… I was about to try and pull an Orhan Pamuk and have the drawing I did in the scriptorium tell you about itself, but I thought twice (and apologize for even thinking of it). Anyway, as he would have told you, I had a great time with it.
I looked around online for awhile for different letters to draw inspiration from. I decided to do a letter T, for my last name (then I figure my parents could have it, and, you know, display some pride in their lineage), and these are the ones I decided to jump from:
I thought an angel would be a lot of fun, and the letter seemed interesting, but doable– and not like it would distract from the angel part of it. I decided to make it a specific angel: the archangel Raphael, who is the Catholic angel of healing. He’s the youngest of the archangels (the others being Michael the warrior, Gabriel the messenger, and Lucifer the beautiful, who… well, you know), the only brunette, if you believe the paintings, and associated as well with fishermen and the sea. My family lives near the sea and is obsessed with boats, and my mother is a nurse, so it all seemed pretty appropriate for a family crest like I was going for. A little research also let me know Raphael’s usually pictured standing on the backs of fish, holding a staff, with the color green. So, I gave him a staff, some fish to stand not really on, but near, and a green halo. I borrowed his outfit from this painting:
And added images of the ocean to the inside of the T. I went for water in the stem (he’s standing in front of it, anyway) and tried to illustrate “red sky at night, sailor’s delight, red sky in morning, sailors take warning” in the spaces in the crossbar.
Here’s the (not-quite-finished) product:
I didn’t get around to gilding, which is a shame, but I’ll do it another time. Still, I think I learned a lot, both about working biblical references into a drawing and about the lengthy physical process of sketching, outlining, mixing paints, and filling things in. Having used some similar paints, I’m even more impressed how precise and how evenly medieval artists were able to color!
What were you guy’s favorite parts of the scriptorium workshop?