Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Knighting Scroll in the Style of the Crusader Bible (Image Heavy)

When asked to create a scroll for the Order of the Knighthood, it is a rare opportunity so I always jump. This particular piece took the assistance of several individuals to bring to fruition, and I'm blessed to have been part of it.

Countess Gwenevere McKay became my information funnel, telling me all about the recipient (whom I knew from a distance but had never interacted with). It was from her information that details specific to Joel were included in the illumination, including his Crusader persona, the image of him slaying a dragon, and of course his choice in supporters for his achievement of arms.

The text was written by His Highness Prince Sean, and was translated into Latin by Master Drix. There was a hidden message in the text, but it is only evident in the English version, alas. I'll leave that secret between Sean and Joel.

Given Joel's Crusader persona, and his apparent obsessive study of it, the obvious inspiration choice was to base the scroll on the Crusader Bible. Each page has architectural details in the illumination panels. My version was not a direct copy of any specific folio, but an amalgamation of several, keeping to the appropriate style and color schemes.

Crusader Bible, Folio 5v
Crusader Bible, Folio 40r

Illumination features Joel slaying a dragon in the upper left quadrant. In the upper right, we have Their Majesties Timmur and Tianna calling Joel forward to be put on vigil. Joel's lovely Lady, Agnella, is featured here as well.

The lower half of the square is a traditional Crusader Bible inspired action scene, full of far more death and gore than I've ever painted. There are a ton of tiny details, so click the image to zoom in and see the carnage. 

Boring details:

First I blocked out the space needed for the square Crusader Bible illumination. Since the Crusader Bible doesn't have much text on any pages, I wanted the illumination to be very prominent. Making this look like a two page spread was the only way to fit all the necessary text and make this happen. I started on the sketching phase as well, but didn't get far before I started on the calligraphy.

I then laid the full calligraphy down. I considered keeping two columns on the right folio as with the left, but decided against it, as the Crusader Bible has pages with both one and two columns, so I opted for the uniqueness of that format. (This also keeps things easier).

After that was complete, I sketched out all of the illumination in detail, did the gold leaf, then began painting. Below are pics of the progress, from start to finish. As always, click to enlarge.

This piece is done on pergamenata with Pilot Iroshizuko Sumi ink, 24 carat gold leaf, Winsor & Newton gouache, and Finetec micah pigment in gold.



Wednesday, April 4, 2018


I owe the blogosphere a post regarding the knighthood scroll I did, but this post is a much more quick and easy write, so it comes first.

Many of you know that my dear husband is an audio/video recording artist/producer/engineer. He has been working with a very talented artist, Desdemona, in recording and producing his latest song, Whispers. They then recorded a music video which I assisted with. In working with him, he requested assistance with his band's logo.

He wanted a Capital D done in fancy calligraphy (technical term is cadel). During our conversations, he mentioned that his family coat of arms included several bats, so when I did a mock-up of a design idea, I included a bat as part of the design. Seems that was a win.

The logo was incorporated into the music video with animation.

You can check out the Desdemona Music Video over at his YouTube Channel.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Gryphon and Axe

This Gryphon and Axe piece for Lord Andrew is based on the below German piece found at BibliOdyssey. It is purported to be by Stephan Brechtel but I've been unable to confirm due to dead links and my inability to understand German. I can confirm that There is a Stephan Brechtel that was a calligrapher in Neuremberg in the late 1500's. That said, this is a poorly documented piece, but it was too lovely to not try out. My variation uses primary blue Winsor & Newton gouache and Hematite Rouge ink by J. Herbin on Bristol vellum finish paper.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Apprentice Gift

I took on my second apprentice this weekend at Solstice Court in the Barony of Loch Salann. HL Cathryn Anne of Newbury is a lovely lady with some wonderful embroidery skills. I'm incredibly honored to be able to work with her.

In honor of this event, I made and gifted her with a hand-bound book, so that she may journal about her artistic endeavors, document what she wants to, and hopefully indicate areas that she enjoyed and things she'd do differently for the next project. So much of what she does ends up given away due to her generous nature, so I want her to keep track of what she's doing.

I crafted the covers with chipboard covered in goat skin, that has been stamped and dyed to look like snake skin. This is not a period practice as far as I know (leatherwork is not an area of study for me...yet), but the end result is lovely and frankly, I liked it (though it proves to be incredibly difficult to photograph). The bindings are done in coptic stitch out of green waxed cotton. The end papers are also green. Green is the color oft used to signify an apprentice/laurel relationship, so this was why I chose this color.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Gryphon's Pride of Artemisia

The Gryphon's Pride is an award given to youth in the Kingdom of Artemisia, who show great service and promise to the Kingdom. As such, I chose to do something a little outside my norm, and just paint up something bright colored and whimsical. The zoomorphic creature border was taken from a Dover celtic borders book (I'll edit this post later with that book's details).

The ink is Pilot Iroshizuko Yu-Yake (sunset orange). Paints are Winsor & Newton gouache, all on bristol smooth finish paper.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Gryphon and Candle

I have been watching a certain individual, and his efforts to beautify the SCA, both in personal projects, and those for the Kingdom at large. He has created regalia, banners, and crafted items for personal use. He has issues a challenge to increase the pageantry and beauty of the game, and has acted as an example to follow in this regard. His humility in his craft is significant, but his end products do appear to be of quality. Thus, I was happy to create a scroll to commemorate Don Sionainn Padraig Caimbeul's admittance into the Order of the Gryphon and Candle, the Baronial Arts and Sciences award for the Barony of Gryphon's Lair.

This piece is based on the Incipit Arithmeticha Boetij by Boethius, c. 1400, housed at the Smithsonian. My interpretation is done with Winsor & Newton gouache and Pilot Iroshizuku Take-Sumi ink on vellum finish bristol.

Overall, I find that I really enjoy this style of illumination. It has a complex, elegant, and highly decorative feel, while coming together quickly. This is a great benefit to me, as I find that hand and arm fatigue sets in faster these days, and I'm not able to paint all day as I used to.

Incipit Arithmeticha Boetij

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Mixed-Media Wedding Gift

I was contacted by my adorable friend Sherece, who wanted to commission a piece of artwork to decorate her wedding reception. We talked about some ideas, including a quote she wanted included on it, and I suggested it be our wedding gift to her.

This was an incredibly fun chance to delve into a new style of art, and to create a project full of fun colors, textures, and symbols of love from many different people, particularly the love and admiration of our friends Theresa and Marshall.

Have you ever delved into new styles or media?

Many pictures below, to attempt to show you the color-shifting paint effects as they settled into textures.

Click to look closer.