Walk with the Dreamers

Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful… This sentiment appealed to me long before the need to stay positive in the face of a global pandemic. But it’s worth rereading and reminding myself, nonetheless, and I hope you find it sound advice too. Usually I don’t have time for illuminated letters and lavish decoration in my journal, but a rainy Sunday seemed like the perfect time to work on something highly detailed.

Tips and Techniques– There are so many beautiful illuminated manuscripts that you can use as reference for elaborate borders and text. Try a quick Internet search for images (“illuminated manuscripts”) and you’ll be lost for hours looking at letters and borders and wondering how anyone ever created such masterpieces by candlelight. I sketched this border in pencil and painted it in gouache. The gold is ink, painted on the page. I wrote the first sentence of text with a stub-nib Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen and the rest with a regular nib. You could use a dip pen, if you prefer. My favorite books for calligraphy:

The Art of Calligraphy, A practical guide to the skills and techniques by David Harris
The Bible of Illuminated Letters by Margaret Morgan
The Speedball Textbook (I have the 22nd edition, but current edition is very similar)