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

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Red work

Okay, lately I have been getting a ton of questions on the art of red work. I have to tell you all, I am still pretty new at this stuff but I will walk through the steps of how I do it.

1: I go looking for inspiration. I find examples of puzzle caps and filigree that I like and start there. The internet is full of examples and eventually I will get my ducks in a row and post them.

2: I block out my scroll, that is I draw all the lines and the block out the spaces where the cap and the filigree will go, this includes the space I always leave for matting and framing.( Around an inch to an inch and a half.) Filigree work has a tendency to run away with me so ober the months I have been at this, I have learnt LEAVE SPACE TO PLAY WITH THE PEN.

2a: Calligraphy. ( I screw up 99.9% of the time with the callig so I almost ALWAYS do this first!) Plus this way I can play around the the callig with the pen work.

3: I Draw my capitol letter out. If I am doing a puzzle cap I will draw ALL the lines I want to ink out ( not the filigree work) but the actual outlines) This is because there is a very fine white space that divides the red from the blue as a rule and by pencilling the lines I know there will be space left in between when I ink.

4: Ink, I draw over the pencil lines with the appropriate colour of ink. If the part I want to fill in will be blue then the out line is also blue. Same with red. I use a fine point nib for these ink lines.

5: I fill in the space which requires fill-in a couple of ways. I sometimes use the same ink that I used to draw with, and fill in with a brush, the size of the brush depends on how much space I have to fill in. It depends on the paper as well. Some papers do funny things with ink when it is brushed on, (Elephant skin paper for example is nasty in this way) if this is the case then I don't use ink but rather corrisponding gouache as it lays better and dries evenly. I always fill in my puzzle caps with a brush, usually a sable hair and normally I tend towards a 0 size but that's a preference thing.

6: Once the caps are filled I play with the filigree. I have sometimes pencilled out the basic lines, the ones that outline the capitol letter to make it easier to getthe pattern but once that is done I just play. If you look at enough examples of red work you get the idea of what patterns were used. and if you need some help go here:

Meister harold's how to

7: sometimes afterwards I will decorate the cap with white work, gouache and a fine paint brush is what I normally use.

I hope this helps.


Gavlinne said...

Thanks Lady Bridget, that was most helpful. I will be sure to post pics up on my site for you when I get this one done so you can check them out :)

Gavlinne (from the East Kingdom)

Merlyn Gabriel said...

You are very welcome. There has been a lot of interest in this style as of late and your question was the final nudge I needed to get off my butt and post a little how to. I hope to see more people try it out. Can't wait to see what you do!!I hope you post an image of your inspiration as well.

Bridget / merly

Gavlinne said...

I will definitely post both the original and my piece to compare :)

Thanks again for all the help!