THE TECH + THE REAL: A FORMULA FOR SUCCESS
WHY AN ONLINE SYSTEM IS ACTUALLY IDEAL FOR MINIATURE PAINTING
The online system is in fact perfect for miniature painting because of the nature of miniature painting itself. It involves tiny brushstrokes, and we can zoom in close to see clearly and slowly to see how I produce them. Indeed you can’t get that close in real life for long sustained periods (unless you take a microscope or magnifying glass with you!). You can also replay the video multiple times to practice. You can watch the video in slow motion. You can dive in really deep and macro. You don’t have to peer over anyone’s shoulders while I demonstrate, nor do you have to wait to crane your neck over a distance to see or for me to repeat, so it is a very efficient use of your time - yet you still have the camaraderie of an online class session with classmates from all over the world! All that without leaving the comfort of your own home.
This specialist subject of miniature painting is not currently offered on a wide scale online; I feel that my expertise is quite unique and that there is a growing demand for more niche courses of this nature - I have taught students of all ages from around the world for several years and would like to bring this amazing art form which I’m passionate about to a bigger and more global audience. Many contemporary artists are looking to this ancient Eastern technique for inspiration in their own artworks and I am ideally placed to teach this, having had extensive experience with both art forms. I am trained in both traditional miniature painting techniques (PSTA) as well as contemporary art techniques (Slade School of Fine Art) and am currently pursuing a fully-funded, practice-led PhD at the Slade School of Fine Art involving miniature painting.
HOW IT WORKS
The online courses are a mix of live classes and self-study time. You’ll attend live classes at a set UK time each week and work on the weekly assignment between classes. Every week, we will meet in the virtual classroom and participate as a class, which is set at a recurrent day and UK time. Courses are taught in a live studio format on the Zoom platform using video and chat tools with classmates from around the world. The live Zoom video format allows interaction in real time with the tutor and equally facilitates lively discussion with peers. Additionally, the chat facility can be used if you prefer to communicate your thoughts in writing. You will gain practical hands-on experience, study in a small group of like-minded creatives, receive personalised feedback from the expert tutor and complete set self-study assignments to be reviewed in class each week. Links, handouts and other learning materials will also be made available for self-study in between the live classes. You’ll be sent a preparatory email prior to the start of the course explaining in more detail how to access the online environment, a detailed list of topics we’ll learn and a materials list to get ready. You’ll be given the opportunity to ask any questions you may have throughout. Most of all you’ll have fun and enjoy the process of the rewarding experience of creating something with your own two hands.
WHY AN INTRODUCTORY MINIATURE PAINTING COURSE ONLINE…
Online short courses are a great way to dip in to what may be a new area for people, to help them master new challenges, develop their skills, get inspired by new ideas and access a rewarding learning experience without having to travel anywhere for class. This practical and broad introductory course paves the way for the more in-depth courses where we dive in deeper to cover more specific areas of miniature painting. This course is especially suited to Complete Beginners. No previous experience at all 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, it’s recommended to take all 5 subsequent courses which recur in a cycle. The following courses designed around the 5 elements will explore Earth: Rocks; Air: Clouds; Water (lakes, rivers and seas); Fire (the Dragon, Phoenix and the Simurgh) and Ether: the Supernatural (Angels, Divs and Demons). The 6th complementary course is The Art of Marbling. The 7th complementary course, The Art of the Black Pen: Siyah Qalam is a masterclass that dives deep into practise and brush techniques. Taken together they are a comprehensive miniature painting programme I created to give you a solid, well-rounded knowledge and thorough grounding in all aspects of the practice, history and theory of miniature painting and the book arts.
We take it step by step so if you've never painted a brushstroke in your life, relax and enjoy the process - you'll be completely at ease as we break it down slowly. We'll learn how to hold the brush and you'll get the opportunity to try unique miniature painting natural sable hair brushes that I created to accomplish these specialist techniques, honed over many years. Painting can be a form of meditation and deep relaxation and an online class with peers can be a way to connect with like-minded individuals from all over the world in a safe way during these self-isolation times.
WHY A THEORY COURSE ONLINE…
Art history and theory online courses in the past have either focused on western only or modern art history and ideas and there is a growing need and demand, indeed appetite, for the traditional eastern ones in a digital format: there is a real interest and trend for 'craft' and people are now interested in these historic, traditional and global art techniques. Thanks to the internet, online libraries and digitised collections we are able to access images of miniature painting at the tips of our fingers, 24/7, across time and space and without having to travel - indeed, some manuscripts are so precious that they are unavailable for viewing except by academics with special permissions. The online format allows us to get up close and personal with many manuscript images we may otherwise not be able to see in our lifetimes. My theoretical course focuses on painting from the west and the east - since there are so many cross-cultural influences - and I've designed my Traditional Painting Theory & Techniques course to cover both.
… AND WHY FACE TO FACE TEACHING IS STILL IRREPLACEABLE
Some things are just irreplaceable. That’s why I continue to offer face to face teaching from my studio. You get to experience a working artist’s studio and workshop. The oldest method of teaching and knowledge transmission is one-to-one teaching in real life. I can guide your hand. I can see the whole picture, your posture, everything. Some things cannot be replicated online. Some things you don’t see, you feel. Ultimately, the atmosphere, aura and feel of the painting, much like mouthfeel in cuisine, has to be experienced in person - going to a gallery to see an artwork for real is the best way to experience art. Art is multisensorial.
= THAT’S WHY I BELIEVE IN THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS!
I’ve always had one foot in the ancient and one foot in the modern as well as one hand in the east and one hand in the west; this is a sort of slogan for me, and is reflected in my heritage and family, upbringing and education - I am ideally placed to offer the best of both worlds. I’ve lived on 2 continents, studied and absorbed many traditions of both Europe and Asia and am a product of both the traditional arts (PSTA) and modern contemporary art (Slade). I truly believe that the ancient and modern can be combined with no loss of quality or integrity to either. I believe that technological advances don’t have to be a threat to the existence of classical forms. East and west and ancient and modern sit comfortably side by side and indeed they bring out the best in each other.
Online, remote and distance learning