Our homework assignment was to use design techniques from the
Codex Aureas and make it our own.
In my piece I wanted to marry the 'primitive' and modern. I
layed out the words in a very simple way, following the
structure of lines of writing in the Codex Aureas, with 'e'
little twist. To make all letters fit into an even grid, I
turned the 'e' in the word 'let' into a round shape, that was
mimicking the decorations from the rest of the letters. Having
the layout ready, I started working directly on vellum. While
making the piece, I followed Reggie's list of steps for an
initial copy we did in class. After every step I thought the
hardest part was over... until I continued with the next thing
to do... I really gained huge respect for anyone who dares to
make a whole page in this style, not to mention a whole book!
One of the challenges I faced was choosing the right colors. For
gilding I used moon gold, which is so interesting and beautiful,
but kind of hard to determine it's warm/cool range. I started
painting with dark blue gouache, mixed from primary colors.
Then, during a sleepless night, the idea of using neutral beige
came to my mind and I went for it the next day. I think it
really made the whole piece look clean and modern, maybe a
little unusual in context of the historical example.
While trying to figure out details in the circles within
letters, I wanted something contemporary. I was looking for some
inspiration on-line and to my surprise I realized, these
decorations in Codex Aureas are actually quite modern in their
geometrical simplicity. I ended up loosely copying the patterns
from the original.
My conclusion - by copying an art piece I can learn a ton of
things, sometimes discover surprising matters. And --- don't be
fooled, when Reggie says "flood in the bands with pointed
brush".... (bands - lines drawn closely to each other with
ruling pen). You would think there is finally something easy and
quick to do.... WRONG! There is nothing easy and quick in the
process. Making anything in this style is a true Lesson On
Vellum off cut is about 3.5x7.5"