A good friend commissioned this piece for her husband as he had just recently submitted his PhD thesis and this quote was a key part of his theme. The script is Uncial and there are small thistles inside the illuminated initial M.
Recently an acquaintance asked me to do an illuminated calligraphy piece for her new baby. She wanted wall art that included Celtic knots, thistles and rabbits with a colour scheme of coral, blue and green. The baby was born here in St Andrews, Scotland so it seemed fitting. The piece took me much longer than I expected due to my busy family schedule but thankfully my client was very flexible as to the time frame. I am hoping that I can perhaps get more clients who may be interested in this kind of thing for either their own children or as gifts. The finished product was something I was very happy with and my client felt the same way, thankfully.
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.