Fancy Letters

05/13/2015

 

Traditionally the illuminated letter is the first letter of a word at the start of each paragraph.  

The handwritten books during the Middle Ages included large ornate letters.

As a art form, illuminated letters an stand-alone as individual pieces of art.  They made wonderful decorations for the first page of an art journal or a notebook since they are often personal to the artist.
This month, we encouraged our artists to design a letter using one of their initials.  The base letter needed to be large enough to support the illustrations.  For the best results, the letters needed to be bubble letters or block letters (i.e., it needed an "inside"...not just a single line).  

If you don't want to draw your letters, you can start with a pre-printed one! Download your base letters here:

LETTER TEMPLATES (A-Z)

click on the letters below to download a printable PDF template.
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sans serif letter templates (A-Z)
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serif letter templates (A-Z)

Once you have your letter drawn, you can add all sorts of decoration to it.  Ideas for adding illustrations include:
Once you have your letter drawn, you can add all sorts of decoration to it.  Ideas for adding illustrations include:
  • flourishes and swirls
  • leaves, flowers, and greenery
  • animals
  • objects, characters, and items that reflect the artists' interests (soccer ball, dance shoes, art supplies, etc)
  • objects, characters, and item that begin with the same letter (alligator for A, dragon for D, etc)
Illuminated letters can be done in many media.  Any drawing medium, such as a fine-point sharpie, makes a solid base.  Color can be added using ink, markers, colored pencils.   A light watercolor wash would be a subtle touch over the top of a marker drawing.   

In our May classes, we are embossing foil with our letter designs!  
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Examples of May classwork
 


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