Welcome to another look into my ongoing Book of Shadows project. This post shows the steps taken in creating knotwork designs;
2. (Preliminary) Inking:
3. Colouring in progress:
4. Colouring complete:
Tah dah! Stay tuned for the next post, which will be a visual overview of completed pages. 🙂
Welcome to the second installment of the new Book of Shadows category! This post illustrates the several steps taken in creating a full-page knotwork design.
First, it’s pencilled in, and then inked in black around the edges;
Once all the outlines have been inked, the whole page is cleaned up with an eraser (I use a 2B pencil for the drafting, so there tends to be a bit of smudged graphite across the page, in addition to the drafting itself);
Finally, the whole thing is coloured – for full page designs I tend to use Faber-Castell connector textas, which are nice and bright but don’t seep through the page. For smaller designs, I colour them using extremely fine-tipped felt pens. I then highlight the edges using appropriately-coloured metallic pens (unfortunately, this doesn’t show up very well in this picture);
Stay tuned for more photographs of the lettering process, and the illuminated details scattered throughout!
What is a Book of Shadows? It’s basically a ‘magickal diary’ for NeoPagans, containing lore, rituals, notes, meditations, and pretty much anything else related to their magickal practice.
I’ve started collating all of my old Book of Shadows’ into one major undertaking; a beautiful Medieval-illuminated-manuscript style book. After tea staining all of the pages to make them look old, each page is ruled, the words sketched in, then inked in, and any decorative elements are inked and coloured. This labour-intensive process makes the whole activity quite meditative (not to mention being a great way to make the information stick in my brain, since I’m essentially writing it out twice).
In future, these posts will contain stage-by-stage photographs of the drafting and inking processes. But for this introductory post, here’s what the exterior of the book looks like:
And the title page:
The first two pages:
And a close-up of one of the sketch details spread throughout the book:
Join me next time for stage by stage photographs of the process of creating Celtic knotwork and calligraphic writing!
I ought to preface this with: this is not an original design!! I do not have the patience or imagination to come up with something like this. I just observed the traditional Buddhist representations of Sita Tara (White Tara), found some I particularly liked, and based the drawing on those (occasionally glossing-over the hard to draw parts, heh).
The observant among you will notice that there are some hideous flowers at the bottom of the ink-only version, which have miraculously been transformed into Sanskrit in the pencilled version. This is where I failed, drew ugly-arsed flowers, and gave in and admitted I’d have to take white-out to my lovely work. *sigh* Damn you, nature!
Some more notes (because I’m anal-retentive that way): obviously, I’m a NeoPagan, not a Buddhist, and I very much dislike people who just appropriate other cultures without any regards to research or culture. That being said, I spent most of my teenage years doing extensive research into Buddhism and Hinduism: I am certainly not a Buddhist, but there are many aspects of Mahayana/Zen practice (but not necessarily beliefs) that appeal to me.
I personally agree with the Mahayana belief that the boddhisatvas are not Gods, therefore I see no reason why I can’t admire their characteristics and what they represent, without insulting either them or the theological framework in which I work. However, as much as possible, I try and do so within the context of the culture; hence my fondness for Zen-style meditation, and creating mandalas which I then destroy. I think I’ll keep this picture though, I’m rather proud of it (and that, folks, is why I’m not a Buddhist).
Questions? Comments? Haven’t had a good religious discussion in quite some time, feel free to fill the void!
Done in about 5-10 minutes; the actual position of the model is a bit odd (semi-arabesque? her right foot was hard to draw), but I think the proportions are right. Feel free to comment/critique.