It has taken three days to transfer my initial illumination sketch on tracing paper on to my lovely Aquarelle Arches water colour paper. The original sketch on tracing paper was the basic design which I transferred to the paper and I have now added most of the patterns and motifs which will make up the finished artwork. I have found that it is much better to draw in all the intricate details first as this makes the painting process a lot simpler and faster – a bit like painting with numbers without the numbers! (Although I have been known to change the designs as I go, especially if the paint brush does not behave itself!
But no painting yet: the first thing is to build up layers of gesso on the parts which will be gold leaf, allow that to dry, then apply the gold leaf; then painting may begin. Some elements will have gum arabic mixed with the paint to provide a sheen, others will be basic body colour (a main colour mixed with a tad of white to make it very opaque), and I may even add some metallic colour – which is different coloured metal powders mixed with gum arabic. This illumination will be painted in the style of “Tina Bone”!
I intend to use a limited colour palette, probably green, red, yellow, blue and mixes of these colours, and black and white for edging – except for the elephant and camel which may be realistic. Most illumination elements are outlined with a dark colour.
This is the picture for Update Progress 2. Please note that the pencil on the original is very feint. I have made it darker by computer so that you can see it more clearly:
If you wish to comment, or would like further information about illumination, please be in touch: email