Course Description:

This 3-days masterclass will be an interesting journey for art lovers, painters, calligraphers, and traditional art enthusiasts. This course is essential for participants who love to learn about Islamic floral shapes, which are made of stylized botanical forms of leaves and flowers—the basics of traditional Islamic illumination. In this hands-on course, the artists passionate about Islamic art will explore a part of the history behind these shapes. They will learn and practice how to paint Islamic flowers on paper using gouache colors and shell gold.

By the end of this course, the participants will end up with their own self-made artworks that can be framed to decorate their space, as they were made with love.
This class will cover many topics from re-creating biomorphic patterns from historic manuscripts to painting them following the traditional methods. The participants will enjoy practicing the preparation of traditional materials such as making shell gold and getting the paper ready for their new art piece to be created.

 Course objectives:

  • Learning about the history of Islamic art through flower patterns and decorations.
  • Understanding the different techniques in Islamic painting. 
  • Practicing brush outlining, and the impasto painting technique.
  • Learning the basics of Islamic illumination, and the practicing its traditional process. 
  • Learning the basics of creating a manuscript pattern. 


 Course outcomes:

  • Participants will obtain the knowledge and understanding of the Islamic floral style.
  • Participants will recognize and understand the Islamic color palette and the different techniques in Islamic floral illumination. 
  • Participants will learn and develop the skills needed in order to paint, shade, stylize and outline biomorphic patterns.
  • Participants will explore the basics of the manuscript illumination process starting from the preparation of materials.
  • Participants will understand the different types and processes of manuscript illumination. 
  • Participants will acquire the professional drawing skills and practice them themselves.


Recommended for:
This masterclass will be great for anyone that enjoys art, painting, calligraphy and the traditional artistic practice.


Esra Al Hamal

The Saudi artist Dr. Esra Al Hamal is an educator, podcaster, and a co-founder of Bristle and Brush watercolors, based in London, UK. Dr. Al Hamal PhD thesis studied Islamic biomorphic patterns and illumination. She is also passionate about traditional art, and has been putting this passion for it in practice since 2014 while studying her Masters of Arts in Interior Architecture.

Esra Al Hamal

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