A place for Drachenwald's scribes to hang out, learn, discuss and critique each others work.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Progress of my first scroll

ok, I dare and post pictures of what I have done until now at my first scroll...

1) I found this lovely miniature (on the right side) in the book
'Ars vivendi - Ars moriendi' (ISBN 3-7774-9180-2) at page 162 - the page shows 4 beautiful pages of the 'Laval Stundenbuch' - the page with this miniature is '67r Grablegung Christi. Komplet des Marienoffiziums' (West-France, about 1420) and this page also provided me with the inspiration for the border.

2) Many thanks to Lady Bridget Greywolf for sending me the link of the Gutenberg digital Homepage, where I got a good idea for the background decoration of my initial H. :)

3) ...and my first try of calligraphy - I used 'Textura Quadrata' for the small letters and 'Gothic' capitals - I just tried to implement Lady Greywolfs tip to try a calligraphy that fits to the time period of the illumination I try to recreate. I don't want to bother you with the problems I had with the calligraphy (and why I did so much decoration around the capitals) - but if you like to know more, here's the Link to my former posting where I was complaining about my problems. (...and where you see the 'Gegeben am....' underneath 'König' and 'Königin' - Lady Bridget told me that this design isn't usual at scrolls and I changed the design (see the next photo) - I wrote the sentence in smaller letters underneath the main text and I will lay my blue border above this text...

4) ...and I got an interesting idea for the main window: the boy on the left side represents Livia's son and he holds a book in his hands (because of her hobby 'bookbinding'), the girl on the right side represents Livia's daughter and she holds fabric in her hands (because of her other hobby 'sewing') and the very dark green spot behind her will soon turn into the dark green burgundian dress that she is working at at the moment :) - I found this kind of hanger in a medieval picture of a dressmaker in one of my books (but I am not sure if I would find this picture again) ...and I want to leave some place between her children for her coat of arms (I don't know if this is usual but that's the only place where I have some place for it in my imagination)

ok, my 2 cents about the evolution of my first scroll :)
...and many thanks to Lady Bridget for the calligraphy set for beginners she gave to me and all help that I have received.


Bridget said...

I really like your dragon

Maeva said...

You did a really great job on this first scroll of yours. Your shading is excellent and I love the fact that you're comfortable with the idea of personalizing a miniature to fit the recipient *S*
Calligraphy is always the more tricky part. Trust me, it gets better with practice :o) In regard to decorated calligraphy 'less' would be 'more' I think. I read your blog so I know what happened and it's not -bad- but the text looks a bit busy and all those decorations distract from the fact that for a first try at Gothic Textura you did a really good job.

Racaire said...

Merci Maeva for your kind words :)
concerning the shading - I think it helps a lot that I have been painting tin miniatures for a long time :)

Bridget said...

You should see the gorgeous image that eventually ended up with the prince and princess... you can see it on her blog. just beautiful. :)

Calligraphy is a chore for many people and it really does take a lot of just doing it to eventually get it. But trust me , you will get it..because if I, whol oathed it , can do it then anyone can!!!!I do reccomend that for drawing out lines people invest a few dollers/euros/whatevers in an ames lettering guide, that little bit of holed plastic has improved my calligraphy 100%. If I can ever figure out how to buy them in bulk for resale I will do that. I have yet to see any at Boesner but maybe they can be ordered?

Racaire said...

what's an "ames lettering guide"?

PS: Thank you very much for your lovely words about my picture of the two fighters :)

Bridget said...

an ames lettering guide is a small tool designed to help architechts and artists draw lines and cross lines
if you google AMES letter guide and hit the images button you will see what it look slike, I have posted in a separate post the how to use it guide.

Ailitha said...

This is a beautiful first scroll with lots of thoughts about the recepient and that#s what make sit all the more special! You should have seen my first one!!! Calligraphy is hard in the beginning especially the Textura Quadraty which I studied first to! I managed eventually and every calligraphy which comes after the textura Quadrata will be easier, trust me! So well done and please post aslo the finished scroll!

Bridget said...

and Maeva is laughing her butt off because Textura Quadrata is the hand I 'encourage' all first timer scribe who come to me asking for the how to help....

But in all honesty, it is a hard hand to do and once you get the feel for it you can do anything because after getting the hang of that hand, everything else is a breeze ( almost)

stick with it.... Alithia's work has come a long way and her calligraphy is delightful! This past event I had to work to try and match her hand when I filled in the names on one of her scrolls while she was working the troll. Oh boy that eternal fear of messing up someone else's scroll never goes away.

I repeat my eternal mantra.... practice

and if you really hate it then just do a different hand.

ack all I've done all day is trawl the net...

Racaire said...

dear ailitha - i promise to post the finsihed scroll here :)

Maeva said...

*G* I just do the same but from the other hand : I usually recommend people pick a script that they absolutely LOVE and that gives them the feeling of "OMIGOD, I -have- to be able to to this!". That way all the practicing comes a little easier and it's not quite as tedious than when you're trying to learn something you aren't too keen on to begin with :o)

Whatever works for you, really *S*

Bridget said...

yeah I have tried that approach but mostly at the very very start, beginners who have never picked up a calligraphy pen, it has been my experience, want some guidnace because they don't actually know what it is they love yet...

I had that experience again this past weekend, and keeping in mind your dislike of the gothic hand I try not to 'push' it, but it's the look of utter daze on the faces of most people when they go through the drogin book or the Harris book when I say... "well have a look if you see someting you think you might like to try then go for it" after half an hour of dazed looking usually the question 'I don't know...What do you reccomend?' pops up.

I reccomend the gothic hands because for the most part and for a fairly lengthy time period they were the most used. Especially from a Liturgical point, the books of hours and the church stuff. The Gothic hands were the hands used in the religions texts, precise and quite beautiful, they often match many of the works we as scribes try to emmulate.
The more fluid court hands of the 13th-16th C were generally layman texts as a rule, used for writs, grants and general official but non chruch stuff, which later became used in some of the most stunning works of art I have ever seen...but these works of art were private commissions and not part of the church works.

That being said... Calligraphy hands vary greatly from region to region, country to country and it depends on the time period you are in, what style you like etc...but first you have to figure out, especially as a beginner, which of these things draws you in...

For many, as an absolute beginner it is hard to choose and as a teacher I have more often found that at the very first people want a little nudge in a single direction, they soon find out where their own affiliations lie.

I have yet to have anyone come to me and say I want to learn this particular hand right away , oddly enough. I think that when a person gets to that stage they have either asked someone about how to do it and started learning or they have done some research on their own and begun learning. It is after this staged that I get asked about actual penmanship and what pens I use and so on.

I can only offer advice based on my own experience. As with pretty much most things scribal I am fairly self taught. While I have had advice via letters from my Master, for most of my apprenticship I have been quite far aay from hom and other more experienced scribes. My time in this Kingdom as a scribe has afforded me very little in the way of actual critical feedback until quite recently. I actually don't know how any one else teaches this stuff, to be honest.

The very first calligraphy hand I learned was Celtic Uncial but my illumination interests lay in a much later time period and it took me a very long time to undo that combination and learn a gothic hand. When I ask beginners to point to images of what sort of scrolls they think they might like to do most of them immediately state styles that fall directly into that Quadrata hand catagory...hence that is the hand I tend to reccomend people begin with.

Some folks stick with it and some go on toother things they like better. It is just a starting point and a bit of a challenge.

In then end a scribe with some experienec will get bored of teh same hand and start to branch out so eventually they will try most of the common hands out there and chances are a gothic hand will be one of them.

Byxe said...

Really good first try. :-) A suggestion though. If you want your figures to look more "medieval", try practicing tracing faces and bodies from miniatures from the wanted timeperiod. Baking paper is a cheap and easy to use if you don't have a light table. Think of them as cartoons. It's really easy to see if a Marvel superhero is from the 60's or the 90's even though there were different illustrator... Oh, for Whitework (the white patterns on for ex. the blue letter)I can really recommend Permanent White gouach color.

Racaire said...

@byxe: I know that the figures don't look 'medieval', but I wanted to stay as close to the original photo I got of her children as possible

Byxe said...

No worries as they say Downunder

Racaire said...

btw. ...byxe how do you like my medieval figures and faces where I tried to stay as near to the original work as possible: