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A unique three-day practical painting workshop, led by Sharmina Haq, where participants will explore and take inspiration from exquisite silk fabrics from the Ottoman Empire. These luxurious textiles were characterised by large-scale stylised floral patterns including carnations, tulips, roses, hyacinths and cherry blossoms and highlighted by shimmering gold and silver threads which are now emblematic of the classical Ottoman style.

Participants will study different stylised flowers and motifs and will learn how to draw floral and çintemani motifs inspired from lavish Ottoman textiles. The underlying geometry, symbolism and repetition of patterns will be explored. Participants will design and transfer a composition onto watercolour paper and will learn traditional shading techniques and how to outline, paint and illuminate with real gold.

During the course we will learn the traditional methods involved in Islamic manuscript illumination … participants will be guided through the processes involved in paper sizing, stretching, staining (with hollyhock/natural dyes) and burnishing as well as being introduced to the processes and procedures involved in making mineral pigments and watercolour/gouache paints.

We will also make real ‘shell gold’ to use in our paintings.

Suitable for beginners or intermediate level with an interest in patterns and art


See link for taste of July 2019 course:


See link for Sharmina Haq’s work:


Further Information

12 June 2020
to 14 Jun 2020


10:00 am - 5:00 pm


Emerson College
Forest Row, East Sussex RH18 5JX United Kingdom