After the lettering is completed, my work is prepared for the colouring and gilding stage. I go through an extensive erasing stage.
The x-acto blade is used if I have any letters that caught a fibre of the paper while I was working and just need to be refined. I usually can easily make corrections with the blade. After the ink is scraped or sculpted a bit, I will use the back of the blade to smooth out the paper. If necessary, I will use a fine sandpaper over gum sandrac to burnish the paper back to its original condition.
After the corrections are made, the piece is gilded and painted.
The piece is lettered in Old Word Iron Gall ink. I used watercolour to paint the florals. Final embellishment was a touch of gilding with Palladium and some Sakura Gelly Roll pen in Clear Stardust. There is also a very faint application of silver pastel and some Stardust Finetec. I honestly savour every step of this process because I am trying to keep my mind in tune with the artwork itself. These vows are so special to the couple and we as calligraphers have the privilege of being invited in to commemorate these words. I try to clear my desk at every stage of the project to avoid any potential hazards on my desk. I find that after erasing stage, it is a good idea to completely wash down my desk to make sure everything is ready for gilding and painting.