Illuminated Letters – April 2023 – Saturday

What an interesting session we had last Saturday, with members painting illuminated letters.

Some letters were painted in a traditional way and others in a more modern style, but all were drawn skilfully and painted with great care. Some of the letters had gold paint added, which caught the light and gave a sense of luxury. Simple designs still took a while to paint with small details, and we ended the session with great admiration for the creators of beautiful illuminated letters in mediæval manuscripts.

Some members couldn’t make the session but will be painting their illuminated letters at home. When completed please send the photos of your paintings to Tracy, for inclusion in another blog post.

Here are the letters in alphabetical order…

Some members finished paintings on the previous subject of miniatures, or painted their own subjects.

Welcome to new member Lesley, who paints but also makes stained glass panels. She is going to make a stained glass panel for Christmas and showed her sketchbook of notes and images of angels. Lesley also created a detailed plan for the colours and cutting of the glass. It will be very interesting to see the finished image in stained glass.

Well done everyone, it was a thoroughly enjoyable session!

The next session is on Wednesday 10th May from 7-9pm.

Look out for the next monthly newsletter on 1st May which will give details of our annual competition.

Miniatures – April 2023 – Wednesday

A dreadful day of high winds, rain and hail but thankfully it had cleared by the time our session started at 7pm. It was the first Wednesday session that started in daylight after the clocks went forward, so it was great that thirteen members attended.

The suggested idea was ‘miniatures’, which proved a challenge as many members usually work on paper at least a quarter imperial size or larger. The official size of a miniature on the website of The Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Gravers and Sculptors is 6″ x 4.5″ and that includes the frame!

Most artists worked on postcard-sized pieces of paper but two members painted to the smaller Artist Trading Card (ATC) size of 3.5″ x 2.5″.

Well done to everyone who had a go at miniatures because it does take patience and brush skill to paint at this smaller size.

Some members used the next Saturday’s idea of ‘illuminated letters’ for their pictures. Choosing an initial and creating patterns around it. Used to great effect was shiny, metallic, watercolour paint to add interest, especially the magenta colour paint fitting with the Pantone Colour of the Year, Viva Magenta.

Other members did their own thing, which is always encouraged as we love seeing your enjoyment of painting.

The next session is on Saturday 22nd April with the hall booked from 10am to 3pm.

April 2023

Here are the two ideas for the sessions this month. As always, if you don’t fancy either idea, then feel free to bring along what you want to paint, including finishing any drawings and paintings from previous months. We’ll be having an Open Day again this year, on Saturday November 25th, so get organised early and complete a picture or two.

Also, if you come on Wednesday only but want to paint Saturday’s idea, or can only come on Saturday but want to paint Wednesday’s suggestion, then that’s absolutely fine too!

Wednesday 12th April – 7-9pm – Miniatures

An evening painting miniatures, in honour of our former member, the late Shirley Porter, who painted exquisite miniatures for many years. Shirley had many of her paintings exhibited at The Mall Gallery in London, as she took part in the exhibitions organised by The Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers.

The maximum size for the miniatures is 6″ x 4.5″ and that actually includes the frame. Paint or draw something approximately the size of a postcard, or even smaller if you wish. Any style any medium.

Click on the link to the home page then under ‘creating a miniature’ there is a lot of information about ‘how to paint miniatures’ and videos under ‘masterpieces magnified’.

Saturday 22nd April – 10am-3pm – Illuminated Letters

No, not shining a torch on letters of the alphabet! Illuminated letters are historically the first letters on a page or paragraph in manuscripts. Always enlarged and painted in colour, with gold applied in areas, of people, animals, plants and/or mythical creatures.

Choose the first letter of your name, a child or grandchild, or a friend. Illustrate that letter with hobbies or pets, or perhaps choose five things starting with that same letter. You could continue writing a sentence or poem to practice your calligraphy skills.

Goggle ‘illuminated letters’ for thousands of images of historical letters, but there are also many examples of modern styles of illuminated letters, with beautiful swirling patterns in bright colours and gold.

Remember all that gold paint you bought for last year’s competition on Tutankhamen? Now is your chance to use it again. Don’t use all of it though as the competition next month will probably require some too ;o)

Don’t forget to add the colour of the year, Viva Magenta, to your paintings too. Use any medium to create your painting.