Line Art: How to Draw Turkish Miniature Art on Orchid Flowers


Thinking back to the not too distant past, I seem to remember when we were all in the office complaining about being stuck behind a desk all day. Comparatively, since the coronavirus upended all our old habits, we started complaining about being bored at home and lying in bed all day. It may be human nature never to be satisfied, but surely we are all aware that as the world settles into a new normal, the time we spend at home is all the more precious. Thus, those who manage to shake off their fatigue and work on improvement at home, perfecting themselves in various activities, will come out of this process in a much better state of psychological health, which will bring them success in the aftermath. -midday. pandemic era.

Miniature artist Nevin Yapıcı has created a new product by drawing miniatures on dried orchid flowers. (AA picture)

Finding a hobby you enjoy is one of the best ways to keep yourself busy, as the enjoyment it provides will only boost your energy levels. With that in mind, if you’re someone who likes to tinker with arts and crafts, in particular, then the classic Turkish art of miniatures just might pique your interest.

The term miniature is generally used for small, finely worked paintings. The word is thought to derive from the Latin “miniare”, which refers to a painting done in red, and which later passed into French. A cornerstone of miniature art is the requirement to completely convey the subject. Therefore, the perspective is not respected. Distance and length are not suggested by light or shadow; miniatures are images without light, shadow or even what would be considered a European notion of perspective. While historical, literary and scientific subjects can be found using miniature art, traditionally the Turks used it primarily as a means of recording history. Although this gives us the opportunity to bear witness to various customs and traditions, as well as the first garments and moments of Ottoman-Turkish history during the period in which they were made, each of these works necessarily serves as a historical document. .

It is believed that miniature Turks appeared between 745 and 840 during the time of the Uyghurs, who ruled over part of Central Asia. Miniatures created by Uyghur Turks in the Turpan region in the mid-8th century later became the sources of Turkish miniature art. After the disintegration of the Uyghur state, this art form was continued by the Seljuk Turks, leading to the creation of the first Islamic miniatures. Due to their relationship with Persia and the Seljuks in Iran, miniature art became even more widespread. During the time of the Ottomans, the influence of Iran and the Seljuks led to miniature art well into the 18th century, with many important artists trained in this field.

You can draw your miniature on dry, pressed leaves if you have trouble finding dried orchids.  (AA picture)
You can draw your miniature on dry, pressed leaves if you have trouble finding dried orchids. (AA picture)

Today, a Turkish artist called Nevin Yapıcı aims to bring this historic art form into your home. After devoting herself to form, Yapıcı prepared a number of widely shared videos on how to draw miniatures on dried orchids and shared them on social media. The miniature artist has given people a great opportunity to develop a hobby as the pandemic continues to lock us within four walls.

Yapıcı, 26, a theology graduate student at Marmara University, has been engaged in miniature art, which feeds on the different cultural periods and mosaics of Turkish-Islamic geography, for four years. Currently, she continues to develop her miniature skills at the Academy of Traditional Arts in Küçükçekmece, sometimes experimenting with materials other than paper, alongside her studies.

In this undated photo, Nevin Yapıcı works on a miniature in his house.  (AA picture)
In this undated photo, Nevin Yapıcı works on a miniature in his house. (AA picture)

Represent the inner world

In an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA), Yapıcı said that miniature art is a hobby that anyone can do and it’s perfect to do at home. She explained that it was considered a palace art in the Ottoman period and that it was practiced in miniature workshops: “The miniature is an art of the book depicting the life of the sultans, the wars, the parades and ceremonies. In fact, we see works featuring not only the lives of the sultans, but also a number of subjects including medicine, chemistry, and geography. Today, anyone can easily study miniature art in specialized courses. I think anything that goes into a frame in a miniature actually represents the inner world of the human.

Emphasizing that miniatures tell the journey of humanity, Yapıcı says: “The art of miniature led me to discover myself, to recognize myself, to measure my patience and my imagination and to love myself. I form a link between me and my miniature.

During the pandemic, Yapıcı says she sought to share what she had learned with the general public, creating new artwork by drawing miniatures of dried orchid flowers. According to the artist, you have to be brave and try different things in art. Yapıcı noted that she shared miniatures she drew of orchids through her videos on social media. “Drawing miniatures on flowers can be difficult at first, but you can draw larger objects on small leaves. If you can’t find orchids, you can draw near-miniature shapes on large leaves. You can easily work on dried leaves by the pages of a book.You need to draw on any leaf with a pencil first and then paint it.Anyone can try miniature art in the process when he is at home, and I think he can do it easily,” she added.

You can use your thumbnails as a bookmark.  (AA picture)
You can use your thumbnails as a bookmark. (AA picture)

Stating that she received very positive feedback from her followers regarding the videos, Yapıcı continued, “I received very good reactions. Many have wanted to post the orchid flowers on social media. After posting on Twitter, Santoor player Sedat Anar made the first comment. Later, the video received over 8,000 likes.

If you want to use your time with something creative during the current period, you can watch Yapıcı’s videos to learn how to make miniatures and try them on leaves or flowers. Yapıcı also recommends spraying varnish on miniatures drawn on sheets and using them as bookmarks.

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