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Illuminated Miniatures Workshop

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Saint John Cantius Canonry Building

825 North Carpenter Street

Chicago, IL 60642

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Mother of Sorrows, The New Eve

(15th Century Style, Book of Hours Miniature)

One Week Intensive Workshop
July 24-July 29, 2017

9:00am -5:00pm Monday-Saturday


Canory Building behind St. John Cantius Rectory

Illuminated miniatures were the small sparkling paintings that lit up the pages in the medieval Book of Hours, the lay person’s prayer book. These small sparkling images accompanied the Sacred texts. In this class, students will begin crafting an illuminated miniature by first learning how to make their own paint. They will make a binder which they will then use to grind pigments, and temper them to make gum tempera . Gilding methods with two kinds of 23k gold will be taught as well as a wide variety of painting techniques that would comprise a single illuminated miniature. These techniques produced sparkling beautiful gem-like colors. We will discuss the symbolism and typology of the image. Students will learn the importance of the objective quality of beauty and craftsmanship and how the “ Way of the Cross” economy- the pursuit of excellence, in which the artisan’s sacrifice in making beautiful things taught all society to love excellent things as a way that they might know and love God more. Join us for a 6-day workshop in Restoring the Sacred and crafting a beautiful work you will take home with you.

Workshop will include all art supplies such as brushes, pigments, binders, parchment, etc.

Traditional Miniature Materials & Techniques Covered in the Class:
• Making a binder
• Grinding pigments to make gum tempera
• Raised, burnished and tooled gold
• Making liquid gold from powder gold

• Creating a radiant blue sky with horizontal hatch strokes
• Atmospheric perspective
• Building up grass through vertical brush strokes
• Stipple washes to build up foliage
• Painting reflections in water

• Raising the garments: painting and floating the garment base colors,
building up the shadows through glazes and highlighting the folds.
• Inverse embroidery technique.
• Rendering the face through techniques of delicate stipple washes
interlaced with “white glazes” create a sfumato effect
• Simple wash and dry brush techniques to simulate wood grain.


While some experience is always helpful, there is no experience necessary!

If you are an artist and are accustomed to using a lamp, such as an OTT light or similar task lamp, please fell free to bring one. Also since we are doing miniature painting with tiny details you may wish you can bring a magnifier such as the gooseneck style that sits on the desk or a the head-visor type...whatever you are comfortable with. While its not necessary it can be a great help. All other materials will be provided by the instructor.

Only 12 Spaces Available So Don't Delay!



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Saint John Cantius Canonry Building

825 North Carpenter Street

Chicago, IL 60642

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