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Illuminated letters


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31 replies to this topic

#1 katim

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 17:01

I'm very fond of illuminated lettering of the kind found in works like "The Book of Kells". I don't have the skill to invent such letters myself - or, rather, none of those I've produced from my own head are of a quality that I'd share with anyone else! However, I enjoy copying them and wonder whether they are considered a proper subject for this website?

I'm appending an example of one that I copied from 'Kells' to show the sort of thing I mean. It was drawn freehand, not traced (as is evident from its flaws!), using a variety of fibre-tipped media.

If it's not a suitable topic for this forum, please either delete it or point me in the right direction...
[attachment=36917:Ampersand.JPG]


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#2 Ondina

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 17:33

This is certainly the right forum....nice work. We have enjoyed here the work of other embers on ampersands and flourishes. Thanks for sharing.

#3 wykpenguin

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 17:48

Impressive. Can you post more?

Were can I find sources for doing this stuff?

#4 Ann Finley

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 18:10

Yes, you've found the right forum for illuminated letters!!

If you click the link on LINKS pinned at the top of this forum, go to Manuscripts Online and from there to the Digital Scriptorium you can find all sorts of illuminated letters to enjoy. While there, you may want to type in the search box book of hours, for example, and it should bring up multiple results.

Best, Ann

#5 katim

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 18:11

QUOTE (wykpenguin @ Nov 17 2008, 05:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Impressive. Can you post more?

Were can I find sources for doing this stuff?


Thanks. I'd be surprised if you can't find a copy of examples from the book of Kells. I bought a couple of books a few years ago in London:

Celtic Design - Illuminated Letters, by Aidan Meehan ISBN 0-500-27685-4
Celtic Design - Knotwork, The secret method of the scribes, by Aidan Meehan ISBN 0-500-27630-7

Both of these are well worth their relatively cheap paperback price!

Herewith a couple more:
[attachment=36928:Illuminated_P.JPG]
[attachment=36929:Ampersand_2.JPG]


#6 HDoug

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 18:18

Thanks for sharing. Are those what are called cadel flourishes? Interesting in that these are "3-D;" They go over and under and over and under. There is some kind of method or formula for the creation of these... that I don't know. Very interesting to look at and contemplate, though. Please post more.

Doug

Edited by HDoug, 17 November 2008 - 18:19.


#7 katim

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 18:35

QUOTE (HDoug @ Nov 17 2008, 06:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for sharing. Are those what are called cadel flourishes? Interesting in that these are "3-D;" They go over and under and over and under. There is some kind of method or formula for the creation of these... that I don't know. Very interesting to look at and contemplate, though. Please post more.

Doug


I'm afraid I've never heard the term 'cadel flourishes' - if anyone knows the answer, I'd be interested to know more!
As for the over and under weaving in these letters, they seem to obey the same rules as are described in the book on knotword that I've mentioned above. This is a fascinating subject and can get very complicated! The foundation is a design called 'Solomon's Knot', which is a simple version of the over and under method. I haven't got an example, but I'm appending a slightly more complex set of triangular knots which might help explain the system.
And if you want to get into the more complex area, I'm including a panel of Josephine's Knots - these can drive you crazy! :-)
[attachment=36938:Triangular_knots.JPG]
[attachment=36939:Josephine__s_knots.JPG]

Ken

#8 kenfraser

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 21:39

"Celtic Art - The Method of Construction" by George Bain (1881 - 1968) is probably the best and most comprehensive book on the subject of Celtic knotwork
and decoration. See here for more information.


caliken


#9 kenfraser

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 21:46

QUOTE (HDoug @ Nov 17 2008, 06:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for sharing. Are those what are called cadel flourishes? Interesting in that these are "3-D;" They go over and under and over and under. There is some kind of method or formula for the creation of these... that I don't know. Very interesting to look at and contemplate, though. Please post more.

Doug

Cadel flourishes, which originated in France, are complicated, decorative structures. They are a bit different from the examples shown above; there are some excellent examples on this forum by Tipstricks and Lozzic. If you search for their topics, you should find them quite easily.

caliken

Edited by caliken, 17 November 2008 - 21:54.


#10 henrico

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 22:05

happyberet.gif Great work Katim. I find this ancient art fascinating for the lack of a better word. Your pen control is exellent. I have played with this art a little in the past and always hoped to try again.......someday. smile.gif

Henrico

#11 katim

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 14:42

Some examples of illuminated lettering by a calligrapher friend on Flickr started me on trying to do some more and I thought I'd post them as examples of what can be done just messing about with a pencil and fine-tipped fibre pen.

I began in each case with a swash capital to which I added shape and then decoration. There are lots of variations in decoration, of course, as can be seen in countless books on the subject, but I tried to keep it fairly simple and in black and white.



Posted Image

The monogram below was drawn the same way, but as I developed the lines I decided to split them and enable some inter-weaving between the letters to make them more related to one another!

Posted Image


This sort of thing is fun to do and doesn't require great artistic skill (as is all too evident!) if you start with something simple like a swash capital.
I can't think of a really useful thing to do with any of them - they're just for fun - but I suppose that I could use something like this as a 'drop capital' at the start of a piece of formal writing.
I must try it sometime! :-)

I note, incidentally, that the illustrations from my earlier posts on this subject seem to have disappeared. I'll look for them and try to reinstate them if the system allows me to do it. If not, I could try adding them later.

Postscript: As best as I can recall, these are three of the missing images. If you're interested, I'll try to find the others!

Posted Image


Posted Image


Posted Image

Edited by katim, 07 August 2011 - 15:01.


#12 Chris

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 16:06

Lovely! ... and inspiring too :thumbup:
Thanks,
Chris

#13 UltraMagnus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 16:10

Why would you put LEDs into letters?
politician and idiot are synonymous terms - Mark Twain

#14 kenfraser

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 21:43

Impressive work, Katim. If you can find a copy of George Bain's book on Celtic knotwork, you'll see how the most complicated structures are built up.

I've never really got into this aspect of design...I satisfy myself with re-drawing from existing examples with modifications of my own to fit a particular purpose. This is one such example from an actual job some time ago. I agree that they are great fun to do...especially when they are not a direct copy, but an adaptation, so that a certain amount of creativity is involved.

caliken


Posted Image

Edited by caliken, 09 August 2011 - 07:38.


#15 kenfraser

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 22:17

Here's another two C's

Posted Image

Edited by caliken, 09 August 2011 - 07:32.


#16 kenfraser

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 22:31

....and here's an L and an F

Posted Image

Edited by caliken, 09 August 2011 - 07:37.


#17 kenfraser

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 22:42

....and a D and a W

Posted Image

Edited by caliken, 09 August 2011 - 07:34.


#18 smk

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 22:46

That 'D' is something special. Wow!

S.

#19 kenfraser

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 22:52

....and an S and an H

Posted Image

Edited by caliken, 09 August 2011 - 07:36.


#20 GhostShip Blue

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 22:55

As always Ken, an impressive showing. I really am jealous. Too distracted with other things and too far behind to do much about it, but I'm truly awed.
"If you show us a drunk blonde chick in her underwear, she has to die. That's just how we roll." - I wish I knew who to attribute that to. T'weren't me.

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Ain't great, but it's the best I've got. So far.







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