Although easy to use, pergamenata acts differently than paper because it's surface is smoother and less absorbent. So your inks, pencils and paints behave different. Here are the strategies you'll want to know to get your best results.
It’s hard to know which paper is best for a scribal project especially when shopping online. While you can use any support you choose, cracking the paper code will help you find the best support for your calligraphy or SCA scroll. Here's what you should know.
Whether you're shopping for an SCA scribe or you are the creative person here are 18 gift ideas to consider. Some are so economical so you might combine them together. Or use them as small tokens of appreciation at an event.
There are so many art tool combinations possible. Every scribe has their favorites. I have a few to share.
Ahem. It’s that time of year. The time for decluttering. That itch hits me every spring. Do you get that feeling too? Spring is a time I feel compelled to purge and organize my craft supplies, SCA hobby materials, and tools. If I don’t act on it soon enough it gets lost in Lilies Prep time. Then each messes up the other and neither goes well. There are people who have a minimalist storage style like my friend Grace. Any closet or drawer of hers you open is neat, simple and systematically organized. That’s not me. I’m an unruly craft supply collector. But, this time I really did it. I switched my sewing station and a cube-shelf to the room’s other side and added a another cube thing near my painting station. The new one took only an hour or so to make. And I did it all by myself. After the cube was done and my sewing table was under the open-curtained window. I moved a few smaller items and began sorting my materials and supplies. I know there are benefits to organizing your creative space, whatever its size or use. The obvious is it’s easier to find what you seek. Over time I’ve learned there are other benies too. Going through your materials and tools cache unearths forgotten projects. Supply residuals remind me of forgotten finished projects. Things I since gave away or threw away. Unfinished projects call […]
If you’ve been around kids recently or were ever one yourself I know you’re familiar with scratch knife nibs. For kids they’re just called scratch art nibs because even small knives are considered dangerous. Scratch nibs are commonly used to scrape through one surface revealing a lower contrasting color layer. But did you know they weren’t intended to be a kid’s toy? The original intent for scratch nibs was to remove ink from animal skin supports. They looked like small bladed knives with paring-knife handles. Later, dip pen nib manufacturers made them to fit their common pen holders. Today scratch knife nibs are a curious commodity made for scratch board artists. But they are my go-to ink eraser. Scratch nibs easily scrape ink off the surface of pergamenata and vellum with little damage to its surface. You can even use them on paper if your ink purchases on its surface and isn’t absorbed. Its fine sharp blade gently scrapes ink mistakes away sometimes leaving the paper surface usable. Ampersand and Speedball make professional scratch art nibs that fit common type B dip pen holders. Royal and Lang make a less expensive nickel engraving foil set too. I prefer scratch nibs to a sharp knife or an x-acto for their smaller sharp blade. The teeny blades easily scrape away ink blobs within letters “a” “s” and others. They are inexpensive, and can be sharpened by a whetstone. The nibs come in […]
I got a new camera. I’m over-the-moon excited. I’ll be able to take awesome, crisp friends and family pictures, fur-baby portraits and dreamy hued travel shots. You’ll see better blog photos too. A&S projects, events, garb, scenery, and action fighting pics. The possibilities are endless. Right now I have no idea what all its buttons are or what the dials […]
I often read James Gurney‘s blog the Gurney Journey. Gurney is the Dinotopia guy. His art is amazing and his posts inspiring. Recently, I found a post of his I think you’ll find interesting. Some gouache tests his associate Cathy Gura ran comparing gouache brands rewetting behaviors. She also compared their consistency and of all things their smell. I was intrigued because […]
My students making their own paint. I missed something. Something you will really want. Two or three years ago when I was getting up to speed again for teaching my paint making class I missed the best introductory Medieval paint making post. It is the Medieval Yorkist’s Eulalia Piebakere‘s adventures in “Making Your Own Paints: A Beginner’s Guide“. Just what you […]
Vellum or parchment is made from animal skins processed until they are smooth and thin enough for light to pass through. It’s been used for book-pages longer than has paper. You can find one of the oldest surviving books in the British Library, the Codex Sinaiticus. It was written on parchment in the fourth century and is over 1600 years old. With that longevity and tradition, of course, SCA scribes want to work on animal skin. It’s the ultimate scroll surface. But is it ever expensive. When I can afford it, I usually buy my animal skin, from Talas. Their non-calligraphy types cost about $100 for a size suitable for a Peer’s scroll. The calligrapher’s quality costs even more. So, why are vellum and parchment so expensive? You can get an idea watching this Dirty Jobs YouTube video in which Mike Rowe makes vellum. This is why I now use pergamenata for my scrolls. I even prefer it to smooth Bristol board, which I used back in the day before SCA scribes discovered perg. Even with these costs, you’ll want to use vellum or parchment sometime. It’s a wonderful scribal experience. You’ll be enthused and feel emotionally connected to medieval manuscript creation. Related Prior Post: Untangling Your Scribal Paper Purchasing Puzzle
I’ve been searching all over the web for a metal pen picture I know is out there. It seems to have gone the way of some other historic metal pen pictures. If you’re like me you’re another scribe wanting to know metal pens and nibs are pre-17th Century. While metal pens and nibs have roots in ancient Egypt where they were made […]
Today’s scribes learning to paint Calontir’s preprints often start with a Reeves gouache set for their paints. They’re an inexpensive student grade non-acrylic paint that does well for painting entry-level awards. What do you do when you use up your first paint, usually white? What is the best white gouache to buy?” In gouache, there are several whites: chalk white, zinc […]
I’ve told you about my studio in the past and mentioned my dual swing-arm lamps. The double lamps that keep shadows away from my work. Showing the Reveal bulbs But the 65 watt Reveal light-bulbs serve another purpose. They speed-dry the gouache. Placing them over the work and leaving them for a time dries the paint layer so well I can […]
My large grid and the computer text example If you have a large peerage scroll to do what do you use for a grid that’s larger than printer paper? What about if you have two scrolls to do? You could make your own oversized grid. You could use 11×17″ Bristol board and make your own. That’s what I did. The good news is the same […]
While at my local Office Depot recently I came across white vinyl pencil-cap erasers. I wasn’t there to buy them, but they went home with me. I was excited to have white erasers for my 4H pencils tops. A silly convenience. Usually I find today’s eraser market confusing and the white pencil-cap eraser adds to it. Erasers, mostly used to […]
My recent scroll showing gold Finetec paint over black underpainting and natural pergamenata I have a new favorite gold paint. It is Finetec’s Artist Mica Opaque Watercolor. It’s as good as the Perl Ex mica paint I used previously plus I don’t have to mix it with a gum Arabic binder. It comes in small hard paint pans. So easy to use, […]
Ly. Lucinda painting at Coronation A scribe can work anywhere they choose. While I prefer my home studio, other scribes prefer a traveling studio, at least sometimes. A scribe’s studio is as individual as the person using it. Having a travel studio has advantages, besides mobility. It’s compact, can be placed near other activities, and can be completely removed from […]
The easiest, most common mistake to make is also the hardest to fix. Improper lettering. There are many ways I do this. The trick is to know the easiest way to correct them? In my opinion, it’s using a scratchboard knife. Scratch Art knives from Dick Blick Scratch nibs are commonly used to scratch through one surface to reveal a […]
Today I’m inviting you to my scribal workspace. I enjoy seeing how other’s work, so I thought you’d like to see mine. My “studio” is now half an SCA craft room. It’s a few steps from a bathroom for easy access to water. It’s on the same floor as the walk-out to the back yard, so I can easily let […]
I’ve heard that some people lick their brush to shape it to a point. Since most watercolor and gouache paints are listed as “non-toxic”, that should be safe to do. But is it? What does “paint toxicity” mean for scribes? How much paint does it take to be considered toxic…one lick or do you have to eat a whole tube? What […]