Beverly Hills Adult School Fraktur Class #5: DeAnn went over the illuminated manuscript project and explained the different elements involved. The 2 main handouts were a sheet of Lombardic capitals and a sheet of Versals (Roman) capitals. She also passed out her Gilding Notes and various examples of decorative capitals to the beginners.
Illuminated Manuscript Project Template explanation: The decorative capital, which is the first letter of your text, goes into the 2 x 2 inch square. The title of your text (whether it’s a poem, excerpt, or song lyrics) will not appear in your piece; nor will the author’s name. The text will continue without spacing or punctuation on the four lines to the right of the decorative capital.
The first two lines (x-height = ½ inch) are the Lombardic capitals. Intermediates can put decorative elements in the first line and have only one line of Lombardics if they want. The next two lines (x-height = 3/8 inch) are the Roman Versals. Then the rest of the text will be written in Fraktur below at an x-height of 1/4 inch with the 1 ½ mm Brause nib.
Ink on pergamanatta: Students have had difficulty using Higgins Eternal on the pergamenata. It may be easier to use sumi, watercolor, or gouache (more on gouache below).
|Example of Illuminated Manuscript project from Gothic Textura semester.|
Materials you will need for the Illuminated Manuscript Project:
1. Round watercolor brush with pointed tip; e.g. Winsor Newton Series 7 in size 0 and in size 1 (2 brushes). Because these are expensive brushes, you may prefer to get a version that Utrecht or Dick Blick makes, which will work just as well for this project.
2. Gouache = opaque watercolors. You will need Permanent White and a few other colors of your choice. DeAnn will provide some in class, but if you prefer a certain palette of colors, she may not have all the colors you want to use.
3. Palette for your gouache. This can be a small 6-well plastic palette or one that comes with a cover. Even if the gouache dries, you can reconstitute it with water and it works fine.
4. Micron Pigma 005 Pen in black. This is a very fine tip permanent black ink marker.
5. Pencil with 2H lead (can be a sketch or mechanical pencil; or a 2mm Lead Holder if you have one). A #2 pencil has HB lead. You’ll need one with harder lead for this project so your lines won’t smudge.
6. Pergamenata paper – DeAnn will provide this.
The 1 1/2 mm Brause nib and black ink will be used for writing the text in the Illuminated Manuscript Project. Once you’ve moved down to writing with the 1 1/2 mm nib, practice writing out your text on thin paper (e.g. Cotton Comp from Borden & Riley) placed on top of the template so you can see the guide-lines through it. This way, you won’t have to line the paper each time.
Bring your digital camera so that you can take pictures of illuminated manuscript examples that you like. DeAnn will bring many books on illuminated manuscripts and decorative letters. You can download the photos you take to your computer and resize them as needed to use in your illuminated manuscript project. Search on the web for illuminated manuscript examples; start getting an idea of what type of decorative capital you might be interested in using.
DeAnn showed us samples of gilding and real vellum. For the class project, we’ll be using a mixture of Sobo glue and water to adhere the gold to the pergamenata.
HOMEWORK: Definitely find the text you want to use for the project; practice writing it. If you’re comfortable with the 2 ½ mm Brause nib, then go down to the 1 ½ mm Brause nib, which will be the size used for the project. However, if you’re still practicing at 5mm, then go down to the 2 1/2 mm. Don’t skip a size – if you’ve been writing with the 5 mm, then go down to the 2 ½ mm (x-height = ½ inch, 4 boxes).