I have started on a new art project. I am making a peerage scroll for an SCA friend of mine. The original commission came from his wife and it was to be a surprise....at least until she sent a text intended for me to him and she had to fess up.
I thought it would be cool to keep track of the project and go over some of the steps in making the scroll.
The first part would be to sit down with the person commissioning the piece and find out what they want. After gathering that information I sat down and started searching the internet for a good copy of the image file I wanted to use. After hours of searching and guessing I finally tracked it down.
|This is the piece that the scroll is modeled after. You can click this to go to the file and see it in all it's glory. Use Ctrl + or Ctrl - for the zoom features.|
After getting the good image to work from, I was able to take measurements of it to get the proportions correct so it will look as close as I can get it. I then made a master of the work on paper with pencil. Once I had the design down the way the wife and I wanted it I inked it in to make tracing it onto the parchment easier.
|The artist herself, clinging for dear life to the vinework.|
|Here you can see the difference between the pencil and the ink in the castle scene.|
One of the clients friends used to be a prolific cartoonist in the SCA before his death. In the kingdom newsletter "The Black Star", he had a long running comic strip featuring members of the kingdom as anthropomorphic animals. His SCA name was William Blackfox. The fox perched on a cloud and playing the bagpipes represents him. The client wanted the scroll done with the anthropomorphic animal theme and I think is is working out really well. His work was much more detailed and vibrant than this but, it is also really out of period and very very copyrighted so I couldn't try to copy his characters. It would look wrong and I would get sued by his estate that doesn't care for the SCA in any way.
Next I got a copy of the text to be written on the scroll. I discovered that it was a heap o' text to be cramming into the available area. I traced of the text area and made copies on plain paper which I layered over graph paper so that I could work out the size of nib and word spacing. I must have gone through at least 10 tries before I got a good one to model the text on.
The wife ordered the parchment and I waited for a chance to go to the Known World Scribal and Heraldic Symposium to get the historically correct ink with which to work. I was also able to get some scrap parchment to test inks on. Good thing I did. Turns out the historically correct ink wasn't a good choice to go with my skills at this time.
|I went with the manuscript black. It works with my cartridge pen and produced a nice crisp black line.|
Just after I got back from the symposium, I get a call from the guys wife that she let the cat out of the bag and the guy now knows. He needs some changes made. Thank God they were minor. I was able to make most of them with tracing paper. I was able to trace off the areas to be altered onto the tracing paper, omitting the parts that were going to be changed or moved. On a scrap piece, I traced things that were going to be moved so that I didn't have to try and replicate them. Then I stuck a piece of Bristol board between the scrap and the master to block out the master and was able to trace the moving parts into their new locations.
Next came transferring it all to the parchment sheet. First I laid down the changes and a couple of references with the tracing paper underneath the parchment and then finished up by aligning the master with the references I gave myself.
Now it is on to the slow process of calligraphy. This is going to be the longest, slowest part.
|Here you can see the graph paper under the parchment. It keeps me writting straight and helps give me a sense of the space available.|
To be continued.