Monday, July 31, 2017

Colors paints the scene

Song of Solomon: timeless love poetry in contemporary calligraphy.

Modern calligraphers can choose from a rainbow of vivid, permanent, reliable, and inexpensive ink for their designs. 
It's tempting to indulge in color as simple eye candy, to catch and please the reader with a bright blue greeting, red curlicues around a capital, or multicolor swashes around a black stroke.  But color can say so much more.  Color can set the scene, evoke a voice, tell a story.  While you work on the layout of any quotation, try out colors that enhance its meaning.  

Detail from post above.  Plan carefully, masking 
off areas with a post-it note, to place the color changes 
where you intend them. For exact boundaries, change 
color between separate letter strokes.  It's simpler to 
just fill two pens with different inks and alternate them.   

The blocks of text in the previous post, from Song of Solomon IV: 12 - 15, are meant to look like hedges that wall off an enclosed garden, making it almost a labyrinth.  The outer letters are written in the brown tone of sticks and dry sand.  The inner letters are the blue of the scripture's "living water" and the green of growing leaves. Each letter o of the top paragraph is filled in with orange to suggest a pomegranate.  

Medieval scribes had only a few colors that would flow through their pen and endure on the page, and different expectations to meet.  They marked saints' days in red, for example, by long-established custom, not for artistic effect.  You have a wide palette available to help you intensify, with colored ink, any ideas that your text suggests.  

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