The next step after sketching out the Celtic knots and going over the pencil with archival ink was to draw in the thistles and rabbits that my client wanted. These took hardly any time at all, with a few reference photos. I began to put paint on the piece after I had gone over all the pencil marks with black Sumi ink (Sumi is a Japanese coal ink that is very thick and long-lasting). I used Winsor & Newton watercolours.
The second stage was writing the lettering. This took relatively little time but what took up quite a deal of time was the many hours practising the script. I like to learn many types of scripts so I often need to brush up on some less familiar ones when a client picks what font/script they want.
This is the Artifical Uncial script.
The first stage of this illuminated calligraphy work began with my sketching out lightly in pencil the Celtic knot border. I had to look through many design templates to find what worked best for the dimensions of the paper and the style that the client wanted. The Celtic knots took quite a lot of practice…quite a lot.
My newest digital calligraphy work of Psalm 27 verse 1. One of my favorite verses to say to myself in times of doubt or fear. The script is Artificial Uncial.
It takes me a long long time to practise scripts where I feel comfortable doing a finished project. Here I was working on my gothic textura quadrata font, which was popular in the 1400s and 1500s. It has a gently hypnotic effect with its forest of tall, narrow, rectangular letters so close together. The text is from an old Shaker song of 1848 from America’s New England area. Shakers, similar to the Quakers, were a small religious group that began in the 18th century in England and migrated to the New World. They were known for having simple lifestyles so this song expresses that sentiment. I can’t say the textura quadrata font actually matches the song’s message, but I just picked a text at random.
Finished product of a work-in-progress that I posted a few weeks back. I spent probably WAY too long on the details of the border but think the work paid off. This quote by Socrates is nice to think of as one navigates the relationships of life. Painted digitally in Procreate app designed for iPad Pro.
Lately I have only had snippets of time to do my art and haven’t posted much because I feel like I have to have something finished or at least impressive enough to share. But many people enjoy seeing things in progress. Here is a new calligraphy piece, a quote by Socrates, that I am working on in my Procreate app, a drawing app designed just for the iPad Pro. I plan to do an elaborate painted border in shades of blue and orange and green. The script is Roman Capitals that I thought fit in with the classical origin of the quote and yes, I know Socrates was Greek but you know what I mean. I’ll post again soon (I hope) with the finished product.
Hot off the press! I just finished this illuminated calligraphy piece yesterday in preparation for making some Christmas cards on my Zazzle shop. This has passages from Isaiah 7 and 9 about Immanuel, the Son of God. I used the Uncial script, which dates to the 3rd century and was developed in the British Isles. The Celtic Knot is Scottish in style. I am pretty happy with how this turned out and plan to make more like it.
This is a practice piece for a script I’m learning called Artificial Uncial, which dates from very early medieval times in the British Isles. A surprisingly difficult script to learn. I have been finding inspiring quotes to practice with and this one seems particularly apt for these times, where outward differences between people seem more and more problematic.
Calligraphy practice again. The art of calligraphy takes much practice, of course, but is very soothing and almost meditative. I found this quote by Theodore Roosevelt that encapsulates the idea that I should be thinking almost every day. It is so true. So many discouragements in my life could have been avoided if I practiced what this says. I think the form of comparison that is helpful is comparing one’s own work to itself to notice improvements. Or sometimes you see the misfortunes of others and are more grateful for your own blessings…but I mean this in a way that is not demeaning of others or prideful of one self.
The script here is the beautiful Insular Majuscule, one used in the amazing Book of Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels from the very early Middle Ages in Ireland, England and Scotland. The script was used as early as the 7th century. Difficult to write but very rewarding.
A few days ago I decided to take up my calligraphy practice again in order to work on some illuminated calligraphy projects. I have had friends commission me to do such things before but I only work my calligraphy when people ask me to. Now I want to keep up the skill more regularly. Here is the Gothic Textura Quadrata script used in the Middle Ages between 1200 and 1500 AD. Very challenging to write and this practice is back from when I was just learning the script. I hope to post more practice sheets and then hopefully some finished products before too long.