The term "illumination" comes from illuminate, which means to fill with light. The effect is achieved by using *gold leaf to letters and images which reflect light and appear to glow.
The illuminated letter is usually the first letter of the page and is always enlarged and decorated with heavy ornamentation
Gilding with gold or silver was one of the methods used to illuminate a page. Thin sheets of metal called “leaf” were applied with adhesive to a specific area. In some instances, an entire page is gilded, with text and illustrations added on top of the leaf. In other instances, the metal is used to emphasize a letter or portion of an integral design or image. *We will be using gold paint in place of actual gold leaf.
Three main people were involved in the creation of the illuminated page: The parchment/vellum maker, the scribe (who just copied text), and the illuminator.
INDIVIDUAL (IN CLASS)
• Decide whether you want to design the 1st letter of your first name or last name.
• Design your own letter or print out a font that you like and use it as a template and trace onto your paper.
• Add decoration to the inside of your letter and create a decorative border. You can also create a historiated (a letter made up of figures; ie, Initial R from Moralia in Job). For a historiated illumination, choose a simple font to use as a guide.
• Choose a theme: a political commentary, fantasy, floral, biblical..
• Choose a color scheme: You don't want your letter to look like a unicorn threw up a rainbow :)
• Paint your letter carefully.
• YOU MUST HAVE: a border, include gold, your letter, a clear theme, a background.
Students have already spent some time on the purpose, history, and effects of Illuminated Manuscripts. They will now have the opportunity to create their own illuminated letters using careful planning and sketching and painting their letters with great craftsmanship.
Rubric & Schedule
A border is present and is well designed 15
Included gold 10
A clear theme 15
A painted background (decorated or solid) 15
Effort and creativity (you didn’t finish in a day and you planned out your letter) 30
Craftsmanship: (Neat, clean, you took your time, carefully painted. If there are straight lines, a ruler is used.) 15