Reddit’s Quote of the Week-Jessica Hische

I joined reddit, mostly for the calligraphy subreddit, as another source for feedback and critique of my calligraphic efforts. They post a new quote every week and encourage everyone to write it out. So I gave it a go. My nib was being rather problematic for the whole quote and I struggled quite a bit with getting the ink to come out, but all those issues have since been resolved! I was so in the zone with trying to get the nib to work that I forgot to scan it in until I had penciled in the border.

I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted the border for this piece to be before I began: a long red bar across the top, supported by narrow lines of black on either side, and an open space on the bottom bordered by red bars that would be filled with spirally flowering vines. However, as is often the case, my plans changed as  I worked. I used the tutorial here for the vines and flowers and the one here for the leaves. When I finished penciling in the border I thought it would be cool if the vines went up the sides of the border and wrapped around it. So that’s what I drew. Then working on the vines on the bottom it seemed that they needed something to grow around as well, so I added another bar across the middle. If you’re having a hard time imagining all this  just look at the picture:

Jessica Hische Progress 1

As I’ve said I am not too pleased with the writing here, as I was struggling with the nib the whole time, but I suppose the border will draw attention away from that, a lucky happenstance!

As you can see I penciled the whole thing in and then figured out where the vines would go over the border, or under the border. If you have some time here is some elucidation of the quote, as well as a fantastic analogy:

Next I inked the vines and leaves going up the sides:

Jessica Hische Progress 2

I didn’t feel obliged to follow my pencil lines exactly as they were more of an idea of the layout rather than strict guidelines.

Next  I inked the two big vines on the bottom. I was going to fill in the flowers with red, same as the horizontal bars (I thought it would nicely complement the blue paper and ink) but as I worked I realized perhaps this would make them seem like berries rather than flowers; so I tried to modify their shape in the bottom vines to make them look more petal-like. We’ll see if that worked or not.

Jessica Hische Progress 3

I wanted to make the bottom ones thicker and bigger, they probably grew first and are now sturdy and strong!

Then I added the border in black. The red bars I made with my 1.5mm Leonardt Round Hand nib by just running the nib, full width, along a ruler being careful not to go through the vines.

Jessica Hische Progress 4

I couldn’t get the whole length of the middle bar, as you can see. But no big deal. The whole thing is turning out somewhat better than I expected!

I filled in the rest of the red, and gave each of the red bars a black outline:

Jessica Hische Progress 5

Lookin’ pretty good!

All that was left to finish the piece was filling in the flowers with red, and adding little hooks and scribbly lines where it seemed like it needed them. It’s all a very open, loose, gut feeling, kind of process. A little hook here, a little hook there, some scribblies on the ends of the leaves and Ta-da! A finished border:

Jessica Hische Final (1280x989)

Also a little shading on the leaves.

And that’s it! Thanks for reading, hopefully that gave you a somewhat coherent look into my process, and the steps it took to finish this piece. If you want to find me on reddit my reddit-name is piejesudomine (that’s a Monty Python reference, for those of you who don’t know)

Again I hope to post about the next scriptorium session over the weekend, but we’ll see how the cards fall.

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