Bahraini artist Hamad Bin Daina has a rare passion for cars. He loves the look, the colours, and the bodywork rather than the performance. Shabana Adam talks to the master drawer about his cool and quirky talent for sketching all kinds of automobiles…
After some hashtagging and searching on social media, we came across 33-year-old Hamad Bin Daina aka @ bh_vision and his insanely amazing sketches and drawings of every car model you can think of. We got in touch and asked him to draw us a cover that embodied the Qatari lifestyle in the form of a car, all in celebration of National Day – the result is beyond amazing! Hamad is completely self-taught and began with sketching cartoons, caricatures and all types of animation. But something changed. He became aware that when it came to drawing, his hand to paper pressure was quite heavy, and so he chose to start drawing cars.
“I decided to choose what I thought would be, for me, the hardest thing to draw,” Hamad says. “Especially sports cars, they’re very difficult to draw, but I taught myself to recognise the lines and the different angles and reflections, and now my drawings are done in my own unique way.” The first car he drew was the Ferrari F50 – aged 18. He has somewhat of a deep appreciation for Italian cars. “I love the shape and the way they are designed,” he adds.
Something we found really fascinating is that, unlike traditional motoring enthusiasts, Hamad’s interest in cars is sparked purely from a visual point of view. “I’m into the body of the car and the way it looks, more than the way it drives and the internal aspects like the engine,” he explains. “I just like looking at them, I’m very drawn to how attractive a car can be. Sometimes, I can spend hours looking through magazines and searching on Google about the shape and the design, and the history of the car.”
His dedication to his art form is constantly present in every part of life, especially when he’s out driving. “Sometimes I’ll see a car on the road and I’ll forget about everything else,” Hamad tells us. “I’ll have to stop and study the lines of the car so that I can start imagining how it will come to form on paper.” For Hamad, drawing relaxes his mind. He can spend up to four hours a day sketching, especially if it’s a detailed piece. When it comes to tools and technique, he’s very sure of the type of pens and pencils he uses. “The most important thing with my drawings is to choose the thinnest of pens and pencils,” he says. “I do my drawings on A4 so the tools have to fit in with that. For example I use a .3 pencil and as I get deeper into the details, I’ll use .03.
Hamad puts a quirky spin on some of his drawings, almost giving the car a character and bringing it to life. “If I’m only drawing “reality” cars, people can get bored of those drawings quickly,” he says. “So, I developed a unique style of sketch, incorporating my Arabic culture and background. I take the image of a gutra and the Arabic eyes and apply them into my drawings.” It’s certainly catchy and very different from anything we’ve seen before!
Hamad talks about his artistry with great enthusiasm, and he takes it seriously. Before starting a drawing, he’ll spend an ample amount of time researching different angles, the best reflections, and all the little details about any one car. “For me, to start a drawing without research is the wrong step,” he says. “Imagine if you draw something from any angle just because you love the look of the car and it comes out very dark or the reflections are not correct – how are you going to fix this afterwards? That’s why I research and look at as many pictures of the car beforehand.” The McLaren P1 has been one of the most difficult cars to draw for Hamad. But, the one that really took it out of him was the 1989 Batmobile. “It’s like a very big fan at the front and then the bat wings.
There were so many angles and lines to study – it was very difficult,” he recalls. And what’s his favourite car to draw? “I love all of my art,” he says. “There are thousands of cars out there and I get to pick any one I want to draw – this is really exciting for me. There is, however, a car that’s very special to me, from the beginning, it’s very close to my heart – the dodge viper. I really really love this car, especially the lines and the colours. I spent around five days drawing it.” Due to his demanding day job, Hamad’s biggest challenge is finding the time to create more drawings and take the next step towards things like exhibitions and art fairs, though he did take part in a local exhibition as part of Visionaries in Bahrain, where some of his drawings sold to VIP attendees and the social elite.
So, what keeps Hamad going? “The good thing is that you’re challenging yourself, and whenever you post your work on social media, many people from around the world can see it, like it, comment on it, and appreciate it,” he says. Hamad clearly has a personal and deep connection with his drawings, and more so with the practice and concept of hand sketching – a rare quality in this modern day of technology. He does it for himself, because he enjoys it. “Each artist has their own way, it’s like their fingerprint,” he says. “And drawing cars, this way, is definitely mine.”
GO: Hamad is available for freelancing and special projects. Follow him on Instagram @bh_vision and connect with him on email firstname.lastname@example.org.