So I'll see if I can catch up with some items.
1. I did teaching painting with Eva at the Carolingian Scribal Guild last weekend. It was very lovely, Eva is a wonderful artist and teaching with her is a joy. People came away with some techniques and that was great. What I forgot to do was take pictures. I will remind myself for next time.
2. I am teaching painting tomorrow - if the snow that is coming down right now doesn't mess up my travel plans - at the Giggleswick Arts and Science event. Ah, right, remember to take pictures!
And lastly, a scroll of mine went out last weekend at Black Rose Ball. It was for a good friend, and this is that scrolls story!
Okay, then. Let's get working.
I brainstormed with friends at an Uber Crafty at my good friends Elizabeth and Antonio's house in February. One suggested that the black hours would be a great subject. I have done quite a few lately, but I decided for this one I was going to go all out.
I started gathering the information that I needed which included a portrait of the recipient (I always find one, it helps with inspiration), some examples of black hours to chose from, the recipient's arms, the household arms of the two households that he is affiliated with - Sharc Pit and Toad, and posted those items to my mirror for contemplation and design.
A quick run to Michael's to get the right weight black paper for the job. I wanted to be able to feel the surface and the weight, and I needed this quick, so no ordering online. Time was of the essence. I purchased Arches black, medium weight and decided that I was going to do a two page layout, with the overall size of the art work being 27 inches by 39 inches. This was by far the largest art/scroll that I have done yet.
I started with the pencil sketches of the work , as you can see below, the Sharc Pit household badge, the Toad household badge, Malcolm's arms and the Pelican in its piety.
Above right: The first couple of lines of text I did with the mosaic gold (see here for more on mosaic gold).
The wonderful woman who made the words is Mistress Alys, and you can find the words here. Alys is a master with beautiful research for period wordings and it was an honor to put her words into a scroll. As you can see the gold leaf really shone in comparison to the other colors already, so that made me happy with how it was going to show up.
The next step was to start the painting. I try to go from light to dark, so I started with the larger elements of the painting, such as the Pelican, the arms, the badges and then worked my way to the darker elements of the leaves. First big painting area was the Pelican. I used the white gouache for the Pelican in its piety. I used practice pieces to make sure that I had the right look, and used several period pictures as references for A Pelican in Its Piety, complete with blood from the breast. The painting of the Pelican took hours to do, but I think it came out nicely.
Next step, work on the coat of arms for Malcolm.
Things to keep in mind when doing Black Hour scrolls, the paint gets soaked up by the paper quickly. You need to work fast and have LOTS of paint ready and you will have to do layers of paint. It will take twice as long to paint as working on standard paper. The edges of the black paper were very fragile, so I reinforced the edges on the reverse side with painters tape. I did not get a picture of this, but if you imagine turning over the paper and putting tape in the same place you would put matting board down, and that reinforces the edges. Also when using the black paper, you need to think in reverse with regard to shadowing, as I did with the painting of the Pelican. The final thing is that you should test everything on a test sheet of black paper to see how your colors are going to look, react, and lay down.
The End. Fall down, go boom.