Medieval illuminated manuscripts abound in beautiful versions of letter B that can be copied and recreated. But wouldn’t it be fun to draw your own version of an illuminated letter B?
Taking inspiration from a 12th-century medieval alphabet, I went to work sketching the letter shape until I came up with a version that I liked. Using the creative method described in the letter A blog post, I found a flower, saved images from Google search for reference and let my hand loose.
I have provided a free PDF with the line illustration and letter B practice sheet for you, so whether you want to draw from scratch or use my illustration, you can create your own illuminated letter.
The drawing process
I first started drawing the flower, and then when the flower was partially drawn, I embarked on the letter shape. If you follow this order of drawing, it is quite easy to integrate the flower and letter shape into a seamless image.
If you first draw the full letter and then try to combine with a flower, you may find yourself frustrated and stuck a puzzling dilemma of how to make it work. I know, because I tried it many times before it dawned on me to how to take the easy route.
When I recorded the drawing process, the camera was too close to my hand, so in this video, you will learn about the application of watercolor, gold paint, and colored pencils.
Left: My sketches of the letter B, taking inspiration from a 12th-century alphabet.
Right: A photograph of this flower in a meadow was the inspiration for my artwork. I used my botanical handbook to randomly select a flower species for my illuminated letter and then search online for a photograph.
You can download a free practice sheet for letter B and then have a go at creating an illuminated letter yourself. In case you want to focus on painting or coloring only, the PDF also includes the line drawing of my letter B that you can trace or print out.