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View Full Version : Illuminated Cead Mile Failte - WIP


TessDB
04-21-2006, 10:33 AM
Hi, all!

So here's what I've been wrestling with, and I've reached a point where some extra eyes and suggestions would be really helpful. So let the c&c fly!

"Cead Mile Failte" is gaelic for 100,000 Welcomes (do NOT ask me to pronounce... been told my accent is truly awful. Southern Illinois slur mixed with my lousy high school french. blech.) It's a very traditional greeting and frequently done in cross-stitch etc. as housewarming gifts. In the interest of marketing my work, thought I'd put together something that would be, um, marketable. :D

Anyway... my original layout turned into a horrendous mess, so I'm back to figuring that out and here's where I am: 1st image is the one I'm leaning toward. Thinking I'll put a sunburst-y thing at the top inside the arch. Hubby, difficult man that he is, thinks I should work in the english translation. In which case layout 1 doesn't give me enough space to do it.

2nd image gives me the space to put the english in at the bottom, probably doing a stylized vine woven through the letters.

3rd image is a detail of the part I *am* sure about.

So... any thoughts?

Tess

Flurkiele
04-21-2006, 03:21 PM
This is a very good design and the letters stand out well.

I believe the difference between the first and second layout is only that the lettering is transposed upwards, correct? If so, I think they would both be credible. Either way the design would be fine, and the idea of vines going through the letters is a good one. You might also do a banderole with the inscription,if you are not afraid of mixing styles...:) You like the first layout, I assume because of the larger peice of white space under the arch, and I am inclined to agree, so I vote #1. Are you going to paint this or will it be inked?

prairie painter
04-21-2006, 03:45 PM
So far as putting in the translation, I think it would spoil the effect of the beautiful illumination work. The untranslated phrase is a conversation-sparker.

artjunkie101
04-21-2006, 09:18 PM
Wow! I love your design. The letters are beautiful, as is the surrounding knotwork. I vote for design #1 as well. It looks more balanced and I don't think that the English translation is necessary; I feel as though it would be an unnecessary distraction from the beautiful letters. Either way, I can't wait to see more!

TessDB
04-22-2006, 07:22 AM
Thanks Ryan, Mary & Claire. :wave:

Are you going to paint this or will it be inked?

I'll do it in colored pencil. Might use a little bit of ink if I can't get something dark enough.

I don't think that the English translation is necessary; I feel as though it would be an unnecessary distraction from the beautiful letters.

That's kinda what I'm thinking, too. And since Mary likes it untranslated as a conversation starter (forcing other folks with terrible gaelic accents to pronounce it :evil: tee-hee), I think I'll assume I'm skipping the translation.

Forgot to mention some pertinent info in my first post: it's 11x14 and plain 'ol normal pencil at this stage.

I'm hoping I'll get a chance to work on it this weekend. I've got all that blank space to fill... :D

Tess

scribblet
04-22-2006, 07:37 AM
Looks terrific to me, stay with it.

I find the knot work very hard to do, I took a weekend class once with Aiden Meehan, but I flunked it. :)-

http://mypage.direct.ca/a/ameehan/

TessDB
04-23-2006, 08:23 AM
Thanks, Scriblett!

I think I own every book Aidan Meehan has written. His written instructions tend to confuse me, but I can usually follow what he's trying to do just by looking at the pictures. Being rather set in my ways where the knotwork is concerned, I have a feeling *I'd* flunk a class with him, too. :rolleyes:

Once I've got the composition/sketching/drafting part done on this piece, I'll throw together a tutorial on borders. I hope you'll play along!

Tess

scribblet
04-23-2006, 08:50 AM
A tutorial sounds like fun, looking forward to it.

Aiden Meehan work is great, but actually IMHO he wasn't a very good teacher, different skill set. Not only that, he forgot his class handouts. At the time I was a member of the Toronto Calligraphy Guild and actually organized the classes, there was a two day weekend class, and a one day class for the advanced. However, I think you always get something out of a class, no matter what.

CPM
04-23-2006, 07:16 PM
Tess, This is looking great. I like both setups. I'd keep #1 and not translate.The vinework sounds interesting. I look forward to seeing what you put in to the letters. I like the composition! - Chris

Merry Scribe
04-24-2006, 08:10 AM
Tess, This is looking great. I like both setups. I'd keep #1 and not translate.The vinework sounds interesting. I look forward to seeing what you put in to the letters. I like the composition! - Chris

Tess I agree with Chris I like both setups. But I would keep with #1 myself. It just looks better to me.

Brian your friendly nieghborhood scribe. :wave: :D

TessDB
04-25-2006, 06:59 AM
:wave: Thanks, Chris & Brian!

I'm plowing along with the first choice. And hopefully will have an update this evening... the sunburst-y thing has been kicking my a**. :mad: A zillion pieces of sketch paper later, I think I've finally got it. :cool:

Tess

TessDB
04-26-2006, 07:47 AM
Finally, able to update.

I'd just like to say that photoshop is my friend! The sunburst is on a separate piece of paper from the layout, and the lettering is on another... so copy&paste is a real lifesaver on this one. :rolleyes:

Haven't decided if I need to do anything between the sunburst's "rays." So ignore the crazy-making starts of spiral-y bits there. :D And I haven't followed it through completely (because I decided it *does not matter that much*), but I'm fairly certain the sunburst is one knot. That was the goal. That I've abandoned in the name of finishing this thing sometime in this century. I'll be pleasantly surprised if I did it.

c&c eagerly accepted.

Tess

artjunkie101
04-26-2006, 11:19 PM
That sunburst could be an amazing piece all by itself. Now I'm even more excited to see how this develops. :)

TessDB
04-27-2006, 07:43 AM
Thanks, Claire! It'll look better/less congested once I add color.

Tess

Merry Scribe
04-27-2006, 08:27 AM
Tess this is a very beautiful piece I love it. I am not sure what part I like the best or even it I have a best part I love the entire piece. You do such wonderful work.

CPM
04-27-2006, 12:42 PM
A-Plus Tess:clap: ! I love the knotwork weave in the sunburst. I can't wait to see the colors. I am glad you decided to use the open space for drawing instead of the English translation. My advice would be to title the work "One Hundred Thousand Welcomes" and then no one will have to ask:D !! - Chris

TessDB
04-27-2006, 03:45 PM
My advice would be to title the work "One Hundred Thousand Welcomes" and then no one will have to ask:D !!

O Duh!!! :eek: Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees... Thanks Chris.

And thanks for the glowing praise, you guys. made me blush. :o

Tess

TessDB
04-29-2006, 08:43 AM
Update time!

Almost there... trying to decide what goes as the border on the very outside. It feels like it needs something pretty substantial & simple. Maybe just a braid? Dunno. still playing with that part.

The twists on the left side (behind the lettering & between the sunbursts rays) will repeat on the right side, too. Once I'm adding color, they'll be very very much in the background. More texture than actual element.

Any suggestions at this stage? Questions?

Thanks for looking, everyone!
Tess

Flurkiele
04-30-2006, 12:10 PM
You've got a lot of curvy knots, I think an angular braid would be a good idea. BTW, are you doing this on "transparent vellum"? If so, I've never used it and would be interested on how useful it is.

CPM
04-30-2006, 08:41 PM
Tess, This is looking amazing (no need to blush ... I speak the truth). I can't wait to see the color!!. I also asked a friend who si taking an Irish language course here in Boston about the pronounciation and this is what I got: "Cead Mile Failte" is pronounced like "kayd meella faultcha." This sounds like the way my grandfather pronounced it for me when I was much younger. - Chris

TessDB
05-01-2006, 08:03 AM
BTW, are you doing this on "transparent vellum"? If so, I've never used it and would be interested on how useful it is.

Nope. At this stage it's on sketch paper (need something cheap that I don't feel guilty about wadding up into a ball if I goof too badly). It's sturdy enough to take a fair amount of erasing but thin enough I can use it with my lightbox really easily. Once I've got the final draft done, I'll trace it onto stonehenge paper (really soft, cotton print-making paper. Takes colored pencil like a dream). I know Brian (Merry Scribe) uses vellum alot. He might be able to answer your question.

I also asked a friend who si taking an Irish language course here in Boston about the pronounciation and this is what I got: "Cead Mile Failte" is pronounced like "kayd meella faultcha."

Thanks, Chris. I just can't get my tounge to wrap around the "faultcha" part. Tends to come out as "fee-ulch." Much to the dismay of Gaelic speakers everywhere. :rolleyes: Of course, in my neck of the woods, floor is pronounced "flur" and forty is "farty" (go ahead, laugh.) :D

Tess

TessDB
05-07-2006, 08:10 AM
So here it is, the final draft version!

Now to figure out what color goes where... Any suggestions?

Tess

Merry Scribe
05-08-2006, 05:31 AM
So here it is, the final draft version!

Now to figure out what color goes where... Any suggestions?

Tess

WOW :clap: :clap: :clap: Tess this looks like something out of the Book of Kells or the Book of Darrow maybe you should use those same colors that were use in these books.

You are so good and you make it look so easy.

Great job.:thumbsup:

Brian :wave: :D

TessDB
05-08-2006, 07:19 AM
Thanks, Brian!

I played around in photoshop, and I think I've got a rough idea of what's happening now. And really, at this stage, all I need is a rough idea. The green on the border is still up in the air. I'm leaning toward making it brown... But then again... :rolleyes:

Tess

Merry Scribe
05-08-2006, 08:24 AM
Thanks, Brian!

I played around in photoshop, and I think I've got a rough idea of what's happening now. And really, at this stage, all I need is a rough idea. The green on the border is still up in the air. I'm leaning toward making it brown... But then again... :rolleyes:

Tess
Tess being as that I am Irish I like the green border better but the work is looking beautiful.

Brian :wave: :D

CPM
05-08-2006, 08:59 AM
Tess, This is amazing. I love it with the colors (though I am not really crazy about the blue starburst knots on a blue background ... mayby different shades??). I love the shades of green in the boarder! - Chris

Merry Scribe
05-09-2006, 06:28 AM
Tess are you going to teach borders now that your project is almost completed.

Brian:wave: :D

TessDB
05-09-2006, 06:47 AM
Tess, This is amazing. I love it with the colors (though I am not really crazy about the blue starburst knots on a blue background ... mayby different shades??). I love the shades of green in the boarder!

Thanks, Chris-- Really, the one I posted was just to give a general sense of color... And to establish the hot/cool rhythm. The blue is going to be very very different... fading from a dusky grey blue to more of dusky turquoise/blueish green. And the twisty knots will be just ever so much lighter than that. Just enough to see them, but not enough to make them a dominant feature.

Tess are you going to teach borders now that your project is almost completed.

Have I ever mentioned that cp is a realllllyyyy slowwwww medium? I've got at least 30 more hours to go on this puppy... But never fear! I have not forgotten the borders. Hopefully I'll be able to post the first part by the end of the week.

Thanks for looking everyone! I'll update this once I've gotten the "bones" of the color down.

Tess

artjunkie101
05-09-2006, 12:21 PM
This is going to be amazing in color. I can't wait to see the border tutorial as well. :)

TessDB
05-10-2006, 06:08 AM
Thanks, Claire!

It'll probably be the weekend before I can get the tutorial up. I'm having one of those weeks where things explode in front of me & demand my attention... :rolleyes:

Tess

TessDB
05-16-2006, 09:11 AM
Ok-- here's the update. Not nearly as far along as I'd like to be. This is my 3rd run at it. :o What's right in my imagination just doesn't work on paper...

Anyway. I've kinda bogged down, so I'm posting anyway in the hope that it'll keep me motivated to at least *finish* the thing. :cool: Had to do two scans & it didn't stitch together in photoshop very well. Sigh.

c&c etc.

Tess

TessDB
05-17-2006, 09:13 AM
Small update.

I've cross-posted over in CP. If you want to follow along there, here's the link: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=346890

C&c accepted, asked, & begged for!

Tess

CPM
05-17-2006, 11:48 AM
Tess, You're doing an amazing job! :clap: :clap: I like the way teh colors are coming out (the star burst is looking real good):thumbsup: No critique at this point. I love it. Sorry I haven't lokked in on the forum in a few days ... its been wet here ... Luckily, I only have a few damp spots, but I spent a few days at a friends house helping run teh shop-vacs and submersable pumps. :( - Chris

TessDB
05-17-2006, 12:23 PM
Ah, Chris! So sorry to hear how soggy you've been. Meant to send you well-wishes in the thread in P&I. Flooding is no fun. When the '93 floods hit near us, we spent so much time sandbagging & helping others clean up. We were lucky, we're up on the bluffs. But some good friends of ours were hit really really hard. Musicians who's practice space was in a basement along the waterfront... The water came in so fast they lost some of the bigger equipment.

Take care & keep dry.
Tess

TessDB
05-20-2006, 09:16 AM
Another smallish update...

I'm thinking about re-working the very outside border... I don't like what I'd originally planned that much anymore. And I'm a bit at a loss over what color to put in the knotwork around the letters. I had been planning on doing a muted golden thing. But there's an awful lot of that going on already, and seems like it might be a bit much. Any suggestions? What happens there will echo/influence the lavendar twisty parts, which will echo/influence the triangles up top. So ... thoughts anyone?

Thanks for looking!
Tess

TessDB
05-23-2006, 08:54 AM
With dogged determination she soldiers on... :rolleyes:

So here's another update. Still not sure about the outside border, although I need to decide what I'm doing there pretty soon... Not having any better ideas, I'm sticking with the muted/soft golden color around the lettering. Hope it won't be too much...

Any c&c? thoughts?
Thanks for looking in!
Tess

Merry Scribe
05-23-2006, 10:18 AM
With dogged determination she soldiers on... :rolleyes:

So here's another update. Still not sure about the outside border, although I need to decide what I'm doing there pretty soon... Not having any better ideas, I'm sticking with the muted/soft golden color around the lettering. Hope it won't be too much...

Any c&c? thoughts?
Thanks for looking in!
Tess

Tess I really like what you have done here it is very beautiful.:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Brian:wave: :D

CPM
05-23-2006, 02:51 PM
Looking good Tess. I like how you made the sun burst brighter. It really stands out. It may be the picture, but there is not enough value difference in teh blue areas to showcase your knotwork there. I don't think you'd be over-doing it using the muted gold around the letters. The tone of the page is now "sunny" (At the beginning of this thread it was considerably darker). The blues in teh background will keep it from becoming overpowered. - Chris

TessDB
05-24-2006, 07:05 AM
Thanks, Brian! :wave:

It may be the picture, but there is not enough value difference in the blue areas to showcase your knotwork there.

Yah... Lost them sometime sunday morning. A little creative erasing & it should be ok... I wanted 'em kinda buried in the color, but I've gone a wee bit too far with that. :rolleyes:

Thanks for looking!
Tess

TessDB
05-25-2006, 08:22 AM
No, not really an update--

Need opinions on this...

With or Without that very outside border? I've been looking at it w/out for so long I'm not really sure it *needs* it. And I'm not thrilled with that really simple weave anymore, but I'm not coming up with anything better for it...

Thoughts?

Thanks!
Tess

Merry Scribe
05-25-2006, 08:36 AM
My vote is with out Tess

Brian:wave: :D

valchina612
05-25-2006, 09:36 AM
OMG, what awesome work has been happening here while I've been away.
Tess, this is just out of this world -- I love it. And I agree with Brian, that I think I prefer it without the border. Thank goodness we now have this Sub-Forum, as the work is outstanding and such an inspiration.
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Val. :wave:

CPM
05-25-2006, 11:16 AM
Tess, The work is fine without the border. It has an open feeling. The border makes it feel "busier" and more "over-the-top". To me more like a book plate. Given a more subtle coloring, I could like the border (I know the stark black is for example only). - Chris

TessDB
05-26-2006, 07:09 AM
Thanks Brian, Val, & Chris!

I'll keep going without the border, then. The line drawing looks *so* chaotic to me, like it needs that type of a border just to balance it out a bit. The color seems to have tamed it pretty well on its own. One would think I planned it. :rolleyes: :D

Tess

TessDB
05-29-2006, 05:11 PM
Finally, an update!

It's getting close. I see a few things I need to "fix"... like bringing the twisty things back from underneath all that bluey-green stuff. :rolleyes:

c&c etc.

Tess

CPM
05-30-2006, 09:07 AM
Tess, I see an "over-over" weave that you may want to fix ... Just Kidding!! This is fantastic. When I looked at it today the color scheme jumped out at me. You may or may not have intended this, but when you look at it, Dawn is breaking! Your saying "Chris hit the cookouts a little hard this weekend", but the purple up the top looks like the might sky. The sunburst is the rising sun, and the blue color is the morning sky. It looks cool!! - Chris

TessDB
05-31-2006, 07:18 AM
Tess, I see an "over-over" weave that you may want to fix ...

:eek: gasp! :eek: panicpanicpanic... :eek: :eek: :eek:

:lol: Ok, now that my heart has started beating again...:lol:

Bless you. You made my day. That *is* what I intended. Sorta. I was trying to get an earth/sea/sky theme worked in. And the outside border (that I'm skipping) was the earth part. So... thank you!

Tess

CPM
05-31-2006, 09:47 PM
Tess, You hit a home run then! Your effects came through which is a really cool accomplishment (mainly 'cause I'm not that observant in real life ... If I caught on ...). Great job. - Chris

Merry Scribe
05-31-2006, 11:26 PM
Tess I finally got a paying project and I will do it as a WIP because I want to get my buisness going and with all of your help I should be able to. Sorry I have not be home much. All my project have been for free and I am happy to get a real paying project. I guess this makes me a professional calligrapher now.

Brian:wave: :D

TessDB
06-01-2006, 07:05 AM
Thanks, Chris! With my "fixing" I may have gone too far yesterday... :o Thus begins the yo-yo phase. :rolleyes: A smidge bit there means a little more here & now that part there looks wrong & if I do this to that I need to do that to this and ... Can't seem to stop until the paper is threatening mutiny. :cool:

Brian! Congrats on the job! Not sure how much help I'll be, but let's see it!

Thanks for looking, everyone. :wave:
Tess

Merry Scribe
06-01-2006, 10:05 AM
Thanks, Chris! With my "fixing" I may have gone too far yesterday... :o Thus begins the yo-yo phase. :rolleyes: A smidge bit there means a little more here & now that part there looks wrong & if I do this to that I need to do that to this and ... Can't seem to stop until the paper is threatening mutiny. :cool:

Brian! Congrats on the job! Not sure how much help I'll be, but let's see it!

Thanks for looking, everyone. :wave:
Tess

Tess I have not even started the project because the client and I haven't even gotten together yet. Annie my wife is the one who was approached about the job and the client has not spoke to me as of yet but Annie says that the client has seen my work and has hired me. I am so excited I could spit.

I love this project and it is very beautiful I just hope that I can do just as well with this project for hire.

Brian:wave: :D

PS I am still working on the knots and when I master them I will post them. Tess thank you so much for everything you have do you are an angle and I love you for who you are.

TessDB
06-02-2006, 07:29 AM
I am still working on the knots and when I master them I will post them.

Thank you for the kind words, Brian. Whenever you're ready, love to see them.

Okayyyy.... Am I done? Not sure if I need to punch up the sunburst a bit more, and the little spirals up at the top might need something more... Maybe? And the blue might be a bit too much...

Color is a bit off... everything is pretty close to right, but not quite. mutter mutter grumble scanner! :rolleyes: If it's not raining this morning, I'll try to get a pic of it. In the meantime, here ya go!

Tess

CPM
06-02-2006, 08:26 AM
Tess, It is looking fine to me. I wouldn't mess with it too much. The spirals look good and the sunburst is excellent! - Chris

TessDB
06-02-2006, 08:38 AM
Thanks, Chris!

Resisting the compulsion to start fussing with it. Will try to channel my urge to knot into actually finishing some stuff for the border tutorial. :rolleyes:

Yep, small fear of completion. :D
Tess

TessDB
06-10-2006, 07:07 AM
Ok, cats & kittens! I think I'm done. Whew!

There are a couple of areas I'm not sure about, but I'm not telling what they are. ;) Mostly because I'll fuss this one to death given half a chance. So by sheer force of will I'm walking away. If you see something that doesn't seem quite right to you, Please Say Something. But I've stopped trusting my judgement on when to quit... :rolleyes:

I'm also posting a mock-up of how it'll look matted. 16x20, with a 9 1/2x12 1/2 opening.

Let me know if you want to see any detail shots.
Thanks for looking & pushing me along!
Tess

Merry Scribe
06-10-2006, 07:54 AM
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: Oh Tess it is B E A U T I F U L I love it great job.

Brian:wave: :D

CPM
06-12-2006, 02:49 PM
Tess, the final product is amazing! Though I don't know if I would use a black mat. I might try a cerulean or darker blue to pick up the blue inside. The black may overpower your gorgeous colors. - Chris

artjunkie101
06-12-2006, 07:05 PM
Amazing! I've loved watching its progress. However, I agree with Chris that the black mat might not be the most complimentary choice. Either way, wonderful work.

TessDB
06-13-2006, 08:21 AM
Thanks, Brian, Chris & Claire!

I'll try it with some blue mats & see... It seems I'm not quite done. The folks over in cp suggest I tone down the blue & aqua areas. And yep, it was one of the things that was bugging me so.... It's the piece that wouldn't finish! :rolleyes:

Tess

CPM
06-13-2006, 08:58 AM
Tess, Tell the folks in CP they are wrong. The colors need to stay bright. I feel this is a classical book plate style. The Monks kept their works bright! - Chris

Merry Scribe
06-13-2006, 10:07 AM
Tess I agree with Chris this is a classic Celtic Book style and the Monks always used bright colors to glorify God. So I think that you should stay with the bright colors.

Plus it is such a beautiful piece why would you want to shroud it in dorkness.

Brian:wave: :D