Thursday, May 5, 2011

Illuminated Manuscripts

One of my favorite lessons to teach is Illuminated Manuscripts. If you are not familiar with illuminated manuscripts, this is a manuscript that is enhanced through the use of decorated initials. Technically, the term Illuminated Manuscript only applies to the decorations that have gold or silver paint applied to them, but now, this term applies to all decorated initials.
Now back to my classroom... I like to teach this lesson to many different grade levels. With the younger classes, it help with letter recognition, and with older students, it helps to reinforce the additions of details to their artwork. This year I decided to do this lesson with two different grade levels, first and fifth. Both grade levels worked with foil, the first grade with silver tooling foil, the fifth grade with a matte black foil. After designing their initial on a 6x6 inch piece of paper, they were given a piece of foil of the same size to transfer the design to (here is a hint though, there needs to be some form of padding under the foil, such as newspaper. If the foil is directly on a hard surface, the design can't be transferred to the foil. The foil needs to "bend" for the lines to be embossed into the surface). After transferring the design onto the foil, then the students added color. The first graders used colored sharpies to add color onto the silver foil, while the fifth graders used colored pencils to add color to the black foil. You should know that the black foil is much thinner, and therefore more likely to rip, and the only colored pencils that we are able to use were Prismacolors, as other brands would not show up on the foil.

No comments: