Calligraphy and Illumination


example of a commission:
Ten Commandments for a Happy Marriage

Here is a closeup of this illuminated calligraphy. The complete design is illustrated lower down on this page.

marriage advice

As is my custom, I have used acid-free paper, purchased in this case from Falkiner's Fine Papers, Southampton Row, London. The pigment in the ink is carbon, guaranteeing its lightfastness indefinitely, or at any rate for several centuries. Likewise the pigments in the illuminations have been carefully chosen using advice taken from Michael Wilcox's book, The Artists Guide to Selecting Colours, so that lightfastness is assured under all normal conditions. I do not use ordinary calligraphy inks, as many of these are prone to fade.

Other artists may be interested to know that I used acrylic paints containing the following pigments: burnt umber, yellow ochre, titanium white, cadmium red, quinacridone red, ultramarine.

happy marriage

I do not know who wrote the text, which may well be someone's copyright: I have asked for the name of the author.

Click to see some of my preliminary sketches for this piece. Here is a link to a similar piece, using a quotation from the Katha Upanishad.

Artists, and all who enjoy delightful design, will be interested in Decorative Designs by Graham Rust. Of course I do not slavishly copy his style, but I found much inspiration in his book. I liked his fascination with shells and strange shapes, which were commonly used in decoration in the Rococo period.


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All images are copyright Martin Dace 2004: you must contact me for permission if you wish to publish or reproduce my pictures. Permission will usually be granted for web use provided my authorship and copyright is acknowledged and a link back to my site is provided. A link from my website to yours is also a possibility!