Beverly Hills Adult School Class #6: DeAnn reviewed students’ in-progress Illuminated Manuscript projects and gave advice on common problems.
Bare patches of gold: Placing a piece of glassine on top of the gilded letter will make it easier to see the bare spots in the gold layer. If there are such spots in your illuminated letter where the gold didn’t adhere to the gesso (glue mixture), rehydrate the glue by breathing on it (reminder: remove any lipstick/chapstick first). Then rub more gold on the bare areas. You may need to do this a few more times to cover all the spots. Then re-burnish the whole letter & scrape any excess off to have clean edges.Bumpy gold: If the glue layer wasn’t completely smooth, the gold may look bumpy, uneven or seem to have ridges in it. To minimize this look, add an embossed pattern into the gold with a bead burnisher. Place some padding beneath the sheet, then “draw” a pattern in the gold (for example, curves or a zig-zagging line, dots, etc.). If you’re afraid of working directly on the gold, place a piece of glassine on top and emboss a pattern through that.
Solidly painted decorative elements: if you didn’t paint leaves or flowers half with the full color and half with its tint, decorate the solid areas with patterns painted in permanent white gouache. Add just enough water to hydrate the paint. Then using a 00 pointed brush, paint dots or cross-hatching or diagonal lines to pattern or “diaper” the elements. This can also be done on a solid background of the decorative capital. See example from last week.
Paint the background of the decorative capitals: If you’re also gilding decorative capitals within your text, paint a background around it so that it is highlighted. Use a contrasting color to the gold like blue or red, not yellow, for example.
Next Monday, 3/15/10, will be the last Gothic class and we’re planning on having a potluck. This is an additional class to the number of classes stated in the BHAS catalog, so DeAnn will collect a voluntary class fee of $10. Even if you’re not finished with your illuminated manuscript project, bring it to class so that DeAnn can help you with any questions or issues you have. It’s an on-going process and if you sign-up for next semester’s class, you can continue working on it.
HOMEWORK: continue working on your illuminated manuscript project.