In celebration of Multicultural Children’s Book Day, I was sent the stunning picture book In My Mosque written by M. O. Yuksel, and illustrated by Hatem Aly, published by HarperCollins.
The book explains all the activities that occur inside a mosque, from the location of the shoe corral to the various rooms that hold cleansing, prayers, and studies.
The strongest theme throughout the entire book is the sense of community. There are various people of all color, size, age and nationality featured in the book, just like Islam. The images not only show the different types of people in Islam, but also the various architecture of mosques around the world.
One of our favorite spreads includes the beautiful adobe Great Mosque of Djenne. My daughter and I thought it might be fun to replicate the painting by the talented Mr. Aly, but with actual mud.
First we watched a few videos about Louisiana mud painting by the artist Henry Neubig and then went outside to collect mud! I hope you try it too after seeing how easy it is to do.
- Mud – we found three types in our yard
- Egg yolk
- Watercolor paper
We started by adding a tiny bit of dirt to start and a lot of water, adding more dirt to get the consistency of paint. We took out any roots or pieces that were too large.
Once we had the correct consistency, we added a few drops of the egg yolk. The yolk helps bind the mud to the paper so that it does not flake off once the water is dry.
I helped my daughter draw out the outline of the mosque with pencil, so that she knows where to stop painting the sky. She started by using a brush and only water to get the watercolor paper damp so that it absorbs the mud better. Then she got to work painting with the first mud color the entire upper part of the painting.
This is what the painting looks like with one mud color.
Now it is time to add our second color. My daughter painted the entire bottom half of the painting in the second mud color. She also started to add dimensions to the lines now.
To really make our lines stand out, my daughter went back over them with the edge of the brush. This extra paint adds value to the mud, making it darker.
Using that same technique, we added our third and final color of paint, the darkest one. We turned the brush horizontal and adding the foot holds that encompass the entire mosque.
The hardest part is waiting for the artwork to dry. I think my daughter did a very good job of creating a piece of artwork that was inspired by the artwork of Mr. Aly, do you? Stop by A Crafty Arab on Facebook page to let us know.
Tip: If my daughter found that she had painted a little extra paint in one location, creating a puddle, we dabbed it a little with a paper towel and start over. I love how easy it was to fix mistakes, however, this is not the type of painting for anyone that likes perfect lines.
Check out these other Multicultural Children’s Book Day inspired crafts we’d done before