect, that is, closely parallel lines to highlight the dark effect while parallel lines spaced apart to produce a bright effect," she explained.
Khai added that the use of a pen in the hatching technique requires precision because if there is a mistake, even a small one, it means that she has to start the sketch again entirely.
"There needs to be a high level of patience and discipline because completing a work takes between four to five weeks if I draw on A2 size paper, while for A1 paper it can take up to three months.
"Even though it's difficult, I'm more comfortable using a pen because for me, the sketch is controllable, looks more 'alive' and is suitable for a painting that uses this kind of technique," she said.
"So far, the most difficult painting I have produced is Palazzo Carignano (a historic building in Turin, Italy) and my most expensive painting is a sketch of the Istana Jahar building in Kota Bharu, Kelantan," he said, refusing to reveal the value of the painting.
Khai has taken it to social media to showcase her paintings and her knowledge about the techniques via her account at @khai.izhamstudio.
"I didn't think many people liked the work of a painter like me when I received a lot of positive feedback. Maybe not many people know about the art of painting like this, so when I spread it on social media, I indirectly introduced the concept of painting like this to the public.
"I believe, without the support of social media followers, I would not have been able to go this far in introducing my work.