Wednesday, November 6, 2013

263 Simplified Medieval caps

These drawn and filled in letters are not as refined as I would would make them for a formal design.  I just drew them to illustrate the two-step process.
When medieval scribes wanted to start their text with an enlarged word or two, they often chose to draw Roman letters, which came to be called Versals or Lombardic capitals.  I've named these Simplified Medieval caps, because they render the classic forms in a style that highlights their decorative inner spaces and hairline serifs.

Outline, to be covered up.  
Here is the first, outlined version; a scribe or illuminator would have sketched the letter in diluted gray or brown ink, intending to cover the outline with the final solid color of red or blue paint, or gold leaf.  The outlines--shown in black here--are not meant to be seen by the final reader; they just suggest where to paint or gild.

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