Playing With Symbols Gives That Zing

You find emojis, computer icons, road signs, logos, and emblems everywhere. They’re a useful eye-catching shorthand for small spaces. And were used in history the same way. Using these time-tested patterns on a scroll inspires the recipient or any viewer really. Symbols like eyes, hearts, hands, arrows, circles still evoke grand meaning. They add depth and detail for the viewer giving language to your art. It puts the zing in your art thing. But when you use a symbol on a scroll today you want to consider its many meanings. What it meant back then and what it means today. Even what it meant to the recipient’s persona and culture. Cute things like rabbits weren’t just furry animals they were fertility symbols. There’re other questions to answer, too. Does the symbol have a unique or specific meaning in the SCA? What message does it send intentionally or unintentionally? And -unfortunately – you also want to know whether that pattern has been taken up by any modern-day bad actors. Manesse Codex pages work well with symbols. In this one the fighter’s heraldic arms on the horse tell you Matthieu Chartrain is the one kneeling and swearing fealty. The red and black color of the lady’s cote hint she is related somehow to the Barony of the Lonely Tower. She is Honnoree de Saussay, famously known for loving peafowl. They’re even on her arms. Besides the peacock in the tree the other […]

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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”. 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 […]

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Easy Does It SCA Scroll Creation From 2018

Last year about this time I gathered together my prior posts I’d written about scroll creation. The post was Easy Does It: SCA Scroll Creation. Though I didn’t plan it, the posted links round-up made a scroll creation how-to table of contents. And it’s been a very popular blog post.   Since then I’ve added more, In case you missed any, you can see them below.  Beginning SCA AoA Award Painting   Tracing Uses Illuminated Diapering   Guide To Blank Border Scroll Creation The Secrets Of Black And White Gouache  Testing – Which Gouache Brand Rewets Best?   Why Are Vellum And Parchment So Expensive?   Secrets Of Artist Brush Repair Tips To Preventing Rusty Dip Pen Nibs   How To Sharpen Your Broad-Edge Calligraphy Nib  Tips To Drawing More Period People The Best Beginner’s Paint Making Post   Tips And Tricks To Making A Neat Scroll   Tips For Saving Money As An SCA Scribe  Between last year’s list and this one, there’s a lot to take in. Please realize my offerings are not the only way you can do things. Create your art with your style and skill while striving to make it appear as a long lost page from a medieval illuminated manuscript. And take joy in what you create.   Related Prior Post: Easy Does It: SCA Scroll Creation Post Round-Up

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What Do You See?

From the Daily Star in the UK You can enhance your work by nurturing your visual awareness. Whether you research pixels in medieval manuscripts or notice details in modern pictures you increase your observation powers through constant practice.  What do you see in the picture to the right? Is it a duck or a rabbit? Whether you see a rabbit or a […]

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Quiz: 10 More Illuminated Manuscripts To Match With Their Names

My first manuscript illumination quiz was so popular, I have another one for you. Like the last one, you match 10 pictures of iconic illuminated manuscripts to their name. These pictures are also Western European manuscripts from various locations and eras. Some served unique purposes.  You’ll find the images on the left and their unmatched names on the right. All you have to do is match the name with its picture. Can you match them all? Yes, I’m sneaky. I have not always used the most popular or well-known images. Also, there are more manuscript names than pictures. But all names are matchable. It’s just some manuscripts are known by more than one name. If you are curious, stumped, or in a hurry to find the answer click on the word “link” in the caption below the image. It will take you to a Wikipedia page about the manuscript. The manuscript titles in alphabetical order are:  Aberdeen Bestiary, Bedford Hours, Beatus Pierpont, Codex Gigas, Lindisfarne Gospels, Morgan Beatus, Psalter of Oswald, Ramsey Psalter, Roman de la Rose, Utrecht Psalter, Wenceslas Bible, Winchester Bible. Link And the manuscripts are in no particular order. Enjoy. Link Link Link Link Link Link Link Link Link Prior Related Post:   Quiz: Can You Match These 10 Illuminated Manuscripts With Their Names?

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Quiz: Can You Match These 10 Illuminated Manuscripts With Their Names?

Can you match these 10 pictures of iconic illuminated manuscripts to their name?  You don’t have to have an Art History major to match these famous medieval illuminated manuscripts. They are some of the most well-known, especially among SCA scribes. From Kells to Crusades, these works are instantly recognizable. Can you match them all? To the left side are pictures from ten Western European illuminated manuscripts. To this post’s right are their unmatched names. All you have to do is match the proper name to its image.  Yes, I’m sneaky. I have not always used the most popular or well-known images. Also, there are more manuscript names than pictures. But all names are matchable because some manuscripts are known by more than one name. If you are curious, stumped, or in a hurry to find the answer click on the word “link” in the caption below the image. It will take you to a Wikipedia page about the manuscript. Have fun. Link The Hours of Catherine of Cleves Link The Book of Kells Link Hours of Gian Galeazzo Visconti Codex Aureus of Lorsch Link Maciejowski Bible Link St Alban’s Psalter The Luttrell Psalter Link Codex Manesse Link Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry Link Crusader Bible Link The Hunting Book of Gaston Phoebus Morgan Bible Link Related Prior Post: My 10 Favorite European Illuminated Manuscript Inspirations Related External Site: Art Miscellaneous Quizzes

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Acanthus Leaves

British Library Border Clipping Acanthus leaf from my handout “Acanthus Leaves: Drawing and Painting”  I love Acanthus leaves in art. They are an ornament that resembles leaves from the Mediterranean Acanthus plants. They have deeply cut leaves similar to thistles.  I like Acanthus leaves because they are a curvy, variable decoration I can use in most any art medium or era. In scribal illumination, Acanthus leaves add color, visual movement and design contrast to large text blocks. They also enhance large decorated display initials or a heraldic device.  There are several general Acanthus leaf styles from the broader leaf with ends that flip over to narrower forms without flips and in between. The Göttingen Model Book, a 15th-century workshop instruction manual, provides fascinating insight into how some period scribes drew and painted their leaves. British Library Harley 3490 f. 13v  You can create Acanthus leaves that are simple as in my above picture or add details such as dots along the vein and color modeling to enhance dimension.  Whatever you like. It’s a scroll ornament that lets you be creative. Related Prior Post: The Making of an SCA Scroll, Part 2 External Link: Acanthus Leaves: Drawing and Painting

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