The art of realistic painting

Wani Roslan

Having embraced a great passion for art of realistic painting since the age of five years, Muhammad Mawardi bin Murasedi, whose penname is Maw Murasedi, is an artist who turned his talent into a career.

Mawardi explained that it all began from the time he spent his childhood with his father, a realistic painter who inspired him. During that time, his father had been actively producing paintings in the form of portraits, landscapes and other nature works – and he fell in love with the art form.

Mawardi’s journey then saw him learning the basic techniques and understanding brightness value (colour tone), accuracy and drawing. It took him years to master all the techniques and skills.

While he was still studying, he took art as a subject and put all of his efforts into further learning and improving his techniques, and even took Art and Creative Technology as his major in Universiti Brunei Darussalam, where he successfully graduated in 2018.

“I learnt most of the techniques and skills from school and university. To complete a realistic painting is not easy, and we cannot expect when the piece can be completed as it needs all the details, especially playing with colours, which is one of the important keys,” he said.

ABOVE & BELOW: Muhammad Mawardi bin Murasedi shows one of his artworks; and a painting by him. PHOTOS: WANI ROSLAN

One of his achievements was producing a painting of Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Muhammad Jamalul Alam and presenting it as a Pesambah to His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam during the Teacher’s Day Celebration in 2013.

“I used acrylic paint with the combination of Posca paint markers to produce the portrait,” said Mawardi. “It took two to three weeks for me to complete the whole masterpiece. I slept early and woke up early to start painting fresh.”

After he graduated, his passion for art went on to be his career, where he is currently working as an Arts Instructor at Jo Art Gallery. Adding to that, some of his masterpieces are also on sale at the gallery, and customers are satisfied with his artwork.

In 2017, he was actively involved in art activities, which included teaching a landscape painting workshop as well as showcasing his artwork at the Impact 2017 event as part of his final year project in university.

Mawardi was also chosen as one of the 50 artists to produce artworks in conjunction with the Golden Jubilee Celebration of His Majesty’s Accession to the Throne.

Last year, he participated in the Emerge art exhibition themed on ‘Stereotype’ organised by Creative Space Gallery, and was also involved in another exhibition called ‘PTEM DOT’ by Meragang Sixth Form Centre, while also taking part in Mural Painting arranged by Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd.

As a full-time realistic painter, Mawardi sees that the demand for fine arts in the country is low, making him struggle to promote his artwork. However, this does not stop him from wanting to produce more of his masterpieces.

“Finding good quality art materials is also difficult – another part of the challenges,” he said. As a young artist, his mission is to actively involve in producing more works as well as participate in exhibitions locally and worldwide. He also plans to organise his own solo exhibition in the future, and aims to become an inspiration to other local artists, especially youth.

“Owning an art studio is part of my dream, but for now I want to focus on gaining more experiences and building myself as a professional artist,” he said. “My advice to young emerging artists is to not give up and to enjoy doing what you love most.”