Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Illuminated Names

This is a wonderful project for students to get to know each other. I saw this in the book, "Medieval Projects Your Can Do," by Martha Graves. This is a great resource for parents and educators and it is full of lovely, simple little projects.
This shows the various stages on the project all at once.

I have the children introduce themselves and give a couple of brief bits of information about themselves (favorite sports, colors, animals, etc). Then we talk about how they can incorporate those ideas into a fancy letter of their names. Simple and fun and everyone leaves with a piece they are proud of and is uniquely theirs!

Supplies Needed:

  • Large index card (5x7" or so) without lines on it
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Ruler with inches
  • Reference books with illuminated letters or calligraphy (optional, but nice)
  • Fine tip markers (we used sharpie brand in black and other colors)
  • Colored pencils, optional (when we wanted to add a hint of color)
  • Gold paint pen or gold acrylic paint with a fine brush

1. With the pencil and ruler, lightly make horizontal guidelines every 1" on the index card.

2. Check out the reference books for inspiration and lightly draw the initial, or first letter of your name onto the index card. It should be large about 3" tall (mine touched both the top guideline and the bottom guideline on my index card). See below for the reference books I had on hand.

3. You can letter the rest of your name now, if you'd like. I made my letters about 1" tall and used a plain text I found in a book.

4. Add details to your initial. This is where all of the things that make you YOU come in! The girl I am making this for loves art and is seven. She also has a grandmother who does a lot with protecting sea turtles (and this little girl is interested in that), so I put a sea turtle and a seascape in there as well.

5. Use a marker to fill in the piece. I used black first and then colored in parts with other colored markers. I wasn't crazy about how dark the marker colors were getting, so I used colored pencils for the elements that I wanted to be secondary. When I was done the marker work I used an eraser to remove my guidelines and THEN I did the colored pencil work.

6. When it is done, use a gold paint pen to add some pizazz to the piece. This is part of what makes this art so "illuminating" because the gold makes it appear to be shining with light and color.

Here are some of my students' pieces, below. ENJOY!

The students could choose their first or last name.

This student traced over the pencil guidelines with gold with beautiful results!

Lovely lettering!

References for this class:

1 comment:

  1. How long does this take? I'm thinking of doing illuminated letters for a middle school history fair...but they'd have 15 minutes max to do it.


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