Kingdom Arms by Robin of Thornwood Calligraphy by Robin of Thornwood Populous Badge by Robin of Thornwood

The Snow Maiden19 views2016-03-20. Order of the Rose Leaf (a West Kingdom arts award) scroll for Lady Finna kǫttr Goðormsdóttir on black drawing paper with permanent white ink, gouache, and aluminum leaf. The scroll measures 9 x 12 inches and took nine hours to complete, not counting several hours of research, layout, and calligraphy practice.Tatiana Nikolaevna
A Scribal Challenge – 12 For 12th Night12 views2016-02-06. Countess Eliska z Jihlavy, Chancellor of Scribes, issued a challenge to the College of Scribes on January 6th, 2015, to produce 12 scrolls over the upcoming year, to be completed by the next 12th Night Coronation. As a reward, the winner would be given a prize: a scroll done by one or more Western Laurels for their own. This idea was worthy of great merit and I announced that I would collaborate on or produce that scroll.
I had been pondering a couple of “Russian lacquer box” scroll ideas based on fairy tales, either the Snow Maiden or the Firebird. For that I needed a Russian-flavored hand, so dusted off a simple one that’s derived from loosely from the Kiev Psalter and began to practice.
Tatiana Nikolaevna
F Is For Finna18 views2016-03-11. Turned out there were two winners, and neither of them had any outstanding award scrolls. The Crown was approached and eventually They decided to bestow a Rose Leaf upon Lady Finna, so work could begin. Settled on doing the Snow Maiden for Finna as I knew the other winner would like the Firebird, so finalized the layout. If possible, I like to begin the text with the first letter of the recipient’s name and needed a letter F that would work with the Russian-flavored hand, which unfortunately doesn’t have majuscules. Or maybe it doesn’t have minuscule. Anyway, I didn’t like the letter F in that hand blown up in size, so made up one. The main figure would go down in the corner, and decided rather than have a diapered background or solid color behind the majuscule, which would have made it top-heavy, to leave it “open” and continue the background tree right up into it, to tie it into the marginalia.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Return Of The Black Scrolls13 views2016-03-12. Here is the calligraphy underway, in Winsor & Newton Permanent White ink on 9 x 12 inch black paper, using a 1mm Brause nib, because I thought the 1.5 nib from the practice made the letters just a little too heavy and blocky at that size. They needed to be more rectangular to get that nice, elongate, angular look.Tatiana Nikolaevna
A Winter Night22 views2016-03-15. The calligraphy is done and work is starting on the side-bar scene. The majuscule and its surrounding frame have been painted in with two coats of gesso, preparation for the application of aluminum leaf (we don’t use silver leaf because it tarnishes black over time). The snowy ground has been painted in with various shades of blue-lavender, getting bluer and colder towards the back, pinker and warmer towards the front, the lightest and warmest color being about the figure. The blue-lavender was also dulled/de-saturated by the addition of yellow ochre as it recedes from the viewer. Dark shadows were roughed in. Note that the lines for the Royal signatures weren’t yet inked in, just in case the scene below needed a bit more room or something.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Snegurochka Starts To Take Shape15 views2016-03-15. The rest of the background has been painted, except the foreground trees, which would come last. All the colors of the background trees, with their snowy branches, ware mixed with the addition of ultramarine blue, then the colors were dulled down with the addition of some white and sometimes the complementary color. Everything in the background has to be lighter and less colorful than anything in the foreground, to make it drop back into the distance. All the edges were also blurred with a damp brush. Here the face is just being started, which was quite challenging as it was smaller than my thumbnail.Tatiana Nikolaevna
A Winter Stroll20 views2016-03-15. Snegurochka, the Snow Maiden, has been togged out in her signature white fur and sky-blue shuba. The color is a mixture of cerulean blue and white, warmed by the addition of some viridian green. She is dressed in warm blue (as her father, King Winter, is generally depicted in cool navy blue). Three foreground pine trees have been placed, with lots of extremely dark green. The snow on their branches is much lighter than the snow on the background trees, but not as light as the snow around the figure else they’d be too distracting. Aluminum leaf has been applied to the majuscule, its frame, and the tabs on the maiden’s shuba.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Let It Snow14 views2016-03-15. The Royal signature lines have been placed. The majuscule has been outlined with a cool dark blue. Some detailing lines surround it, done with a very light warm lavender, and snowflakes added at the corners and as line-fillers in the text. There’s some detailing on the snowflakes done in a darker blue-lavender, with itty bitty white highlights. A little bit of powdered aluminum mixed with gum arabic and water was then dabbed in a few places on the snowy landscape so it’ll sparkle at certain angles. The red roundel is a paper template, indicating where the Kingdom seal normally would be placed. After the Kingdom herald refused my request that a seal be poured out separately and then cemented to the artwork, on the completed scroll that space has been painted out. Also noticed that I’d misspelled the King’s name (I had it right in the text printout, wrong in my writing) so that was corrected.Tatiana Nikolaevna
The Inspiration14 views2016-03-15. Viktor Vasnetsov’s 1899 painting, “Снегу́рочка” [ “Snow Maiden”] was the inspiration for this work.Tatiana Nikolaevna
The Tale of the Snow Maiden13 views2016-03-22 -- As I wasn't sure if Finna was familiar with the fairy tale, decided to letter out the story for her on another piece of black 9 x 12 inch drawing paper to go with the scroll. It probably would have been better to have lettered it up on the back of the finished piece, but a) didn't want to risk messing it up as I'm not the world's best calligrapher, and b) I'd already written the standard salutation/explanation on the back, which informs the recipient of what materials were used, the inspiration for the piece, how long it took, any words of congratulations, and how to contact me if anything ever happens to their scroll (may G-d protect them). This turned out pretty well and it's my first time doing a piece with no illumination; nothing but calligraphy (how dull!).Tatiana Nikolaevna
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