Sunday, 22 January 2012


Original drollery image (Google researched). Chosen as shading practice before I commit to a whole plate.
I think it turned out reasonably well. The eye isn't as nice as I wanted but the colours on the legs and feet I'm happy with.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Illumination experiments continued

Continuing the theme of my last post I have increased my attempts at learning medieval style shading and illumination.

Below is an as-yet unfinished attempted at an illuminated S. I have completed all of the reds and much of the yellows and just need to finish up the greens and blues. I rather like how this one is looking (apart from the smudge fingerprint on the left). Maybe I should find someone willing to do all the calligraphy so I can make an attempt at a scroll. Maybe I should have a chat to Stanzi or Katherine Alicia of Sarum as I've seen them produce some lovely work.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Illumination experiments

I have been pondering my next plate (after the two household ones currently in the works). There's alot of very nice 15thc plates from Deruta however many of them require shading rather than solid lines and textures. I'm not confident enough in my abilities yet to commit to a large plate so I've been trying to find ideas in which I can practice on before doing a full plate.

One idea is practicing with some drolleries on smaller plates. Something like the one above which came from the Croy Hours (date unknown because I google image searched rather than re-searched).

During my wanderings around Spotlight a couple of months ago I found some sheets of vellum which are about A6 in size. So I've tried my hand at illumination as a shading experiment. Once I'm happy with an illumination project I'll go back to the plates and the added complication of blending (or not) glazes.

Experiments so far:

Attempt 1: No guts, no glory.
I was thinking of my man when chosing this motto. I'll admit the calligraphy isn't mine (as this is a skill I've attempted in the past and don't have enough time/interest in perfecting). I actually found a collection of medieval fonts on line developed from period resources by Pia Frauss ( and I fell in lust with some of them. This one,  EtBoemieRex is based on a charter issued in 1359 by the German/Roman emperor Charles IV, granting a market privilege to the city of Hambourg. I printed then traced the words I wanted as the calligraphy is just bulk for the illumination to surround.
Attempt 2: Knowledge is power.
Same deal with the font here as in attempt 1 however where I traced the font with a ink pen for attempt 1, here i traced it with paint, it's thicker and uglier I think. I created the little Dolphin scrollie things inspired by a 'medieval designs' book I own and the fact that Krae Glas' animal seems to be a dolphin,
The white work within the S was done using a whiteout pen as I thought that using a brush would be too difficult as I'd have to go over it multiple times. Since taking this image I have painted over the white and redone it much finer and neater with white paint and a paintbrush. Sometimes short cuts aren't short cuts at all.
I really like how the fish things turned out.