Ink musicians

by Laura A

img-130316184334-001I’ve been doodling again.  These guys are from the Utrecht Psalter, and although it says they illustrate Psalm 149 (I checked the Latin text), I think these particular figures go with 150.  “Praise him with the sound of the trumpet.”  As Sarie said, “That looks more like a hunting horn to me.”  It almost looks like a shofar.

I just love their hunched shoulders, Dr. Seuss hands, agitated drapery, and expressive gestures.  Look at the group of three on the right.  Their curious expressions crack me up!  The Utrecht Psalter is full of illustrations like these, in a similar Carolingian style to the Ebbo gospels.

As for my technique, it’s still not nearly where I’d like it to be.  I’m still drawing in a Moleskine journal (thus the grid), and I did these in a combination of thick and thin fountain pens, augmented by a few brush strokes.  I suspect I need to be working on vellum, with a longer brush or quill or some sort.  My attempts don’t capture the easy grace of the original, but I’ll keep trying.

Regarding the incongruous notes in the top right corner, I was listening to a Tim Keller sermon from the Redeemer free sermons link and kept spontaneously taking notes as I worked.  The sermon was on Psalm 88, one of two Psalms in the Bible that doesn’t end on a hopeful note.  But the fact that it’s in the Psalter shows that God understands; he knows how we talk when we’re desperate.

There’s a great quote about Sam Gamgee in that sermon, too.