Paint the Supernatural and the Night Sky - Angels, Divs and Demons
Starts 5 April 2023 | £295 | Online
Immerse yourself in the vivid colours, wondrous landscapes and the starry night sky in Persian Safavid and other Islamic miniature paintings. Explore Mughal and Chinese influences that synthesised along the Silk Road. Five courses will look at different elements - Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Ether. This fifth course, Ether, will be explored in terms of the supernatural: beautiful winged Angels, wild Divs and Demons and the starry night sky.
According to ancient and Medieval science, ether/aether or quintessence (the fifth element) filled the celestial spheres, cosmological models developed by Plato, Aristotle and others. The Buraq winged steed transported Prophet Mohammad to the heavens, during the Isra and Mi’raj, the Night Journey from Mecca to Jerusalem.
We will look at depictions of the starry night sky in miniature paintings and paint shell gold stars to make luminous and magical pieces in keeping with the element of Ether. We’ll paint meteors and shooting stars inspired by some of the wild comet-like trailing clouds in the miniatures of the Miraj. We’ll learn why monsters are not as fearful as they initially appear and why shell gold is the ultimate alchemical paint: real, liquid gold that can transcend and transform any layer of a painting - gold that has morphed into paint itself.
From fiery mythical animals we now cross over further into the supernatural realm of composite beasts made up of many creatures, miscellaneous monsters, divs and demons and finally into the human figure in the form of celestial winged angels.
This course is broadly Advanced since it involves the use of shell gold - however it is equally suitable for beginners. Your experienced tutor will adapt and tailor her teaching to your abilities. No previous experience is necessary and all courses work equally well as standalone courses that can be taken individually. However, to get the most out of them and to gain a thorough grounding in miniature painting we recommend taking all 5 courses. Continuing students taking the cycle again may start a new painting or bring along works in progress to complete.
The following course rotates to the beginning of the cycle and focuses on Earth – Rocks: stylised, spirited rock formations that spiral out of the painting’s frame and are associated with the supernatural since they are moving while appearing while appearing solid.
Dates: 5 April 2023 to 27 April 2023Total of 4 sessions: