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4. Wild and Bright FIRE Dragon & Phoenix

Paint fire and the regal Dragon, Simurgh and Phoenix

  • Ended
  • 295 British pounds
  • Online


Service Description

Immerse yourself in the vivid colours, wondrous landscapes and fiery mythical beasts 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 fourth course, Fire, will focus on depictions of powerful fire in Islamic miniature paintings as well as the mysterious beings based on elemental fire – the mighty fire-breathing Dragon and the beautiful Phoenix/Simurgh bird, born of fire. Fire can be one of the most beautiful and outstanding stars of a miniature and is based on the spiral form, just like clouds. The exotic Dragon, Phoenix and Simurgh creatures are related along the Silk Road. Dragons are positive, happy and benign symbols of power and the Emperor in Chinese and Central Asian art; in Persian and Indo-European art they are negative symbols of misdemeanour, yet these two meanings cross over due to cultural influence and exchange. You will paint a fiery animal and you’ll also get a chance to try your hand at gilding: you’ll use real, 24-carat loose leaf gold to gild an element of your painting. Here we cross over from landscape into the realm of mythical beasts so your wildest and brightest colours are called into play. We will trace a continuum of magic birds across cultures including the Firebird, Roc, Garuda and also explore the relations with other mythical beasts such as the Qilin. We will then delve into the symbolism of gold. This course is broadly Upper-Intermediate since it involves gold gilding - however it is equally suitable for beginners. Your experienced tutor will adapt and tailor her teaching to your abilities and assist you with any aspect of the gilding process if you are unfamiliar with it. 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 will explore Ether: the Supernatural (Angels, Divs and Demons).

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