Pursuit – A Painting Project

Introduction: Pursuit is a Japanese style decorative painting I designed, and painted with my sisters over the summer of 2016.


Time: 4 weeks | Roles: Designer – Painter | Team Size: 4

Design Goal: To create an aesthetically pleasing well balanced Japanese style decorative painting.

My Contributions: As the designer of this project I researched, and drew the initial sketch of Pursuit as well as painting and supervising the whole of the way through.


Pursuit started with a need for decoration, a desire for an oriental style painting, then a theme of the pursuit of ‘something’. Next a sketch with notes on elements that formed the foundation of this project.

Pursuit - Initial Sketch
Pursuit – Initial Sketch

Considering what I wanted, I paid Kuwait’s arts shops a visit for canvases. On finding said canvases I collected the dimensions of what was available.


Using those dimensions I created my desired layout with Google Sketchup, which I then printed to scale on A3.

Pursuit - A3 Layout
Pursuit – A3 Layout

With a layout I began the process of a creating a more detailed sketch, starting with drawings of more detailed items based on research of images reminiscent of Japan. Images such as Matsumoto Castle, the Cocoon Tower, Torii gates, wave styles, clouds, and villages.

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With a solid idea of various details for the painting I sketched up a detailed draft of Pursuit on a to-scale A3 layout.

Pursuit - Detailed Sketch
Pursuit – Detailed Sketch

Once the detailed sketch was complete, I next created a digital copy by scanning the document. Using the digital copy and a projector I traced each section of the painting onto its respective canvas.


Meanwhile we constructed a easel to hold every canvas in the correct layout. In addition I thought it wise that before the first brush stroke, to create a colored digital image to help in visualizing the final product.


Painting Begins

With a color scheme in mind I began painting with help of my family. The painting was done largely with acrylic paints. We began with the top left corner choosing a dark palette, getting progressively lighter and we moved right towards the sun.

Pursuit, Early On

Along the way, as is normal, there were various changes from the original concept. Changes such as to the:

  • Dragon (by my cousin Zohair Elahi).
  • Dragon’s color scheme.
  • Stars color scheme.
  • Skyscraper on the right.
  • Suns color scheme.
  • Wave color scheme.

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Pursuit started out as need for a decorative piece, and so I view it primarily as a work of composition, though I did attempt to convey some meaning in some ‘vague’ way.

Now near complete, it is in an acceptable state for presentation, and so is happily wall mounted back home in Kuwait! A big thanks to my family, particularly my sisters, for their help with this project!

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