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!
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.