You’ve just finished a scroll and now it’s time to sit back with a satisfied smile and an appropriate drink. But wait, are you really finished? Here’s some things to look for before you turn in your scroll:
- Proofread the text.
It’s best to do the calligraphy and proofread the text before you do the painting on a scroll, but just in case, proofread it again. Make sure the name of the recipient and the Crown are correct. Also make sure you have the correct award and award date. If you find a mistake, some can be easily fixed. Other mistakes may be harder, but there is almost always a way to make a correction. If you can’t figure one out, consult other scribes for suggestions.
- Is everything painted?
It’s easy to miss painting a corner or a small bug or single flower. Look over the scroll to make sure that everything is painted. Also, check to make sure that everything that needs embellishment is done. In a complex piece it’s very easy to miss a detail.
- Is everything outlined that needs it?
Not all styles of illumination require that all things be outlined, but a number of them do. Go back and look at your inspiration piece and see where and what kind of outlines are needed. Many things are outlined in black using a crow quill or a brush. Some things are outlined in the same shade as the motif (or sometimes a darker tone of the main color of the motif).
- Are there signature lines?
It’s generally a lot easier for monarchs to sign scrolls when they know exactly where to sign, so at minimum leave pencil lines for them to sign on. I think a scroll looks more finished when the signature lines are inked in rather than penciled (unless you plan to erase the pencil line afterward). It’s also a nice touch to label the signature lines (usually underneath) with Rex/Regina, King/Queen or something similar.
- Is there seal space?
Please make sure to leave enough space for the seals. It’s ok to have a seal cover part of the design, but the seals generally stick better if the area is not completely painted over. Please mark the center of where you want the seal to go. An X is fine, as is leaving a crown for the Kingdom seal and crossed trumpets for the Herald’s seal, or the initials KS and HS, or something. Please don’t leave the entire penciled circle for the seals, as the seals often don’t spread enough to cover all the pencil line.
- Sign the scroll
At the minimum sign your name on the scroll in pencil, on the back near the top of the scroll. You can also add your email address, and any information about the scroll you want the recipient to have such as materials especially if you used any toxic pigments, such as white lead, manuscripts that served as inspiration, etc. You may also want to add a signature or makers mark to the front, but make sure those are small and discreet.
- Take a picture.
Take a picture of your scroll for your records. While you are at it, gather your layout, calligraphy practice sheets, exemplar images, and other bits and bobs and make a folder. If you do a similar style, it will come in handy.
- Make some notes.
Take a good look at your scroll and pick out things that went well, and things that you would do different next time. Add those notes to your folder.