Current Class Projects

Egyptian Foil Relief

Architecture Tiles

Illuminated Lettering

Watercolour Landscapes

Positive & Negative Space

Linocut Prints


Wallpaper Collage



Elements of Art

Creative Colour Wheel

Illuminated Lettering 

2002-3 Initials

Inspiration:         Calligraphy and lettering is an art in itself.  It requires great concentration, skill as well as practice.  Christianity has long been one of the most prominent types of subject matter through out art history.  Students will learn the history behind Early Christian Art and the time of the catacombs.  Lettering and Christian symbols have travelled through time to the medieval ages and the time period when monks made illuminated manuscripts using highly decorative initial capital letters like the ones shown in the Book of Kells. 

Problem:           1.  Students will be given calligraphy lettering sheets from which to practice different styles of lettering.  From this practice they will chose a style in which to write a popular saying or quote.

2.  Using existing lettering styles, as reference only, students will “illuminate” the initials of their name.

Materials:         Mayfair & pencil

                       India ink, pen & nibs

                        Watercolour & gold paint

                        Lettering examples (Gothic, Italic) and calligraphy      practice sheets

                        Early Christian Art & Calligraphy handout

                        Book of popular sayings
                        Calligraphy Studio

                        Book of Kells

                        Illuminated Manuscripts

Start Up:          1.  Students are introduced to the anatomy of the ink pen and nib.  Pen to be held at a 45-degree angle with the flat edge upward.  Using the proper pen technique, students practice pen strokes and motions on lined paper as shown on the calligraphy practice sheets.  Letter size should be made according to the nib size.

                        2.  Once students are comfortable using the pen, they can practice different alphabets and also write their saying using different alphabets. 

Process:     1.  Students prepare a background wash/ design on which they will complete their saying using calligraphy.  This is done on a 9 x 12 sheet of Mayfair.

2.      The second part of the project has the students create decorative letters for their own initials in the illuminated manuscript style also on a sheet of mayfair.  They can choose from a list of letters that they can use as their inspiration only.  No copying.

3.      Once the students have drawn their letters, they trace the letters with a fine nib and ink.  Once the ink is dry, the letters are painted decoratively with the option to use some gold paint for highlights 

Evaluation:        1.  Students are given a mark out of 10 for their saying.  Students are assessed on the layout of their saying and attempt at using the calligraphy alphabets.

2.  Students are given a mark out of 10 for their illuminated initials.  Students are assessed on the creativity of decoration and enhancement of each letter. 

Conclusion:       Students really enjoy using the pen and ink media while exploring different types of  lettering.  It seems the relate the process to sending their own personal letters which they embellish with patterns and fancy lettering of their own.  Although this is an introduction to the art of calligraphy and it seems dedication to and practice of the letter shapes and styles is key.  This proves to be another successful and interesting project the students can explore in the gr. 10 course.

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