Archive for the ‘Illuminated Alphabet’ Category

Z is for Zoomorphic

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Z is for Zoomorphic, calligraphic illumination by Amy Crook

Z is for Zoomorphic, calligraphic illumination by Amy Crook

It was surprisingly easy to find a theme for my Z, and then once I’d decided on a zoomorphic letter, cats was the second most obvious choice (after zebras). Even the border fits the theme, with little abstract silver and gold mouse kissing all around these sleeping cats. Their poses are inspired by my own fickle felines, but I chose to go with different markings, a nice grey top kitty with a slumbering tabby for the base.

This is the end of my Alphabet! It’s almost sad that it’s over, except that I have at least two more letters to do, and I might go back and “fill in” the sold pieces with variants so I can display the whole set somewhere. I’m happy to take commissions on any letters someone wants in a different style, or that’s already sold (I’m already doing a second J!), and you can click here for the details.

Z is for Zoomorphic, 5″x5″ Japanese watercolor, pen & ink and glitter gel pen on paper.

Z is for Zoomorphic, detail, by Amy Crook

Z is for Zoomorphic, detail, by Amy Crook

Above, you can see a bit of the kissing-mice border, with their simple curves of body, tail and ear. Below, you can see it tucked into a frame, though I forgot to sneak my iPhone into the shot.

Z is for Zoomorphic, framed art by Amy Crook

Z is for Zoomorphic, framed art by Amy Crook

Categories: Daily Art, Illuminated Alphabet, Series and Books, Whimsical and Strange
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Ampersand

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Ampersand, calligraphic illumination by Amy Crook

Ampersand, calligraphic illumination by Amy Crook

I find it appropriate that my Ampersand has fallen on Valentine’s Day. The penultimate character in my alphabet, this black cut paper ampersand floats above the intricately detailed green and gold circuit board background like a particularly gothic microchip. This whole series has been about using modern, nontraditional materials to explore a Medieval art form, and so the ampersand ties it all together.

Ampersand, 5″x5″ Japanese watercolor and glitter gel pen with Arches cover black paper and glue on paper.

Ampersand, detail, by Amy Crook

Ampersand, detail, by Amy Crook

Above, you can see the intricate pattern of interlocking gold on top of the bright circuit board green watercolor, and the three-dimensional ampersand itself really stands out, floating on its spikey feet. Below, in honor of the holiday, I’ve put U & I together.

U & I, framed calligraphy by Amy Crook

U & I, framed calligraphy by Amy Crook

Categories: Daily Art, Illuminated Alphabet, Series and Books, Whimsical and Strange
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Y is for Yarn

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Y is for Yarn, calligraphic illumination by Amy Crook

Y is for Yarn, calligraphic illumination by Amy Crook

I was having trouble thinking of something good to do for Y, when the lovely ladies in the Starship suggested what was to them the obvious solution – yarn! I got a skein of handdyed cotton yarn from the wonderful Blonde Chicken Boutique, and then set to work. She sent me this gorgeous variegated light pink, so I used my favorite periwinkle paint and purple gel pen to create a background that looked like a tangle of yarn, then embroidered in the letter and border with the lovely pink yarn. I glued the paper to a cardboard backing so it wouldn’t tear through, and now it’s all ready for your favorite knitter, Yael or Yakov.

Y is for Yarn, 5″x5″ handdyed yarn, Japanese watercolor and glitter gel pen on paper and cardboard.

Y is for Yarn, detail, by Amy Crook

Y is for Yarn, detail, by Amy Crook

Above, you can see the shine of light off the purple glitter, and the textures of real and imagined yarn juxtaposed on the mottled periwinkle background. Below, the Y is hanging out with W and A to make WAY on my desk.

W is for Watercolor, A is for Arabesque and Y is for Yarn, framed art by Amy Crook

W is for Watercolor, A is for Arabesque and Y is for Yarn, framed art by Amy Crook

Categories: Daily Art, Illuminated Alphabet, Series and Books, Whimsical and Strange
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X is for Xerography

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

X is for Xerography, calligraphic illumination by Amy Crook

X is for Xerography, calligraphic illumination by Amy Crook

X marks the spot! It was surprisingly easy to find a candidate for my X, and I had a lot of fun with this, making little Xs in black and white and glittery pen, then xeroxing them, pasting them up, and xeroxing them again, and finally cutting & assembling all the xeroxed bits and outlining them in silver glitter.

Somehow I think the monks who illuminated manuscripts with gilt and ink didn’t have half so much fun.

X is for Xerography, 5″x5″ xerography, collage and glitter gel pen on paper.

X is for Xerography, detail, by Amy Crook

X is for Xerography, detail, by Amy Crook

Above, you can see the layers of paper and glitter fitting together on one leg of the X. Below, you can see it with the V and O making VOX, one of my favorite Scrabble words.

V, O and X, framed art by Amy Crook

V, O and X, framed art by Amy Crook

Categories: Daily Art, Illuminated Alphabet, Series and Books, Whimsical and Strange
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W is for Watercolor

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

W is for Watercolor, calligraphic illumination by Amy Crook

W is for Watercolor, calligraphic illumination by Amy Crook

The end of the alphabet draws ever nearer. Today’s W is perfect for a Wendy or William, with watery watercolor and sparkly silver in curvy waves. I tried to let the watercolor paint do its own beautiful thing here, letting the shapes and edges form as they would around this swooping, sparkling letter.

W is for Watercolor, 5″x5″ watercolor and glitter gel pen on paper.

W is for Watercolor, detail, by Amy Crook

W is for Watercolor, detail, by Amy Crook

Above you can see the light glinting off the silver water-patterned glitter, and the delicate textures of grainy watercolor that separated beautifully as it dried. Below, you can see the W hanging out with the A and Y to make WAY. In or out, that’s for you to decide!

W is for Watercolor, A is for Arabesque and Y is for Yarn, framed art by Amy Crook

W is for Watercolor, A is for Arabesque and Y is for Yarn,
framed art by Amy Crook

Categories: Daily Art, Illuminated Alphabet, Series and Books, Whimsical and Strange
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V is for Value

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

V is for Value, calligraphic illumination by Amy Crook

V is for Value, calligraphic illumination by Amy Crook

Value is a term for how dark something is, the range from black to white, so I explored that in two ways with this piece. First the V itself is a simple triangle shaded with a brush and pre-mixed black sumi-e ink. Then the background is shaded more like an old-fashioned etching, using the red glitter gel pen and my own wobbly handmade lines to create a fade in the opposite direction.

I have to admit, there’s something very ’80s music video about the result, like the logo for some new wave band. Perhaps there’s a Victor or Virginia in your life that are big fans of Duran Duran and need this in their life.

V is for Value, 5″x5″ sumi-e ink and glitter gel pen on paper.

V is for Value, detail, by Amy Crook

V is for Value, detail, by Amy Crook

Above, you can see a bit of the glittery red gel pen making the pen-shaded light-to-dark value in the background, and just the little tip of the V where the ink was determined to mostly stay at a middle tone. Below, you can see the V hanging out with the O and a little preview of X to spell “vox.”

V, O and X, framed art by Amy Crook

V, O and X, framed art by Amy Crook

Categories: Daily Art, Illuminated Alphabet, Series and Books, Whimsical and Strange
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U is for Uncial

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

U is for Uncial, calligraphic illumination by Amy Crook

U is for Uncial, calligraphic illumination by Amy Crook

I guess there’s not a lot of Ulrichs or Ursulas out there, but if there are, this is the letter for them! I personally plan to use it to spell STFU until someone buys one of the letters. And, of course, you can always put U and I together and be a terrible pickup line.

Uncial is one of the classic calligraphy fonts, so I wanted to do a proper homage in warm earthy brown and cheerful new-leaf green. There’s just a touch of gold decoration in the fattest parts of the letter, giving it a lovely bit of sparkle.

U is for Uncial, 5″x5″ pen & ink, Japanese watercolor and glitter gel pen on paper.

U is for Uncial, detail, by Amy Crook

U is for Uncial, detail, by Amy Crook

Above, you can see the gold glitter illuminating the letter with just a touch of sparkle. Below, you can revisit the last few weeks of letters, plus the lovely, flourishing F.

S, T, F & U, illuminated letters by Amy Crook

S, T, F & U, illuminated letters by Amy Crook

Categories: Daily Art, Illuminated Alphabet, Series and Books, Whimsical and Strange
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