Student’s work from the Islamic manuscript illumination course at the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts.
Last Saturday marked the final session of a 4-day course that I taught in Islamic manuscript illumination at the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts. Due to popular demand, I have posted up pictures of the student’s work! I was actually pleasantly surprised to discover how much my students enjoy having their work featured on my blog! I will do my best to keep posting up images of student’s work so that those of you who couldn’t make it to the course this time can have some idea of what we got up to.
For a rundown of the course content and activities that we completed over the 4 days, take a look at my previous post on the summer school course in Islamic manuscript illumination. The structure of the course was pretty similar, but this time around, students had the opportunity to try paper preparation techniques such as tea-staining, adding a paper size, and burnishing.
To start things off, I have to say that I was very impressed with this student’s notes and sketchbook. She very kindly allowed me to photograph a few pages of her sketchbook for use on the blog. I love how she has written her own instructions to help her remember how particular shapes are created. Tracing paper is folded, and sketches are re-traced to give lines of symmetry. I wish my own sketchbooks were so concise!
Notes on how to make a design turn a corner (below):
The next page shows experimentation with colour, as well as visual notes on technique, and comparisons of different types of gold paint – e.g. acrylic gold vs genuine gold leaf.
This next student was very ambitious! But that’s ok, I love it when my students have big ambitions. Her design was incredibly intricate. I’ve only photographed a small section here. She’s also used shell gold, which is a bit of a tricky paint to work with for a beginner. Shell gold is paint that has been made out of hand-ground gold leaf. The best quality shell gold that I have come across is from Istanbul – it is so fine, it’s like painting with silk. In fact part of the process in making the shell gold is to sift the particles through a piece of silk. Hmmm… perhaps I’ll write a post on making shell gold one of these days!
Finally, here is one more piece of work from a student who has taken my course for the second time, now. This time, she focused on an entirely different technique and style of illumination. It was a huge challenge, but I think that she’s coped superbly:
A quick note to all of my students who attended the course – congratulations on all of your work, you have all done brilliantly! I am so sorry that I didn’t get a chance to photograph everybody’s paintings, but if you would like me to post your work on the blog, just drop me an email with a jpeg of your painting, and I will post it up here with the others. You can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for attending the course, and good luck with with your paintings! I hope to see you all again soon!