Wednesday, February 21, 2018

17 Scibal Insights Of Patricia Lovett

Surfing YouTube I came across these well presented scribal videos. This series by Patricia Lovett is a perfect place for you to begin or review things scribal. They're inspiring too. 

Lovett is a long time professional calligrapher. She also wrote 

Calligraphy and Illumination: A History and Practical Guide,

Her information in the videos is great, but she also shares items she's created or is selling. Most of these videos are less than 5 minutes long.
  1. Calligraphy - pens 
  2. Calligraphy - papers
  3. Calligraphy - measuring lines
  4. Calligraphy - Setting up a calligraphy sloping board
  5. Calligraphy - using a pen 
  6. Calligraphy - inks and paint
  7. Calligraphy - three golden rules
  8. Calligraphy - Spacing 1 (again)
  9. Calligraphy - Spacing 2
  10. Calligraphy - sharpening nibs
  11. Calligraphy Clip - vellum and parchment
  12. Calligraphy Clip: Colour mixing in the pen
  13. Book of Hours Recreation Project 7+ minutes
I combined the following videos for you into playlists based on one calligraphy script. Each script is taught by Patricia Lovett in Youtube videos.
  1. Uncial Script Playlist 6 videos 
  2. Gothic Script Miniscules Playlist 7 videos
  3. Gothic Script Capitals Playlist 5 videos 
  4. Italic Script Playlist 6 videos
This is such a wonderful bunch of calligraphy videos. I hope you find time for them all or recommend them to a friend. Enjoy.

Related Prior Post: 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Each Scroll's An Experiment

A Hair-raising Learning Experience
From the recent scrolls I've done, I decided each scroll's an experiment. It's an options' string from its inception to beyond the scroll's completion. A learning experience all the way. 

When you receive the text you choose from the different calligraphy scripts and illumination styles. Once you pick the inspirational manuscripts suited to the recipient's persona you select individual details reflecting their accomplishments. 

There are options for materials and tools. New items to me beg for experiments to test their mettle for use. And things I've used a lot may be used in a new or unique way, like that forgotten ink bottle I found pushed way to the back. Is it still usable and do I even like it?   

That doesn't include the experiments I try. Which ink is best or more period? Which black or white paint works best? Which gold paint covers better or looks more period?

I don't think I've done any scroll in exactly the same manner as a prior one. Even if I'm using the same ol' materials and tools there's always a different way of thinking. A different way to do the same thing. A new blend of the diverse creative details. 

Through the scroll creation process, the choices you make affect its final look. The scroll's experimental results, for better or worse.  

Prior Related Post: 
The Scribal Yin Yang Puzzel
The Stalking Scribe
Dip Pen v Catridge Pen
Finding The Perfect Dip Pen Nibs
The Secrets Of Black And White Gouache  
Gouache And Watercolor Paint Comparison

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

How To Search For Illuminated Manuscripts Without Getting What You Don't Want

There's something I neglected to include when I posted about searching the internet for illuminated manuscripts. I left out telling you how to exclude something you know you don't want, like Pinterest or Wikipedia items.
It's simple. You can eliminate things from your search by putting a minus before the term of the things you don't want. Any word you google immediately preceded by a "-" sign excludes those items from your search results. 
Specifically, you type a space before the minus sign and none between the minus sign and your excluded things. When I search for illuminated manuscripts without "Pinterest" I enter illuminated manuscript -Pinterest
If you tried that link you'll find the results come up under Google's option "All". If you click on the "Images" header you get this. Or just start your search on Google's "Images" page.
You can also exclude multiple items, but each term must include a minus sign immediately before it. Try illuminated manuscript -Wikipedia -Pinterest. Or possibly this, illuminated manuscript -French -Pinterest. And don't forget the space just before the -.
Omitting Pinterest boards may be important to you because not all image collections are well verified. Some board owners are better researchers than others. It's your choice, but using the - operator will reduce your search clutter.
Related Prior Post: 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

History Rewritten On The Book Of Kells

Mary And Her Baby in The Book of Kells
ICYMI. New information has come to light on the Book of Kells. Specifically, it was created by more than one person and where they lived. Even a bit on how old the "new" scribe was.

This is interesting to SCA scribes who strive to create in a medieval manner. It shows that manuscripts were created by more than one scribe early in history. This one possibly completed 50 years after it was started in a different location.

Anyway, you can learn about it in Britian's The Independent's article about the Book of Kells new research.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Easy Does It: SCA Scroll Creation Post Round Up

New Year's Eve I spent time considering what I wanted to do with this blog. One goal is to be more organized and focused on my post topics. That should make the topics easier for you to follow. 

Scribal Art Collection Display
To begin, I ferreted out my prior instructional posts. Previously they related to a project or class I was doing. That's why the topics seemed erratically ordered. 

Here are the prior posts I've written about scroll creation.Though I didn't plan it, after I put the links in a logical order they made a table of contents.

You'll notice they aren't a complete set, if that is even possible. 

In the future, I plan to fill in topic gaps including posts about using a t-square to draw lines, geometric diaper patterns, and more on scribal materials. 

If you want me to include a topic or have a question you may suggest it in the comments section below. Or email me at sgordon9(at)cox(dot)net

I love sharing scribal information and two directions are double the fun.

Related Prior Post:

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Quiz: Can You Match These 10 Illuminated Manuscripts With Their Names?

Can you match these 10 pictures of iconic illuminated manuscripts to their name? 

You don't have to have an Art History major to match these famous medieval illuminated manuscripts. They are some of the most well-known, especially among SCA scribes. From Kells to Crusades, these works are instantly recognizable. Can you match them all?

To the left side are pictures from ten Western European illuminated manuscripts. To this post's right are their unmatched names. All you have to do is match the proper name to its image. 

Yes, I'm sneaky. I have not always used the most popular or well-known images. Also, there are more manuscript names than pictures. But all names are matchable because some manuscripts are known by more than one name.

If you are curious, stumped, or in a hurry to find the answer click on the word "link" in the caption below the image. It will take you to a Wikipedia page about the manuscript.

Have fun.


The Hours of Catherine of Cleves


The Book of Kells


Hours of Gian Galeazzo Visconti

Codex Aureus of Lorsch


Maciejowski Bible


St Alban's Psalter

The Luttrell Psalter

Codex Manesse


Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry


Crusader Bible


The Hunting Book of Gaston Phoebus

Morgan Bible

Related Prior Post:
My 10 Favorite European Illuminated Manuscript Inspirations

Related External Site:
Art Miscellaneous Quizzes

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Switching Gears: Scribal Journal Reflection

After doing three scrolls in 4 months and another on the horizon I felt the urge to do something different. Do you ever feel the pull to do something outside your normal? To explore?

I returned to creating in my art journals, which I haven't touched in years. 

Art journals vary dramatically between artists and even between pages in one book. My visual journals are cathartic mixed media experiments using any materials and tools I choose. They're expressive, playful, and emotion releasing. While scroll creation is an orderly process, each step planned to a degree. Its text, art style, methods, materials, and tools are controlled efforts. Even the recipient and deadline are not my choice. 

Working on several spreads
 in multiple books while listening to TV.
Art journal pages are about the doing rather than the creation, the journey not the destination. It's art you make for yourself. Its techniques are freeing, busying my hands while I listen to TV and idling my analytical thoughts. My mind is quieter as the surrounding world slips away. 

My journals include sketches, old photos, printed text, stamping, paint and my handwritten feelings. You never know what you'll combine. It's paint-moving, stenciling and writing are expansive even disjointed. The parts spontaneously come together and have no deadline. They are only complete because I say. 

Art journaling combines outside activities too; hunting, gathering, and scavenging gets me out of the house paying closer attention to my wider world. Organizing my supplies and finds even inspired me to clean and sort all my crafts. That spread to doing the same other places in my house.

I'm looking forward again to creating the next scroll. To its planning, calligraphy, gilding, details, and deadline. My scribal passion and confidence renewed.

Prior Related Post: 

External Related Post:

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Tips For Saving Money As An SCA Scribe

I just came back from Dick Blick's, the only place in Omaha that sells artist grade gouache. I only wanted a tube of permanent white, but I came home with more. Broke my SCA budget. Has that ever happened to you?

You spend less when you shop for art supplies online, especially by comparing prices and looking for sales. 
Large online art supply stores often charge less. They have more customers than small, local art supply stores. They also have a larger selection and an easily accessible sales section. Occasionally I've received "old" unused merchandise, such as drier tube paint.

I take stock before ordering to know what I need, not what it would be fun to have like a new ink. Even so, I've acquired an abundance.

Scribes' Class
Using Non-artist Supplies
When teaching a class I use recycled or non-artist supplies. Things like emptied pudding cups or Styrofoam meat trays work well for classes. So do basic quality paper towels. 

Use coupons whenever you can, and watch for any with a huge-discount-on-one-item. That's when I buy the expensive French Ultramarine blue gouache. I even google the store's name and "coupon" when waiting in line at Joann's and Michael's. There's always some discount to use. 

While I generally avoid email subscriptions, you'll find a store's latest and greatest deals in their newsletters

There aren't many ways to recycle scribal art supplies, but I do reuse pergamenata. I tend to start the calligraphy over on a scroll at least once, so I have unused first tries. When I have time, usually watching TV, I use a sharp knife and scratch off the dried ink. I use the reverse for another project.

Using the second side of perg works for me. I've seen comments on Facebook that ink feathers on one side of perg. Test the second side out before you spend the time it takes to scratch off a whole first side. 

Buying in bulk is a great way to save. For that to work for me the items must be small, keep for years and be a staple item. I've learned fun or fad cheaply priced bulk items may be space hogs I forget and never use. It's better to buy quality materials in smaller quantities.

Another way is to have your scribe's guild buy in bulk and then give or sell the items to members. A few years ago the Calontir Scribes' Guild ordered huge pergamenata sheets. We cut them down and gave them to scribes after they did original scrolls. A thanks to scribes for their work. 

I've learned the hard way taking care of supplies I already have saves me money. My biggest problem is dip pen nibs. While I try to clean and dry them after use I forget to do that when I'm cleaning up at day's end. I wash off brushes but forget my nibs. They aren't expensive, but they're not meant to be disposable. 

It's also important to keep paints and inks out of extreme conditions. I learned ink separates if you let it freeze overnight in a car. One Lilies War a paint tube burst when I opened it. I've also had paint mold because I didn't let it dry out before I put it in a sealed container.

Having an organized studio would save me money too. There are times I can't find something so I order it. Of course that must happen before the lost item reveals itself. 

When buying a pricier item, consider how you work. Many scribes swear by an easel artist case, but I don't work vertically. I also prefer to work in my studio, not on site. So an expensive art supply case is not for me, even though I think they look cool. 

How do you get the most out of your art materials? If you have a tip, please, share it in a comment below. We welcome your help. 

Prior Related Post:  
Better Together, Calontir's Scribal Community
Why Is Gouache So Expensive?

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Do You Have Creative Goals?

One of my favorite modern scribal-related blogs is Lindsey Bugbee's The Postman's Knock. In her January 16th post she gave five creative goals to work toward this year.

Lindsey's five goals are perfect for SCA scribes. They fit us to a tee. So I'm  describing them for you here.

  1. Don't dwell on mistakes or mess-ups. Keep the joy in your scribal craft.
  2. Put scribal creativity into everything you can, even mundane tasks.
  3. Let your scribal force be with you. Treat yourself to something new.
  4. Surround yourself with scribal inspiration and you'll be more creative too.
  5. Share your work with others, whatever your ability.
You can see how well these fit with scroll creation. 

It's easy to only see the mess-ups when you create. Like in the Duchy scroll I made for Her Grace Issabell St. Charles where I painted her as a left-handed archer. That's what I see, when I view the scroll. 

Using scribal skills daily helps you maintain and increase them. It's like the care and nurturing of a plant if you want it to grow. This is especially true with calligraphy.

Something new could be a new thing, but it could also be learning a new to you scribal skill. Anything to expand your comfort zone.

Scribal inspirations come in many forms: facsimilie books, blogs, scribal classes, Pinterest boards, Facebook scribal groups, and other scribes. Submerge yourself.

The more ways you share your work the more you will learn. Calontir has so many opportunities for you besides original scrolls. There's preprint painting at events, Queen's Prize Tournament and Kingdom Arts and Sciences Champion. Or you could talk with a scribal Laurel. We'd love to share with you.

There's so much you can do this year with drive and inspiration. 

Related Prior Post:

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Issabell St. Charles' Duchy Scroll

Enlarged upper right miniature

Project Title:
Duchy Scroll for Issabell St. Charles
Project Date:
January 13, 2018/Coronation
Text by:
D. Magdalena vander Meere
Inspiration for Text:
Translation by:

Jehanne Bening
Jehanne Bening

Pergamenata, C and I area 12" x 16"
Notable Techniques:
Flat gilding using Tresser's gilding size adhesive. Love it.
Early Gothic
Mitchell 5 dip pen
Zig Sumi Ink 60
Inspiring Manuscripts:
Belleville Breviary (1323-26) by Jean Pucelle and other 14th-century French illuminations
Other notes:
All the birds on the scroll refer to D. Izzy's awards or favorites

Related Prior Post: