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Elmsley Rose

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Elmsley Rose

31 March 2007

Illuminated N - Shading of left side of the N

I'll put some white on the lightest part when it's thoroughly dry

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Illuminated N - Base Shading for the N

Now to work on the 3 blue colours to blend them. I think I'll add some white with just a touch of blue as well, at the end.
I took up the outline of the shape in the middle of the vertical leg of the N, but it can still be seen through the paint.
I may have to put it back in, and do little horizontal lines in gold - better than 'ruffled' paper. I'll see. (nothing like changes in design decisions after already putting down the picture in pen~!)

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29 March 2007

Illuminated N - Colour for the N

In the engraving that I used as a source picture, the N is white (since it's an engraving) and has horizontal lines running down that panel in the diagonal of the N.

I'm going to paint it in blue, as Nick asked. I'm going to do it in 3 shades of blue and make it look 3D (those skinny vertical legs should be tricky!)

The requested blue is

I had a bit of a play with my different blue tube gouaches

So I need to use W&N Ultramarine with a touch of T7 Dark Madder Crimson. The colour above is a bit pale because I mixed it directly on the paper and so the white of the paper is showing through.

I'll mix a tint for the highlights, and use W&N Indigo for the shadows.

There is one thing that I'm kicking myself BIG TIME about.
I looked back at one of the images I used for inspiration - and the shading of the gold is done in what looks like a brown ochre.
That would have blended rather better with the gold.
Kit assures me that the N is beautiful, and the black looks ok, but I wish I'd used my brain (and my eyes) and used the brown. I guess I'll know for next time. *kick* *kick*

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26 March 2007

Illuminated N - Gold Shading Finished

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23 March 2007

Illuminated N - Top Right Side finished

Playing around in Photoshop again, this time with Hue and Saturation, but I still can't get close to the sparkliness of the original.

I've added in some small touches Schminke Gold Perl, which is a shade lighter than the Art Spectrum D'Or on the various leaves and flowers to add extra highlighting. It can be seen in the blown up version of the N.

Just the right bottom corner, (already taken back) and then I can paint the N.

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21 March 2007

Illuminated N - Left side finished

I've played with the brightness/contrast a bit in Photoshop to try and show the gold better. It's still not very accurate.

And you were right, Nick, when you said that I was sculpting - I am, literally. Building up the gold, and going down to the paper.

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15 March 2007

Illuminated N - Left side almost finished

I've finished the left hand side, except for the curlicue at the top, which I've just taken the gold back on so far.

The gold looks dim in the scan but it's good and shiny on the original.

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13 March 2007

Illuminated N - Main flower finished

I've finished the two elements I took the gold back on - the main flower, and the leaf on the top right. I've also done a curlicue and a vine under the main flower

It would have been easier if I hadn't put down all of the gold already, since I'm doing 'reverse highlights' (using the white paper) but I didn't know beforehand.

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12 March 2007

Illuminated N - OK, I've got it

I tried some black shading on this top flower, and the black shaded in much better. The fixative worked - I can work with the black without re-wetting the gold and mixing it in.I've also removed most of the gold from this main flower on the left.
I really like the affect.

It's been bothering me. You need 3 shades to made an object 3D - highlight, base and shade. Gold is the base, black is the shade but I didn't have a highlight. I did try using some shell gold on the flower yesterday but it wasn't visible enough.

I'm going to add back some gold to the flower but leave some of the white paper visible to form the highlights. Then fix it, then shade with black for the dark bits. Effectively doing the highlights in reverse, instead of adding them on top of the base colour, which should be interesting.

I left the inner circle of the flower because that worked fine.

I hope that I can do the same, lifting gold to show the white paper to form the highlights, on the right hand side, given that I've already sprayed it with fixative. It's only a bit of plastic stuff - it should come up with a brush and water with my nose to the paper.

I'm very pleased because now I'm sure of the way ahead whereas I was a bit unsure before. "The magic" has happened for me. I can envision the work much better. I'm also very very pleased with how much work I've been able to do. 4 hours a day for the last 3 days. It's because I'm feeling healthier than I've felt since about August last year as well as having a fun project to work on. :-)

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Illuminated N - Counterspace and Start of Shading

I've done the counterspace (so's to speak - the counterspace within the vines) in black goauche. It looks positively velvety.

I started doing the shading on the gold yesterday using black.
The flower and vine I've done do look 3D but they also look murky. I'm loosing a lot of the brilliance of the gold.
I did a quick consult to check that Nick was happy with the type of shading, as opposed to perhaps going for a goldvine style letter - for example

which has outlining and some detailing in red - but not actual shading on top of the gold.

Nick likes the black shading, so I need to address the murkiness problem.

I spray fixed the right side of the painting last night and will see how that takes the black.

I'll take the already shaded parts back down to paper and re-do them. I really do want as much bright gold as possible.

Thanks to Elyse Boucher for her paper on Whitevine and Goldvine, from where I learnt the existance of goldvine letters and readily directed me to one of my books for an example

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Illuminated N - Base Gold

I tried using shell gold for the base gold, but it was too granular. It never would have taken the shading. So I'm using Art Spectrum D'Or, which goes well with the blue I intend to use for the N.

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10 March 2007

Illuminated N - Outline

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Illuminated N - Design

This is the design I'm using for the illuminated N.
It's from "Florid and Unusual Alphabets - 109 Complete Alphabets", Midolle, Silvestre and others, published by Dover.

This particular letter is from an alphabet by "Klimsch"This is my drawing (free hand) of the outline (on Bockingford paper)

It's cut off on the left - the paper is too big to fit in the scanner.

Next thing is to outline all of the design with fineliner (the versal is already outlined). I've put in rough shading so I could draw the various shapes.

It will end up with colouring like this

which is from "Treasures From Italy's Great Libraries" (thanks Tetchubah!) - ie using the shaded gold for the leaves/branches/flowers.

The versal will be in this colour :

as requested by the recipient. (I'll reverse engineer from "Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green" to mix the colour).

The work I'll be doing reminds me of a piece I did years ago - one of the first pieces that I did - the shading on the branches/trunk using black on the gold

but it used W&N gold gouache and I'm thinking of using shell gold. I'll have to see how it takes black gouache over the top for the shading.

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9 March 2007

Script Analysis - The Ductus on Graph Paper III

I say 'ductus' but it isn't, of course. Ductii have stroke direction markup. This is - um, an exemplar?

I've finished mapping out the letters on graph paper.

There are also a few updates to the pages with notes on the ascender/descender heights, and stroke angles.

I learnt heaps about the construction of the letters by doing this. Definitely a useful exercise.

The next thing to do is use a broad nib pen on the graph paper.

I talked about the decisions I was making about the letter forms in

It would be interesting to make decisions other than I have made (eg fairly straight quadrants) and see the difference in the set of letters I come up with. Although, right now - if I don't make some progress towards finishing the script analysis and actually practising the script itself I think that I'll go mad.

I do have an illumination project due at the end of next month and I want to get started on it - hopefully have it ready to present somewhere near the appropriate date, unlike Kit's gift, which was months late.

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5 March 2007

Chinese Calligraphy Notes - Frontspiece

This is the second of the small projects that I mentioned that I was doing.

My friend Nick is interested in studying Chinese Calligraphy and I had a blank notebook with a woven bamboo cover and hand made paper pages which I thought would be a appropriate medium in which to make some notes.

The modern versal is based on a design by Karen Ter Haar.

The script was designed by June Francis.

The script was quite close to Gothic Textura Quadrata. I'd originally started off using the Akim script but it's informality floored me. I am too used to formal scripts, and couldn't get 'casual' enough for it to look good. I need rules!

I think the lettering looks crooked on the scan, but it isn't. It must be the bulk of the pages behind this front page providing some curve.

I cheated something shocking with the lettering - I drew the letter shapes out by hand in pencil before painting them in with a small brush. I wrote out the words using a broad pen and it looked pretty good but June brush painted this script and there are a few lines that are backwards (ie not left to right, up to down) and need to be done using a brush. Given my brush writing experience is limited, I went with the cheat method.

I had a bit of a problem with bleeding with the versal and with the second 'r' in Murray (and the paper is too thin to make corrections). Meisterin Katarina Helene has since told me that I could have used fixative spray to avoid the problem.

Since there is a high possibility that Nick will be painting in various characters and shapes in ink he might have a problem with bleeding as well. He'll have to fix the area of the page with the spray beforehand (of which I forgot to give him a can). Ok, so handmade paper wasn't the best choice, but it looks pretty!

I had wanted to use black acrylic ink to give me shiny black letters, but I found that it bled heaps (and didn't look shiny on the paper anyway). My standard practice ink worked better.

Kit suggested that I emboss the shape of each letter before painting it to prevent bleed but I found on testing that this didn't make any difference.

It might have made a difference with the bleed on the versal, but we didn't think of embossing until after I'd painted it. I did emboss it as an afterthought so the various sections of the letter kind of bulge up, which you can see if you hold the book at an angle.

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