5th graders learned all about Illuminated Manuscripts for this project. They were fascinated by the process of creating vellum paper from animal skins and adding real gold onto the pages of books to make them ‘illuminate.’ We began by sketching a design that featured the first letter of their first or last name. Students were encouraged to add a decorative border and personal symbolism or designs that would add visual interest to their letter.
Next, students copied their design onto a piece of painting paper. They traced over their lines with permanent markers and colored in some areas with crayons.
They painted the negative space around their letter with metallic tempera paint. They could choose from gold, silver, or copper. They filled in the rest with watercolors.
I am so impressed with how beautiful these turned out. The kids really put a lot of time and though into them and the personalization and symbolism made for an overall very engaging project.