|Believe it or not, the headdress is closely patterned on an illustration from a genuine medieval manuscript!|
"And Sir Lancelot, now I tell thee, I have loved thee these seven year, but there may no woman have thy love but Queen Guenevere; and since I might not rejoice thee nother thy body on live [=alive], I had kept no more joy in this world but to have thy body dead. Then would I have [em]balmed it and cered it [=wrapped it in waxed cloths], and so to have kept it my live days—and daily I should have clipped thee [=embraced thee] and kissed thee, despite of Queen Guenevere."While the whole episode takes up just a few paragraphs in a massive tome, I find that the specter of the lady's necrophiliac canoodling with a mummified Lancelot produces an outsized horror. Brrr!
"Ye say well," said Sir Lancelot. "Jesu preserve me from your subtle crafts!"
For the second week in a row, I tried to see what it was like to ink a vellum sheet laid over my original sketch. Oddly enough, my brush seemed to behave like a nib pen when I began (as I often do) by inking in the eyes. I remembered that Gary Martin, author of two books on comic-book inking, suggests an exercise where the inker should try to achieve brush effects with nibs and nib effects with brushes. I'd been trying to get a brushy calligraphic line out of a nib pen ever since I was a kid: my first cartooning efforts were full-on imitations of Walt Kelly, and I simply didn't know at first that he used a brush rather than a pen. (In my defense, I was seven at the time.) But making a brush line look like pen work seemed like a weird (and difficult) exercise to me. Now that I've accidentally achieved something of that effect, in at least parts of this drawing, I can see the virtue in making the single tool more versatile, and given my recent problems with ink blots from nib pens it might even be more practical to use a brush for my "pen" lines, thereby to reduce the risk of blots and smears. Still, I suspect that the pen-like qualities might be owing more to the unfamiliar tooth of the vellum surface and/or the viscosity of my ink.
I also had a more practical reason for using vellum, which is that my preliminary sketch this week was drawn not in pencil but in ballpoint pen, which is a lot harder to erase than pencil. That did mean, however, that the rough sketch survived the ink job, so for the sake of comparison here it is below (slightly blurry and rendered in grey rather than the original blue):
I kind of like the face in the rough drawing—it looks like a usable study for some other character—but, despite the label scrawled at the lower right of the picture, I don't find the rough drawing very convincing as Hallewes. So score one for the finished drawings, for a change.