Filigree is a decorative flourish that gracefully transitions the illustrated areas of the page to the blank areas so an abrupt change doesn’t appear to occur. It’s usually done with a copperplate nib (pointed pen nib), which is easier to control than a brush.
Examples of filigree, from Western European Illuminated Manuscripts by Tamara Voronova and Andrei Sterligov.
For the filigree demo on Fataneh’s project, DeAnn used a Hunt 56 nib in a straight pen holder, not the oblique copperplate pen holder. Draw the color from the decorative capital. DeAnn says it’s basically doodles, drawing swirls, ovals, circles and figure-eights.
|Fataneh's project before DeAnn added any filigree.|
|DeAnn started adding some flourishing to the bottom of the floral border. Done with a copperplate nib.|
|DeAnn also adds some filigree elements within the floral border.|
|Fataneh's project after DeAnn added filigree.|
Tips from Satomi: She uses a bent liner brush for detailed painting.
|Satomi using the bent liner brush for precise details.|
She also made swatches of various gouache colors and their tints to help her decide which colors to use for her project.
Final step on your finished illuminated manuscript project: attribution. The author’s name should be written in black ink in small Roman capitals below the text block. Line the paper and practice before you write it on the project so it looks neat and straight. Finally, you should sign and date (the year alone is fine) the project with your “artistic signature”, which is not the same as the signature you normally use when signing a check. Your “artistic signature” can be flourishy, but your name is clearly legible.
|Detail of Satomi's work in progress|
Now some pictures of student’s projects:
|Kelly's work in progress|
|Sheila's work in progress|
|Elizabethclare's work in progress|
|Nan's illuminated manuscript project.|
|Judith's illuminated manuscript project|
|Detail of Judith's decorative capital|
|Detail of Judith's margin illustrations|
|Trini's illuminated manuscript project.|
|Detail of Trini's decorative capital|
|Detail of Trini's border illustration.|
Next semester DeAnn will be teaching Uncial at Beverly Hills.