• ✨ Making Illuminated Letter “V” Art: Real Life Edition

    When you look at this lovely illuminated letter “v” art, you might suspect that it was created under serene conditions. That’s never really the case in this house! Today, I’ve got a video for you that shows you what it’s really like to try and create art and calligraphy around here. (Doable — with distractions.…

    ✨ Making Illuminated Letter "V" Art: Real Life Edition

    It’s February in the Bugbee-Villanueva household, which means lots of coughs and sneezes. Despite a four-year-old home sick from nursery school and a fussy almost-1-year-old, I decided to make illuminated letter “V” art for my friend. It’s her 40th birthday this weekend, and I wanted to give her this special artwork as part of her gift!

    ✨ Making Illuminated Letter "V" Art: Real Life Edition

    Here’s the thing, though: we’re living in a madhouse right now. There are sick kids, my husband is doing a bunch of renovations, and I needed to make some pies for an upcoming dinner. There’s always some degree of chaos around here, even when the kids aren’t sick. And yet, when you browse TPK Blog tutorials, almost every photo is calm and serene. Today, I wanted to play around with that a little bit. So, I made this illuminated letter art project, but in addition to the art, I also documented the distractions that came up. In the video below, you’ll see a beautiful illuminated letter come together. You’ll also hear from my four-year-old about the distressing spider in the bathtub and see me burn a pie crust.

    How to Make This Illuminated Letter “V” Artwork

    While the video above does serve as a how-to, the original written instructions (and a detailed tutorial video) can be found here. You start by printing off the letter of your choice from this printable. Then, add colored ink, paint the letter gold, and outline everything with black ink.

    ✨ Making Illuminated Letter "V" Art: Real Life Edition

    For a detailed supply list and instructions, I invite you to see TPK’s original illuminated letter tutorial by clicking the button below:


    Why I Chose to Make This Illuminated Letter “V” Art

    I wanted to make this illuminated letter for two reasons. First, I just received a shipment of handmade paper from Indian Cotton Paper Co. The paper is so sumptuous, and I love making artwork on it (see: “You Made This?!” Lily Drawing TutorialGingko Leaf Handmade Sympathy Card TutorialGorgeous “Water Stained” Hydrangea Illustration Tutorial). It’s tough to resist this gorgeous paper!

    Indian Cotton Paper Co. Paper
    Indian Cotton Paper Co. paper is so beautiful. I love it for both artwork and calligraphy, though it’s not ideal for pointed pen beginners.

    Second, I love gifting illuminated letters. They make the perfect birthday present because they’re beautiful, thoughtful, and don’t demand too much time to create. All together, the letter probably took me 1.5 hours to make.

    ✨ Making Illuminated Letter "V" Art: Real Life Edition
    The letter really starts to come together after the “illumination” stage.

    There are a fair amount of illuminated letters on the TPK Blog, but can you ever have too many? I hope that you enjoyed this addition and the video that I put together to show you how I made it!

    In Other Sparkly News …

    The TPK Finetec Palette, which includes the Arabic Gold watercolor used to make today’s letter, now comes in a sturdy metal case. The Coliro company (who makes Finetec watercolors) has made a lot of changes recently because the owners’ daughter is now in charge. She wasn’t pleased at how easily the traditional plastic cases crack, so she figured out this metal solution. I love this new palette format and very much approve!

    The TPK Finetec Palette

    If you don’t already have a TPK Finetec palette, you can purchase one by clicking the button below:


    Okay! That’s it for now. Thanks so much for reading TPK, and do try your hand at an illuminated letter like today’s “V” next time you need to make a thoughtful gift. I suspect that you’ll very much enjoy the creation process!


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