Thursday, September 8, 2011

Restful R!

These days are absolutely packed with travel, study, commission work and teaching. But I still love the time I get to try to plan and design one of these Victorian style letters. I spent the day studying Persian manuscripts. I think I am so attracted to the strong, vibrant colours while they are still technically pastel colours. I see the underlying white in the palette and I have been doing some experimenting with it. The dark black calligraphic lines intermingled with the pastel floral flourishes are fascinating to me. I wasn't brave enough to do the script letter in black but maybe next time. After filling my mind with beautiful Persian manuscripts I tried to go sleep. I woke up in the middle of the night with an idea for my letter R. I recorded the sketch in my journal beside the bed and my little book light.
In the morning, I had the design ready and all I needed to do was transfer it to my watercolour paper and paint away! Finished design is 1"x 5" on Fabriano HP paper and is rasied gilded with 23 K gold leaf. I mixed bleedproof white with Sap Green, Hooker's Green, Rose Carmine, Alizarin Crimson, Winsor Blue and Horizon Blue to achieve the pastel colours. Diane Townsend pastel burnish in the background with Holbein Brilliant gold gouache accent strokes.


Jody Meese said...


Heather Victoria Held said...

Thanks Jody!!!

Dana said...

Very regal, Heather.

I love seeing your sketchbook. Whatever you started on the left page, I would love to see more - looks very interesting.

Safe travels.


Heather Victoria Held said...

Hi Dana,

The left side of the page started out in scroll work design. I did that during the day. My sketch book is full of them these days! The first foliate extension on the left page was sketched in the middle of the night and then expanded to include the R on the right hand side.


Joseph Chapman said...

As we say in Massachusetts, that's a fine Ah, Heathah.

Heather Victoria Held said...

Well spoken Sir!!!!!


Jane Farr said...

Heather, you create beautiful letters even while you're sleeping! I find your dedication to studying old manuscripts inspiring. Thank you for sharing your other sketches too; they're lovely!

Heather Victoria Held said...

Thanks Jane!!!