Thursday 20 February 2014

An Accomplished Afternoon

uncial script

I'm midway through my second term as a student of calligraphy and I've chewed over this assignment for weeks! To produce a script in uncial following the style found in the Book of Kells. It has to include a verse or quotation featuring animals and also be illustrated with animals. Kells features animals that entwine with initial letters and are beautifully coloured. 

I have to admit uncial script is a real challenge for me. I had spent my first term practising italics and was feeling quite happy about it (almost smug) and then the rug was pulled out from under my feet when I and my fellow scribes were plunged into the upside down, back to front world of uncial. Gosh! I can imagine ancient scribes sitting in their cells with just a candle for light and warmth, huddled inside their monks' habits, painstakingly creating illuminated manuscripts day after day after day. It must have been a lifetime's occupation for some of them and the work they created still in existence today, is amazing.  

In contrast I sat in my cosy kitchen this afternoon with the sun shining in through patio doors, coffee and oatcakes by my side and produced my own little masterpiece shown above. To be honest I had made several drafts and gave it all a lot of thought before finally finding the confidence to do the master copy today. 

I'm happy with the result and feeling quite proud of my achievement even though its not 'perfect' its good enough for me. I particularly like the way my sparrow sits well with the initial W. I suppose I really should have used watercolours for the illustrations but I have some lovely Promarker pens that were just begging to be used and they are so much more handy it would be a shame not to use them. 

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