Kingdom of Atlantia 30th Year “Scribal Challenge”
+ Mystery Ingredient given by the challenge = ultramarine ++Pigment (used for egg tempera)
++Mixed with a fresh egg yolk and water
+Paper folding fan given by the challenge
+Pencil (for outlining the hemisphere)
+Leonardt #2.5 pen nib
+Schmincke gouache in “GoldPearl”
+Dr. Ph. Martins India Ink in “Bombay Blue”
+Higgins Calligraphy Ink in “Carmine”
+Windsor & Newton Designer gouache in “Permanent White” (for lightening the ultramarine paint)
Source of Inspiration: Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, 1413AD by the Limbourg Brothers, specifically the hemisphere portion from the month of September calendar.
Discussion: Originally I wanted to create artwork that would be period for a folding fan. I was able to find some written word that folding fans existed in China but there are not many surviving examples. I was going to go with this route despite that but encountered a major problem.
The “secret ingredient” that was given to me would not be period for blue Chinese paint. Chinese painters did not use ultramarine, which is derived from lapis lazuli, but instead they most commonly used pigment derived from azurite. Although azurite and lapis lazuli are rather similar there is a difference in chemical makeup and more importantly as to where each was harvested in pre-1600’s China.
I then decided to go a different route and paint something European despite that such a thing wouldn’t necessarily be found on folding fan. In fact I found it rather difficult to research folding fans made out of paper and wood to exist in Europe before 16th century. It really wasn’t until late 1600’s that folding fans became into existence and were mostly made of wood and feathers instead of paper or even parchment.
Now the first thing that came to my mind immediately when thinking of ultramarine pigment or paint was “Le Tres Riches Heures”… it is rather infamous especially for its use of beautiful ultramarine blue in the pained panels throughout the whole book. I have always wanted to attempt to recreate this beauty but never had the chance to work with pigments. Until now!