Again, I have known Jean Xavier for years. The information was green and gold were his colors, that he loves owls. Since he was the former baron of An Dubhaigeainn, the appearance of white ducks, the symbol of that Barony would not be out of line. I obtained a copy of his arms, and started researching.
I was looking for something French or English and was pouring through a book a friend gave to me, "Illuminating the Renaissance, the Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe", Kren and McKendrick, The J.Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2003. The exemplars were lovely and gave me some great ideas, but the one on page 438 caught my eye.
Plus I looked at a lot of French and English exemplars from the period and borrowed from quite a few. The Henry VIII to Thomas Forster has some very poor exemplars online, and the one that I used was from the book "Illuminating the Renaissance, the Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe", Kren and McKendrick, The J.Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2003, page 438. You can download it here and I highly recommend it for sources. The specific piece was : Letters Patent of Henry VIII to Thomas Forster. England, between April 28, 1524 and February 8, 1528. The google books give the reference here:
Outsourcing the wording
I asked Anastasiia Gutane if she would be willing to write the words for this scroll. She had been told that I did not care if it was long, that I was a scribe that wasn't afraid of long scroll texts. Okay, then. I was delivered of 633 words. Six hundred and thirty three Beautiful words. Words are online here. When I received the wording, I spent a day practicing the hand at a Camelot Spring get together. They did not fit on the paper. There would be no room at all for any illumination. No seriously, not a bit. I didn't want to cut it, it was lovely. The reference material is :
And I'm sure that Anastasiia's journal goes into more detail.
After the first run, in the slightly immortal words of Martin Brody in Jaws, "We're going to need a bigger piece of paper."
Larger paper is acquired and I begin the process of writing the words again. This took several test sheets. I think some people benefit from looking at what doesn't make the final cut, so here you go.
So I'm sitting on the floor, grinding paint and my sweetie comes in and says, "What are you doing?" I say, "I'm making paint." Response, "Oh, huh." I decided to try some yellow ochre from pigment as a stretch. I will not tell you it was easy. I mixed it happily enough but the first time I put it on, I had to scrape nearly all of it off as it dried weird. All the paint for this particular project was drying weird, and I ended up with spots that had to be scraped off and reapplied. I suspect it was due to the humidity, but it could be because of the paper, or I could have mixed the paint wrong.
My plan is to experiment with the paint when I don't have a deadline looming. I know that this may be a pipe dream, but one can try to dream.
I also worked with Mistress Eleanor to try and figure out the shiny quality of the paint as it was definitely not gold leaf, but had that shimmer. More research pointed to shell gold, so I borrowed some from Eleanor to try out and that seemed to do the trick. I then had Lady Doselena from Guild Mirandola quick send me shell gold. I will tell you that shell gold is rather pricey, but was well worth the effect. I used a pen and ink type stroke that is used in period painting and it punched up the yellow ochre. Score!
The paint for the achievement was holbein's green and holbein's yellow, which work very well. A little bit of white added to both and I had working colors. I would use the green again later.
As you can also see in the meantime, I painted in the red (Holbein's cadmium red purple, again slightly dulled with a very little white, I highly recommend this color) for the background. It really punched the yellow ochre and gold up.
Below is the finished product.