Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Black Hours Pleides

This illumination is an experiment from the Kleinodienbuch der Herzogin Anna von Bayern or for everyone else the Jewel Book of the Duchess Anna of Bavaria, p.11.  The manuscript is an inventory of the jewelry owned by the duke and his wife, Duchess Anna, a member of the Habsburg dynasty and a daughter of Emperor Ferdinand I. It was commissioned in 1552 and is simply a spectacular manuscript.  I wanted to try out the lovely black paper that was in a laurel prize basket that I won, and I thought that this particular illumination would be an excellent choice for experimentation.  It was not terribly complex, yet it had an elegance that just drew the eye. 

Yes I did write it in German.  No I do not speak German. Yes there is a spelling error, I noticed it after I wrote the word and then went...'crap I don't know how to fix it in this medium."  If you wish to correct my translation do feel free! 

My thoughts:

Some of the colors are hard to lay on black.  If you don't lay white underneath you risk not seeing the color...However if you DO lay white underneath you risk a pastelling of the color.  I clearly had that problem with the purple.  I prefer mine to the original, based on the appeal of the color itself, and its appropriateness to the recipient. There is a happy medium that can be found, but it is annoying to reach. 

White ink.  Not cool.  Simply not cool, clumpy and sticky and generally hard to deal with. I found that dipping the pen first in water, then in the ink and THEN writing worked for about 10 words before I would have to rinse my nib completely. The white ink looks amazing however so I think I will fiddle with it more just to see what I can figure out. 

Gold gouache on the black:  Simply epic.  The way you can just make it leap of the page with a minimum application of brown gouache as shadow was delightful. 

Pearls:  They have the tendency to look like rock crystals instead of pearls unless you lay the white on heavy.  Next time, I will shade it with blue and purple as well as the grey to see if that mitigates the effect some. 

Note to self: Next time, try a very thin gold gouache in place of ink and see how that works.
I do have a few other illuminations from this book in the works, and it is rapidly joining the 'go to for amazesauce sources' list.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Willow Scroll

I only did the Calligraphy for this one. I do not know who provided the Illumination

Combat Scribing!  I was given the blank and started writing without reading the wording, got to the name and did a double take. It took me a little bit to get over the shock that I was doing a scroll for the Princess.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tres Riches Heures

I really like the Tres Riches Heures of Duc Du Berry.  I come back to it from time to time when I want to really expand my ability to shade and detail a piece.  This one, is a backlog panache that I sent to my lovely Laurel and it should be given out...soonish. 

The name has been removed from the image for that reason.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Blast from the past

So, I was recently visiting the home of a friend with another friend...and we happened to go upstairs into one of the guest rooms.  Sitting in said guest room was a pile of art work, scrolls and other miscellany upon the dresser.  Vaguely I noticed one of the pieces looked familiar and so I lifted the other pieces from atop it only to stare at a piece I had LONG since forgotten about. It makes me wonder if I have any other blanks remaining in the Baile Stash.  One can only hope not.

Hence....we are going to view the place where I started from...which is terrifying looking back now.

Lets see, this was a mixture of watercolor, micron pen and gold acrylic.

 I did NOT do the Calligraphy.  Merely the Illumination.

Monday, November 11, 2013


This is  a scroll that I did AGES ago, but I never heard whether or not it had been received by the recipient until this weekend when I was taking photographs of Crystal Ball.  I asked "so who is this anyway"  and I was told that that was Derrick the Tailor I said "Oh I know that name, I did a scroll for him"  and the responce was "Why yes, you did!" 

From that I assume that it must have been given out. 

It is from the Sforza Hours, which I love.  Gouache, and drawing ink.  The hand is better in this scroll than it is in some of my more recent pieces.  I need to sit at the desk and do some practicing in my vast amounts of free time.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Alzbeta's Pelican

I was truly and deeply honored to be asked to do the Pelican scroll for my friend Alzbeta, I've been assigned peerage scrolls before but never have I been asked.

The response to this scroll however was truly a defining moment for me.  I have never before had such an extreme positive response for any piece of my work than I did for this one piece at Feast of Saint Ethyl.  I felt Very Special and I am still overwhelmed by it all.   Maybe one day I'll be able to put it into words.

So I started out researching Polish pieces, to find one that was appropriate for the Persona of Alzbeta Michalik, I found one in the Catalogue of the Archbishops of Gniezno.   St. Stanislaus adored by Sigismund the Old and Bishop Peter Tomicki, 1535.  National Library, Warsaw.

I saw an immense amount of possibilities with this one, since in my mind I could see the assembled people being the pelicans kneeling around the King to admit a new member to the order.

The scroll reads:  Upon the 24th day of August at the Feast of Saint Ethyl the Imperial Order of the Pelican does accept Alzbeta Michalik into it's ranks upon the order of Dread King Lucien and Queen Catarina of the Middle Kingdom.

I took MANY pictures of the Process, as requested by my lovely Laurel.  <3







A dragon's heart for Elianora

So, I had the privlege of doing another scroll for a friend of mine.  It was set to be given at The Feast of St. Ethyl, called Baroness Wars. The plotting to get the recipient (who would not have attended otherwise) to the event started actually before the assignment was given out, but once I expressed interest in it then it was mine by Royal Request. 

A large group of us headed up by Alexander Adelbrecht von Markelingen proceeded to sneakily get Elianora to the Event, so that she could receive her surprise.   I happily drove her to and from the event for she is as always delightful company to have.  I had to consult the OSCAR to find her submission so that I knew what time period and location I was looking for for this scroll. 

The scroll is based upon a page of the Holkham Bible Picture Book which is a prayer book from South East England, 1327-1335. Taken from the British Library site for Additional 47682.  "The first image is of a friar saying to the artist 'Ore feres bien e nettement car mustre serra a riche gent' (Now do it well and thoroughly, for it will be shown to important people); to which the scribe replys 'Si frai voyre, e Deux me doynt vivre, Unkes ne veyses un autretel livre' (So I will, and if God grant me life, you will never see a better book than mine)" 

 I did think about penning in the demon critter and the monkey, but I thought they would take away from the piece once I got the cat drawn in and all the penwork done in the background. 
Guache and Ink on Pergamenata, in a gothic hand.
The scroll reads as follows: 
Know all to whom these presents shall come that we Lucien by grace of God, King of the Middle Kingdom and, our inspiration and by her grace our Queen, Catarina do send greetings.  We are minded to advance and commend the faithful service our friend Elianora Saunfayle hath giv'n unto us.  For her courtesy, gentle nature and using her scribal art to make our reign a more beautiful place we are minded to make her a Companion of the Order of the Dragon's Heart.  With this comes all rights and responsibilities conveyed by her elevation to this rank as well as the badge of the Order: Argent, a heart very scaly argent to be borne by her throughout the knowne worlde.  This do we set into the record this the twenty-fourth day of August Anno Societatis Fourty-eight.