Scroll 48: East Asian

This was another backlog project, albeit a much more recent one, and my first court barony scroll. The recipient pointed me at a beautiful East Asian scroll painting called Spring Festival Along the River that she said would have been where and when her persona lived. The whole thing is over 17 feet long, so I chose a small section of it that I felt would work well for the project.

I pulled some of the people out of the scene and only the animals got faces. It seemed to result in a slower paced feel overall while still being active. Then, rather than go with my usual limited color palate, I got a wild hair and decided to go full color…and instantly regretted it. The green was too bright. I tried a pull off technique with a damp paper towel to fade it out some. It helped, but it was still too green. I resolved to trust the process and continue on. Luckily, my bottle of gold leaf adhesive arrived on the exact day I wanted to apply it, so I distracted myself by doing a scroll with gold leaf for the first time.

Needs more gold! You can’t really see it in the photos, but the shelter at the bottom of the structure on the left also has a gold roof.

The gold made the first line hard to read, so I outlined it in black. The brightness of the green was still driving me nuts though, so I polled a few fellow scribes for ideas. One suggested a very thin film of protective paper over it which would give the whole thing a slightly aged look and tone down all the colors. The other two suggested going over parts of the green with a more olive toned green.

The olive I had turned out to be more of a wash than a strong pigment, but I decided to roll with it because I could tell immediately that it was helping. It seemed like such a small thing but it made a huge difference! That slight hint of olive pulled all the greenery into the scene so it didn’t pull so much focus. It added both texture and balance.

Materials: Printer, 9″x12″ pergamenata, ruler, Ames lettering guide, pencil, eraser, 01 micron pen, metal scraper, gold leaf, Old World Art gold leaf adhesive, Winsor & Newton gouache, Princeton heritage 2/0 round paint brush, Speedball Super Black ink, dip pen