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

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

New in the works...

So I don't often tackle this kind of theme because it's painstaking to get it right but I am really pleased with how this is turning out so far.

what it is
the actual inspiration

This is for an award scroll I'm working on right now. The lined lay out is something you can see in an earlier post. I can't show the whole thing block-painted and calligraphed yet because it hasn't been given out but what I can show is some of the illumination as I go. I am really excited about this so far and nervous too... Each step further in I take leads me further away from being able to say wth if I screw it up. Becoming invested in a piece makes it really hard to walk away from it if I mess up. I tend to work very quickly as a rule but because I am not used to this style of illumination I'm taking my time and doing other scroll stuff in between to test out techniques.

Any way..here is what has been done so far. Filling the two gold strips with the flowers has taken roughly 4 hours with a couple of 5 minute doing laundry breaks in between.

bottom left corner stripe, strawberries

the original

the other side
 Here you can see the progression from start to end.  Now I am curious how the rest of this scroll will turn out.

the basic colours being blocked

the detail with shading and highlighting

finishing with the surrounding decorations.

The blue shows up hellishly vibrant under the camera it's actually darker than it looks. And yes the gold leaf has issues.


Genevieve la flechiere said...

Is the background to the flowery bits gold as well? Shell gold, vs leaf? It's sparkly, but the border of the text *shines* like leaf, and the background does not.
What gessoes/sizes are you using? I'm reading up on gilding to prepare for trying out.

Merlyn/fiona/Bridget said...

Hiyas, the border of the text is gold leaf, flat gilded with a gum arabic and sugar gesso. Here's the blog post that was all about it some time back by Alitha


I use two different gessos. 1 is a recipe from the Whitley book on gilding using gum arabic and sugar. It makes a great flat gilding gesso if you can work out the bubbles and sometimes the grit from bad gum arabic.

The second gesso I use I buy pre-made from iconofile.com.


It's made from all the right ingredients but it's an add warm water, wait a bit then use kind of thing and it's awesome. I know I could make my own but I don't really have the patience to.

The gold under the flowers is gold gouache paint. I would have used shell gold but A: It's waaaaay too expensive and B: I've used shell gold before and in all honesty there was NO difference in the end look and I found I couldn't burnish the shell gold even though you're supposed to be able to.

and seriously stop reading about gilding and just do it. Take it from someone who waited ages to jump into the gold waters...the only way to learn this is to actually do it. Practice and getting used to how the gesso works, what happens when it doesn't work and how to fix it only come when you use the real thing, that and get yourself a really good burnisher.

maybe at some point we should all get together and do a class on gold.