I am super excited to be offering classes at Henna Chai this March, in Maryland at the Pearlstone Center. One of the courses I'll be offering there is "Introduction to Khaleeji Henna". Khaleeji, also known as "Gulf" or "Persian Gulf" is a beautiful and unique style of mehndi. Some characteristics are the free-flowing and spontaneous designs, unusual layouts, negative space, and whimsical floral and abstract motifs. Many people have expressed how difficult it is, yet photos of real Gulf work always look so free and easy. Why is this?
While the course is introductory, it is aimed for the intermediate artist who has good control over their cone or bottle and is accustomed to changing their flow mid-squeeze. While we will do a quick warm-up on flow control, this class is not the class for learning basic techniques. It is primarily a design class and you'll want to be able to draw and work quickly enough to keep up.
After our warm-up, we will explore some of the popular motifs that are used in Gulf design. Roses, daisies, vines, leaves, ribbons, flames, feathers, dot-strings, and abstract shapes create the basis for this style.
Next, we will discuss typical Gulf layouts and learn why negative space is so important in these types of designs. Have you ever noticed how when you copy a Gulf design that it ends up feeling static or contrived? An emphasis will be placed on creating your own unique layouts, using a special technique which gives this style a more spontaneous feeling.
Finally, we will see how some types of Khaleeji patterns use fractal-patterning, geometric elements, and repetition for maximum impact.
If we have time, we will each create our own Gulf-inspired design to imprint these techniques in the brain.
This is going to be a very exciting class, that will unleash some of the mysteries of Gulf design and encourage maximum self-expression.