Monday, June 15, 2020

Master of Defense: Nicolina de Parre

When asked to do the Order of Defense scroll for Nicolina de Parre, the only specific request was that it be "Italian" and include badgers. I dug through my archives of images and found the below piece, which my research indicated was the title page for a printing of Augustinus' De Civitate De, which was originally printed at a the monastery of Subiaco  in 1467. 

My research unfortunately cannot date this specific page to that date (as books of this period had title pages left blank to be painted as desired). In fact, the aesthetic of the cupids and curling ribbon give it a slightly post-period feel to me, but there are, however, similar roundel-style pages in period, such as the St. Bernard Sermons Manuscript circa 1491 with miniatures done by Giovanni Boccardi around 1491-1492.

I determined that I wanted to create a Master of Defense livery collar out of the inner ring of the wreath, and thus a scroll was born. I had to keep the text very short, as this it has a very small area for the text to live. I took some creative liberties and added pearls and jewels, because...Italian. I know, not exactly right for this style, but I couldn't resist.

Images are taken at various angles and with/without flash so that you can see details in different lighting.

Overall piece is about 8.5x11" on vellum with Winsor & Newton gouache, and Finetec pigments.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Pelican Scroll - Sionainn

Terrible blogger is terrible. Life changes, priority changes. You know how it goes.

But this piece is just too fun not to share. HE Sionainn contacted me directly when he was put on vigil for the Order of the Pelican. He knew exactly what he wanted and asked for help. I've never had anyone provide such specific desires, and frankly it was awesome. I swear, I spend half my time deciding what to do, and the other half doing it. So this sped things along, dramatically.

This is the inspiration piece he asked for me to use. It's consistent with many period patents. He provided a beautiful art file for his achievement of arms as well. He also specifically asked for the seal, which proved to be the biggest challenge for me to overcome.

I'd heard Artemisia had a Kingdom seal, but I'd never seen it, nor had I seen scrolls with wax seals ever given out. After some sleuthing, it was found, and I borrowed the seal and made a whole pile of wax stamped templates, which can be applied either by warming the wax gently (possibly ruining the impression) or by gluing it down. I gave most of them back to the kingdom to use as they see fit, and kept a few in my stash for future scrolls.

Since there's not much research to share for this, I'll post a bunch of progress pics and close-ups so you can see the detail work I put into this baby. This piece is done with Pilot Iroshizuku Take-Sumi ink, and J. Herbin 1670 Hematite Rouge ink on Pergamenata. I used Winsor & Newton gouache and Finetec pigment for the metallic spots. Click the pics to enlarge.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Golden Pillars for Yuri and Sumayya

It recently occurred to me that I've been terrible at documenting my recent work. Don't be like me.

In March of last year, this piece was completed and given to Count Yuri and Countess Sumayya, as a double-award of Golden Pillars.

I changed the two navy pillars into two gold pillars (see what I did there?) This is done with Pilot ink, Finetec micah pigments, and Winsor & Newton gouache. It is much more shiny and pretty in person, alas. 

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.