March 2, 2023 - Slow but steady
It's been two months since my last blog post, because I honestly forgot to write anything in February. However, I have not been idle. Bran's knighting scroll is coming along, albeit slowly, and I have finished the miniature that I showed you in January, filled in a capital initial, and made great progress on the second miniature. Pictures ahoy!
First, as promised, I've completed the first miniature; the fighter on the left is wearing Bran's colors as he defeats the fighter on the right. At Bran's request, the blood that was depicted in the original source image has not been included.
Next, the initial T just beneath the miniature was completed. I was surprised at how little time it actually ended up taking me.
There are places where the white work feels a little heavy to me, but all in all I was very pleased with this letter. The colors stand out nicely against the gold, and the outlining in black behaved well.
After that, it was time to... procrastinate, I confess. I took a while before I started work on the second miniature, but once I did begin, I was impressed once again with how much I was able to accomplish in one session:
This background consists of a cool red and blue in diagonal rows, highlighted in warm red-orange. I suspect the original pigment would have been red lead, or minium, which tends to be quite orange compared to other red options. Thus was about 90 minutes of work.
Finally, earlier this week, I had another session, perhaps two or two-and-a-half hours long, where once again I got quite a lot done:
I'm surprised that this image is slightly blurry near the top; my hand must have moved a little, right as I snapped it. However, you can see the orangey highlights in the grid here, as well as in the tent roof stripes, which are true to my source image. This miniature is actually a composite from several battlefield pavilions shown in the manuscript; sometimes the king is seated on an ornate throne, while here he seems to be using a simple bench. The tent varies somewhat from image to image as well, with the tent flaps held back by ropes in this one.
You might notice that the grass and the interior of the tent are the same shade; as far as I can tell, this is accurate to the source material, although what I've been looking at is much bluer, in both areas. I am uncertain whether they had a stronger green that faded over the centuries, or whether they simply used a different color. I'm going with terre vert here. The texturing over the grass and the tent interior will be markedly different, once those go down; the grass gets yellow weeds here and there and black vertical marks as in the first miniature, while the tent interior will get a similar treatment to the lady's dress in the first miniature: a swirling brocade effect in another color.
The musicians and towers across the top, representing possibly the city wall that the tent is camped outside, were a lot of fun to paint for me, because I enjoy limited palettes. The same four or five colors are used over and over in different combinations, without much in the way of mixing new shades. I only did something a little different each time with the shades of brown on the musicians' hair. Detailing will be done in back, with as fine a line as I can manage.
Mundane life has been quite busy, so I've only been able to get in about one session a week, but any progress is still good progress, so I've been trying not to fret overmuch about the slow pace. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.