ISLAMABAD - The children and adults fondly showed their interest in learning the art of etching on paper to express their creative ethos differently.

Development Communications Network (DEVCOM-Pakistan) and Gallery Louvre arranged a lecture and workshop with the artist and art mentor Riffat Ara Baig to help amateur artists especially the children to explore the potential of the medium of art that is less practiced. The event was well attended by the students and their art teachers, and they enjoyed the learning through the practical work. Baig explained various ways of using the medium for more serious issues. She referred to her 22 paintings that are on display at the Gallery Louvre at present.

She said, “I have expressed all the gender issues through etchings on paper mainly, but also have added flavour of other mediums too in the etchings. We usually don’t explore the potential of medium by experimentation rather stick to what is commonly practiced. Art is basically to know and explore the hidden.”  Baig is genuinely generous in imparting her skills and knowledge what she has acquired through different experimentation in the art mediums. Through the workshop she explained all the process of making etchings on paper step by step and giving a creative touch to the artwork. The DEVCOM representative said the programme ‘Youth Connect’ is aimed at introducing various art forms to the youth. It also aims at promoting artists from rural areas, who have not gotten appreciation.

The instructor, Riffat Ara Baig, a fine arts teacher showcased 22 of her artworks, with paintings with black or blue as the base colour. The simpler technique using crayons in abstract form, treated with a black crayon after which a drawing can be etched onto the paper using a blunt pointed object is usually taught to children in schools. However, Baig who has been using the technique managed to instruct the workshop to effectively create paintings with more finesse.

The workshop consisted of art teachers and children from various schools. The young ones became enchanted with the technique, experimenting on their own. Instead of using black crayon to coat the bright colours underneath, Baig used poster colours on top and then sprayed the top coat with water which aids in adding texture to paint and crayon.

After using a blunt knife to etch a butterfly onto the paper Baig used paint to create a dripping effect on top; “It’s not important to solely use black as the top coat as many always do, I often use other colours even white,” she said as the children and adults alike etched away. The exhibition will continue till April 27.