Sat, May 22 | Zoom

Exploring Islamic Illumination

The Exploring Islamic Illumination course is 6 weeks long and introduces the student to an awareness of the world of Islamic manuscript illumination, also known as Tezhip, and the discipline required in learning this beautiful art form.
Registration is Closed
Exploring Islamic Illumination

Time & Location

May 22, 4:00 PM UTC – Jun 26, 6:00 PM UTC

About the Course

Tezhip is the Turkish word meaning “ornamenting with gold” and is used to represent the Ottoman tradition of beautifying calligraphy. Renowned professor of Tezhip, Dr. Çiçek Derman, once said, “If the aim of the Hattat (calligrapher) is to write the Holy Qur’an in his best handwriting, the aim of the Tezhip artist is to illuminate it to express what is in their heart.”

This course will take an intellectual and hands-on look at how the art of Tezhip is taught formally. The most important aspect of this class is understanding the various techniques used to create a pattern and the level of fine craftsmanship required in creating an art piece with Tezhip. Students will experience a brief history of Tezhip and look at the different styles that are presently used by Tezhip artists.  Students will explore elements of Tezhip by looking at the building blocks that are used to make a simple pattern, and implementing those techniques in a pattern they will create. Students will be introduced to some major pioneers of Tezhip in the past and influential contemporary artists in the field nowadays.


Week 1: Introduction and history of Tezhip. Overview of Tezhip.

Week 2: Warm-up exercises. Constructing leaves (Yaprak) and spirals.

Week 3: Masters of Tezhip in the past. Constructing Flowers (Goncagul and Penc)

Week 4: Contemporary Masters of Tezhip. Constructing a simple pattern

Week 5: Painting techniques (Hatai, Classic Tezhip, Embossing, contouring)

Week 6: Completing a pattern (painting and contouring)

Materials and Supplies Needed

  • Gouache/Watercolor Paint Set -12 colors minimum (Alternative- color pencils/watercolor brush pens)
  • Gold paint (gouache/Coliro Finetec pearl colors/Kuretake Gansai Tambi (Alternative – color pencils)
  • Miniature Painting brushes - Sizes 0 and 000 (only required if using paints)
  • Mechanical Pencil (Alternative: #2 or HB pencil)
  • 4B pencil
  • Tracing paper
  • Watercolor paper 300 gsm hot or cold press smooth paper (Alternative: printer paper if using color pencils)
  • Eraser
  • Ruler
  • Compass
  • Disposable cup and plastic plate or paint well palette (only required if using paints)
Your Order
  • Regular Registration
    +$1.63 Service fee
    +$1.63 Service fee

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