Friday, October 29, 2010

New Arrivals

Look what Katharine sent me! On the left is goatskin, on the the right is Kelmscott vellum! Now how cool is that? :-)

Here are a couple of Katharine quotes:

"Suppliers are William Cowley of Newport Pagnell, world-renowned parchmenters (they supplied the ancient-looking vellum for some huge map in Pirates of the Caribbean, no less)."

"... the wondrous William Cowley, who deal in various forms of animal skin for museums, calligraphers, artists, furniture restorers and so forth. It's the most beautiful surface and is very often used by botanical illustrators with watercolour or tempera..."

In this backlit shot I'm trying to illustrate the wonderful translucency of these skins. I had difficulty getting the images I wanted, but we'll be seeing more of these supports. I've picked an older graphite drawing as a start for a tempera piece. I need to decide between vellum and goatskin. I never thought I'd be facing this decision! :-)

Thanks Katharine! :-)

An order of 9" x 12" gesso boards from Realgesso is bringing satisfaction. Fairly smooth. No pinholes! Notice the upper right where I sanded with 600 grit. I was indeed able to reach an incredibly smooth surface and never found a pinhole. Now, I must say that this only one panel and the sanding has been limited but at this point I am pleased with this product. We'll be looking more at these panels soon.


  1. It's funny to see the vellum I sent sitting up on the net here, looking back at me as though butter wouldn't melt in its mouth! John, I hope these fragments give you as much pleasure to work with as they give me.

    That new gesso board looks absolutely gorgeous where it's sanded -- as smooth as glass. No pinholes! Fantastic.

    Looking forward to your forthcoming projects with the usual pleasant anticipation of artistic process and colourful result.

  2. Thanks again, Katharine. I am excited to try my hand on the Kelmscott. I will first try a study on a new gesso board. More coming on that in this evening's post! -)