Scribe stuff and other things!

Sheesh, it’s been forever since I’ve done a blog.  (I need to keep this thing up more regularly.)

So, the last year, I’ve been studying Hebrew and this past Friday night I did an adult Bat Mitzvah with my mom and 4 members of the Hebrew class.  It’s a pretty amazing experience and the study of Hebrew and the prayers and my Torah portion took a fair percentage of my free time.  Now, though it’s time to clear the decks and get my scroll backlog cleaned up.

I’m working on this scroll, it’s really not the top priority scroll on my list, but it’s the one that calls to me the most right now to get it done.

Scroll in progress

Here’s the rough layout. I need to do a little more clean-up on it. The vines will be white with grey shading.  The background will be an ochre color. The flowers will all be natural (more or less).


Calligraphy practice 2Here’s the latest calligraphy practice.  I think I ought to practice the entire text 2-3 more times before putting it on the good paper.  I’m planning on using pergamenata for this one.  I’m really looking forward to painting it! Continue reading


Finishing the layout

My apologies, I’m having computer problems that are preventing me from uploading pictures to WordPress.

Here’s a link to the final layout:!/photo.php?fbid=10152092108845349&set=a.80996840348.77509.673035348&type=1&theater

I used a lightbox to transfer most of the motifs, but noticed the two Turkish fighters were really in the wrong place and I had to erase them and move them over about 1/2 inch. A half-inch doesn’t seem like much and if I’d already starting painting the scroll I wouldn’t have bothered. But in the pencil stage there is still opportunity to make changes. Deciding to making a change at the pencil stage depends in large part on how hard making the change is and the impact on the final result. Something hard to redo that won’t make a big difference, probably isn’t worth the time and effort. Something easy that really shows should be changed. Everything in between needs to be considered. Sometimes, it’s good to put the whole thing down and take a break or not look at it at all until the next day. Sometimes you really need fresh eyes (and sometimes it’s good to get an objective outside opinion).

After I transferred everything, I went back and free-handed some embellishment for areas where the lightbox really only gave me the outside lines.

The next step is painting!

More layout

I transferred the capital letter by tracing it on to some tracing paper, then covering the back with pencil, flipping it over and tracing it back.  That left a faint image on my graph paper, which I copied again, changing the shape of the letter just slightly.  The emblazon I transferred to my graph paper layout using a light box.  It was easier to get the spacing for the letter using graph paper.  And then easier to use the light box to transfer the arms.  Then I free-handed a fencing helm and mantling above the shield, based on a drawing I found online.

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I had sketched in a squiggly line from the helm to the letter, but looking back at my examples, it didn’t really fit (and the squiggly line across the top is probably going to be changed.

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Reposted from Facebook:

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Armed with ruler, eraser, graph paper, mechanical pencil and copies of style pages, emblazon, capital letter and graphic of Turkish fighters, I’m ready to start my second favorite part of the process:  The layout!  First I decided the scroll is going to be 11 x 14 and I’m going to do it on smooth or vellum finish bristol board.  And it’s going to be portrait style, that is taller than wide.  I took a large piece of graph paper and marked off the outside edge of an 11×14 space.  Then I penciled in margins of 1 inch all the way around, plus 1-1/4 on the bottom.  I blocked out the bottom 2 inches for seals and signatures (expecting the small seals to be ready by the time this is done.)

I made smaller versions of the arms, capital letter and Turkish fighters with my printer/copier (best investment ever for a scribe:  Having a printer that will enlarge and reduce copies of things.)  I could do the same thing scanning pieces and enlarging them with Photoshop, or enlarging them by hand, but this is a big time saver.  Once I got these elements on the graph paper, I realized they needed to be a bit smaller.