Scroll 15: Hippos

The recipient of this scroll loved pink hippos, so I went scouring the internet to see if I could find a period one. The fabulous and terrifying creature on the left is a medieval hippo from Flanders ca 1350. If the internet is to be believed, the one on the right claims to be a woodcut from a medieval bestiary.

It even seemed like the first one would make a good letter A if I angled it back just a bit. After several hours on the computer, I had a template. I had also recently acquired a light table, which made tracing the template infinitely easier than trying to hold thick paper up against a glass window.

For this scroll, I decided to lay the base colors down before the black lines, since I also needed to do some outlining within the hippos themselves.

Next came the white work, then finally the words. I love that freaky hippo. It has a sort of Dr. Seuss feel to me. I remember being particularly proud of the detailed line work… and then I went and messed up the letter kerning because I judged poorly on the first line. I loved the rest of the scroll too much to try doing it over again though.

Materials: 9″x12″ Bristol cut to 9″x11″, light table, ruler, pencil, eraser, Ames lettering guide, cartridge ink fountain pen, gouache, micron pen, gold paint