Calligraphy and Illumination

Preparatory Sketches and Details

for the commissioned illuminated calligraphy:

Ten Commandments for a Happy Marriage



To prepare a piece of illuminated calligraphy or an illuminated manuscript, I first write out the calligraphy to see how much space the words will occupy, and work out from that how the writing should be arranged. Then I make rough sketches for the surround (the cartouche). Then I write the calligraphy again for the fair copy, and finally draw the design around it, first in pencil, then in ink, and finally I add colour.

Here you see my initial sketches for Psyche and Eros, and of course a heart, as this is about sustaining love. Shells stand for pilgrimage. Eros stands for falling in love, and Psyche stands for the soul.


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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!