GUA MUSANG: A retired soldier has expressed his patriotism by producing portraits of the ‘Father of Independence’ and nine other Prime Ministers as a personal collection and has also received orders from customers in Kampung Bertam Baru here.

Retired sergeant Ridzwan Abdul Wahab, 44, who runs a barber shop, has set up a small room in the premises as a workshop to paint while he waits for customers.

He began painting after retiring from the service in 2010 and has produced 1,500 paintings, while the initiative to sketch the portraits of the prime ministers began five years ago.

“Initially, I started by painting the portrait of the Father of Independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman, and then followed it up with the paintings of the other prime ministers as a personal collection. But, if anyone is interested, I will sell to them.

“I am proud to produce them (portraits) because they are all national leaders and it feels very close to my heart, so I will immortalise the faces of these leaders every time there is a new prime minister. So far, there are indeed customers who have made bookings,“ he said when met by reporters in Kampung Bertam Baru recently.

Ridzwan said the time taken to complete a painting depends not only on the size but also on the type of material used.

“A normal black-and-white painting can be done in a day, but for a coloured painting, it depends on the situation because I am working. If I am off, I only need a day to prepare small and medium-sized paintings, but for large-sized paintings such as family portraits, it takes two to three days because it is quite complicated.

“I charge RM50 for a black-and-white painting and from RM100 to RM200 for a coloured painting,“ he said.

Ridzwan paints using tools such as pencils and pastels made from chalk and sells his paintings together with frames according to their sizes.

He added that many orders were also received via social media, which he used as a marketing platform through TikTok ‘@sarjanwan576’ and Facebook ‘Ridzwan Wahab’. -Bernama

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