Some patterns are repeated and the point of the different colours is to show how different the outcomes can be when you change the variables.
So there is a tazhib illumination style (this message), a grid style and a hexagonal style.
The tazhib illumination style is for the Green, Red and White domes.
You can trace half the final image, and when you transfer it you’ll get the full dome.
Please feel free to vary or change as you like though!
Start with the flowers and double the pencil spiral lines as above. In practice, also because I was in a bit of a rush to prepare, I did most of it organically. Please note as well that I have adapted a traditional pattern to an onion dome, just because it is my favourite style of dome, shared with the Mughals! The original did not have a onion dome.
2. These lines are just for you; we will be colouring in them in during class and outlining. The difference is that the colour fill will be done after the outline. Where my brush is pointing: just to point out that I was experimenting with different sizes of flower and bigger seemed better as I know there will be some beginners in class and I was 'designing as I drew'; it is based on the original but with many variations. For my carpet pages class (forthcoming hopefully later this year), all sizes will be smaller and working on a traditional style carpet page. For this dome, everything is a little more exaggerated and bigger as I recognise it may be the first time ever for some.
3. Flowers inked in. Note that a) some flowers are pointy while most are the standard basic round 5-petalled form and b) the direction of the flowers matters. All petals are equal but the topmost petal is basically in the direction of the spiral.
4. The bigger butterfly flowers inked in; don't worry if you don't get the full form as these will be coloured in and explained in more detail in class (and in even more detail in the carpet page class).
5. Note that for continuity and a smoother line, I have overlapped many of the parallel lines. Of course, in the colour fill, we will differentiate them. For now it's just a technique to get flow.
6. Added in the leaves. Not all of them - most of them. If this looks too complex for you - ignore them! We can add them at a later stage so don't worry. (There is actually added complexity in the dots but we do those after the colour fill - again don't worry, and this will be explained in class.)
7. Erase the pencil lines once the ink lines have dried.
8. You are welcome to use the above image, print it out and trace half. The other half you will transfer and you'll end up with a full dome.
9. This is for the Red dome. Shown here without the leaves; might be easier to handle for some beginners. The redder tinge of the avocado stone stain might be easier to see. It also gets quicker as you go along and your hand becomes practiced in this pattern. I think it's good to iterate a pattern so you get to know it in depth and also explore how to push it. The Red dome will be a different colourway to the Green dome.
10. With full leaves.
11. The White dome. With the flowers only. Note that this is in walnut ink (as opposed to the black Chinese or Sum ink above) because it's on white paper and the whole dome will be very pale.
12. Inked in the separate areas.
13. Made each line a parallel line, to colour in. [Note that for advanced practitioners this might not be necessary as you'd just paint gold on top of a single line, but I think it's quite helpful for beginners.]
14. Added the leaves and it's ready.
Above is a closeup of the Green dome. Don't be daunted by its complexity; in the drawings above I have simplified it and the complexity comes in stages.
I thrive on complexity and will take you through it!
We can do difficult things.
Hope these instructions are clear; if any queries please email me.
It's a complex dome (but it would be less fun if it were really simple!). We are unlikely to finish the entire dome in class but we'll have made a great start, and you'll be equipped to finish it on your own.