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The Art of Illumination

Nikki Green
  • Term: Autumn Weekend Workshops 2018
  • Start Date: 19 May 2018
  • End Date: 20 May 2018
  • Time: Sat & Sun, 9:30AM - 4:30PM
  • Number of Classes: 2
  • Teacher: Nikki Green
  • Level: Beginner , Intermediate
  • Age: All Ages
  • Location: The National Art School
  • Availability: Unavailable

Bring the ancient art of illumination into a contemporary context by responding to the natural environment and draw inspiration from the minutiae of native Australian flora, ancient texts and Judeo-Christian-Islamic manuscripts. Nikki Green begins the workshop with the process of frottage using a selection of leaf matter to identify enchanting patterns, then teaches you to combine drawing techniques, graphic markings and gilding to embellish a character, or letter of choice. Nikki introduces you to traditional methods of drawing with pencils, gouache and gold leaf.

Nikki Green

Nikki Green is a teaching artist and a National Art School Alumni, now based in Denmark, Western Australia. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking, and over 20 years of experience, her work explores the junctions between nature and text, universal order and the human mark and can be found in collections nationally and internationally. Nikki runs workshops, retreats and residencies responding to the natural environment, working from and with the living landscape. Her work can be viewed at

Resources and Inspiration to bring:

  • Collection of leaves with interesting vein structure (the flatter the better)
  • A selection of images of some ancient scripts and characters (from Heiroglyphs to Cuneiform characters; from Celtic origins to middle eastern manuscripts and Asian calligraphy) These will be used as sources of inspiration…(I will also bring a collection to show)


  • Visual Diary/Sketch book
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Ruler
  • Sharpener/Stanley knife
  • Graphite sticks
  • Palette
  • 2 clean jars
  • sponge/soft rags/tissues


  • Tracing paper
  • Japanese rice paper (individual sheets or scroll)
  • A4 or A3 Watercolour Pad (Arches/Fabriano recommended) 300GSM or heavier Hot Pressed. Alternatively, 1 or 2 larger sheets 57 x 76cm Hot Pressed at least 300GSM


  • Watercolour Brushes #0 #2 #4 #6 (Sable recommended but Nylon brushes will suffice e.g. Roymac or Neef brands)

Paints: Windsor and Newton Designers Gouache recommended (or whatever you have)

  • Suggested colours: Raw Sienna, Paynes Gray, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Yellow Ochre, Red Oxide, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium or Flame red, Cadmium or Spectrum Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, Permanent White, Ivory Black


  • Water based Gold Size
  • Gold leaf or variegated gold leaf
  • Burnishing tool (teaspoon will suffice)

For any inquiries regarding materials:


Protective clothing and covered footwear essential