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An iron gall "mediaeval codex" brown ('Beowulf Brown')



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Aelfattrum

One colour I've been after for a while is a dark brown that looks a bit like the colour that appears in mediaeval manuscripts (though presumably these mss looked a lot more black in their time), sort of like:

 

129r.thumb.jpg.527a6c95e7c3036e7714b9b84fcc0868.jpg

(from https://ebeowulf.uky.edu/ebeo4.0/CD/main.html)

 

Herbin's Cacao du Brésil isn't a bad choice for this sort of brown, but I've been wanting an iron gall close to this colour.

 

I tried KWZI IG Mandarin, IG Orange, IG Gold, which all darken to browns, but none of them were actually quite what I wanted.

 

Recently I tried Platinum Classic Sepia Black, which looked like it might be right, but it turns out (not surprisingly, given its name) to be a bit too far on the yellow/green side (it's not dissimilar to KWZI IG Gold):

 

beowulf-ms-rewrite-platinum-sepia.thumb.jpg.1b724bc3b655e9cbfda8faf918e15897.jpg

 

I decided to try a roughly 1:1 mixture of Platinum Classics Sepia Black and Rohrer & Klingner's Scabiosa, which seems indeed to produce the sort of colour I've been after:

 

beowulf-ms-rewrite-scabiosa-sepia-blend.thumb.jpg.56a652e98154f62fd1fdc9ab1cc70bf5.jpg

 

[the last two images both on Southworth's "parchment" finish paper (which isn't the most IG friendly)]

 

So this turns out to be a brown which is in the family I internally label as an "elven brown" (a cool brown):

beowulf-brown-on-25pc-cotton.thumb.jpg.783f424bc6bf42f80c9bd42c9f557cb3.jpg

[on Southworth's 25% cotton]

 

beowulf-brown-on-bagasse.thumb.jpg.56bf9c42bc0c61fb24c4536cb1c9ffef.jpg

[on TreeZero's bagasse paper]

 

I haven't tried it, but I wonder if mixing Scabiosa & KWZI's IG Gold mighn't produce a similar result. It's also probably worth playing with proportions: I mentioned this looks not dissimilar to Herbin's Cacao du Brésil, but the Herbin ink is even a bit cooler/greyer, and I imagine adding more Scabiosa might actually produce this result.

 

beowulf-brown.thumb.jpg.d3cdc3204111a22d125b885dbaab8356.jpg

 

 

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Experimentation is great fun. Even when I haven’t successfully gotten what I’ve set out to achieve I’ve often gotten something I like a lot.

To hold a pen is to be at war. - Voltaire
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Aelfattrum
48 minutes ago, Ted A said:

Experimentation is great fun. Even when I haven’t successfully gotten what I’ve set out to achieve I’ve often gotten something I like a lot.

 

This was one of the rare cases where what I imagined and what I got ended up being really close. (I tried an earlier blend with a blue/black IG, which didn't work very well, but then thought how Herbin CdB seems to have a violet/purple component (though I don't know that it does chromatographically) and decided to try a violet/purple.)

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Yum!

R&K Scabiosa and Sepia are two of my favorite inks, so I can imagine their beautiful children!

Taupes can be the subtlest things - perfect "background" inks!

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Aelfattrum
4 hours ago, pgcauk said:

Yum!

R&K Scabiosa and Sepia are two of my favorite inks, so I can imagine their beautiful children!

Taupes can be the subtlest things - perfect "background" inks!

 

Thanks! I'm really enjoying using this one.

 

(Just to be clear, this uses Platinum's Iron Gall Sepia Black, and not R&K's Sepia.)

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