Thumbnails with FAT borders = Finished piece
Illumination, the eleventh
Getting a last-minute assignment to be completed for Double Wars XVI I started by going through my bookmarks looking for something simple, but still nice, and found one Book of Hours
, MS. Douce d. 19, at the Bodleian Library. The manuscript was made in Holland around 1420-30, and I bookmarked the simple but pretty folios, using folio 56 recto
as my main inspiration for this Award of Arms scroll.
I felt that the simplicity of the design would be made much of with all of the gold leafing, so I did the calligraphy fairly quickly, pencilling in my guide-lines and inking in the "floating" line divisions before doing the actual lettering. I did the blocking out of the design areas
to scale with the original, which made for not alot of room for the text, I could have stood to use smaller letters, but I chose to go with twelve lines, just like the original. Therefore I had to do a test-writing to make sure I could fit all the relevant information in the space I had. I managed by removing the large historiated initial.
With lettering and blocking out done, I started by laying down the gold ground, using my modern glue. Using red ink for their Highnesses names and the recipient you might be decieved and not notice that I have also done all of their initials in gold-glue. At first glance, I admit this stage
is not pretty.
Of course, once the gold leaf is down to cover the hideous pink you can start to see the pretty bits. Shiney bling! It was at this stage that I noticed how pleased I was with the shape of the B in the Prince's name. Once the gold was done, I had only to start sketching in the rest of the floral designs in the border. It was of course now that I realized that the leaves on the scrolling vines on the outside border also needed to be gilded, so I zoomed ahead, sketching with pencil, then directly with ink
the bottom and side-border.
Some time of detail oriented gold glue painting and many many tiny ticks with the dip pen I had gilded leaves and a "fuzzed" scrolling vine of gold leaves
all around the text area. Then of course comes the filling in of the rest of the design outlines, and the first coat of paint
which makes it all look very pastelly. More tints and a bit of shading
fixes that for the most part.
The last finishing touches were applied while at Double Wars, outlining all design elements in ink and adding any last bit of fixing and touch-up paint before handing out at court to Jorunn Geirsdotter.