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Category: Calligraphy & Illumination

New Project

New Project

Starting to practice for a new project. It’s only kind of a secret, in that the recipient knows it’s coming, but wants to be surprised at the end. So I’ll be posting little sneak peeks, but nothing revealing until it’s in his hands. For now, though, have a glimpse of my lettering practice.

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Super Secret Scroll: Finished!

Super Secret Scroll: Finished!

The scroll is finished, and the title was given this Saturday during court, so I can talk about it now. It’s a Court Barony scroll for Robert de Bray, and it was requested that I include a European dragon of some sort and his coat of arms, all in a vaguely 16th century style. I went through Pinterest looking for suitable medieval depictions of dragons and found this page from a German manuscript (c 1463-1476, so a little early, but I can’t resist a good versal).

Court Barony

I moved the verbal up to the top of the page, to start the words, and made the tail spiral down around the gold bar. I also lengthened the top border to go all the way to the other margin. I calligraphed the words in my standard blacklister gothic hand, but replaced the capitols with painted letters in blue and red, to match the manuscript.
Court Barony

I didn’t use period pigments on this scroll, because of the time consideration. I had two weeks from commission to delivery, and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to re-do it if I ran into a problem. I used store-bought gouache, and the Majestic Gold pigment from Griffin Dyeworks. 
Court Barony

I wanted to include this picture of the coat-of-arms with a ruler for scale. The little dragon is an inch and a half tall. The details were painted with an insanely tiny liner brush. I am very proud of this wee guy, and the whole scroll, for that matter. 
Court Barony

New Scribal Supplies

New Scribal Supplies

Well, I’ve rather gotten to the point where I cans reveal anything else of the scroll until after it’s presented. Well, I could show you the bottom border, but it’s not finished yet.
So instead, have a quick shot of my new fun supplies: 23K double gold leaf. Gilded scrolls, here I come!

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Secret Scroll Border

Secret Scroll Border

I’m finished with the calligraphy part of the scroll, and have moved on the the painting portion. Here is the top border almost finished. The rest will have to wait til tomorrow in better light.

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Infallible Spell: Completed

Infallible Spell: Completed

Since this piece has been received (and approved!) by the commissioner, I can talk about this now. My friend Mel wanted a small piece showing the Infallible Spell for Beauty from CS Lewis’ Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Only the top part of the text was written in the book. The other words are crappily translated nonsense-Latin based on the spell performed in the movie version. That’s okay, though; it’s the Harry Potter principle. Spells don’t need to be real Latin, they just have to sound it.

Infallible Spell

I based this little piece (it’s 5″x7″) on an English Psalter from the latter half of the 15th century.  I had a really great time doing the whitework and shading. I used pigments from Griffin Dyeworks and Scribal Workshop. The gold is an imitation shell-gold (it’s bronze powder, I think) mixed with gum arabic and a little bit of glair.
Infallible Spell

I wanted there to be a representation of Aslan on the page, both because there was one mentioned in the book (he snarls at Lucy for contemplating using the spell) and as a reminder that even if you were use it, he would love you anyway. Infallible Spell

Gilding the Lily

Gilding the Lily

I got some new gilding substrate recently, miniatum, and I wanted to test it out. I made a basic ‘a’ letterform, gently raised, to gild. I waited for it to dry, then used some fairly inexpensive Thai gold I got on eBay to test it out.

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As you can see, it worked perfectly, resulting in a lustrous mirror shine with only one layer of gold, and minimal burnishing.
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I did kind of accidentally gild my finger, though.

An Infallible Spell

An Infallible Spell

Quick preview for a project I’ve been working on. Firstly, I’ve gotten a bunch of period, or period-like (no lead-white, please!) pigments. I’ve been putting them all in their own little seashells, mixed up with gum arabic and glair (an egg-white binder) and making a reference sheet for later.

Today is about mixing pigments and making a reference sheet. And remember how I said that the white-work versal I made got me a commission? Here’s a sneak-peek. It’s an interpretation of the Infallible Spell for Beauty from CS Lewis’ Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Wee calligraphy commission for Mel. Nearly finished!

Wedding Calligraphy

Wedding Calligraphy

Two of my friends got married last weekend, at the Fall Event for my Barony. The gentleman who performed the marriage contacted me to ask if I would be willing to calligraph the ceremony, and of course I said yes. I wanted something simple, where the words themselves would be the decoration.

Wedding vows

I settled on a decorative cadel capital and a batarde script with pretty ascenders on the first line. The words that are spoken by the couple are in red, and the rest in black. I’m really quite pleased with how it came out.  Wedding vows

Whitework Versal

Whitework Versal

After seeing a series of amazing videos (but particularly parts 5a and 5b), I wanted to practice some whitework. One of the ways I do that is to make decorative borders and versals on small pieces of paper for my Baron and Baroness to use as note cards. I figure that sort of thing is always perfect for some in-persona correspondence.

For this particular card, I combed through my Calligraphy and Illumination Pinterest board and found a psalter from late 15th century England that fit the bill. I decided on this initial D, since that begins most letters.
Practicing some illumination from a late fifteenth century English psalter.

I painted it with the period paints I bought from Lucas at the Scribal Workshop, as well as ones I mixed from pigments I got from Griffin Dyeworks. An actual post on those will be forthcoming. In the meantime, though, I’m really happy with the way it came out. And I got a scroll commission out of it!

Finished versal. Turns out I really like white work.