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View Full Version : Eagle of St. John Book of Kells WIP


Merry Scribe
08-14-2006, 08:27 AM
I love the Book of Kells so Annie and I are doing a series of the Book of Kells on wood for the craft fairs that are coming up this spring and winter. This one is the Eagle of St John for the Gospel of St. Matthew in the Book of Kells. It is being done on Basswood with the bark still on it. It is a Basswood plank 8" x 11".

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_of_St._John_with_halo_and_crosses.__The_Book_of_Kells.jpg
This one is going to be a challenge for the both of us and I hope that it turns out alright. We are trying to keep this forum alive by doing different Illuminations on wood. Just to show that calligraphy and Illumination can be done on different mdiums. We hope to have people follow our progress and give comments.

The following is blown up so you can see that the image is done in pencil and then I will burn it in. once I burn it Annie will color it.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_of_St_John_enlarged.jpg

CPM
08-14-2006, 02:27 PM
Brian, This will be a challenge. You have a lot of detail to highlight. i can't wait to see the updates on this one. -Chris

Merry Scribe
08-14-2006, 05:09 PM
This is a update of what I have done so far.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_of_St_John_2.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_enlarged.jpg

I have some fruff stops by I an hoping that Annie will be able to correct them when she colors him.

Merry Scribe
08-14-2006, 06:50 PM
This is a further update:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_3.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_4.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_5.jpg

Blessed Be

Merry Scribe
08-14-2006, 07:45 PM
My part of this piece is done:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_6.jpg

Now Annie's part begins and that is the hardest part in my eyes. She is going to duplicate the original colors using pastels and oil pencils... wish her luck y'all this should turn out very well if I know my Annie.

Blessed Be

Merry Scribe
08-14-2006, 09:50 PM
Annie started to fill in the background using pastels and rubbing yellow with brown to get the old gold effect.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_7.jpg

The effect is starting to look like the monks did it. "So says Brian - actually, I was initially terrified to do this. I don't even begin to think of myself as an artist - I have too much respect for art. Anyway, let us know what you think".

Blessed Be

Merry Scribe
08-14-2006, 11:01 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_8.jpg

"Obviously, I have a lot of erasing to do, but the background color is on and blended about as well as I can. Blessed be".

Merry Scribe
08-15-2006, 12:47 AM
Annie tweaked the background color a bit and I think we have it the way we want it. Next Annie will start to color the eagle.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_9.jpg

Blessed Be

cjstein_2000
08-15-2006, 02:47 AM
Looking good I'm going to have a go at some celtic designs.
Jim

TessDB
08-15-2006, 08:35 AM
Cool, Brian & Annie!

Really really ambitious.

Just a quick thing to watch... there's something going a little wonky with the over/under weave where the tail/wing meet. Can't remember if that's one of the areas the monks goofed, too... (hmmm. where did i leave that book about Kells??? gotta clean off this desk...)

The background color looks great. Small suggestion for next time, 'cause it's liable to take some practice. Try working some blue/cool tones in next to your main object to push it back. I know the original is really flat looking, but you can maintain tradition while enhancing it, y'know?

Waiting for that update!
Tess

Merry Scribe
08-16-2006, 07:34 PM
Cool, Brian & Annie!

Really really ambitious.

Just a quick thing to watch... there's something going a little wonky with the over/under weave where the tail/wing meet. Can't remember if that's one of the areas the monks goofed, too... (hmmm. where did i leave that book about Kells??? gotta clean off this desk...)

The background color looks great. Small suggestion for next time, 'cause it's liable to take some practice. Try working some blue/cool tones in next to your main object to push it back. I know the original is really flat looking, but you can maintain tradition while enhancing it, y'know?

Waiting for that update!
Tess

"Tess, you got some 'splainin' to do! I can sort of see what you're referring to, but I'm not quite sure and surely terrified to outline with blue. Besides blue, what other "cool' tones could I use? Also, how far out from the edge of the image should I blend it? Do you mean a very, tiny, light amount? Can you be a little more specific? I haven't had an art class since high school and we never did this kind of thing, believe me. (In case you and others haven't picked up on this yet, if Brian is posting, he will just type his post. Mine will always be in quotes, OK?)" Annie

TessDB
08-17-2006, 08:09 AM
Whoops! :o I was a little vague, wasn't I? Sorry Annie!

Ok, you're working with pastels & colored pencil to do the background, right? Since both of those mediums will allow you to layer colors & blend them, I meant work some cool tones into the background colors just to push the background *back* and help your main object to pop.

"cool" colors, for the most part, are blues, purples/violets that aren't too heavy on red, and greens that aren't too heavy on yellow. Cool colors, as long as they aren't too vibrant, will retreat from the viewer's eye. Warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows, greens w/lots of yellow, purples w/lots of red, etc.) appear to come forward.

It's going to take practice, so I'm not saying try it on this one. get some wood scraps & see what you can do. I pulled the last update into photoshop to (sloppily) show you what I mean.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Aug-2006/46497-KellsAdjust.jpg

I used a very soft dusky blue on top of your golden/reddish background on one side. Do you see what I'm talking about? For that color of background, I'd play around with really soft & light blues or really soft & light violets. And I'd do it early on, putting the yellow/gold/reddish colors you're using on top of it, so it isn't so obvious. Hope I'm making sense. Coffee isn't doing much for me this morning...

Tess

Merry Scribe
08-17-2006, 09:07 AM
Annie has started to color the eagle now and the halo has been completed. This work is going slow but we want it to be well done.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_Paint_1.jpg

Close up of head:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Aug-2006/75646-Eagles_head_001.jpg

This project is really fun for the both of us and we really like the fact that we are able to do this together. We have always been able to complement each other in other areas of our lives and we find that we work well together in this also.

Blessed Be

Merry Scribe
08-17-2006, 09:34 AM
Whoops! :o I was a little vague, wasn't I? Sorry Annie!

Ok, you're working with pastels & colored pencil to do the background, right? Since both of those mediums will allow you to layer colors & blend them, I meant work some cool tones into the background colors just to push the background *back* and help your main object to pop.

"cool" colors, for the most part, are blues, purples/violets that aren't too heavy on red, and greens that aren't too heavy on yellow. Cool colors, as long as they aren't too vibrant, will retreat from the viewer's eye. Warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows, greens w/lots of yellow, purples w/lots of red, etc.) appear to come forward.

It's going to take practice, so I'm not saying try it on this one. get some wood scraps & see what you can do. I pulled the last update into photoshop to (sloppily) show you what I mean.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Aug-2006/46497-KellsAdjust.jpg

I used a very soft dusky blue on top of your golden/reddish background on one side. Do you see what I'm talking about? For that color of background, I'd play around with really soft & light blues or really soft & light violets. And I'd do it early on, putting the yellow/gold/reddish colors you're using on top of it, so it isn't so obvious. Hope I'm making sense. Coffee isn't doing much for me this morning...

Tess

Tess we do see what you are talking about and we also see that it is going to take a lot of practice. We appreciate your in put and teaching us different ways to make traditional art look better and yet keeping the traditional art traditional. Thanks again and have a good day.

Blessed Be.

Merry Scribe
08-17-2006, 11:55 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Aug-2006/75646-Eaglle_step_2_001.jpg

"Here is the next step for our eagle. I've used a red gel pen on the left wing, the halo and parts of the head, contrasted with a gold metallic gel pen, as well as white pencil on the main part of his face and white pencil contrasted with the red gel on his wing. All of the red is gone over twice to deepen the color. There is also black pencil at the base of his tail and his mouth and mohogany (first coat) followed by a darker brown pencil (second coat) on the pedestal where his feet rest. I am trying my best to channel the monk (so to speak) and to stay as true to the original work as possible. I don't know how successful this will turn out to be since the breast feathers will be the real challenge for me with auburn, violet, light and dark blues all rolling from one to another in the original. I hope to have this finished by Saturday as another semester is about to start for me and Brian will no longer have a wife (so he says). I have found this image on the net and am using it as my guide, taking into consideration over 1800 years of wear and tear. Anyway, nighty-night! Sleep tight, everyone. We love you all and thanks for your support"! Comments are always welcome. Blessed Be. Annie"

Merry Scribe
08-19-2006, 10:51 PM
Annie is moving on and we hope that it will be done Sunday. She changed the white color pencil to silver gel pen because she did not like the way the white pencil was coming out. She also went over the gold to make it come out better.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_full_wing.jpg

Close up of the wings and feet.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_full_wing_2.jpg

Blessed Be

Merry Scribe
08-20-2006, 01:30 AM
WE went over some of the colors that we done in pencil and did them in gel pen mostly the gold and the red. The first inmage is the upper body.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_upper_body.jpg

The next image is the lower body.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_lower_body.jpg

We are trying to make the colors brighter so they show up better.
The next image is the entire body.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_whole_body.jpg

I wish that the picture was of better quality but you should get the complete picture. This has been the hardest project we have done so far and we are hoping that it will turn out well when we are done. Any hell that y'all can give will be much appreciated. We are going to put these pieces up for sale at the craft shows and Ren Fairs that are coming up. The next fair that we have applied for is on November 18th. We are hoping to have at least a 12 pieces maybe more.

So please give us all your advice and Ideas that you have to make our piece better.

Blessed Be Brian

TessDB
08-20-2006, 08:05 AM
Any hell that y'all can give will be much appreciated.

Is that "hell" or "help", Brian? 'Cause y'know, I can dish out either... :evil:

I think it's looking good. I'm not sure if it's the pic or my monitor or...? My eye wants the colors to go deeper somehow, a bit more vibrant. But that's probably for the next one, eh?

I wish you both all the luck in the world with these! One of these days I'll get organized & brave enough to actually put my stuff out for sale... :cool:

Tess

Merry Scribe
08-20-2006, 11:08 PM
Here is the lastest update we did not get him finished today maybe tomorrow.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_almost_finished.jpg

You can see that we do not have very much left to do. We recieved a call from our daughter, (the one who's name sake my hand has), so we did not get him finished.

Blessed Be

Merry Scribe
08-22-2006, 11:18 AM
Annie is getting closer to finishing and here is what she has done so far:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_almost_finished.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Aug-2006/75646-Eagle_almost_finished_close_up_bottom.jpg

Blessed Be