Monday, November 5, 2007

Create Your Own Illumination

When an illuminator, like Fra Angelico, applied gold or silver to a manuscript illustration, he would have used paper-thin gold or silver flakes. You can buy this gold and silver leaf at any craft store, along with special glue called “metal leaf adhesive size,” but this project will show you how to make an illumination with supplies you probably already have in your home.

Supplies Needed:

White glue in a squeeze bottle
Aluminum foil
Heavy sketch paper
Watercolors (optional)
In the upper corner of your paper, draw the first letter of your name. Make it big and decorative. The larger your design, the easier this project will be.
Next, squeeze some glue onto your letter and use your paintbrush to spread the glue into a thin layer. Make sure to stay inside the lines.

Tear the aluminum foil into small piece. Attach the foil to the glue. Try not to let too much foil hang outside the lines but if it does you can fix that later.
Let the glue dry. After about 30 minutes, gently fold the excess foil on top of the foil that’s glued down. You can tear off any large piece that aren’t stuck down but if you try to tear off the small bits you’ll end up detaching foil that’s stuck to the glue and there will be holes in your design.

Next, write the rest of your name next to the gilded first letter. When manuscripts were illuminated, the writing came first because the pictures were drawn on a separate piece of paper and then traced into the book. For this reason, it would have been more difficult to make a mistake on the writing than on the illumination. This is not the case for your project.
Now you can add watercolor designs to your illumination or just leave it as it is.

You can use this method to decorate all kinds of things, from goodie-bags and place settings to journal covers and scrapbook pages.

Check back tomorrow for another illumination project.

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Current NaNoWriMo Word Count:

7702 / 50000 words. 15% done!

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