Tips To Drawing More Period People

The way Medieval faces, feet, and hands appear in manuscripts varies by era or location, often in the details. Some appear cartoonish others more realistic. What’s the best way for you to learn how to draw period-looking people?  Motifs I traced then transferred to M. Luciana’s Renaissance scroll. Most of us have been seeing since we were born but learning how to observe […]

Read More →

Tracing Uses

Tracing is not cheating. Well, it is if you are passing something off as your own work. But meticulously copying a medieval manuscript you admire is excellent practice. It works well for copying illumination motifs and is a period practice.  This image of the manual is from the Public Domain Review Tracing is even better for calligraphy. It helps you learn the best tools and strokes to use to achieve a manuscript’s same result. It’s also a good exercise warming up your hand-eye-brain connection before a lettering session. To better understand your favorite manuscript’s letter formation select a page with mostly script. Download and print all or part of it in a size that suits your premium printer paper and nib sizes. (Any printer paper less than premium bleeds ink for sure.) Adjust the page size and density through your photo editor. Select your nib size to approximate the printout. Then go over the letters your print out. If you go to the British Library’s Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts advanced search on the right there is a box where you can enter a script’s name. Their terms are rather specific so you might have to try more than once with different script names. Or select a manuscript by location and era. You might also practice letters from this 1510  pattern book from Swabia, Germany made by Gregorius Bock that I’ve pictured. Once you have your printed page you can trace the script and form the letters like […]

Read More →

Is Tracing Period?

Years ago I entered my first competition with an illumination. In my documentation, I wrote about using tracing paper to transfer the image. One judge commented on my lack. I still remember how down it made me feel.  The way I handled that, as I often did, was to go to the library and research. In June 1997 I wrote […]

Read More →