Sunday, October 8, 2017

A map in the style of Tolkien

I was asked to do a map for the Battle of 5 Armies and, of course, I said yes.

Pass up a chance to paint Smaug on a map????? Never!

So, a few weeks, a lot of acrylic, a portable backdrop stand, and a paint drop cloth later...

here's the 5' high by 9.5' wide unstretched canvas map.























(it took up my whole living room. no lie. I moved furniture and it took up half the walkable space. It was worth it though!!!!) It was hung in the Gate area at 5 Armies by thumbtacks, survived the weekend, and now lives with the Shire of Quintavia.

A Celt AoA with a monster


I love the monster at the end of this scroll. I painted it because I wanted to work more on having an element of the design holding the shield, not just a shield in free space. The three headed monster from this page was the inspiration for the whole piece.

I'm exceedingly happy with the red dots around the top line and initial. It took forever but the effect is just as I saw in the book and that makes me smile.

I also decided that spelling out Hundred was a bit much, and put the Roman number in instead. I do kinda wonder how many people noticed that.

Apollo's Arrow


French is a style that I have enjoyed for a while, and I really think I'm getting better at it.

This is an Apollo's Arrow, and no - the original doesn't have a huge banner hanging off the side of the castle, but I really like how this worked, and enjoyed adding the award badge as something other than a random floating circle somewhere on the page. I'm working on incorporating the badge or shield for AoA as an element of the design and while I sometimes don't hit the mark, I feel like I'm improving on that considerably.





One of the hard parts of illumination is people. I used to avoid them at all costs. Now it seems like I'm taking every opportunity to add someone in. I'm extra happy with how the fabric turned out in this one.

I'm also very happy with how the blue ink accents came out on this scroll. They're much closer to period than some of my other attempts.

AoA at 12th Night


Twelfth Night! eventually I'll go... but for now sending scrolls will have to do. ;)

This is an AoA in the French style - honestly, I chose this because there's a dog. I don't know if the recipient has a dog, but it was too cute of a scene to pass up. Plus, she's a cook, and the woman in the scene had an apron :)

I'm getting better with my white work (thank you Eva and Nataliia!) and while I'm not 100% happy with my calligraphy here, I know what I did wrong and have worked on it since. (spacing. i'm rubbish at spacing.)

Shell gold again here  I like it a little better, but in these you often have texture in the gold so it's seems to fit better. (I'm pretty sure I erased the lines before I sent it out.)

Silver Wheel in Ottoman style

This was an exciting scroll for me, mostly because of the recipient's persona.
I don't have the skill to attempt a pseudo-hand yet, so the hand is early Roman as it's a hand I am more comfortable with.

There are a few things I would do differently if doing this scroll again, not the least of which is getting minatum in time to use leaf gold instead of shell gold. I think the shell worked, but it could have been better.

One hallmark of this style, based on the Quran, is the very crisp geometry of the designs. Mine were a little more loose than they should have been.

Overall though, I am happy with the results.

An AoA for Barleycorn

Simple and straightforward, and far more calligraphy focused than I've done previously, an AoA in the Kells style for the Feast of John Barleycorn.
Calligraphy, Illumination, and words by me.

Tyger's Cub

This was fun... A Book of Kells inspired Tyger's Cub for a child of Malagentia...

Calligraphy and Illumination by me, Words by Nicol mac Donnchaidh

Yes, I went crazy overboard with the illuminated letters. And yes, that *is* a tiny portrait of HRM Honig in the first letter of her name.

I had a TON of fun with this scroll!