The Book of Kells: The Name Of Jesus

It's been a while and I'm in need of some drawing practice. I chose this small segment of a piece from the Book of Kells. It's deceptively simple. I realize there are actual methods to producing this type of artwork, painstaking methods that involve lots of measuring and straight edges to make sure things are even. But I'm like Nike, and I just do it.
 I literally look at the piece and just draw. I try to copy the angles and the lengths of the lines that I see. My trusty pencil and eraser come in right handy for this. Take for instance, that letter s. It's too far away from his fish friend and from the ih (for Jesus - ihs. If you've seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, you know that "in latin, Jehovah begins with an I.") So I moved it over and thought I was good to go.
 I bought some india ink pens to try out some this summer (mostly since I left all my ink and nibs at home). It's only after outlining everything that my mistakes become evident.
 Then, because I didn't bring my ink and nibs with me, I commandeer some of my daughters' markers and approximate the colors in the manuscript as best as I can. It's very hard to make laser lemon look like gold (yes, I'm talking to you, Crayola.) Some parts of this are actually gold leaf, but when one takes a cross country trip, that last thing you think is, "I should definitely take my gold leaf with me!" It's at this point that I realize how bad using dried-up marker looks, so I go over it with a color that is less true to the original but works much better.
And, just so you can see the glory of the real deal next to my pathetic copy, here's a final picture.


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