This page has moved to a new address.

Elmsley Rose

blockquote { font-style:normal; padding:0 32px; line-height:1.6; margin:0 0 .6em 0; } p {margin:0;padding:0}; abbr, acronym { cursor:help; font-style:normal; } code {font:12px monospace;white-space:normal;color:#666;} hr {display:none;} img {border:0;} /* Link styles */ a:link {color:#473624;text-decoration:underline;} a:visited {color:#716E6C;text-decoration:underline;} a:hover {color:#956839;text-decoration:underline;} a:active {color:#956839;} /* Layout ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #wrap { background-color:#473624; border-left:1px solid #332A24; border-right:1px solid #332A24; width:700px; margin:0 auto; padding:8px; text-align:center; } #main-top { width:700px; height:49px; background:#FFF3DB url("") no-repeat top left; margin:0;padding:0; display:block; } #main-bot { width:700px; height:81px; background:#FFF3DB url("") no-repeat top left; margin:0; padding:0; display:block; } #main-content { width:700px; background:#FFF3DB url("") repeat-y; margin:0; text-align:left; display:block; } } @media handheld { #wrap { width:90%; } #main-top { width:100%; background:#FFF3DB; } #main-bot { width:100%; background:#FFF3DB; } #main-content { width:100%; background:#FFF3DB; } } #inner-wrap { padding:0 50px; } #blog-header { margin-bottom:12px; } #blog-header h1 { margin:0; padding:0 0 6px 0; font-family:italic; font-size:225%; font-weight:normal; color:#612E00; } #blog-header h1 a:link { text-decoration:none; } #blog-header h1 a:visited { text-decoration:none; } #blog-header h1 a:hover { border:0; text-decoration:none; } #blog-header p { margin:0; padding:0; font-family:italic; font-size:94%; line-height:1.5em; } div.clearer { clear:left; line-height:0; height:10px; margin-bottom:12px; _margin-top:-4px; /* IE Windows target */ background:url("") no-repeat bottom left; } @media all { #main { width:430px; float:right; padding:8px 0; margin:0; } #sidebar { width:150px; float:left; padding:8px 0; margin:0; } } @media handheld { #main { width:100%; float:none; } #sidebar { width:100%; float:none; } } #footer { clear:both; background:url("") no-repeat top left; padding-top:10px; _padding-top:6px; /* IE Windows target */ } #footer p { margin:0; padding:0; font-family:italic; font-size:94%; line-height:1.5em; } /* Typography :: Main entry ----------------------------------------------- */ { font-weight:normal; text-transform:uppercase; margin:0; padding:0; font-family:italic; font-size:94%; line-height:1.5em; } .post { margin:8px 0 24px 0; line-height:1.5em; } { font-family:italic; font-weight:normal; font-size:200%; color:#8B0000; margin:0; padding:0; } .post-body p { margin:0 0 .6em 0; font-family: italic; font-size:150%; } .post-footer { color:#211104; font-size:74%; border-top:1px solid #BFB186; padding-top:6px; font-style:italic; } .post ul { margin:0; padding:0; font-family:italic; } .post li { font-family:italic; line-height:1.5em; list-style:none; background:url("") no-repeat 0px .3em; vertical-align:top; padding: 0 0 .6em 17px; margin:0; } /* Typography :: Sidebar ----------------------------------------------- */ h2.sidebar-title { font-weight:normal; font-size:120%; margin:0; padding:0; color:#211104; font-family:italic; } h2.sidebar-title img { margin-bottom:-4px; } #sidebar ul { font-family:italic; font-size:86%; margin:6px 0 12px 0; padding:0; } #sidebar ul li { list-style: none; padding-bottom:6px; margin:0; } #sidebar p { font-family:italic; font-size:86%; margin:0 0 .6em 0; } /* Comments ----------------------------------------------- */ #comments {} #comments h4 { font-weight:normal; font-family:italic; font-size:120%; color:#29303B; margin:0; padding:0; } #comments-block { line-height:1.5em; font-family:italic; } .comment-poster { background:url("") no-repeat 2px .35em; margin:.5em 0 0; padding:0 0 0 20px; font-weight:bold; font-family:italic; } .comment-body { margin:0; padding:0 0 0 20px; font-family:italic; } .comment-body p { font-size:100%; margin:0 0 .2em 0; font-family:italic; } .comment-timestamp { font-family:Verdana, sans-serif; color:#29303B; font-size:74%; margin:0 0 10px; padding:0 0 .75em 20px; } .comment-timestamp a:link { color:#473624; text-decoration:underline; } .comment-timestamp a:visited { color:#716E6C; text-decoration:underline; } .comment-timestamp a:hover { color:#956839; text-decoration:underline; } .comment-timestamp a:active { color:#956839; text-decoration:none; } .deleted-comment { font-style:italic; color:gray; } .comment-link { margin-left:.6em; } /* Profile ----------------------------------------------- */ #profile-container { margin-top:12px; padding-top:12px; height:auto; background:url("") no-repeat top left; } .profile-datablock { margin:0 0 4px 0; } .profile-data { display:inline; margin:0; padding:0 8px 0 0; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; font-size:90%; color:#211104; } .profile-img {display:inline;} .profile-img img { float:left; margin:0 8px 0 0; border:1px solid #A2907D; padding:2px; } .profile-textblock { font-family:Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:86%;margin:0;padding:0; } .profile-link { margin-top:5px; font-family:Verdana,sans-serif; font-size:86%; } /* Post photos ----------------------------------------------- */ { border:1px solid #A2907D; padding:4px; }

Elmsley Rose

25 August 2007

In the Forest - Colour Pencil Illumination

I went over the rough of the illumination with colour pencils. The colours alternate in many places and I didn't want to be painting, and suddenly discover I was stuck with going "blue, blue" because I've changed the design a bit.

Here's just the top of it - I couldn't be bothered scanning it 4 times again, and then patching them together.

I'm not quite decided on how to decorate the illuminated letter. I'm not going to do a historiated letter, as per the original, coz I can't draw people and don't want to make a nieve attempt and have it look less good than it might if I use a technique I'm familiar with.
So I'm thinking diapering.

The other thing I haven't done is the line endings. I wanted to wait until I had done the final piece, to see exactly what spaces I ended up with.

I have done the writing "for real" on the Arches HP now.

I used a student grade Sumi ink.

It was a bit of a struggle - the Sumi is a bit on the thicker side, and I write so slowly with this script that that gravity wasn't helping the ink flow much. I wrote with an overloaded pen.
(my Brause LH 1.5). It does give the writing a bit of shine, and raise above the paper though.

Of course, there are lots of minor mistakes, where I could have done better. Probably doing it in one hit isn't the best idea, but I wanted to 'just do it'.

If I did it again, I'd probably do a different set of minor mistakes. Nothing than normal people would pick up, only calligraphers that know the script.

I'm up to tracing the design onto the Arches. :-) then begins the gilding! :-) I'm going to do flat gilding. I'm not good enough with gesso to do the amount of gilding required for this piece - there's a huge amount. I'll have to practise gesso on other smaller pieces - but not this baby.

I'm dissolving some gum arabic crystals in water in preparation for the gilding. I haven't used it before - I thought the lumps would be really hard to break up, but they aren't. My fingers smell all piney.

I'm going to have a problem showing progress on the piece. Sticking it in the scanner will bend the paper. It's 40 x 50 cm big, including the margins. I hope to take it to a friend with a camera occasionally.

Labels: , ,

23 August 2007

In the Forest - Illumination Drawing Finished

I don't want to have to draw another acanthus any time soon. I am STILL seeing them when I shut my eyes.

That said, I've finished drawing the illumination.

Yes, my ability at joining scans together sucks. I've never done it before, and I'm pleased that I did as well as I did.

It's not a direct copy of the Bedford Psalter page. The major changes are

* moving the illuminated letter up to the top left corner, instead of one third down the page, which meant some changes to the illumination design

* a spray instead of the shied in the middle of the bottom

* the right hand side is a mirror of the left, rather than having just a little bit of design (my English isn't working today) because it led into the gutter, being originally a double page spread.
I did trace the left hand side and used it on the right.
The extra drawing would have been 'good' for me, but I think that I may have screamed.

I have drawn up the text block, with the lines, on Arches HP, this morning.

Labels: , ,

16 August 2007

In The Forest - Illumination Drawing 2

I have had a break from drawing the illumination for a few days, because I was seeing acanthus whenever I closed my eyes.

Here's the next bit of drawing

Doing the drawing as "rough" (then to be traced onto the final piece) is a good idea for me I think. I'm a bit of a Linus when it comes to drawing. Either using a soft pencil, which smudges everywhere, or a harder one which leaves impressions of any corrections. It takes me about 4 attempts to draw any one element, so there is a lot of 'working' going on. I'm not much of a draw-er.

Labels: , ,

11 August 2007

In the Forest - Illumination drawing

This is my final 'rough'. I'll trace the drawing onto the final piece.

I've been making lots of design decisions, have lots of illumination analysis to type up, and am getting thoroughly sick of drawing twisted acanthus!

Labels: , ,

6 August 2007

In the Forest - Layout

I've made some design decisions.

* I've made the marginalia the same on both the left and the right, rather than having minimal decoration on the right because that was originally heading towards the gutter.

* I'm not doing the shield at the bottom, so I've changed the design a little, to have a spray of flowers and seeds going vertically down from the middle. So it wasn't unbalanced, I've removed a small spray from the bottom of the left hand side.

* I've increased the top and bottom margins a little (to 5 and 10 cm respectively).

I've penciled in bloggy shapes where the marginalia is. This scan shows half, vertically. The design is now symmetrical.

Labels: , ,

In the Forest - Layout of the words

I've worked out where I want the illuminated letter on my text block. (It's 8 lines high and 9 cm wide.

I need to work out where the words should sit to minimize blank space at the end of the lines, and to see where ascenders and descenders clash.

I've written it twice now, and have a pretty good idea of what is going on ....

Labels: , ,

2 August 2007

Illumination Analysis - Layout

From "Analysing A Style" by Mistress Rowan Perigrynne

Step 1

In order to analyse the basic design on the page (and be able to come up with a similar design yourself), you need to start with the big picture...

General layout
Is the layout horizontal (landscape) or vertical (portrait)? Or two matched pages?

Vertical, two pages (you can tell by looking at the size of the margins. Also by the way the pictures are distorted in the inner gutter)

Are there any borders?

Yes - rectangular even(ish) border around the text block, with decoration.

Are the any large graphic elements (capital letters, pictures, seals, devices, etc)?

An illuminated letter

a seal of arms (of William Catesby, added later on in the 15th century by the later owner)

4 large roundels (one at each corner of the border)

What are the relative proportions of the top, side and bottom margin? Don't forget that some manuscripts had the margins trimmed when rebound or for colour reproduction!

To make measurements, I measured the x-height of a text line shown on the image of 164 of Backhouse's Illuminated Page.

To give a x-height of 7 mm, I needed a multiplication factor of 1.625. So I need to apply that to all of my other measurements to get them to the correct size.

I did all of the measurements, did a couple of layouts, and discovered that it was easiest to work from the inside out, since I had an established size for the text block (normally you work the other way around, and calculate the size of the text block. see Edward Johnston)

I have the guidelines, of 18 lines at the correct size, which forms my text block. The text block measures 14.8 x 23.2 cm

This went into the middle and then I added the border (1.3 cm all around) and then the top and bottom margins. (top, 3.2 cm; bottom 9.1 cm;).

The bottom margin is very tall because of the amount of marginalia in it. (sprays of flowers, the shield). Visually, the empty space at the top and bottom margins look in proportion.

The right hand side of the image is curved because of the binding of the actual Bedford Psalter book, (my image is of a page on the left, f151b) giving an incorrect measurement.

I ended up choosing the width of the right side margin that I needed to fit the illumination nicely, and then adjusting the left hand margin to equal it. (and would fit the left hand marginalia nicely).

(I'm doing this as a single page, not as a double page spread, so the " the inner margin is half that of the outer margin" need not apply. They can be equal.)

One thing to consider (that might lead me to change this) is that the marginalia is very narrow on the right hand side, because the page was designed to have an inner margin on that side. The marginalia on the left hand side is much wider.

The roundels, with radius of 2.25 cm (top roundels) and 3 cm (bottom roundels) are also marked.

Good scans hey, with the measurements clear as mud. Still, it shows the text block, borders, roundels and margins. (well, part of the margins).
I didn't bother to patch the images together. The start of the repeat can be seen where the "1.3" width of the left and right hand borders is marked.

I need to add a left hand margin of 3 mm to the text block. (The right hand margins are on the guidelines)

This is the actual page, to show the layout :-

(I'm not doing a shield)

Labels: ,

Script Analysis - Majuscules

Drogin says

"Gothic textura capitals varied from scribe to scribe.....The freedom in creation of capitals may be due to the fact that until now, no script had had it's own set of capitals but had either enlarged it's own script or called upon traditions of earlier scripts. So this was a "new field" and many variations were created.....

While versals served as the grandest capitals, they were invariably done in colour. A simpler but no less calligraphic capital, penned with the same point and ink used for the text, is shown in Plate 117 and it's ductus given in Figures 28 and 29."

Plate 117, page 142.

And from the only page of the Bedford Psalter I have that shows a group of Majuscules :

Well, lookee that.

In spite of mention of variations, these majuscules are very similar to plate 117! Varied in only a small way.

So that gives me the set of majuscules to use.

The majuscules appear here in what I think this is a list of headings and names, from what James Derrick told me when I was asking about Paleography.

The other time a majuscule appears is

the first letter following the illuminated letter on 2 of the 4 pages of the Bedford Psalter I have. A majuscule doesn't follow the illuminated letter on the other two pages.

This is nicely explained on page 23 of "The British Library Guide to Manuscript Illumination" by Christopher de Hamel.

I'm very glad that I found this - or I would have gone nuts trying to to understand the variances in sizes, and why the majuscules were only used to follow two of the illuminated letters. (because they opened Psalms)


(used to open ordinary psalms and individual verses in the Bedford Psalter), are discussed by Drogin on pages 55 to 57 of his book.

Labels: , ,

1 August 2007

Script Analysis - Punctuation

Drogin says

" In general, all modern punctuation would be appropriate. The question mark should have it's curve angularized. And flavour would be added if periods and commans were set at mid-minum height"

(page 141)

Medieval Writing has a brief history of punctuation, with examples

and says

"My resident medievalist assures me that Latin does not require punctuation, as the grammatical constructions are so precise that the significance cannot be misunderstood.

That is the assertion of someone who reads Latin very accurately, but perhaps slowly, and who knows it as a written language.

The different forms of punctuation used in the middle ages were graphic clues as to how the text was to be read."

Manuscript Studies, Medieval and Early Modern


says (everything you'd ever want to know about medieval punctuation)

Punctuation / "pointing": the word "punctuation" is derived from the Latin word "punctus," translated "point"; punctuation is literally the use of "points," and, until the sixteenth century or so, the English word for punctuation was "pointing."

Pointing was originally done in liturgical manuscripts as an aid in reading aloud, especially by those whose knowledge of the language which they were reading might be less than perfect; thus, pointing for reading aloud tends to correspond quite closely to marking "pauses for breath," and it may, in fact, owe much to musical notation for "breaths."

It also tends to be much more thorough in Biblical and liturgical manuscripts (from which readings aloud were done regularly in churches and monasteries) than in secular texts.

However, M. B. Parkes, in his article on "Pause and Effect" in Medieval Eloquence (later expanded into a book, Pause and Effect), warns that there is little consistency in scribal choices of when and how to point a passage:

"Medieval scribes and correctors punctuate when confusion is likely to arise (if their Latin is sufficient to recognize the fact) and do not always punctuate where confusion is not likely to arise, even when they are concerned with the sententia literae ["literal meaning"]. . . . Elements which may have a similar syntactic function or convey similar meaning, and which are punctuated in one context, need not be punctuated in another when the context ensures that confusion is not likely to arise" (pp. 138-139).

Furthermore, manuscript pointing may be added by anyone at any time: it might be authorial, intended to clarify the author's intended meaning, or added by a scribe or a corrector, and some manuscripts show considerable punctuation added at various times by various readers as part of their response to the contents.

There is little literature on medieval punctuation, partly because there is so much evidence which needs to be studied, and partly because editors of texts have considered the effort needed to be a waste (since usually the pointing is not authorial anyway). However, as Parkes's studies show, much can be learned about scribal practices by studying the punctuation used in a manuscript.

Generally, manuscripts tend to be more lightly and less consistently pointed than printed books (and with the exception of the punctus and the blank space, almost all of our modern marks of punctuation have come into use only since the thirteenth century).

Modern punctuation, designed to clarify syntactic structures rather than to indicate breathings, is largely a Renaissance invention, developing during the first generations of the printing press, and codified in the eighteenth century (about the same time that capitalization and spelling became fixed in more or less their current form).

Among the earliest works showing "modern" punctuation is Francis Bacon's Essays. An interesting early discussion of the nature of modern punctuation can be found in Ben Jonson's English Grammar (composed ca. 1617, printed posthumously in 1640). Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century punctuation practice varies considerably, but tends to be "heavy"; current "light" punctuation is largely the invention of H. G. and F. G. Fowler, The King's English.

The use of layout (putting each "line" of verse on a new line, using indentations, etc.) to punctuate verse is an invention of the later Middle Ages (probably introduced to the English by the French, from whom the English learned rhyming and stanzaic forms, these being characteristics of French verse forms, not of native English verse).

Early English poetry (Beowulf, for instance) is written as prose, filling each writing line to the margin before beginning a new line.

Such "prose-like" poetry also tended to be punctuated in much the same way that prose was, except that the ends of poetic lines (and, in Old English verse, the ends of half-lines) were usually marked with some sort of punctuation symbol.

In later Middle English manuscripts, when layout comes to be used to punctuate verse, it was often considered to be all the punctuation that was necessary.

Thus, with the introduction of the use of layout as punctuation, other punctuation marks become less common in verse, with several notable exceptions: a virgule is often used to mark caesura within the line, the paragraphus or capitulum is used to mark the beginning of stanzas, and a punctus elevatus at the end of the line often indicates an unexpected continuation (enjambement) of the sensus into the next line rather than an "end-stopped" line. [This paragraph is a summary of a portion of M. B. Parkes's article.]

Littera notabilior: an enlarged letter (often in a "display" script) which is used to mark the beginning of a new section (chapter, paragraph, sentence, stanza or line of verse, etc.); can also be used for any "capital" letters.

Punctus (. or •): the placement (which could be at the baseline, in the middle, or at the headline) was, according to a system elaborated by Isidore of Seville (Etymologies I.20), significant:

in early punctuation systems,

it was placed at the baseline to mark a pause in the middle of a sentence (roughly like our comma),

in the middle for a longer pause between clauses (roughly like our semicolon),

and at the headline for a long pause at the end of a sentence.

With the development of minuscule scripts, however, such relative heights are hard to judge, and this set of distinctions is largely abandoned in the later Middle Ages, and . and • are more or less interchangeable (usually used for a final pause, to mark the end of a sentence).

The punctus is the ancestor of our modern "period."

Punctus versus (which looks like a small "7" over a period; it can look like a modern semicolon): usually used for a final pause, to mark the end of a sentence (equivalent to a punctus).

Punctus elevatus (which looks like an inverted semicolon, with the tail going up and to the left):

used from the twelfth to the fifteenth century,

and usually used to indicate a major, medial pause (roughly equivalent to a modern comma or semicolon),

usually where the sensus is complete though the sentence is not (as, for instance, between clauses of a sentence).

It fell out of use in the fifteenth century, though it has obvious connections with the modern semicolon.

The modern semicolon (Elizabethan "comma-colon" or "subdistinction") is a late sixteenth-century development.

Punctus flexus (which can look like a tilde or a small "u" over a period): a tenth-century invention, though it never came into common use;

it was used to mark a minor medial pause where the sensus is not complete (equivalent, then, to a comma when separating phrases within a clause).

Punctus interrogativus (which sometimes looks like a tilde or just a squiggle above a period): used to indicate the end of a question (rising intonation).

First appearing in the eighth century, it was not commonly used, since questions were easily recognized from their syntax.

The modern form (?) and usage is a seventeenth-century invention.

Virgula suspensiva (/): in common use from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century.

Often used for short pauses (such as the caesura in the middle of a line of poetry), but sometimes was used as equivalent to the punctus.

It could be made increasingly emphatic by doubling or even tripling.

The virgule gradually dropped to the bottom of the line and curved, giving us the modern comma (the longer virgule was then redefined and used in a new manner).

The comma as we know it is a sixteenth-century development (the first known use in England was in a book printed in 1521).

Colon (:): first appears in late fourteenth century, to mark either a full or a medial pause.

Hyphen (-): first appears in eleventh century (in England in late thirteenth century); its only common medieval use is to mark words broken at the ends of lines.

Parentheses or brackets: a fifteenth-century invention, to mark parenthetical material;

they were curved in the opposite direction from modern parentheses, and were usually accompanied by the underlining of the words between the parentheses:

)here are some medieval brackets(.

Underlining: is found in medieval manuscripts to mark quotations, direct speech, or parenthetical material;

it is also commonly used to highlight proper names, and can be used as a form of expunction (to mark a word or words for deletion).

Exclamation mark: a modern invention, introduced in the seventeenth-century.

Apostrophe: the modern apostrophe is derived from a medieval mark of abbreviation, a suspension mark indicating that some letters are missing (and therefore we use the apostrophe to mark a contraction).

Quotation marks: an eighteenth-century invention.

In medieval manuscripts, underlining was sometimes used to indicate direct speech or quotation, especially for Biblical quotations, but generally quotations were indicated by rhetorical rather than graphic means.

Dash: an eighteenth-century invention.

Capitulum: the Latin "capitulum" means "head," and it gives us the Modern English word "chapter" (the beginning or head of a new section of the work).

The chapter marker, a "C" with a vertical stroke, comes to be used not only to mark chapter divisions, but also paragraph divisions (equivalent to the paragraphus, "¶") and sometimes even sentence divisions (which is related to our modern practice of "capitalizing" the beginning of a sentence).

Paragraphus (a "gallows-pole" or upper-case gamma, or § later ¶): used to mark paragraph divisions.

Insertion signals: material missed was added between the lines or in the margin, with the point of insertion marked with a caret (common from the twelfth century on) or, sometimes, various "nota bene" signs, etc. The word "caret" means "it is lacking."

Omission signals: there are several common ways of indicating that a word or phrase was to be deleted: cancellation (crossing out), expunction (dots placed below the words or passage to be deleted), vacation (enclosing passage between the syllables "va" and "cat"; "vacat" = "it is void, empty").

That's interesting about the Punctus interrogativus (a tilde above a period) instead of a question mark, and the way brackets were done.

"In the Forest" not being in Latin, I'll need punctuation, and I'll need the Punctus, and Punctus Elevatas for the commas. It'd be more correct to use Virula Suspensiva (a slanted line for the commas) but, hey.

Later : Doh! There are two question marks in the piece. I'll use the modern version - there's one suggested in the Bedford Psalter analysis of the Historic Source Book for Scribes, on page 92.

Labels: , ,

Script Analysis - More ligatures

I've come up with more ligatures, involving bowed letters (mostly to do with v and p)

After discussion with Robert of Stonemarche, I'll be using the half r only after bowed A, O and E of the vowels - it looks best that way, rather than after the diamond ending I and U.

For the record, looking at one mss :

But *drogin* says that half r's are used after vowels?! (see attached file)
Maybe the scribes varied the rule?

O biting P - tick
E biting V - like you were saying in your other mail, if V* and W** didn't end in a diamond. I've been using V ligatures in the last couple of days. (but my W ends in a diamond)
and that looks like an E ligatured to the H in the final line! hmmm

Looking at other pages of the same MSS

first line - half r after a and o, but not after e
second line - half r after e, full r after a
ninth line - half r after a
last line - half r after o
first full line : half r after a
last line : half r after o
otherwise full r's used (examples all after an e or u)
second line - half r after o (two examples)
lines 11 and 13 - half r after o
full r used after a'e and e's and u's

Half r after o, a
full r after u, e
seems to be a general rule, Didn't see any after i's, which is a pity. It makes sense in terms of bowing for o, a and u, but not for e.

And half r's used after p's across the board.

Labels: , ,

Script Analysis - Pangrams 3, small nib

With the Brause 1.5 mm nib :-

Labels: , ,