Ink musicians

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.


3 thoughts on “Ink musicians

  1. What a fabulous drawing Laura. I stand/sit amazed. And I love looking at your original sources too as well as reading your colorful commentary. Furthermore I agree with you–the inclusion of Psalm 88 is significant. It does indicate that God understands our hopelessness and despair. And now I’m going to check out the Tim Keller sermon you were listening to.

  2. I agree with Barbara! Your doodling is amazing. Yes, get some vellum and quill pens. I can’t wait to see more of your work.

  3. Thanks! Right now the idea is simply to train my hands and eyes again to do quick line drawings. Also, I like these Carolingian manuscripts so much (and have since college) that they might serve as inspiration for something else down the road.

    Barbara, I hope you like the sermon. And there are some other similar ones, for instance in the Habakkuk series.

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