In this activity
students select a favorite quote, poem, saying, or song to reproduce
as a Renaissance or Byzantine Illuminated Manuscript. Assemble
some handouts for your students that have examples of Illuminated
Manuscripts. (In my experience, it's not too hard to find this information
on a Google Image search.) Students will need these to have original
material on hand in order to create authentic detail in their work.
to the manuscripts, assemble handouts
with samples of calligraphy for students to practice.
In my experience,
most students HATE practicing the calligraphy.
So, 15 to 20 minutes is a maximum amount of time for this each lesson.
I use lined paper. Lower case letters are two spaces in height
and upper case letters should be four. There will be exceptions with
lower case letters that have long stems (h, f, g) and some upper case
letters have an extra flourish.
practice, they may work on their manuscript design. The actual
illuminated letter must take up approximately one-fourth of the drawing
area. The Illuminated Manuscript should have a one inch border that
goes around the page. (I have the kids place their rulers on the paper
and trace the opposite side of the ruler.) It is important that the
theme of border and the illuminated letter should match the content
of the quote.
the actual illuminated letter is important, students will also be
evaluated on the neatness of their overall lettering of the quote.
I personally prefer colored pencils for the artwork, but water colors,
markers or a combination could be used. Upon completion, the work
needs to be outlined with a fine black marker.
on time constraints, there is a shortcut that I've sometimes used.
If the border is 1 1/4 inches on all sides, a sheet of bond paper
should cover the interior space. You can cut out the interior space,
print the quote on the computer, and tape the paper with the quote
on the back. (The sample at the top of this page was done like this.)
It takes some
practice to get the quotes to fit. I've found it best if I type the
quote for the students. Some students (the really dedicated ones)
still like to hand draw their letters. Still, the computer printout
helps them with spacing of the words on the paper.
Copyright 2000, revised
2012 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.