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Illuminated Lettering- Letter B with Watercolor and Gold Paint

How to draw and watercolor an illuminated letter B, adding watercolor gold paint.

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.

 

How to draw and watercolor an illuminated letter B
Watch the video tutorial on YouTube

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. 

Inspiration from a medieval alphabet for drawing an illuminated letter B
Flower inspiration for drawing an illuminated letter       

Top: My sketches of the letter B, taking inspiration from a 12th-century alphabet.
Bottom: 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. 

Free resources for drawing an illuminated letter B

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