Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Queen's Order of Courtesy for Sela de la Rosa

My scrollExemplar
SelaBL MS Arundel 66 f. 53
BL MS Arundel 66 f. 53

The chance to do one of the special end of reign awards for a wonderful queen and a dear and valued lady? SIGN ME UP! I recently received a number of vellum offcuts (a kilo of them!) as part of a generous gift to the kingdom scribes, and while to many people they are useless scraps, for me they are exactly the size I like to work at. I am thrilled with almost every aspect of this scroll, and the one part that I'm not completely satisfied with (the whitework on the initial; I was using a type of paint I'd not used before) I'm still reasonably happy with it; it could've been better, but I don't think it sucks.

The text in unabbreviated Latin reads:

Isabella regina drachenwaldensis carissimae amicae meae Selae Rosae. Offerimus tibi admissionem in nostris regali ordonis liberalitatis. Fit manibus nostris in v die januarii liii.

The translations is:

Isabel Drachenwaldish queen to our most dear friend Sela de la Rosa. I offer to you admission in our royal order of courtesy. Done by my hand in the fifth day of january fifty-three.

I tracked the initial progress on twitter; the thread starts here:

© 2019, Sara L. Uckelman.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Ffraid for Rebecca of Flintheath


The initial was based on British Library MS Harley 4747 f. 45v. I was really happy with how the calligraphy turned out!

The text reads:

In ancient days of yore the princes of Insulae Draconis did in their wisdom ordain that an honorable and noble company be created to recognize those nobles from within their lands who have won for themselves great renown for their deeds of service. And this order is as is most fitting known as the order of Ffraid. It is also fitting that those whom fate has ordained to sit upon the thrones augment the number of the said order with gentles worthy of renown and reward. And so it is that we Joel and Valda rightful rulers of these isles by the authority vested in us do by this present charter hereby admit to the said order one lady from Flintheath who has extremely, diligently, and unendingly contributed of herself to the betterment of our realm. And the name of the said lady is Rebecca. This we do while sitting on our thrones in Buckden Tower the viii day of December in the year of the society liii, witnessed by all here present.

© 2018, Sara L. Uckelman.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Ffraid for Wolfram Burckhardt von Falkenstein


The calligraphy and initial are based on one of my favorite late-period German manuscripts, Johan Herring's modelbook. The W is found on fol. 62, with the structure of it given on fol. 65. Funnily enough, this is the same exemplar and style that I used for Kane Ragnarsson's Dragons Pride, but the two turned out very different!

The text reads:

We Joel and Valda prince and princess of Insulae Draconis do hereby in the presence of all gathered here eelvate the right noble and our well-beloved cousin lord Wolfram Burkchardt von Flakenstein to the Order of Ffraid. viii * xii * lii *

© 2018, Sara L. Uckelman.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Illustrations of Ana Mardoll's No Man of Woman Born

No Man of Woman Born

I recently read and reviewed a collection of short stories by Ana Mardoll, No Man of Woman Born. They were excellent; my only two complaints were there weren't enough (over way too soon!) and there weren't any pictures (which would improve the readability of the stories if I wanted to read them to my 6yo daughter). Regarding the former, I hope xie will write more stories, and regarding the former, I figured the thing to do was the illustrate them myself. This is my first attempt at moving beyond strictly medieval imagery, though I couldn't bring myself to go too far!, and my first time not working very closely from exemplars. Nevertheless, many bits and pieces were inspired by various actual manuscripts:

No Man of Woman BornThe fish in "Tangled Nets" were inspired by the fish in BL MS Additional 30024 f. 64v. Faces are damn hard, and Wren's face is modeled after the faces in the initial in BL MS Egerton 1151 f. 50.
No Man of Woman BornThe castle in "King's Favor" is based on the castle Reynard takes refuge in in BL MS Additional 15229 f. 77v. The fence is modeled after a fence I did for another project.
No Man of Woman BornI had so much fun looking up tents for "His Father's Son". In the end, I went with the ones in BL MS Royal 20 D I f. 15v, though the tents I first intended to use were the ones from BL MS Royal 10 E IV. I still cribbed from that MS (f. 239) for the two people.
No Man of Woman BornThe design for "Daughter of Kings" was a first for me: Entirely my own. I didn't copy any of it from anywhere.
No Man of Woman BornIt was hard to choose a castle for "Early to Rise", but the castle in BL MS Royal 14 E III f. 21 provided an excellent exemplar.
No Man of Woman BornJust as much fun as looking for tents was looking up images of students and teachers for "No Man of Woman Born". I ended up using the ones from BL MS Royal 6 E VI f. 531, with the dog cheekily stolen from BL MS Harley 3745 f. 1.
No Man of Woman BornFor "The Wish-Giver" I used my favorite dragon, from BL MS Additional 14761 f. 31v, and then went to BL MS Royal 10 E IV (quickly becoming one of my new favorite MSs) to find a nice figure. The one I used as my exemplar is from f. 102, and alas this was the one that showed up just how hard human figures are (especially hair. Who would've thought hair was so tricky?!)

I started the project August 19, 2018, and finished it on the 26th. I did one picture per evening (except Saturday). Each painting took about 2 hours from start to finish, including trawling through the manuscripts to find my exemplar images.

© 2018, Sara L. Uckelman.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Fox for Alexander of Long Riston


This was a combat scribal assignment done on a blank by Lady Haesel of Berneslai.

The text was written by Ari Mala and reads:

Lett it bee known bi theis our roial presents that we Robert and Delia princes insular knawing nat onnle by common repert but or one sarteyn knowlich of the fersomenis of Alexander of Long Riston upon the feild of battil bothe in myghte and musik with hertis ful gladd do hereby him rais to fellishippe of or right nobil and puisant order of þe fox. Dat. vij august a.s. liij.

Mala also did the lining, at which point I then offered to do the calligraphy. I probably would've lined it smaller, because -- as the calligraphy clearly shows -- I don't upscale well. The other alternative, which I only considered after it was too late, was that I should've swapped the lines for writing and the lines for spaces. I think that would've made it look better.

© 2018, Sara L. Uckelman.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Two Blanks by Elsabelle

Blank I Blank I Blank D

This two blanks were done by my 6yo daughter, Elsabelle Makeblisse. The initial I was modelled after BL MS Burney 11 f. 57v. I sketched the design, and inked some of it; Elsabelle inked the rest, and painted the rest, including helping make decisions about the colors to use, since some of the colors were not immediately obvious/clear in the original image. The initial G was based on Harley 1662 f. 37v. In this, Elsabelle did more of the sketching than in previous ones, doing the bands on the upright and the central floral design.

These two were entered into the Protector's A&S competition at Raglan 2018. Competition entries were supposed to address two questions. Below I reproduce her answers to the questions:

What did you find hard? (On the "G") "The scales on the fish. And I tried the swirl on the eye and it was kind of hard, but I tried it, and there was someone to help me there, so I did it." (On the "I") "On this one, I found it difficult to draw the eyes on the sea monsters, but I looked at the picture really really really carefully, and then I tried to copy it and I did my best."

How did you learn to do it? "I learned by practicing. And there was someone to teach me how to do it. For the dots, you just go up and down, you don't hold the paintbrush like you're drawing, just go straight up and down."

© 2018, G. R. Uckelman.

Blank I

I, without flashI, with flash

G and I wanted to do some blanks before Raglan; this was mine. It is based on BL MS Arundel 271 f. 14v. It took me two days to do, given that I was also helping G with hers.

© 2018, Sara L. Uckelman.