Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ribbon Script D

This is a vintage Victorian lettering style called Ribbon script. It is based on the Copperplate Script capitals that I am currently exploring and holds so many possibilities for embellishment. Once again, I started playing with pastels for background effects. It is flat gilded on Arches 140 lb. HP paper and entirely painted using Caran D'Ache Classicolor Metallic watercolour pencils. It was my second attempt at the letter D and is my favourite in the series so far. Finished size is 5"x2".

My first attempt at D is a medieval Drollery based on a 15th Century woodcut. My guess is that it was intended to be D, but who knows! The study of marginal drolleries in medieval manuscripts is fascinating. An excellent book on the subject is Images in the Margins by Margot McIlwain Nishimura. This piece is 2/1/2 x 2 1/2 on Arches 140 lb. HP paper with flat gilding. At this point in the illuminated letter project, I realize that I am much more comfortable with Victorian letterforms. The appearance of Medieval and Renaissance forms will probably be scarce!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pergamenata B

Keeping with the more Victorian style, I tried another B design. This B is the leaf script style again. Holbein Horizon blue is the main colour of the initial and I mixed it with some Holbein sap and leaf green to get the different tones of the greens. Floral petals are Opera Rose. This piece is done on the Heavyweight Natural Pergamenata Paper from John Neal. It took the pastel background beautifully and blended much easier than on the Arches HP paper. Gold leaf if raised with gesso. Ink work was done with McCaffery brown. This piece is 4 1/2 x 2 1/2".

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Additional A's!

I had to realize that I would continually get more ideas for these letters! I had so much fun with the more Victorian form of the letter C, that I went back and tried additional styles of A. This is going to be one big alphabet project if I keep this up! The first image is done with watercolour over a pastel background. The gold is raised gilding using homemade gesso. It is 5 x 2 1/2 " on 140 lb. Arches HP paper.

The second image is flat gilded using Rolco gold size. The ribbon style initial is painted with French Ultramarine blue toned down with some Paynes Grey. I integrated a watercolour background wash with pastels. Still at the experimental stage. It is 3 1/2 x 2 1/2" on Arches HP paper.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

C is for Challenging!

I had a lot of trouble with the letter C. I tried and discarded several ideas before changing channels and doing a more Victorian letter. This letter is based on leaf script which was a popular 19th century style.I added raised gilding and soft pastel accents along with the watercolour. It was a lot of fun doing this style. This piece is 1 1/2" x 3 " on Arches HP paper.