Russian Sable Scrivner for Rafny. 

A Sable Scrivner, an award for scribes in An Tir, based on a 15th c gospel manuscript from Novgorod. 

Ink and gouache on Bristol. Gold is W&N gold ink. Pseudohand created by me. 

The exemplar contains an unusual crosshatched background, which I retained in gold. I have a color image of another page from this manuscript that shows the outlining and the header text in gold. Since it’s the same value, I chose to use the gold ink. Paint colors were chosen based on the one page available in color. 

Additional pages, showing the gold outline and the crosshatching. 

Edited: I have since found this page in color in the newer edition of Smirnova. I’m glad to see I guessed mostly right. 

The cartouche on the edge is likely related to indexing. I choose to put the recipients initials in that space. 

Layout and red done. The circular figures can be made with either s compass or a circle template. I used a circle template. 

Calligraphy! Pseudohand created by me. 



All the colors laid down and starting the gold high lights. 

Done, including white highlights. But with a cat created blotch at the bottom. Scraped some of it, and told the recipient that the cat helped. She laughed. 

The text:

The labors and skills of a scribe with quill and ink, gold and silver, parchment and paint, and the selfless sacrifice of their time, is a benefit to Crown and recipient alike, and to all those who seek beauty. Always may the hand of the scribe who chooses to serve An Tir be as the strong hand of the King and their eyes be as those of the Queen who seeks out all that is beautiful. Make the heart of that scribe as the heart of the Sable Lion, true and sure. 
________________________, praise and thanks do We, ____________ and ____________, King and Queen of the Sable Lion Lands give – for your hand is steady, your eyes find beauty, and your words and art are true reflecting the honour, glory, and strength that is An Tir. Thus, We are pleased to enter you into the Order of the Sable Scrivener. In Affirmation, We hereby set Our hand and seal this _________ day of (month)____________ A.S. _______



The Russian Ornament Sourcebook: 10th-16th Centuries. London: Vivays Pub., 2011.
Smirnova, Ė S. Lit︠s︡evye Velikogo Novgoroda, XV Vek. Moskva: “Nauka”, 1994.


One Comment Add yours

  1. I just came over from SMS’s blog. I can’t wait to check out your tutorial on beginning fabric dyeing. I just had to get over here to see your stuff and I love the colors and work you do! Happy to have been directed here.


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