Now perhaps making a whole book was aiming a little high but a page from the book certainly seemed do-able. I squared up the reference in Photoshop, taped it down onto my light box, then, using my dip pen, began to trace.
|I take any excuse to get my dip pen out...
I made steady progress working on my lunch hours and in front of the television in the evenings. It was quite relaxing.
The larger areas of black I filled in with brush and ink.
|Some of the black took a couple of coats.
Once all of the blackwork was done I switched to a blue ink and continued filling in detail.
|The blue was slightly more solid than I might have liked. Was happy with the effect in the end though.
I had to mix up a darker blue for a couple of areas. I used burnt sienna watercolour for the Royal Seal in the top right.
Next I had to add the gold. It looked like the book at the exhibition was gilded using a gold pen or paint rather than leaf. I decided to use an acrylic gold to illuminate the design (and as it's acrylic if I ever decide to leaf the gold further down the line the surface is already sealed). I squeezed a small amount onto a jar lid and using a fine brush began to work.
I'd recommend keeping a separate set of brushes for use with metallics or you'll start seeing twinkles turning up in your flat paints. Glitter gets everywhere.
I found a couple of variants of the design online with different areas painted gold. I mostly followed the version from the exhibition although I left the roots free from gold. Don't want to over do it after all. There are a couple of changes I might make later but I'm going to call it done for now. I guess my next task is to make the facing page but that's going to have to wait, for a while at least.
If you fancy taking a crack at making your own Hellboy Manuscript I've included the primary reference pic I used below, or you could download >>this scan of my work<< and all you need to do is add some gold. Enjoy!