Introduction to Andalusian Maghribi Illumination

Started on 1 January 1970

Introduction to Andalusian Maghribi Illumination

: In this program, students will learn the basic techniques of Zakhrafa, the Andalusian tradition of Islamic Illumination.

General Info

  • Course Title: Introduction to Andalusian Maghribi Illumination
  • Course Schedule: Sunday 8 PM UTC | 3 PM CST (convert to local timezone)18 Week SessionOctober 1 – December 17, 2023[Winter Break]January 7 – February 25, 2024
  • Course Format: Online corrections (2 hours) / recorded lessons 15-30 minutes
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Instructor: Fouad Blili
  • Age Restriction: 15+

About The Course

Tezhip is the Turkish word meaning “ornamenting with gold” and represents the Ottoman tradition of beautifying calligraphy. Renowned professor of Tezhip, Dr. Çiçek Derman, once said, “If the aim of the Hattat (calligrapher) is to write the Holy Qur’an in his best handwriting, the Tezhip artist aims to illuminate it to express what is in their heart.”

This course will take an intellectual and hands-on look at how the art of Tezhip is taught formally. The most important aspect of this class is understanding the various techniques used to create a pattern and the fine craftsmanship required to create an art piece with Tezhip. First, students will experience a brief history of Tezhip and look at the different styles used by Tezhip artists.

Next, students will explore elements of Tezhip by looking at the building blocks used to make a simple pattern and implementing those techniques in a pattern they will create. Finally, students will be introduced to some significant pioneers of Tezhip in the past and influential contemporary artists in the field.

General Curriculum

Module 1: Geometric Design: Students will practice drawing geometric designs and be assigned a  project to create a design of geometric patterns for their artwork.

Module 2: Floral Ornamentation Design: Students will learn to design floral ornamentation units and their various elements. Students will understand basic ornamentation and design elements, such as the basic unit of pattern structure, binary leaves, individual leaves, links, and flowers. Students will also construct plant units for the geometric design created in the first module.

 Module 3: Application Stage: Students will learn techniques for gilding, outlining, and coloring in ornament. Students will become familiarized with the tools and materials used in these techniques and will learn to apply gilding, outlining, and coloring techniques to the decorative panel designed.

Classes will be conducted online using Zoom, and instructional pre-recorded videos. Whatsapp will be used for communication, sharing information, and homework.

Estimated Time Commitment

Students are expected to allocate 10 hours per week to attend live online classes, practice, and prepare their lessons for submission.

Required Material

Material nameColors/DetailsRecommended BrandQuantity
Gold paint GoldSchmincke Horadam Aquarell 1
Gold paint Pearl GoldPentel (Poster Color)1
GouachePrimary cyan

Indian Yellow

Primary magenta

Schmincke Akademie Gouache1



GouacheWhite 100

Primary Yellow 205

Vermillion 311

Carmine 318

Blue Cyan 501

Royal Talens Designer Tempera1





Water-based inkSchwarz blackRotring 1
Brushes  1, 0, 00, 000 

(all 4 sizes required)

Winsor And Newton 7 series1 of each size
Fineliner in black (waterproof)0.03mmUni1
Geometric compassCompass includes  universal adapter, extension bar, extra needlesStaedtler Comfort 1
Mechanical pencil0.5 mm lead1
12 inch ruler1
Translucent/tracing paper1 roll/pad


Paper Calligraphy ahar paper

If not found

Canson 300 gsm watercolor paper (hot or cold press)

Size A3 : 2

Size A4:  3

Practice paperCanson paper/

Printer paper

Wheat Starch1 packet
Water activated adhesive tape1

Our Instructor:

Fouad Blili is a professor of Maghribi Ornamental Art at Al-Qarawiyyin University in Fez, Morocco, with seven years of experience in this field. He has won several excellence awards and supervised projects in the design of the Holy Quran. He has several specializations in the Maghribi-Andalusian style.


Moroccan Illumination

Your Order

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.