Make Your Letters Glow
Filled with step-by-step instructions on how to create all manner of different pieces of your own calligraphy it is a little difficult to choose from the array on display on each delightful page. Examples of the illustrated pages decorated and gilded as near to the traditional way as possible are riveting to see, as one can only wonder how much skill and devotion must have gone into the work. Within the instructions given on how to do the work itself is a chance for the layman to copy the styles should they want to try their hand at this detailed and most trying of art forms. Practice does make perfect, as does a steady hand, most importantly of all is patience as it plays an important part of it as there will be a compulsion to get it right.
Starting with the different papers needed, from standard cartridge paper to smooth or rough watercolor paper, the results will be different and effective once the novice has got used to the workmanship that goes into it. Dip pens with varying nibs, inks, traditional ones from China and Japan, bottled varieties and sticks are also encouraged as are designers' gouache.
The novice will note that there are a lot of materials so it could prove to be an expensive hobby unless it is bought at separate times when affordable. Each material and tool provides different and lasting effects. Moving onto Illumination tools introduces the reader to brushes of different sizes, gilding tools and burnishes as well as the paints used to make gilding and that if used correctly it can be a rewarding process. This only forms an introductory part of the book and how to make gild is discussed in a later section.
The book mentions ten of the many lettering styles and how to develop them as it does illustrate the right way to write them. It can appear to be complex on first looking, but as this takes you through the different terms of calligraphy like ascender, serifs and descender all in layman's terms all will become clearer once it moves onto the letterforms available from Gothic, Roman to Formal and Uncial.
Moving into background washes, layout principals and texture techniques it all seems like something to plunge through until it comes to exactly how to write the letterforms step-by-step and reaching what the novice has been waiting for all the way through the book, the Celtic illumination letters in gold and pen or colour.
Such beautiful looking crafted letters are simply the icing on the cake in this book and every attention to detail has been made to each one.
Many have been taken as examples from a page of St. Matthew's Gospel, the Book of Kells, and others from the Lindisfarne Gospels look enchanting in the pages and the reader will not be able to help wanting to have a go at recreating them. It contains much more than many books on this kind of craft, leaving the reader with a beautiful gallery of illustrated art at the end, and an undeniable instinct to make full use of such a great and in-depth book.