Manesse what now?

The Codex Manesse is one of the more popular manuscripts people like to use as scrolls, wall coverings etc... It's easy to see why when you go look at it here. And you can even copy the entire thing as a PDF file if you like. Makes it super easy to copy from if you have a tablet!

The images are clean, precise and easy to either trace or copy. Elegant and simple, deceptively so. I've used images from this manuscript twice, you can see them both here. Once for an AoA of a dear friend who is German and has a persona from roughly this time period and the other for a Laurel scroll for someone also a friend.

It's not easy to get this style right, especially if you are like me and fabric folds have you flummoxed (Alliteration always awesome!) I can appreciate it and I enjoy looking at the book online I can't say it's my favourite style to make scrolls from. I'm a girl who leans far more to the French 1400-1500s myself. (French manuscript illumination is like walking into a fancy patisserie and ordering the most expensive thing on the menu then taking all afternoon with a really excellent cup of coffee to eat it bite by bite.)

I learned a lot from these two pieces though, about copying a style I wasn't overly familiar with and wasn't terribly sure I liked, as well as dealing with a simple style that doesn't leave a lot of room for mistakes. And that's the thing about simple, really it isn't because it looks so clean, so uncluttered you have a lot less room to frak it up. I suppose at some point I'll get around to using this manuscript as a template for another scroll but I don't really like to copy stuff directly so I tend to stay away from doing this especially if it's a style I'm not madly in love with. Plus a lot of people use it and I'm kind of a fan of being somewhat original.

The specs:
Water colour, gouache, (W&N and Schminke) on Pergamenata 250gm/sq meter. The AoA has gold leaf on the Majuscule. Both are inked with oak.gall ink and W&N red calligraphy inks, both capital letters are painted with gouache. The AoA is around A4 size and the Laurel scroll is somewhere between A3 and A2, so quite big. And judging by how straight the lines are by this time I've learned about the almighty Ames lettering guide.

Neither of these were traced, everything is free drawn

No comments:

Post a Comment