The Scroll Colorant Blacklist

In Calontir, the SCA area where I live, you sometimes get into painting awards at an event. They are predesigned and painted like a coloring book. We call them “preprints”. Some kingdom’s call them “charters”.

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I’ve seen people take a few home from the scribe’s table to do later and that’s terrific. Each reign creates new ones so they need all they can get.

Sadly, when they’re returned a few are unusable. They may be neat and carefully done but the creator didn’t use an acceptable colorant.

Here’s a list of colorants you want to avoid – blacklist – when you do them at home. And why.

  • Acrylic-based paints crack and flake off your paper. Even those labeled “gouache” don’t last well.
  • Chalks smear and rub off on things.
  • Oil-based paints, like Testors model paint, seep through the paper and come out on the back.
  • Colored pencils don’t give the award a “period look”.
  • Craft paints are just acrylic paints. They don’t work either.
  • Crayons look as if your 8-year-old did it.
  • Latex-based paints layer too thickly causing them to crack and flake too.
  • Magic markers fade over time. They also don’t give that “period look” thing.
  • Pastels, like their cousin chalk, smear and rub off, too.
Take home paint dabs and tube paints.
That leaves you water-based paints such as gouache and watercolor. Even a few of those don’t work well on preprints. Grade-school tempras and watercolors are water-based paints but have little pigment in their binder. You have to apply extra paint layers and that ruins the paper’s surface.
In a round-about way, this explains one reason scribes use tube watercolors, most often gouache.
But what do you do if you want to work on a preprint at home you started at an event? You might ask the person leading the scribal painting if you can take some paint home. S/he will put some paint-dabs on a palette. It won’t be much, but after these dry, you can take them with you. At home, you rewet them with stroke from your brush and water. You can finish what you started.
Related Prior Post: 
Holiday Scribal Gift Ideas – or any gifting time, really.

Categories: Illumination

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