I'm having to readjust my brain after a concentrated scribing session over the holiday, as several familiar truths have proved wrong.
I've been re-reading The Illuminated Alphabet by Noad and Seligman (one of my favourite how-to scribing books, even if it does spend way too much time on gilding), and I learn something everytime I read it.
For instance - there may be a place in the world for waterproof ink, if you're inking a figure before painting - waterproof ink won't bleed into wet paint.
To date, I've avoided wp ink that contains shellac: partly to keep my nibs clean, partly from fear of spilling it partly believing non-waterproof ink
On top of that I'd thought the working sequence was always sketch > paint > outline with ink.
But in one of the book projects it's clear the inked border comes first, even before gilding.
This might explain a couple of exemplars I'd puzzled over, where it appeared that the ink would have to come ahead of the colour/gilding. I'll have to look at them again!
Oak gall ink - that I'd thought was non-waterproof, and have cheerfully recommended to others on that basis, in fact becomes waterproof when dry. (www.kalligraphie.com has a great intro on its English-lang shop area)
Further - it actually benefits from being exposed to air to help it oxidise. I've kept lids and corks on all my inks to keep them from evaporating, and apparently oak gall prefers 'en plein air'.
Tracing: I've always felt that tracing figures was akin to cheating - pretending to be better at drafting than you are. To date I've stuck firmly to designs I could draw myself.
But almost all the projects described in the book involve working out the design, then transferring it to the page by tracing, rather than freehand copying.
And as I look at some designs, I wonder - where is the evidence of grids, measuring points, tentative erased lines on finished pieces? Without a 'graphite' pencil, how much freehanding could an artist do on the real work?
I know that modelbooks existed in period - but I was never certain if these were actually for tracing, or only standard layouts and instructions for 'prentices.
Does anyone have evidence one way or another?
Still so much to learn.