Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Illuminated Alphabet

Day Two brings a design project.
The Illuminated Alphabet
This was a 7th grade project as part of their Book Arts Unit.
Their works were less complicated than this but beautiful none the less.
Here is the beginning of my new adult version.

 I chose my initial to illustrate in a symmetrical format.

Transfer to paper of your choice.
Here I use a cream colored parchment in keeping with the Medieval theme.
Redefine line work and use a kneaded eraser to pick up any excess graphite.
Now I begin colored pencil values, keeping it light and stylized.

I've completed the colored pencil values, keeping the look light and stylized.
The illumination is added using gold metallic acrylic paint.
Difficult to see here but caught in the light it does illuminate nicely.
Or better yet, gold leaf! but I didnt have any on hand (next time)

The completed art.
8.5" x 11"

Using a Fine Line Sharpie I outline for emphasis and definition.
Of course I could go into this more with detail and values (and I probably will) 
but for the purposes of this quick turnaround challenge, you get the idea.

Now that I've reworked this lesson, I imagine how great this would be as a wedding gift intertwining the two initials.  How about an alphabet series for a childs room or a larger piece spelling out a family name (this time illuminated with gold leaf)
Oh the possibilities!

Here is a shot emphasising the gold illumination.

I did give myself a head start on this one so I could paint on my large waterclor today and tonight.
And I will pop in and share progressions on that over the month.


  1. WOW! This is beautifully awesome, Carmella! Hours and hours of work .

    1. Thank you Sandy. I did give myself a head start on this one. So glad I did!

  2. WOW! Amazing work, and I love the gold catching the light. Beautiful!

    1. Yeah that gold is addictive. Hard to stop, haha. Thank you.


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