Now that Val Day is over, my crazy, hectic week is done, and the award has been presented, I can post a picture of the scroll I did for Her Excellency Zaynab, outgoing Baroness of Andelcrag. Two of the scrolls I’ve received were illuminated by Zaynab, so I was really happy to be able to return the favor to her on this project.
Zaynab does an Ottoman persona in the SCA, so I did some looking at Turkish/Ottoman manuscripts and other decorative items like ceramic tiles. My vision for this evolved somewhat as I prepped and worked on it and I ultimately ended up taking a lot of inspiration from a Turkish Qur’an that is dated to the late 19th century – out of period for the SCA, but the stylistic elements of Turkish design didn’t really change significantly, especially for manuscript illumination like this.
Overall I’m pretty happy with the way the finished piece turned out, even though it’s very different from my original plans. The only thing I really didn’t like is the uneven color in the blue area of the design – something I need to work on in terms of painting technique. A friend of mine is teaching a class on just that issue at a small heraldic and scribal symposium next week, so I’m hoping to pick up some tips there! The script is a false Arabic hand that is actually written in English, but made to look like Arabic. I could have lined up the edges of the text a little better, since Arabic is typically written right to left, but in general I think it looks all right. I like the way the gold details caught the light in this photo!