Book of Kells Scroll

Lily Morgaine of The East, Barony of An Dubhaigeainn

Scroll made for Silver Tyger backlogged award.  Based on the Book of Kells.  This exemplar was chosen since the scroll recipient had an 8th century Pictish persona and Kells was of a similar time and place.  I chose to put his personal symbol, the boar, at the top of the page in purple, which is the color of his household.  I also incorporated other Pictish symbols that are important to him.

I researched the Book of Kells itself, finding out what types of pigments were used, even writing to the Librarian at Trinity College in Dublin where the manuscript is displayed to get further information.  Although she confirmed that no gold was used in the manuscript (yellow orpiment gives what looks like a gold color) I decided to add some gold paint to the scroll to make it a bit more special.  When the painting was originally made it would have been very bright. I did not want it to look like a child had made it, so I chose to match the colors more to the aged document, giving it a slightly more muted and warm tone than it would have been originally.  

I first drew the main layout of the scroll on 14″x17″Strathmore Bristol paper. This was far more complex than I realized (which was going to become the theme for this scroll). I then drew in the guidelines for the calligraphy.  I used an India Ink in an insular majuscule hand for the calligraphy, my first-time doing calligraphy on a scroll (words by Aislinn of Surtr’s Brood). I painted the sections that I wanted to be gold first and then moved on to the other areas.  Painting with gouache in sections, starting with what was simpler then moving on to the more complex.  This was a great learning piece for me and helped me expand my skills.  

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7 thoughts on “Book of Kells Scroll

  1. That is breathtakingly beautiful! I could stare at the details for hours.

  2. Your brush control, color usage and perfect line work is absolutely incredible!! LOVE LOVE!!

  3. This is so gorgeous! Wonderful color choices, it looks vivid without being cartoonish. Wonderful composition!

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