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Class Handout for Scroll Blanks 101

By  Elizabeth de Nevell

Keeping Your Page Clean – One of the greatest differences that can be noticed between a beginning scribe and one with more experience is the ability to keep their page clean. No matter how long you practice the art you will find yourself struggling against the fates for a perfect page. The difference is often in the tricks of the trade, and everyone has their own artistic customs. Here I offer you some tips and ideas for keeping your page clean.
  • Wash your hands before you begin to work.
  • Wear fingerless gloves. The therapeutic type for sewing work well.
  • Use permanent ink.
  • Let your surface dry before covering it again with paper.
  • Don’t have food near your workspace.
  • Cover the areas, which aren't being worked on with blank sheets of white paper.
  • Situate your water and paint in a place that you cross your page with a wet brush as few times as possible. (e.g. right side if your right handed, left side if your left handed)
  • A scraper /burnisher is your best friend.

White Space 1x1x1x2 – Though the final destination of your work will usually be unknown, it is the custom in the MidRealm to provide adequate space for framing. The term generally used for this framing room is " white space". In order to keep the correct visual perspective of the piece the equation used to determine white space is 1x1x1x2.

Take your ruler and lay it evenly down the left side of your paper, lightly draw a line down the edge. Next do the same with the other 3 sides. Across the bottom edge you will lay the ruler against the bottom white space and create a double width along the bottom. No matter what width you’re using, always double your base.

Your illumination should not cross into the allotted white space. However if you do go slightly past the edge into your white space, don’t panic, it'll be okay.

Illumination Space – After you have your white space sectioned off, you should take your ruler and your pencil and draw in the borders of where your illumination will be. The project for this class is a simple ¾ border from the 15th century Netherlands. You should create space for your illumination on the top, bottom, and left hand side. Sketching in these borders will help you not allow your illumination to flow into the calligraphy space.

Kingdom Seal Space – A 2" Round space should be left on your page to accommodate for the Kingdom Seal. Space for the seal can be worked into your illumination or fit into the calligraphy area. Wherever you chose to place it, mark the spot lightly in pencil with the word "seal" so that the signet knows what was provided for in your design.

For this piece we'll be leaving room for the seal in the bottom right corner of the Illumination space. Pencil in the 2" round to be centered to your bottom illumination.

 The Illumination - This border was inspired by a leaf from a Dutch Book of Hours which was purchased by Dame Merouda Pendray. Her examination of the leaf and images of the original can be found online at: http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/Library/2036/dutch.html

I find this style of illumination an excellent place for people to start in C&I due to the freedom and natural expression in the pen strokes. The leaves and stems DO NOT have to meet precisely nor does the painting have to be perfectly in the lines. Creating a medieval feel to the work is what the artist should strive for.

Using the example provided below create a bar at the left-hand edge of your illumination space, closest to the calligraphy space. This bar needs to be separated into blocks for three colors, red and blue sharing on side of the bar, gold down the other side of the bar. From the top and bottom points of your bar you should draw a free flowing stem, from left to right. The stem should end with a three pointed leaf. Flowing also from left to right, your stem should have an array of small green leaves emerging from it. Berries should be painted in gold.

For the illumination on left side of the border find your center point and draw a small four-petal flower with a few leaves coming out of it. Above and below this flower around the quarter points should be a berry stem coming off of your bar with vines of green leaves running vertically.

Your rendering does not have to be exact to the border example. Use your creativity, and let your pen flow. HAVE FUN!



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