Sat, Sep 25 | Zoom

Exploring Islamic Illumination

The Exploring Islamic Illumination course is 6 weeks long. It 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

Sep 25, 4:00 PM UTC

About the Course


Date Range: September 25 – October 30, 2021. Saturdays.

Times: 4-6 pm GMT | 11AM - 1PM CDT

Course Format: Online

Instructor: Farzana Razzaque Hoca

Scholarship Application Form [click to access]


Tezhip is the Turkish word meaning “ornamenting with gold” and represents 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 Tezhip artist aims 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 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 Tezhip artists presently use.  Students will explore elements of Tezhip by looking at the building blocks 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)


  • 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)

Classes will be conducted online using Zoom, and Whatsapp will be used for communication, sharing, and homework.


Farzana Razzaque Hoca has been studying calligraphy and tezhip for over 5 years. She has received her ijaza, the permission to teach the Thuluth and Naskh scripts in the Ottoman tradition, from her teachers Master Calligraphers Haji Noor Deen Hoca and Ahmet Kutluhan Hoca. Farzana is also studying tezhip, the art of illumination, with Master Tezhip Artist Fatma Ulusoy Sirajuddin Hoca. The term "Hoca" (pronounced Hoja) is a Turkish word for "Shaikh" used to address the teacher as a form of respect.

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    +$1.75 Service fee
    +$1.75 Service fee

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