Archive for the Category » Illuminated N for Nick «

Illuminated N – N Shaded

OK, that’s the shading of the N done. :-)
I need to add more at the right hand bottom side – it’s not quite dark enough.

Also, the erasure of that shape on the diagonal leg is showing through the paint as ruffled/damaged paper. I did burnish well with a rubber. Maybe I should have used a burnisher. Still – it was waterproof liner pen that I used, and it was pretty sunk into the paper.

What I’ll do is put the shape back (over the ruffed up paper with some paint on top – ouch. I’ll pounce well beforehand!) in black with a brush.

Then I’ll shadow in the edges, so it looks like a depressed (pushed in) shape.

I doubt putting in horizontal lines (as in the original design) would be a good thing. It’d be too much detail, given all the colour I’ve used.

I also have to

* put in some more shadow behind a couple of the curlicues that cross the N

* fix up the black background. It’s got bits of gold, and bits of white/blue in various places

* fix up a little of the black shading on gold where it crosses the N, and got damaged when I was shading the N.

Then I’ll be sad, coz I’ll be finished. And back to script analysis, which is very worthy, but just not as much fun.

I’m already thinking of doing another piece in the same style, but using brown ochre, and putting in the black background last (to make sure it’s good and velvety – I’ll have to lay it in fairly heavily now to get the velvity-ness back).
Using more of the flower type shades, and fewer of those peaked leaf shapes, which are pretty boring.
Having a firmer hand on the outside “flourishy” lines and flowers.
It has occured to me that a watercolour wash on those flowers would be pretty, but I think it’d be too much for the design. It’d be good to try a very light blue/gold wash and see how it worked.
I’d also have to think whether I’d lay down all the gold, then shade in brown ochre. (as I did with the black in this piece)
Or lay in gold only where I want my middle and dark colours, adding the brown over for the dark colour. Leaving the white pristine for the highlight colour. I like using the paper as a highlight colour. The example that I was looking at with the brown ochre doesn’t have a highlighting colour (which is also something to consider)

This is the example of brown oche shading on gold that I’m talking about – from Treasures from Italy’s Great Libraries. (mss 1496, Venice). I included the gold shading on (erm, pink) example because I like it too (maybe not in that colour). I’ll keep an eye out for other examples of the gold/ochre combination – especially for any use of a highlighting colour.

I am quite pleased (well, very pleased) with the piece. It’s LOTS more 3D that it looks on the scan. Yes, I’ve just talked about all the things I’d do differently, but I don’t think this is too bad as my first ‘solid gold gouache’ piece. I originally said that I’d only put up scans of parts of the piece on blogger, so Nick didn’t get to see the whole piece until he saw it ‘in the flesh’ but I reckon that it looks sufficiently different that I can put the whole piece up here, and he’ll still get a surprise.

Illuminated N – Shading of left side of the N

I’ll put some white on the lightest part when it’s thoroughly dry

Illuminated N – Base Shading for the N


Now to work on the 3 blue colours to blend them. I think I’ll add some white with just a touch of blue as well, at the end.
I took up the outline of the shape in the middle of the vertical leg of the N, but it can still be seen through the paint.
I may have to put it back in, and do little horizontal lines in gold – better than ‘ruffled’ paper. I’ll see. (nothing like changes in design decisions after already putting down the picture in pen~!)

Illuminated N – Colour for the N

In the engraving that I used as a source picture, the N is white (since it’s an engraving) and has horizontal lines running down that panel in the diagonal of the N.

I’m going to paint it in blue, as Nick asked. I’m going to do it in 3 shades of blue and make it look 3D (those skinny vertical legs should be tricky!)

The requested blue is

I had a bit of a play with my different blue tube gouaches


So I need to use W&N Ultramarine with a touch of T7 Dark Madder Crimson. The colour above is a bit pale because I mixed it directly on the paper and so the white of the paper is showing through.

I’ll mix a tint for the highlights, and use W&N Indigo for the shadows.

There is one thing that I’m kicking myself BIG TIME about.
I looked back at one of the images I used for inspiration – and the shading of the gold is done in what looks like a brown ochre.
That would have blended rather better with the gold.
Kit assures me that the N is beautiful, and the black looks ok, but I wish I’d used my brain (and my eyes) and used the brown. I guess I’ll know for next time. *kick* *kick*

Illuminated N – Top Right Side finished

Playing around in Photoshop again, this time with Hue and Saturation, but I still can’t get close to the sparkliness of the original.

I’ve added in some small touches Schminke Gold Perl, which is a shade lighter than the Art Spectrum D’Or on the various leaves and flowers to add extra highlighting. It can be seen in the blown up version of the N.

Just the right bottom corner, (already taken back) and then I can paint the N.

Illuminated N – Left side finished

I’ve played with the brightness/contrast a bit in Photoshop to try and show the gold better. It’s still not very accurate.

And you were right, Nick, when you said that I was sculpting – I am, literally. Building up the gold, and going down to the paper.

Illuminated N – Left side almost finished

I’ve finished the left hand side, except for the curlicue at the top, which I’ve just taken the gold back on so far.

The gold looks dim in the scan but it’s good and shiny on the original.

Illuminated N – Main flower finished

I’ve finished the two elements I took the gold back on – the main flower, and the leaf on the top right. I’ve also done a curlicue and a vine under the main flower

It would have been easier if I hadn’t put down all of the gold already, since I’m doing ‘reverse highlights’ (using the white paper) but I didn’t know beforehand.