Napkin Doodles & Sketches 1


As the title of this new post indicates, this time I’m sharing some of my doodles and sketches done on napkins. This habit started a couple of years ago when I would go for a bite with my children at some restaurant. While waiting for the food and talking with my kids I would feel this impulse, this “urge” to draw. My daughter, who likes to draw too, will ask me to borrow my pen to do the same. Eventually, my son, will ask for the pen too. Waiting for the pen as it will go from one hand to the other and finally back to me will provoke a bit of anxiety. So I learned my lesson. From then on, every time that we have the chance to go somewhere to eat I will bring three pens!!

This selection of “doodles” and sketches presented here were done mostly while in a coffee shop or a dinner. This batch are from 2009 and a couple form 2010.  Most of the time I would have been in the company of my good friends Said Salem from Egypt or Faris Alsaffar from Iraq.  In some occasions both of them would be present while enjoying a cup of coffee and having conversations about art and current events. Said and Faris, been middle easterners would prefer some hot tea instead. (Faris would have coffee once in a while) We would get together at the coffee shop in the Barnes & Noble bookstore in the city of Burbank, California. Sometimes we will get some art books to the coffee shop section of the bookstore and would browse through these books while sipping coffee and tea and commenting on this or that artist or their art work. A few times this would happen at the Big Boy dinner in Toluka Lake, a small city adjacent to Burbank. In some occasions we would stay there until two or three in the morning.  Nothing like the company of good friends, who are also fellow artists, coffee or tea, art books and napkins & pen to doodle.  (Thanks God Faris and Said have their own pens so I wouldn’t have to share mine with them in case they would decide to doodle on napkins too!)

While producing these sketches, I would have nothing in particular in my mind. I would just let my mind “improvise” and let it flow without attempting to “correct” or censor what I would see been taking shape on the napkin surface. It was a kind of stream of consciousness. The continuous flow of sense, perceptions, thoughts, feelings and memories in the mind.

I would use any kind of pen available. Sometimes it would be the ones that have a brush, like the Japanese Tombow ABT  N15 bh.  Or it could be the Pilot Precise V7 rolling ball. Both very nice disposable pens to work with. The napkins are 4 ¾  X 4 ¾

Latter on I will share some more of this doodles and sketches. In the meantime I would like to invite you to enjoy my friend Faris’ work by visiting his website at: His work is unique and different from most of the work I’ve seen around. He has his very own voice.

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