Messing about with ink..

I have a few projects kicking off for the next SCA event (Eplaheimr’s Champions of the Court of Love in February). I am dabbling with making ink, it’s going well so far, but I wanted to take a bit of a break. I was going to try some calligraphy as practice for when I have ink to work with (I’m nothing if not optimistic) so I went trawling about on the internet for inspiration when a painting from a German coffret currently on display in The Cloisters Collection (Metropolitan Musuem of Art) dated 1325-50 caught my eye.

The painting was done with tempera paints and I was struck by the strength of its colours. The painting is on the inside of the lid and depicts Frau Minne aiming a bow at a man in one panel and him surrendering his arrow pierced heart in another. There are some arms in the middle panel and a very peculiar looking beast with what my son decided were either apples or pomegranates stuck to it. The inscriptions, all very much representative of the ideals of Courtly Love, are in German and too difficult to make out in the image I found, I didn’t even attempt to recreate them. Translated I’m told they read “Gracious lady, I have surrendered” and “Lady send me solace, my heart is wounded”.

The original can be viewed at

Love's Wound

I may have a go at creating tempera paints at some point in the future – the non lethal ones at any rate – but today I decided I’d not worry too much about accuracy and just use what I had to hand and have a go at drawing something a bit like this in ink. I have a few bottles of Windsor and Newton inks and a couple of skinny dip pens, so I messed about trying to remember how to get them all to play nice. I made a total mess of the usual things, hands, faces etc, and blotched the ink at unfortunate times, but I’m pleased enough with it in other ways… I have absolutely no idea what the middle creature is supposed to be, and my beasts in general could do with a little work 🙂



3 Comments Add yours

  1. gythaobhanain says:

    I’m impressed.

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