Secrets of the Persian Gulf

Gulf of “Khaleeji” henna designs are known for their grace, flow and unusual structures. At first glance, they seem almost simple. So why is it that when we copy the designs, they never look quite right?

Find out the answers at Henna Chai, at the Pearlstone Center near Baltimore Maryland this March 8-10th.

The Gulf style is a highly creative, ever-evolving style, and we are going to dive right into this intermediate-level class with some cone control warm-ups. Gulf henna motifs are often the result of varying cone-pressure mid-flow, so you can start practicing your teardrops now, as we will only do a quick review of pressure control. Line-draping is another skill that is a prerequisite for this class.

Next we are going to look at some of the basic foundation motifs found in Gulf designs, such as roses, florets, leaves, vines, ribbons, feathers, and dots. We’ll discuss how to group them, mixing and matching different shapes and textures and using negative space or ribbon-work to create movement in the design.

khaleeji henna

Motifs in Persian Gulf henna

Gulf-style henna

Gulf-style henna


We will explore a secondary type of Khaleeji design, comprised of larger abstract design shapes in unusual layouts. We will learn how to create your own unique design placements, try some different fill-patterns, while still maintaining balance and flow. We will learn about creating abstract graphic edges, fractal patterning, negative space, repetitive motifs, and connective elements. I know, it’s a lot! These designs are very cutting edge and fashion forward, so put your fussy Indian bridal mehndi thoughts aside and get ready to express yourself!

Modern henna

Modern henna

Finally, we will touch briefly on Sudani design, while not really “Gulf”, this style is gaining rapid popularity and uses many of the same concepts as Gulf design, on an even bolder scale.

Sudani Mehndi feet near Playa del Carmen

Sudani Mehndi feet near Playa del Carmen

Time permitting, we will close our notebooks, and each create our own Gulf design on skin or paper, flowing directly from our inner creativity while remaining focused on texture, negative space, and balance. You will want to bring what you’ve learned about flow and negative space into all of your artwork!


One thought on “Secrets of the Persian Gulf

  1. Hello Darcy, the Khaleeji style is my absolute favorite style. Both the delicate lush florals and the oversized modern Emerati –Is there any chance you’ll be teaching at any of the scheduled conferences? Also, are there any sources (other than scouring google searches) you can recommend to learn more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: