echniques of illumination.

In modern-day, commercial products, such as paper, gouache or watercolor, India ink, "gold" paint, etc, are used, a beautiful painting may be created. But it is NOT AN ILLUMINATION in the medieval sense !
The techniques described here are the same as those used in the Middle Ages.

1 - First the parchment is prepared by sanding and pumicing, then the design is transferred to the parchment.
2 - The calligraphy (if any) is done, using a goose or turkey quill or a metal nib pen and whole ink (oak gall or carbon-based).
3 - The lines of the design are traced over with ink.
4 - The mordant (glue) is painted in the areas to be gilded.
5 - The gold leaf is applied; if raised gilding is used, the gold leaf is then burnished and may be tooled.
6 - The border (if any) is painted.
7 - The underpainting of the miniature is done.
8 - The details are painted; shadows, highlights, fine linework.
9 - Shell gold is painted where needed.


For more detailed explanation of these techniques, click here.