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Calligraphy Society of Tasmania

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Medieval Bestiary Illumination – Gemma Black

October 13, 2019 @ 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

2 days   October 13 and Nov 17, 2019

9.30am to 4.30pm

Cost for both days: $90 members / $120 non-members (due 5th October)

for the Materials list –  CLICK HERE

This two day workshop will cover various aspects of medieval illustration with practical application. Our starting point will be the Bodleian Library Ms. 764 Liber Bestiarum.  In the Middle Ages, men believed that studying animals allowed them to read God’s plan as written in the natural world. Nowhere was this belief more prevalent than in England, where scribes toiled to produce some of the most enchanting and beautiful books of the age. We will work on vellum, only if you have some, or 300gsm hot-press paper and recreate a delightful beast or beasts from this c1250 manuscript. The class is suitable for all comers beginner through to advanced.   


We will learn to:

  • prepare the vellum (calf skin) or the paper ready for painting
  • transfer the medieval image
  • lay 23.75k gold leaf
  • prepare and mix pigments for painting
  • paint, if you are new to painting with gouache or pigments
  • refine the image; and
  • lay the white filigree where needed

Outcome: a finished artwork of a medieval beast ready for framing

Please Note: this workshop is a step by step process and the participant will be guided gently through to the finished artwork.



October 13, 2019
9:30 am - 4:30 pm


Meredith building, Friends School
Boa Vista Road
New Town, Tasmania Australia
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