Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Enchanted Letter Workshop

As a result of my year long illuminated letter study with my dear friend Dana, I developed The Enchanted Letter Class. This past weekend it was my pleasure to return to Birmingham to teach it to the Pointed Pen Extended Study Group that was developed by Dana Jacobson. What a remarkable experience to teach a class of students who have devoted a year of intense study to the pointed pen. I was privileged to be counted among other artists asked to teach portions of the study which included Pat Blair, Gwen Weaver and Barbara Close. The goal of the class was to gild and paint a decorative letter that could be used with pointed pen script. The students learned how to draw their own unique letters as well as foliate extensions, leaf script and scroll work. We started a simple sketch which developed into an ornate decorative letter.
We then moved on to a free hand and flourished very simple foliate border. No initial sketch was made in this exercise. It was done directly on our watercolour paper.

On Day two we started by combining a ribbon script letter with a simple ribbon foliate extension. The initial sketch was just of the Ribbon script letter and cascading ribbon extension which was transferred to our watercolour paper. The foliate work was done with pen drawing and offhand flourishing. It was painted, gilded and embellished.

In the afternoon, we worked on designing a simple scroll foliate extension which was gilded, painted and embellished. Lots of sparkle and bling!

Lots of attention was given to drawing and designing unique letterforms. My sincere hope is that the students will be able to transfer these ideas to any letter they want to illuminate.
On the morning of Day 3 we worked on drawing and illuminating a Leaf script letter with a scroll work foliate extension. My original done in class was sold but I have the pencil drawing in my journal.

Winding down the class in the afternoon, we combined a leaf script letter with lower case and expanded a simple foliate flourish. It was gilded and embellished with swarovski crystals. It was such a pleasure to teach this class. It gave me great joy!


Jody Meese said...

Lucky students! Hope you're bringing this class to the West Coast. And that "P" is Positively Phenomenal!

Dana said...

Heather! How did I miss this post??? Mabye I just thought I had commented since I did in the email - but you know I think these are all spectacular!!!

Heather Victoria Held said...

Thanks Dana! It was a fun class. Without our year long project, this class would never have taken place!

Jane Farr said...

I am in LOVE! Your background in floral design and arrangement is clearly evident. Each design is beautiful, Heather! I really like how you've "foliated" (is that a word?) the ending flourish on the "y" (and "J" too!) The Pointed Pen Extended Study group sounds like a blast. :)

Heather Victoria Held said...

Thanks Jane! The class was so much fun and the Pointed Pen Extended Study group was an amazing experience!!


Blank Canvas said...

I just came across your blog while looking for scrollwork inspiration for a painting project. And now I want to learn how to do those illuminated letters! Where would I get started? They are calling to my Celtic blood!