Once again I was delighted to be asked to design a diploma for the graduating class of the school my kids attended oh-so-long-ago, and to work with the parents on the illumination while the eighth graders were off on their class trip. The Engrossing Saga I attended last fall was still very much with me, and I went for a kind of turn-of-the-twentieth century look with a twist: part color, part black-and-white.
The idea is to keep it simple enough that the group can complete the painting in a three-to-four-hour crash course in engrossing. The design was hand-drawn (Sickels alphabet), calligraphed (Johnstonian Italic), scanned and cleaned up in Photoshop (both twenty-first century luxuries), and inkjet-printed on New Diploma Parchment, whose praises I must join the chorus and sing! I inscribed the names in Copperplate with Moon Palace Sumi, chose a gouache palette and mixed the colors. For the gold we used Spectralite, which held up nicely to burnishing and tooling. Outlining was done with a fine black Pitt pen, and leaf vein dots with a gold gel pen.
We settled into the classroom for a Sunday afternoon and several hours later...
...nineteen diplomas, ready for signatures!