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Introduction to Ottoman Illumination Art: Şah Kulu and Saz Yolu Styles


This course plan covers the history, design, and practical techniques of Ottoman illumination art, with a specific focus on the Şah Kulu and saz yolu styles.


Total Duration: 4 Weeks

Class Duration: 2 Hours per Week


Dates: 02.07.2024 Time: 4:00- 6:00 PM (British Summer Time)

              09.07.2024 Time: 4:00- 6:00 PM (British Summer Time)

              16.07.2024  Time: 4:00- 6:00 PM (British Summer Time)

              23.07.2024  Time: 4:00- 6:00 PM (British Summer Time)


Course Content:

1. Historical Context

   - Examination of the 16th-century Ottoman Empire.

   - Introduction to the contributions of Şah Kulu to illumination art.


2. Key Motifs and Styles

   - Detailed study of Şah Kulu’s style and its characteristics.

   - Introduction to the saz yolu style, focusing on its motifs and patterns.


3. Analyzing Motifs and Patterns

   - In-depth analysis of common motifs found in Şah Kulu’s work.

   - Detailed examination and analysis of saz yolu motifs.

   - Practical exercises on sketching basic motifs from both styles.


4. Design Principles

   - Introduction to design principles in illumination art, including symmetry, balance, and harmony.

   - Peer review and feedback sessions on initial design drafts.


5. Brush Techniques and Painting Methods

   - Introduction to traditional brush techniques used in Ottoman illumination.

   - Demonstration and practice of basic brush strokes.

   - Guided practice on painting the prepared designs with a focus on color application, shading, and detailing.

   - Tips and techniques for adding final details and enhancing the illumination.


Materials Needed:

- Tracing paper

- Drawing pencils and eraser

- Size 2, Size 0 and Size 000 brushes (round watercolour)

- Paints (gouache or watercolor)

- 300gsm hot pressed watercolour paper

- Ruler

- Compass




Attendees will receive hand-outs, weekly homework, and feedback throughout the duration of the course to track improvement.


This course will be held in zoom online platform, it is a recorded class and recordings will be available to watch after the class for 12 weeks.


A day before the lesson you will get an invite email with the login information. After each class, you will get the pictures of the patterns of the day and corrections of your homework.




Introduction to Ottoman Illumination Art: Şah Kulu and Saz Yolu Styles

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