The brilliant thing about embellished handwriting is that it's fun to do whatever your age which is why I thought it would be a great activity for the younger children (age 4-7) at Kingswood Primary School. We started by writing out some chosen words from 'The Lost Words' by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris and then added various shapes to the beginning and end strokes of the letters. A few more were added where there were junctions. The children then tested loads of different shapes to see what effect they would have to the look of each of the words. I really like this little 'bee' with stinging triangles!
As you can see from both examples, we also explored creating a drawn boarder around the words and some children drew around individual letters to great effect. The shapes and boarders serve as a conscious embellishment which instantly gives the viewer's eyes and brain something lovely to play around with. It also seems to stabilise and visually 'hold' the lettering in place and is a rather addictive way of jazzing up your own handwriting. The children's experimental boarders in the next exercise took on new realms of creative exploration as they tried out themed, lettered and multiple boarders! So exciting to see!!
We used these brilliant designs in the creation of a nature journal. The children walked around the playground and garden area using all their senses to 'collect' four things in their heads to illustrate and write about in their journal. Their lovely teachers collected lots of little objects to bring inside but we also photographed things with our eyes by looking really hard at something then doing a big blink to lock the image in our head! The children then set to work illustrating and lettering their journals which were based on a concertina book with a card cover.
It really was a lovely day and the afternoon was so relaxed with the children quietly beavering away with watercolour paints and pencils, writing and drawing... we all agreed that it was such a treat for all of us to be doing art all day! I can honestly say I was completely astounded by the beautiful journals they made and how expressive their lettering and illustrations were. It's inspired me to now make my own nature journal!